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Thread: Fake Book

  1. #1
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    Default Fake Book

    What Fake Book are you guys using? The only one I have is the Django version, 200 songs, but I often find myself looking for things it doesn't have. It doesn't have to be free, I'm willing to pay for the right one. Looking for chords and lead sheet.
    Mitch Russell

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    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fake Book

    I have the first three volumes of the Real Book, and one of the Scher Music books, the New Real Book vol. 2.

    There are six volumes of the original Real Book, I believe. There are also books of tunes from a single artist, like Thelonius Monk. You can buy single tunes from various sources like Sheet Music Direct. Scribd is a crowd-sourced library of tunes, to which one subscribes.

    The first three Real Books cover a lot of ground. You can look through the song list or use a tunefinder at Hal Leonard. Here's the page for the Real Bebop Book:
    https://officialrealbook.com/real-bo...c-instruments/
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    Default Re: Fake Book

    there's a lot of them! I like The New Real Book by Sher Music Co. There are 3 volumes. They also publish other cool fakebooks("The Latin Fakebook")and tutorials( "Serious Jazz Practice Book, Drop 2 Voicings for Guitar, The Jazz Theory Book, etc.) All their stuff is well done, clear, correct..

    NFI here

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    Default Re: Fake Book

    Thanks guys! This helps tremendously. Seems like a Real Book variant is the place to start.

    On a side note, do any of you use iReal Book? I'm tempted to get it, but I would have to use it exclusively on my phone (no Widows version). I could get an iPad, but it seems like a steep investment just to use the app.
    Mitch Russell

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    Default Re: Fake Book

    I remember back in the 1980s going on a clandestine mission to get an illegal jazz fake book in Boston.
    You had to go to a certain music store, put the money down, say something cryptic, and they handed you a brown paper bag with the FakeBook inside.
    It was a great book, which served me well.
    I felt bad about doing the sneaky thing, but it was kinda fun.
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    Default Re: Fake Book

    I've used the iReal app on my iPhone for years now. It's an amazing tool. Did you know you can isolate several bars of a song and have them loop (play) over and over so you can focus on that section? Change keys, tempos, even styles? Hunt for new songs in the iReal network? You can set it up so it shows the relative scales being played against the chords. Get an external speaker to plug in your earbud socket to get more volume and it's a gas. True, it does not show the dots (melody notes), but it still has to be the best $15 I ever spent on "sheet music."
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    Default Re: Fake Book

    Quote Originally Posted by onassis View Post
    Thanks guys! This helps tremendously. Seems like a Real Book variant is the place to start.

    On a side note, do any of you use iReal Book? I'm tempted to get it, but I would have to use it exclusively on my phone (no Widows version). I could get an iPad, but it seems like a steep investment just to use the app.
    I bought the Kindle versions of the standard Real Books, because they ate jpegs and I can enlarge as needed. An application called iGigPro lets you create your own library from pdfs or jpegs. A handy scanner app is ScannerPro. By now I have a couple thousand jazz tunes, choros, contra dance and fiddle tunes that I can call up on my tablet.

    (My first Real Book was in the 80s, bought from a guy at his house in Champaign, IL)
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    Default Re: Fake Book

    Quote Originally Posted by CWRoyds View Post
    I remember back in the 1980s going on a clandestine mission to get an illegal jazz fake book in Boston.
    You had to go to a certain music store, put the money down, say something cryptic, and they handed you a brown paper bag with the FakeBook inside.
    It was a great book, which served me well.
    I felt bad about doing the sneaky thing, but it was kinda fun.
    That's how I got my first 2 books...one xerox in New Orleans of the first version, and an under-the table 5th edition in San Francisco.

    Half the fun is finding the wrong chord changes scattered about.

    The new Legal one from Hal Leonard has a quite different list of tunes, too.

  14. #9

    Default Re: Fake Book

    I bought my 1st Real Book in 1976...it opened up the world of Jazz and I used to carry it to the university's library to listen to the Jazz record collection.
    You'll need this too...it's a handy index to find songs from various Real & Fake books:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Z18...ew?usp=sharing

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    Default Re: Fake Book

    Lotsa wrong chords in the original FB - Berklee student jam book, but what so many of us play - my brother was a Berklee student in the late 70s & said that it might get you in the right ballpark. And with 3 & at most 4 note voicings on a mandolin, you could guess a whole lot worse!

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    Registered User Martin Ohrt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fake Book

    I use the first three volumes of the Real Book for "modern" jazz (from the swing era on) along with one called "557 jazz standards - swing to bop". For older stuff, dutch and german musicians mostly use the "Anthologie Des Grilles De Jazz", a compilation of the chord changes, for which I've also got the melody lines in two separate volumes. Additionally, I use the "anderson", a wild compilation of more than 1000 jazz tunes with chords and words. Sometimes, the changes are strange, but there are many unknown and very cool tunes in there. The Django book onassis mentioned is also a nice one.
    I also found some (less legal?) Fakebooks for cuban, choro and Jacob do Bandolim online.
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  19. #12
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    Default Re: Fake Book

    these Real Book memories and observations have me jumping back in to kind of underline the word NEW in my suggestion of The New Real Book, volumes 1,2,3 by Sher Music..they are very different from the original "Real Book"--changes are correct, melodies shown, substitutions suggested, (some as recorded by titans of the music), basslines, drum patterns, piano voicings are even notated here and there. Copyright and publishing info not only honored, it's shown on the pages. And there are references to specific recordings used in the formulation of the charts.All presented with professional calligraphy, easy to read, clear. So when the OP says "some Real Book variant is a place to start", it's important to distinguish between the variants..if you go with New Real Book you should be fine, if you go with Real Book be sure it's a most recent version, corrected and legal. They have playalong recordings for all those available too, that's pretty cool...

    I meant ask onassis in my earlier post also about what stylistic concerns he may have for the fakebook..should have pointed out that the New Real Books and Real Books chronicle material from standards to modern and even some "working musician" tunes, or rather interesting pop/R&B things. So if Django or Django era tuneage is what you're wanting mostly, you may want to look more in the iReal world. Similar with choro, there are many options specific to that genre. maybe our great buddy Matt Flinner can weigh in here too-he prepared The Bluegrass Real Book and is well versed in all genres reading and writing. One benefit of working from a digital fakebook(iReal whatever) is it allows for stylistic flexibility, and focus on just what you want to deal with, as you can create your own charts/playalongs, trade with everyone in the immediate world, etc.(changes only however) See Tom Wright's comment above, he's another master of all styles written and improvised. He even likes Old Time Music, the kind that Johnny Bach guy used to pick on his harp(sichord)way back in the 1600's.

    While I'm here, another caution: it's pretty easy to do like I did and end up with a "collection" a/k/a unwieldy heap of books that talk to you from their corner of the music room. They usually say thing like "When are you going to memorize these 4000 tunes?" or "Are you sure you played the right changes on your gig yesterday?"

    a few near the top of the pile that I appreciate:

    Dick Hyman's Professional Chord Substitutions for 100 tunes every musician should know

    Charlie Parker Omnibook

    Library of Musicians Jazz

    The Book of the Dawg (all editions--Jazz, Roots, etc.)

    Mike Marshall Brazilian Choros Second edition

    The Best Chord Changes for the World's Greatest Standards (two volumes) by Frank Mantooth


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  21. #13
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    Default Re: Fake Book

    Thanks, Don. The Sher "New Real Book" volumes that you mention are what have most caught my eye. A bit on the pricey side, but it has the range of material and thoroughness I think I want. Stylistically, it also encompasses the swing, bebop and more that interest me these days. One limitation of the Django book is that you always get the Django version, with his interpretation of the chord progression and melody. Always good, but not always what I'm looking for.

    And thanks for the list of other books - looks like a lifetime's worth of study! But that seems to be what I've signed on for with jazz trip. It's a good thing that I enjoy the study part.

    I think I might still dip a toe into the iReal side of things. I'm intrigued by the thought of using it like Band in a Box for play along tracks.
    Mitch Russell

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    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fake Book

    In addition to the Sher and original realbooks, this Swing Era Jazz Fakebook is better than you would expect. https://www.amazon.com/Swing-Era-193.../dp/0793556589 It's a good enough selection of tunes that a friend borrowed my copy about 3 years ago and I'm not sure if it's coming back. The Ultimate Jazz Fakebook has lyrics but sometimes I'm not sure about the changes. Between all of those, and iReal...well it seems like there's still tunes I have to go online to find a leadsheet for.

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    Registered User Drew Egerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fake Book

    Onassis, irealpro is very much worth it! Keep in mind it’s only backing tracks no melodies, but still it is an amazing resource. I’ve only been dipping into jazz for a couple of years and it’s been so much help!
    You can also edit the charts you find to match your favorite version or create your own too for originals or something you can’t find. NFI!
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    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fake Book

    Another vote for the New Real Books. Also one called the Standards Real book by Sher.

    I use iRealPro all the time, but always listen to my favorite recordings and adjust the charts. Some charts in there are very odd indeed...
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