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Two essential fake books for swing & jazz players

Rating: 5 votes, 5.00 average.
If the time has come where you've progressed to the point where you'd like to step into the world of Major 6ths, 7ths, diminished chords and beyond, there are two essential fake books that have made appearances at various times on this Forum I thought worth parking here in a little more visible spot.

Both are free, and they're well done.

A fake book for those of you who might be unfamiliar is a very basic sketch of a tune. Chords and a lead line in standard notation. Typically, the chord movements are not meant to be literal, ie., it's OK to put your own stamp or flavor (choices) on them. Often these collections are created outside of legal licensing, but not always. The lines can be blurred and usually the authors do not sign their names. With the advent of electronic documents, these collections flourish, but not all of them are necessarily great.

The two here are a gypsy jazz fake book with 200 tunes and a nice basic jazz collection I understand was put together for late night jams at The Mandolin Symposium. It's no secret who created these but I won't be the one to name them.

So have at it. My only recommendation with any jazz fake book is don't get hung up on the chord progressions thinking they have to be played exactly as written. There are an unlimited number of ways to carve up a II-V-I turnaround so thinking you have to play it exactly like the author wrote it is fine for the purpose of learning, but ultimately it's much cooler to put your own sound in action. That's the whole purpose of jazz, the freedom to create your own sounds. Don't be the cat that can't think outside of the suggested chords and lead lines.

Have fun out there. That's the whole purpose of this thing you know.

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Name:	Swing Jam 2012.pdf 
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Size:	1.21 MB 
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Name:	django.pdf 
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Size:	3.78 MB 
ID:	135055

Got your own online source, a PDF or collection you use? Feel free to add your recommendation and a safe and permanent link to the resource in the comments.

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Comments

  1. Theo W.'s Avatar
    Thanks, Scott! I was looking for that swing book.... I think it's great that you put them in an easy to find place for newcomers and pros alike.
  2. M.Marmot's Avatar
    This is the cafe at it's best - what a resource.

    Thank you for sharing.
  3. mmukav's Avatar
    Thank you! Awesome!
  4. Drew Streip's Avatar
    Thanks thanks thanks!
  5. PeterO's Avatar
    Many thanks!
  6. John McCoy's Avatar
    This is wonderful. Thank you
  7. d18daddy's Avatar
    Fantastic!
  8. mandopixie's Avatar
    Thanks so much for this, Scott.