Sheet Music Charlie Parker omnibook for tenor

apinter

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Milan, Italy
I play tenor and would like to buy the Charlie Parker omnibook (which of course transcribes alto solos).

As my intention is to study the language of bird, more than reproduce solos in right key they were recorded, I guess I might be better with the Eb version, which will transpose all the tunes but will let me play notes as bird played on alto, only transposing the solo five semitones lower.

With Bb version I’d play same key but all would be moved on my saxophone and especially phrasing in upper register would be sometimes moved one octave lower

What would you think and suggest?
 

ellinas

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If you play the tenor buy the Bb version. There are some low As here and there but it’s fine. It’s a great tool to explore bird’s language.
 

Pete Effamy

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Difficult question. Think I agree with Nick and get the Eb and learn his language as he played it in the meat of the horn. If you want tenor bebop then get a transcription book of Sonny Stitt tenor solos or someone else.
 
OP
apinter

apinter

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Location
Milan, Italy
If you play the tenor buy the Bb version. There are some low As here and there but it’s fine. It’s a great tool to explore bird’s language.
My issue is more with phrases in upper register going down an octave. I read something like that somewhere and the idea of this doesn’t really fit me. I think it can make the phrasing on instrument quite odd. As you have it, do you feel something like that in Bb version?
 

ellinas

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It depends how you work with the Omnibook. As a dedicated tenor player it's time consuming and confusing learning standards in non standard keys. It's double work. Coming from a concert C environment ( I mainly play the organ ) it's already hard work trying to shift things a tone ahead. When I have to play in a band setting, I will perform in Bb. Its very hard work to learn all standards in Eb and Bb. I'm not a teenager long ago... Now about working things in 12 keys.... for example listening and analyzing bebop language from bird.... I always worked this way : I first transcribe and use the omnibook to understand a lick or a harmony in one key. The original key. After I digest a certain amount of language ... then I try to see how it can work in other keys... I can't do many things at the same time. For me the fastest way has always been doing and practicing one very limited thing each time. The more limited is my study .... the more things "unlock" .... I hope you understand me. If you want to play with muscle memory ... try the Eb.... If you want to learn at the same time how to perfom these things ... as bird songs are standards in a jam setting ...buy the Bb one.

A small story about my altissimo practice and bird. I was struggling with finding exercises for altissimo other than going scales up and down.
One day I had to learn Billie's bounce. Starting at the low octave was really "tenorish" and nice but I prefered starting at the alto pitch. This meant I had to use in a meaningful way the first altissimo octave. So i did something like whata guy called Rico Jones does in this video....


Starting practicing altissimo in real tunes ... really helped me... but every person is different. And other people here like pete or nick are credited educators ... so take my opinion as a personal opinion and nothing more . I just say what works for me!

Enjoy studying bird. Keep bebop alive! :)
 

Jazzaferri

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Victoria BC Canada
If you want to learn birds dialect … I suggest you pick one of his solo's and listen and then sing/whistle/hum or ??? along with it until you can do it without the music. Then if you want to write it down do so. Then pick another one and work on that.

I had to study two of the tunes in the omnibook for my degree and in both of them what is written isn't quite what he plays. Bird got pretty loose with time coming back to the beat when needed and usually not losing the groove.. Learning by hearing and imitating will get you further faster than any other methodology IMO

As site reading exercises they are great and a fair bit of the notation is correct. Its usually in the complex ":bird" bits that things get challenging
 
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apinter

apinter

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Milan, Italy
Thanks all for really interesting thoughts! Now I have to make up mine.
Probably Eb is better for study the instrument and play the same “chore” range.
Bb is better for general study, of tunes and music, and to start in “normal” keys I could use later.

I am quite green with sax and really need to study a lot to make some meaningful music. For now more or less I have fun in taming the beast and in producing sometimes something not totally wrong :).

Learning solo by hear is for sure better but I am very weak (yet) in reading and so much more in writing. So I have terrible time in writing down what I learn. I try to exercise ear a little bit at a time but for now transcribing parker’s solo would really be terribly hard, end even more putting it down on paper (I never would be confident I did it even remotely well).

So the omnibook comes handy to read something I like, I still would listen and try to imitate, but having notation made by somebody who knows what he does help me in many ways now. I can also use it to see if I am decoding what I am listening correctly, or do half and half, when it happens I risk to spend two hours on a bar, I can look at the solution and go on.

Maybe one day I’ll be able to make without (before that, I need to learn to read it well, which is not so certain now). And having all written I can also take fun in looking at how chords and scales are used, if I just need that (for this use Bb is fo sure better because gives tunes in “right” key)

Let’s see. I’ll think to your suggestions.
thanks!
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
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Location
Victoria BC Canada
That is exactly my point about the omnibook. It was probably very difficult for the transcriber (particularly back then they didn't have such good technology for slowing down). The heads and the easier parts are transcribed well but dont take the faster more complicated bits literally. What's written isn't quite what you are hearing.
 
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