Tag Archives: Omnibook

How Charlie Parker Licks can help you play better Jazz Guitar

In this lesson I am going to take a Charlie Parker lick and show you how I work on getting that lick into my playing and how I generate new vocabulary from the melodic ideas in it.

This video is coming after all the requests I got in my video on Top 5 Jazz books One of them was the Charlie Parker Omnibook which I used by taking lines and using them in my own playing.

The Charlie Parker line

The line I am going to use is from the Blues in C: Perhaps. While I prepared the lesson I for some reason ended up transposing it to F, I have no idea why anymore..

Here’s the original as Parker plays it:

For this lesson I am going to concentrate on the first part, which is the line on the Gm7. 

The way Parker uses it is that he plays it first on the Gm7 and then repeats it with a slightly different rhythm on the dom7th. In fact he is creating a Bbm7 on top of the C7.

If you check out the solo on Perhaps you should notice how Bird returns to this line a few times throughout the solo. If you don’t already own the Omnibook you should consider getting it: http://amzn.to/2lDZWpA

Bebop lines

Bebop lines are mostly consisting of scale melodies, chromatic passing notes, triad inversions and 7th arpeggios in root position. When bebop was around there were a lot of things not really in use yet: Altered scale, pentatonics, quartal harmony.

Even though Parker lines are maybe in some ways simpler they are still very strong melodies with some impressive melodic ideas and concepts that you can learn a lot from. 

Applying the line in my own playing

The first thing you can do is to take the line as it is and find places where it will easily fit the chords.

If I use it on a II chord in a II V I in F major that could be like this:

As you can see I am not trying to make the entire line bebop and do use altered on the dom7th chord. After all I am not a bebop player and a lot of things has happened since then…

If we look at the line it is essentially a scale run from C to A with a Bb triad inserted inbetween. Therefore it will probably also work well on a I chord in Bb major:

These two examples are of course composed and not improvised. You should probably see them as snapshots of how I might take the line and then slowly improvise my way through a song I know really well and use the line while connecting it with the rest of my vocabulary. 

Generating new material

The first thing I thought of with this was to make a version that is minor and not major. If you do that you might end up with something like this over a Dm7 chord:

The line is here a scale run from E to B in the key of C major and on the D I insert a descending D minor triad.

Now that we have a minor version of the line we can also make a version that will fit on an altered dominant like this G7alt line:

Other variations on the line

Another variation that we can make on this line is to change the arpeggio from a triad.

In the example above I changed the scale run to start from the 3rd of G minor and then the arpeggio that I insert is not an Am triad but instead a Bbmaj7 arpeggio.

Another option is to use a Drop2 voicing as arpeggio instead of the triad, that could gives us the line here below.

In this line I have a Gm7 drop2 voicing instead of the Bb major triad.

Make your own lines

Part of learning from solos and licks is to use the material to create your own material. In the examples above I am really not trying to make strict bebop lines. Another thing that you can tell is that there are not really any rules, you have to use your oown knowledge and your own taste to make new lines with the material.

If you want to download a Free E-book of 15 II Valt I licks then subscribe to my newsletter: 

Download a free E-book with 15 II Valt I licks!

You can also download the PDF of my examples here:

Analyzing a Charlie Parker Line

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics or how I can make the lessons better then please let me know. Leave a comment on the video or  send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make them fit what you are searching for.

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Top 5 Jazz Books that I have learned a lot from!

“What books or methods do you recommend for learning jazz” is one of the questions that I get all the time on my videos and on social media. Everybody is looking for good Jazz Books!

I usually don’t really answer the question because for me books have been one of many ways I have studied and I have never worked through a method from cover to cover. There are many aspects of learning jazz and absorbing the information, and taking it from a book is only one way and not the path you can use for learning a lot of things. 

That said there are of course books that I have had a lot of fun with and learned a lot from. In this vlog I will try to talk about some of them and also talk about what I have learned and how I have used them. This way of approaching the usefulness of a book is often overlooked in my opinion. 

The Jazz Books

Charlie Parker Omnibook

 http://amzn.to/2lDZWpA


  The Charlie Omnibook is a must for checking out Bebop! You just can’t go wrong with that one!

Kreutzer Etudes

 http://amzn.to/2kk6ZBW


  I have learned a lot from figuring out and practicing these etudes. This book is about making music with your technique but also about using your fretboard knowledge to be able to play them in the first place.

Ted Greene – Modern Chord Progressions

http://amzn.to/2lJLUSw


  Ted Greene could make music like no one else with chords. His use of different types of chords and always making the harmony flow in a great melodic way is certainly worth a study!

Joe Pass – Guitar Style 

http://amzn.to/2l2WzuU

Learning bop language is a tricky business on guitar, but who better to learn it from than Joe Pass?

Mick Goodrick – The Advancing Guitarist

 http://amzn.to/2kVSINP

The ideas and methods illustrated in this book are a huge part of my playing. In this book it is a good thing that most of the material covered you have to work out yourself.

 

The honourable mention:

Joe Pass – Chord solos

 http://amzn.to/2kk2zei

  Again Joe Pass is the one we turn to when you have to learn something really difficult. This time it is chord soloing!