No...you shouldn't. Not yet at least. Keep working on it as it is written until you can play through it with better timing and feel. Then move on to a few other heads out of the Omni Book and keep focusing on the timing and feel. Then listen to Parker or Cannonball (a lot) and try to copy what they do. It (that feel) will come with time and lots of practice so keep at it.Do you mean I shouldn't do little improvisational things to the head?
Do you mean I shouldn't do little improvisational things to the head?
I agree with minous. You need to have a better feel for the original head before you start adding incidental improv. Not that it's bad to juice up the head a little if you really have command of the original, but you don't have it yet. Listen to the original and try to copy every nuance of it...without any extra improv that you might hear depending on which recording you're listening to. (Parker plays it straight on the Miles Davis version. He does ad-lib just a little on the Birds Nest version, but not nearly as much as you're trying to do. If the melody "as written" is good enough for Charlie Parker, it should be good enough for you). On this particular tune there's really no need to play around with the melody anyway. It's great just the way it is, and there's plenty of room to show off what you can do during the solo choruses.No...you shouldn't. Not yet at least. Keep working on it as it is written until you can play through it with better timing and feel.
I guess it's just a regular part of my playing. I know it's not what Charlie Parker does but it felt strange to change something I was so used to. I'll try playing without it though.The interesting bit for me was the vibrato use on the notes. Have you tried playing without? How does that sound? Is there a reason for the vibrato here or is it just added because that is a regular part of playing?
It was assigned for my audition.May I ask why you are playing specifically yardbird suite?
Actually, Parker DID use vibrato on Yardbird Suite, but it was much more subtle and relaxed...to the point that you hardly notice it, but it's definitely there. Your vibrato is more pronounced, which may contribute to your playing sounding "nervous".I guess it's just a regular part of my playing. I know it's not what Charlie Parker does but it felt strange to change something I was so used to. I'll try playing without it though.
If your fingers are tensing at fast tempos it's because you haven't developed the muscle memory yet. Until your fingers have developed the muscle memory for a specific piece of music, your brain is having to work too hard to communicate with your fingers. The best way to develop smooth muscle memory, and the only way in my opinion, is through SLOW, repeated practice. Slow practice isn't only for beginning and intermediate players. Many of the best professionals talk about and USE the slow practice method when working on new music and new ideas. It's not a matter of slowing it down because you're not "good enough"...it's simply the fastest and most effective way to commit things to muscle memory. You can play the same thing over and over again for days or weeks at full tempo and never really get it down right, but if you slow it down and practice methodically, you can get it down in half the time. The problem with practicing at faster tempos is that every MISTAKE you make is committed to muscle memory just as quickly as everything you play right...so the key is to slow it down to the point that you can't make mistakes, and only gradually speed it up after you've played it several dozen times with absolutely no mistakes and with clean, precise timing. When you do start to speed it up, if you start making mistakes again, or if your timing isn't clean and precise, you've sped it up too much or too soon.Also, regarding the clamping of my fingers, I noticed that my fingers get really tense when I play fast things such as etudes. Is that not good for my playing? Or does the tenseness just mean that I haven't practiced to the level of when it gets easy?