Gearhead: Let’s Get Real About the Real Book - JazzTimesRemember Me? What's New? Page 1 of 2 1 2 Last Jump to page: Results 1 to 20 of Thread: Should I get a Real Book? Thread Tools Show Printable Version. Should I get a Real Book? I'm debating wether I should.
Gearhead: Let’s Get Real
Some people are against using fake books like The Real Book because people think they are a crutch, or a cheap ways to learn tunes, and books like The Real Book are frequently unwelcome at jam sessions because Come On Dude, Learn The Tune. But lead sheets are good for a number of reasons and I appreciate having them around. I am not out to convince anyone not to use fake books or lead sheets. The charts in the bootleg version — widely available on the internet and still very common in print form among musicians my age and older — are inconsistent, sloppy and frequently inaccurate. The legal Sixth Edition fixed many of these problems, but in doing so the new editors have made the Sixth Edition incompatible with older versions, and the Sixth Edition still contains more than a few questionably transcribed chord changes and melodies. But first we need to address those bootleg editions.
Getting A Real Book?
A Jazz Real Book amusingly also often called a 'Fake Book" is a book showing the chords and melodies of common jazz songs, called "Standards" because they are the standard repertoire for jazz musicians. Real Books are a very useful tool when you first get into jazz and I would strongly recommend getting one when you are starting out, but bear in mind that you should be learning the songs and not relying on the book all the time - lots of people need to book open to be able to play a jazz song, which isn't good. It's something I'm still working on myself, I know maybe 20 in my head but I use the book open for other tunes. The original "Real Book" was written by jazz students at Berkeley college, and was an alternative to popular "Fake Books" available at the time. The "Fake Books" got the name because they contained the chords, melody and lyrics, the ingredients you need to "fake it" and play the song like you know it! All the original ones up to 5th edition were illegal as they paid no songwriter royalties, I remember buying mine at a small Music store in West London where you had to ask for it and the guy would bring them out from under the counter and you had to pay cash! Was all very funny.
You want to play jazz piano, and you've got your own copy of the Real Book. You're all excited to get started so you open to the table of contents and BAM! You take one look at that list of hundreds of song titles and get overwhelmed. What happens next? You immediately close the book and vow "to get back to it tomorrow.
Many great players continue to stand by Sher Music Co. Copyright deals were struck, corrections were inputted and engraving was made clean and strong, all while retaining the familiar vibe of those scrappy, beloved, coffee-stained tomes. And Hal Leonard has found savvy ways for online technology to complement the utilitarian splendor of an old-school lead sheet. But the bigger fun happens online. Listen to or download the full stereo demo mix—crisply recorded and faithfully performed—or mix and match the horn, piano, bass, drum and click tracks. The Multi-Tracks inspired me to actually get my guitar out of its case and spend some evenings practicing, which is about as authentic an endorsement as a jazz-education resource can get.