Pathways to Parker

Book/ IOS App (Apple Devices)

Book/ IOS App (Apple Devices)




Product Code: PWTP
Author: Terry Rowlyk
ISBN-13: 979-8986432908
755 Pages

by Terry Rowlyk.

The ink never drys on Charlie Parker books. Decades after his passing, the vastness of his contribution to modern music is still being examined, reexamined, contemplated, and desiminated. His music was the "Big Bang" of modern jazz and continues to expand in all directions without limit. To truly understand the theory of "general creativity", it helps to start from the quantum level; one and two bar phrases.

This book was created to catalog the melodic pattern material performed by Charlie Parker for over sixty of his transcribed solos. It also comes with an APP called Pathways to Parker. The APP mirrors the book to make it convenient for students to download onto electronic devices.

The patterns are organized by the key and chord type in which they were originally performed. The performer may use the patterns at their discretion, in the original key, or transpose them as needed.

The teacher may use these patterns in a number of creative ways:

1. Instrumental sight-reading material.

2. Composition ideas

3. Examples of what musical ideas will work over an existing chord change.

4. Starting point for students to creatively connect the patterns in order to expand their music vocabulary.

5. Starting point for the development of written solos within the developing jazz band.

6. Analysis of the most widely-used key and chord centers in Charlie Parker’s repertoire.

7. Abstraction and insertion of Charlie Parker’s vocabulary into existing solos to create new ones.

8. Provide new source material for the professional musician who would like to expand their jazz vocabulary.

All patterns are one measure in length. Patterns may be joined together as the improviser sees fit, however, proper voice leading and chaining of patterns will produce more musical ideas.

Don't let the nearly 400 pages intimidate you! Most pages contain less than 6 patterns, so this is NOT an overwhelming and insurmountable volume of material.


As a music educator with 30 years of experience, I have witnessed and worked with students who have a desire to learn jazz improvisation, but have a very limited jazz vocabulary. With proper guidance, Pathways to Parker may become an essential new resource by which students can learn, internalize, and apply musical ideas in unique ways.

Check out this cool demonstration video: