Eric Kershaw was a British swing era jazz guitarist who produced many different music books in the 50's and 60's. Of these the 'Dance Band Chord Book' had sold countless amounts. These books were still in print until recently with the publishing rights still owned by the Kershaw family.
I have had this at the back of my mind for some time, searching old book shops and thrift/charity shops in the hope of finding a copy until yesterdaaaaaaaayyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wow, as it says on the front cover, 'The most convenient method of chord finding ever published.' I cannot dispute that, the first edition was published in 1946 even though this copy is the tenth edition print run.
As you can see there is a rudimentary tab formulae as well as notation, and I thought tab was a recent event, how cool is that! The format is very easy to understand, all chords are listed under their root note so finding 9ths or 13ths are easy enough.
This booklet is right up my street as it is aimed at 4 to the bar rhythm guitar. The end piece has this written;
'Throughout this book it would have been noticed that only on very few occasions are chords shown with the top note higher than the 8th fret. The student should try to play all dance-band guitar parts without going higher than this fret (and he) should try to play his parts with the minimum of movement from his starting chord.
I shall be using this as a primer for my chord study, excellent find, keep those eyes peeled.
Has anyone else have/found any music books that were published during the post war jazz era or earlier?
And are they any good for todays players?
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Thread: Jazz Golden era Chord Books
04-16-2013, 12:13 PM #1
Jazz Golden era Chord Books“When a wise man points at the moon the fool considers the finger.”
04-16-2013 12:13 PM # ADS
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05-25-2013, 09:35 AM #2
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I have an older one too...but not a jazz chord book per se..
Harry Reser ...Chords For The Guitar...
I must now go and dig it out of my storage locker....
Time on the instrument...
05-25-2013, 11:43 AM #3
Not post war, but pre-war: I've got sheet music for Eddie's Twister and Pickin' my Way from Eddie Lang around somewhere. As to tab, I've got some war era pop sheets (they were my mother's) and a few of them have chord charts above the notation. Although more likely for uke, some are for guitar.
1975 Guild Artist Award
1986 Guild X-170
1975 Guild Mark V
1930s Metro B archtop
1995 Epi Howard Roberts Custom
1999 Godin ACS Nylon with synth
??? Giannini 7 string classical
05-25-2013, 02:47 PM #4
I must admit to lurking around dusty old book shops and flea markets searching for this sort of old music book. I have loads of old 'Community song books' and 'Pub favourites' for piano vamping. The best one I found is the 'Hootenany song book for folk and skiffle groups' which has a cartoon picture of beatniks playing guitar, washboard and tea chest bass on the front.
There was a big market for sheet music and study books before the internet. I have bought mainly song books as they are always handy for social gatherings when the wine is flowing.
The thing that highlighted the fact that people wanted to hear pop and folk songs was when I was at a friends party happily playing 'Over the Rainbow' with a simple chord structure, when this haggard old Scots farmer sitting at the back of the room said
'Aye sonny, tha's all verry wheel, boot can yea play henny choons?'
Hmm! Skye boat song with 10 verse & choruses, here we go......
Thanks to all the replies, there are some gems out there if you look.“When a wise man points at the moon the fool considers the finger.”
05-25-2013, 05:49 PM #5
Based on his 'stache, this book is NOT to be trusted!
05-25-2013, 06:04 PM #6
05-26-2013, 03:28 AM #7
I have a few similar books, and enjoy finding them in second-hand book shops, charity shops, etc.
Surprise you thought tab was a new thing. In Europe it dates back to the 1430s, and there are some Arabic oud tabs dating back to the 11th century, I believe.
05-26-2013, 07:30 AM #8
05-26-2013, 07:29 PM #9
This was my first chord book that someone gave me 35 years ago and it was an old book back then. Still have it.
05-27-2013, 12:24 AM #10
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Is that really tab? I thought tab was diachronic. Like this tune a few of you might know:
05-27-2013, 01:01 AM #11
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- Oct 2008
I have one of those...old brown paper...crumbles when handled..which I don't do often...made a copy of every page some years ago...
Same $2.00 cover price...
love this site...
time on the instrument...
05-27-2013, 07:27 AM #12
Nice, I've got a modern copy of that, plus added info by me.
It comes with a DVD now, Mr Bay himself going through the system. I struggle to keep my eyes open as it's a little 'dry.' I'm going through the system at the moment to 'Re-eg-ju-kate me fingurs' as they have picked up some naughty habits.
I was lucky enough to find it as this isn't the sort of book you can come across in a UK music (guitar) shop. There was this 'Mom & Pop' store in Ayr, west Scotland, where I got this and other books. It was a treasure trove of music related books and student grade instruments. Unfortunately they have closed up now, shame.
Any more ageing music books out there? Pics please!“When a wise man points at the moon the fool considers the finger.”
05-27-2013, 05:23 PM #13
These ukulele books are quite old.
1915 (as you can see, chord diagrams already existed)
1930 (contains songs from the late 1800s to 1929)
Last edited by Eddie Lang; 05-27-2013 at 05:29 PM.
05-27-2013, 05:27 PM #14
And these are not instructional but song books.
Besides these, I have a fairly big collection of original sheet music from the 1910s to the 1940s. They are really cool and they are also often just about the only resource for intro verses.
05-28-2013, 04:48 AM #15
05-29-2013, 10:38 AM #16
Those old song books are great. I was on vacation recently in Hawaii (the big island) and I spent a rainy afternoon in a huge used book store. The place had a large selection of old song books, including lots of uke music, of course. So, those books are out there, you just have to find them.
05-29-2013, 01:34 PM #17
Makes me think of the first fakebook I ever saw, my friends dad was an accordion player with band and had an old fake book of tunes his playing days in 30's and 40's. We were in awe of the book because it was "illegal" <grin>.
As for chord books I remember the old 5000 chord fingerings books that were popular when I was coming up. Then the competition with the 6000 chord book and 7000 chord book. Page after page of guitar grips and not one page on usage. My first useful chord book and still have it somewhere was Ted Greene's Chord Chemistry. I was jamming with guys that knew Ted and Ted was already local legend as a rock/blues player, then Chord Chemistry came out. I got called to sub on bass for Country gig and Dale the publisher of Chord Chemistry was playing guitar, he had one for 335's pictured on Chord Chemistry and I got to play it a bit and he tried to explain all the switches Ted had installed. It was so cool playing one of the guitars from Chord Chemistry.No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.
05-30-2013, 12:59 PM #18
03-26-2019, 10:46 AM #19
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dance band chords and more
I have some songbooks and chord books- including the Eric Kershaw mentioned above, for sale. They belonged to my husband, a great and well known singer/musician. I am selling them- please contact me on IM for more details. Thank you!