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Hello,
I am sorry if I am covering old ground for you guys, but I would like to try out the Charlie Parker Omnibook for my tenor practice. I was going to order the Bb edition, but there are a few reviews on the Amazon page warning not to bother with the Bb version as a lot of parts are out of range for tenor sax. So, for those of you who use this book for tenor practice, are you using the Eb edition because it works better, or is the Bb edition no problem? I am not interested in the book so much to play along with the recordings as I am using it to study the music and practice, although I am sure I will be at least listening to the recordings at times when using the book. Appreciate your help.
 

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Hello,
I am sorry if I am covering old ground for you guys, but I would like to try out the Charlie Parker Omnibook for my tenor practice. I was going to order the Bb edition, but there are a few reviews on the Amazon page warning not to bother with the Bb version as a lot of parts are out of range for tenor sax. So, for those of you who use this book for tenor practice, are you using the Eb edition because it works better, or is the Bb edition no problem? I am not interested in the book so much to play along with the recordings as I am using it to study the music and practice, although I am sure I will be at least listening to the recordings at times when using the book. Appreciate your help.
What do you want to do with it?

If you want to learn the tunes and solos in the keys Bird played them, and play along with a recording, you need to either get the Bb edition or transpose at sight. If all you want to do is to learn the finger patterns and improve your sightreading, the patterns will certainly lay better under the fingers if read from the Eb edition (you'll be playing the same fingerings Bird did).

Seems to me that to keep the lines within the range of the horn you would have to break a lot of the lines to play them at the same pitch on a Bb horn, as a lot of the lines cover a wide range.

Learning the solos and heads in the Eb keys and in the Bb keys would be beneficial to your flexibility.
 

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There are are some trasponsing "problem" due to the extension of Bb tenor*... but other than that, if you are practicing on tenor, it's better go with the Bb Omnibook.

*: to not go into the altissimo (which will be odd for trumpet and clarinet), you read alto part one octave below... so some lower alto notes fall as notes below the low Bb... so: in every case, few notes have to be trasposed a octave up.
 

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Hello,
I am not interested in the book so much to play along with the recordings as I am using it to study the music and practice,....
Then get the Eb edition and play it as it scored (just assume you have Alto in your hand).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
No alto in hand, only a tenor. But this may solve the problem for playing along for practice:

Get the Eb edition and pitch shift Charlie parker using something like "Amazing Slow Downer" or Capo or whatever.
I have used The Amzing Slowdowner in the past for slowing things down, but not for pitch shifting. Great idea.

Thanks for your good and helpful insights and suggestions, everyone. Really appreciate it!
 

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About 10 years ago I bought a Conn 6m alto and went through the entire Omnibook. I am a 98% tenor player but felt it was important to play Parker on alto for the authentic experience.
 

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a player once told me, insightfully, that parkers omnibook should be for alto; playing it on tenor is the wrong instrument; like playing trane on alto would be .. ive played the omnibook on alto for 30 yrs; i bought the Bb to try it on tenor and it just doesnt feel right
 

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What do you want to do with it?

If you want to learn the tunes and solos in the keys Bird played them, and play along with a recording, you need to either get the Bb edition or transpose at sight. If all you want to do is to learn the finger patterns and improve your sightreading, the patterns will certainly lay better under the fingers if read from the Eb edition (you'll be playing the same fingerings Bird did).

Seems to me that to keep the lines within the range of the horn you would have to break a lot of the lines to play them at the same pitch on a Bb horn, as a lot of the lines cover a wide range.

Learning the solos and heads in the Eb keys and in the Bb keys would be beneficial to your flexibility.
nailed it!
 

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Get the Eb version. You can figure out the correct reason why later.
 

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Here's something I might have overlooked but worth repeating.

The Omnibook reflects the tessitura of the instrument. Lines for the horn assume varying characteristics depending on the range of the sax. From an orchestrational standpoint you want the instrument to reflect those characteristics.

IMO, the only reason to play the Bb book is if you want to play the solos along with the recording, same keys. But that ignores the characteristic sounds of the saxophone's tessituras.
 

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Here's something I might have overlooked but worth repeating.

The Omnibook reflects the tessitura of the instrument. Lines for the horn assume varying characteristics depending on the range of the sax. From an orchestrational standpoint you want the instrument to reflect those characteristics.

IMO, the only reason to play the Bb book is if you want to play the solos along with the recording, same keys. But that ignores the characteristic sounds of the saxophone's tessituras.
i agree with this completely but would like to add something. i studied the E flat Omnibook many moons ago for this very reason. But later i studied the B flat book playing everything in the alto register but on tenor. This forced me to deal with some very useful technical issues while still reinforcing the melodicisim that is Bird.

So i recommend studying the E flat book first, then the B flat book (transposing up the octave always). The forays into the altissimo are not impossible. Just difficult :thumbrig:

The vocabulary of Bird is still a huge part of the vocabulary of Jazz improvisation, so time studying Bird is never time wasted.

For what it's worth i also studied the concert pitch book, but on flute. That's an a** kicker!
 
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