Charlie Parker Quotes



Best 30 Quotes by Charlie Parker

“Bop is no love-child of jazz.”

“Definitely, study is absolutely necessary in all forms – it's just like any talent that's born within somebody.

It's just like a good pair of shoes when you put a shine on it, you know? Like, schooling brings out the polish of any talent. It happens anywhere in the world.”

“Don't be afraid, just play the music.”

“Don't play the saxophone. Let it play you.”

“Ever since I've ever heard music, I thought it should be very clean, very precise – as clean as possible, anyway, and more or less tuned to people. Something they could understand, something that was beautiful, you know?”

“Every time I hear a recording I've made, I hear all kinds of things I could improve or things I should have done. There's always so much more to be done in music. It's so vast.”

“First you learn the instrument, then you learn the music, then you forget all that sh*t and just play.”

“Hear with your eyes, see with your ears.”

“I can play all I know in eight bars.”

“I could hear it sometimes, but I couldn't play it. I'd been getting bored with the stereotyped changes that were being used.

I found that by using the higher intervals of a chord as a melody line and backing them with related changes, I could play the thing I'd been hearing.”

“I don't care who likes it or buys it. Because if you use that criterion, Mozart would never have written Don Giovanni, Charlie Parker would have never played anything but swing music.”

“I look at melody as rhythm.”

“I put quite a bit of study into the horn, that's true. In fact, the neighbors threatened to ask my mother to move once, you know.”

“I realized by using the high notes of the chords as a melodic line, and by the right harmonic progression, I could play what I heard inside me. That's when I was born.”

“I'm very glad to have met you. I like your playing very much.”

“If you come on a band tense, you're going to play tense. If you come a little bit foolish, act just a little bit foolish, and let yourself go, better ideas will come.”

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“Playing the game, and unfortunately, playing the gangster game is very profitable.”


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“If you don't make a mistake, you're not trying hard enough.”

“It's just music. It's trying to play clean and looking for the pretty notes.

The beat in a bop band is with the music, against it, behind it. It pushes it. It helps it. Help is the big thing. It has no continuity of beat, no steady chug-chug. Jazz has, and that's why bop is more flexible.”

“Learn the changes, then forget them.”

“Man, there's no boundary line to art!”

“Master your instrument. Master the music. And then forget all that bullsh*t and just play.”

“Music is basically melody, harmony, and rhythm. But people can do much more with music than that. It can be very descriptive in all kinds of ways, all walks of life.”

“One time, when I was in my teens, jamming in a Kansas City club, I was doing all right until I tried doing double tempo on 'Body and Soul.'

Everybody fell out laughing. I went home and cried and didn't want to play again for three months.”

“Some guys said 'Here's bop!' Wham! They said, 'Here's something we can make money on!' Wham! 'Here's a comedian!' Wham! Here's a guy who talks funny talk!”

“When I first heard music, I thought it should be very clean, very precise. Something that people could understand, something that was beautiful.”

Acting Is a Job Quotes

“You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.”

Acting Is a Job

Hear Me Talkin' to Ya Quotes

“Any musician who says he is playing better either on tea, the needle, or when he is juiced, is a plain, straight liar. When I get too much to drink, I can't even finger well, let alone play decent ideas. You can miss the most important years of your life, the years of possible creation.”

Hear Me Talkin' to Ya

“I kept thinking there's bound to be something else? I could hear it sometimes, but I couldn't play it.”

Hear Me Talkin' to Ya

“I'd been getting bored with the stereotyped harmonic changes that were being used all the time. I found that by using the higher intervals of a chord as a melody line and backing them with appropriately related changes I could play the thing I'd been hearing. I came alive.”

Hear Me Talkin' to Ya

“Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom.

If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art.”

Hear Me Talkin' to Ya

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“Some day I'm gonna call me up on the phone, so when I answer, I can tell myself to shut up.”


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