Charlie Parker Omnibook question...

guitarua

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532
I know we have quite a few jazzers looming around here, so I was curious if any of you guys have studied from the omnibook over the years?

I have had it on my shelf for a few years, and every now and then it makes an appearance on my music stand only yo disappear a few months later when I have to prep for other gigs or I convince myself I'm not ready to tackle Parker solos yet.

Now I am feeling ready to go for it, not necessarily going through page by page, but tackling it in order of increasing complexity: blues first, then more common Parker tunes I already know, and then the ones I need to learn the head and changes to before even attempting the solos. Throughout this I realize one of the most important aspects to this will be to LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN to the solos so that the sound of them becomes ingrained in my ear. I'm not using it as a sight-reading exercise, but rather more like etudes to focus on phrasing, technique, feel, and overall to bring up my bebop playing.

If anyone has any experiences or thoughts on this, i'm all ears...:phones
 

spencerbk

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Throughout this I realize one of the most important aspects to this will be to LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN to the solos so that the sound of them becomes ingrained in my ear.
It sounds like you're on the right track. It would probably be a better exercise to transcribe and memorize one Parker solo yourself instead of learning 10 out of the book.

That said, I haven't put in the work to transcribe any CP solos or use the book for anything other than occasional sightreading practice - so I'm not speaking as someone who has gleaned maximum benefit from studying Parker's music. A teacher had me learn one of the Kim solos a long time ago and some of the licks do seep into my playing today.
 

guitarua

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532
Yes, I agree that learning by ear is valuable, but I have done my share of transcribing, and right now I think I would rather work out the technique, fingerings, positions, picking patterns, etc.
 

Neer

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12,552
Pick one tune, transcribe it and compare yours to the Omnibook. Then, isolate small segments of the tune, such as a 2 bar segment with a V7-i or V7-I resolution, or a I-VI7-II7-V7, and try to analyze what he's playing. Make it a passage that is easy for you to latch onto and then try playing it in every key and within numerous contexts. Just start chipping away at the stone. As was stated above, look at the options for fingerings and, if you can, try to play it in as many of those options as possible.
 

Jahn

Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver
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When I played Alto Sax in college, I used the Omnibook to help audition for a Jazz Studies course in the Oberlin Conservatory. I played Donna Lee, and then they whipped out Four by Miles Davis to sight read. After the Omnibook, Four was a cinch! That was a fun year. Anyhow, I still have that Omnibook somewhere, it's good stuff.



Man I can't believe I used to play this stuff. Now I totally forgot it all after decades and I can't even sight read for guitar. Sad.
 

StanG

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4,667
i just got it with the intention of isolating licks to use in other, but similar harmonic situations. My new teacher is big on the omni book and is always bringing up cool stuff he got from it. I'm working on expanding my vocab and learning pentatonic approaches and am looking for new ways to approach harmonic situations both in transcriptions and by transcribing.
 

nohjoh

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111
Spend time figuring out good fingering if you want it to swing - try to change strings on upbeats (i.e. don't emphasize downbeats too much).
There's a great book called "Charlie Parker for Guitar" which helps in this area - kind of like a guitarists take on the omnibook... helps with fingering/phrasing.
 

guitarua

Member
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532
Also, don't necessarily assume that every little thing in the Omnibook is correctly transcribed. I seem to recall uncovering more than a couple things that I didn't agree with. If you're looking for reading practice, then the Omnibook is a great resource. If you're looking for an urtext for Charlie Parker's music, then always start with the source.

Don't trust any transcription you didn't do yourself.
No doubt! found some already because I am listening and working with the recordings. I feel it will hit all the areas i'm wanting to cover without transcribing it myself. I appreciate all the input, and since it seems no one here has done it the same way I am, I am curious to find out the results. Worst case scenario: my chops increase, both reading and playing, and I get to play some hip ****!
 

guitarjazz

Gold Supporting Member
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21,613
Also, don't necessarily assume that every little thing in the Omnibook is correctly transcribed. I seem to recall uncovering more than a couple things that I didn't agree with. If you're looking for reading practice, then the Omnibook is a great resource. If you're looking for an urtext for Charlie Parker's music, then always start with the source.

Don't trust any transcription you didn't do yourself.
Double amen to that. BTW I took Jaco's advice and started out only learning the heads to Parker tunes. This was a lot easier to manage than trying to bite off a whole solo. Later I transcribed tons of solos.
BTW the guy that wrote the Bird for guitar book just lifted it out of the Omnibook so the same mistakes get passed down!
 

aaron1433

Member
Messages
765
Spend time figuring out good fingering if you want it to swing - try to change strings on upbeats (i.e. don't emphasize downbeats too much).
There's a great book called "Charlie Parker for Guitar" which helps in this area - kind of like a guitarists take on the omnibook... helps with fingering/phrasing.
Thanks for the tip! That would be useful. I've felt it is time well spent how to arrange my fingerings with bop charts, but I'd love a second opinion.
 

Neer

Member
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12,552
Transcribing is at the heart of learning how to play Jazz. To rely on someone else's transcriptions is not going to benefit you nearly as much and you won't hear it the same way.
 




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