Day: July 29, 2009

CELERITY: Bird transposes up a half step

This wonderful phrase illustrates how Charlie Parker (“YARDBIRD” or “BIRD”) could take a simple chord progression (such as III minor / bIII minor / II minor) and transform it into an opportunity to modulate.   In this case, he raises the key by a half-step, a favorite be-bop modulation.  (Thus, the bIII minor becomes a II minor in the key a half-step up from the original key.)   To solo properly over this progression, you need to use the Ab major scale for beats 3 & 4 of measure 1, the G major scale for the rest of bars 1 & 2.  Try it!   As always, try to master the exercise without resorting to the printed page.      Click here to hear the audio
BIRD CELERITY no key sigs