Learning Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker's Solo Technique - "Yardbird Suite ii-V-I"

One of Charlie Parker's solo licks from Yardbird Suite
This lick is located in measure number 24 of Charlie Parker's Yardbird Suite solo.

The Theory behind the Practice

Chord Progression


This lick and all of Charlie Parker's Yardbird Suite solo can be found in the
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Very similar to Charlie Parker's Confirmation V I lick, this ii-V-I passage makes heavy use of the concepts of passing tones and neighbor motion. It is an interesting microcosm of many melodic composition techniques. During the B- chord, Bird works to create two voices with one line. In the upper voice the melody passes down from the B through the 7th of the chord (A) to the 3rd of the E chord: G#. The lower voice approaches the G# from the F# below, the 5th of the B- chord. The melody then leaps a 7th to the Flat-9 of the E chord: F-natural. The F then resolves down to the 5th of the A chord passing through two lower neighbors. This is a resolution typical of bebop solos: Flat-9 to 5. Additionally, this lick is very idomatic of the saxophone and lays very easily over the horn in this key.