so later this year as a long-term project i'm planning on transcribing a handful (ten - fifteen) of charlie parker's solos.  although i'll never be able to play them cleanly up to tempo, i really want to use them as a device to learn more about his vocabulary.  does anyone know which of charlie parker's solos are considered to be the most important/influential to the jazz vocabulary?

the only one i'm definitely including is the one in 'night in tunisia' where he blows unaccompanied over four bars before beginning the chorus.  does anyone else have any favorites/suggestions?
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i don't think you have to reinvent the wheel.

virtually all of bird's solos have already been transcribed.

amsco publications' "jazz master series" includes the solos from "hot house", "night in tunisia", "rocker", "out of nowhere", "52nd strret theme", "groovin' high", "bird of paradise" and "bongo bop".

my personal favorites though are "ornithology" and "yardbird suite". there are transcriptions of those solos around too.

by analyzing the already transcribed solos, you'll save yourself a lot of time if your main intention is to "learn more about his vocabulary".

you'll find that bird used a  lot of the same priniciples and tricks over and over. after a couple of years study you should have a decent handle on the underlying concepts and then it's all about putting those priniciples to use in finding your own voice.
actually, i intend to do just that...reinvent the wheel.  this exercise will be a long project where i'm forced to improve my ear, timing, and singing ability as i intimately learn each solo.  by spending the amount of time necessary to accurately sing and play the solos i will have much more command over bird's vocabulary than if i simply read someone else's transcription.  

that's my intention, anyway.  i'm sure the temptation will be strong to rely on someone else's transcription for the tough spots...

thanks for the suggestions.
what i have found most helpful is a combination of learning the whole solo, but at the same time taking each phrase from the solo and reworking it to fit different harmonies, changing the rhythms etc... and of course playing it with a metronome  in all 12 keys. transcription is great, but i would save my time for stuff that has not been transcribed, groove holmes, or jos, or larry young. there's so much out there on bird it's almost foolish not to take advantage of it. why not just start with 8 measures of a solo you like and take it from there? i find that setting big projects always sets me up for failure.
good luck,
tom
check out donna lee. the head is really fun to play. i learned it from the omni book and now i'm working out a solo piano arrangement by paul smith. he has a seris of boooks out of piano versions of birds work. next i want to learn it two octaves appart, in unison as scott suggested.

i've transribed things that are allready published to see how close i get to the published version and look up the parts that i'm having trouble with. i think any kind of transcription work you do well  benifit your ear. good luck,

paul
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