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  1. #1

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    I've heard a lot about these. I take it I need the Volume 1 6th edition for instruments in C? (there are so many)

    The Real Book: Volume I – Sixth Edition (C Instruments) - C Instruments Sheet Music - Sheet Music & Songbooks | musicroom.com

    This one has lyrics too which is good for sight singing but has 190 rather than 400 pieces like the former.

    The Real Book Of Jazz - Melody Line, Lyrics & Chords Sheet Music - Sheet Music & Songbooks | musicroom.com

    Anyone got experiences and knowledges in these booksees?

    I'm also shopping around for in the UK "Reading Contemporary Guitar Rhythms M. T. Szymczak" at a price that says "This book is for serious geeks who are prepared to pay more x 2" rather than "x 3", but that's another story.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I have got the Hal Leonard vols 1, 2 and 3 for C instruments. Covers just about everything I'll ever need. You need the C versions, however bear in mind that C means concert C, this is not the same as guitar notation. For guitar you will quite often need to transpose the written melody up an octave or it will be down in the bass strings half the time. Reading the melody line up an octave 'on the fly' is a useful skill to develop anyway, as most non-guitar specific sheet music is the same.

    There are a few surprising omissions where they couldn't get the licensing or something. For those I usually go to the old '557 Jazz Standards' pdf which you can google, it nearly always comes up with the goods.

  4. #3

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    Hi Arpeggio
    Yes the one you have there is a good one. It's the "legitimate" version of the original Real Book that generations used as their standard guide. I've also used the Chuck Sher Real books, there are a few and all are excellent in providing clearly written melodies, changes and a selection of tunes you'll definitely use along side with ones off the beaten track. They've been the source for tunes I haven't been able to find the changes to, tunes that should be played more and are worth study.

    David

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arpeggio
    I've heard a lot about these. I take it I need the Volume 1 6th edition for instruments in C? (there are so many)
    At the risk of trolling the thread, you don't need any real book at all

  6. #5

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    I think Jimmy Bruno et al miss the point of fake books. Professional musicians should of course learn songs they intend to play on gigs from recordings or the original sheet music. But nobody knows every song, except for the very rare pro. The advantage of fake books (real books, whatever you want to call them) do provide casual musicians the ability to play together, using the same changes, that might not be possible without them. People get together for jams and it can be hard to come up with tunes that everyone knows. With fake books everyone can play along and have fun, and learn tunes they care about later. I don't think it's appropriate to use them on paying gigs, but they do have a useful purpose. Just saying "burn the real book" isn't useful for the vast majority of people.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcsanwald
    At the risk of trolling the thread, you don't need any real book at all
    At the risk of trolling the forum, you don't need to play guitar either.
    But I can understand the OP and his desire to understand the correlation between the songs he is trying to incorporate into his skill set, the conventions of chord structures and the ordered collection of standards to study, yeah you can do this by ear, but IF you see the importance of a good reliable book of tunes and changes, it's nice to ask the advice of other forum members, right?

    I guess if you're George Shearing, it's a different story.

    David

  8. #7

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    I'm also shopping around for in the UK "Reading Contemporary Guitar Rhythms M. T. Szymczak

    You will love Tom’s book, it’s not easy but well worth the effort. Tom is a great guy, player and teacher. I wish you good luck finding it in the UK, you might have better luck asking at the Berklee website, Tom taught guitar there from around 1970 to 2000 or so and is still around, they may know how to get it for you. Best wishes, JJ

  9. #8

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    The one you want is the same one that most of the people you're going to be playing with have.

    Otherwise, you'll spend time looking at each other's books, trying to figure out what the differences are.

    That said, around here, people come to sessions with no books, or the original illegal Real Book, or the Sher version, or one or another electronic version, including the IRealPro chord charts.

    Whichever one you have, you'll eventually be playing with somebody who has a different one. At that point, you'll practice spotting differences by eye, or better, by ear, and learning different versions of tunes.

    Frankly, it was easier when there was only the original illegal Real Book. But, reconciling different versions may be good for general musicianship.

    At my semipro level, most of the players use books at jams, and call less familiar tunes.

    But, on gigs, they tend to play tunes they know, without books.

  10. #9

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    I'd be lost without some kind of music for tunes. Many players rail against Real Books but the fact is they do give you the tune/chords as a basis. After that you can google various versions, go onto YouTube to check out backing tracks (often the general way of playing it), cover versions, lessons, or check here for peoples' comments, or some other means.

    Thank god I don't have to work out tunes (which may be semi-improvised or filled in) and very complex chords from scratch just by listening to recordings. Ridiculous idea when there's so much other material available.

    And I don't care if trying to figure it all out yourself is 'good for the ear'. Not interested - too much work, too much room for error. Life is short!

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arpeggio
    I've heard a lot about these. I take it I need the Volume 1 6th edition for instruments in C? (there are so many)

    The Real Book: Volume I – Sixth Edition (C Instruments) - C Instruments Sheet Music - Sheet Music & Songbooks | musicroom.com

    This one has lyrics too which is good for sight singing but has 190 rather than 400 pieces like the former.

    The Real Book Of Jazz - Melody Line, Lyrics & Chords Sheet Music - Sheet Music & Songbooks | musicroom.com

    Anyone got experiences and knowledges in these booksees?

    I'm also shopping around for in the UK "Reading Contemporary Guitar Rhythms M. T. Szymczak" at a price that says "This book is for serious geeks who are prepared to pay more x 2" rather than "x 3", but that's another story.
    Yes the first one is the one that I have and is the same one that my teacher uses. It has been great as a reference for us to discuss the various elements that is has tried to teach me. It has also been useful when he explains an element of theory to look at other songs from the book that also exhibit that same element. His is now old and ratty from years of use.

    The second one looks interesting as you mentioned but has far fewer songs, and I need to have the same one that my teacher uses. IMHO if you could only get one it should be the first one.

  12. #11

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    All of them!

    They supplemented my learning while playing the songs.

    I was able to cross reference the interpretation of changes.

    Next I realized through analysis and listening how harmonically simple the Great American Songbook is and was able to forego the use of fakebooks.

    I'm not a master, I don't disparage those who say don't use them; I just found great value in the collection and comparison of Fake Books and the freedom that comes with playing without them.

  13. #12

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    Thanks for the replies all. For sure I will now get the real book and the other one I mentioned.

    The main reason I want the fake book is for sight singing. I enjoy doing this with "Melodic Rhythms for guitar" playing the chords while I sing the melody but have gone through the whole book 3+ times like that now. Really tricky starting off getting the different rhythms of the chords and melody at the same time. It is really musically satisfying when you get it though.

    For sight reading alone on guitar I need more complex exercises as I am only sight reading and not playing chords and singing at same time. Hopefully the other book will do that, it's all good.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arpeggio
    I've heard a lot about these. I take it I need the Volume 1 6th edition for instruments in C? (there are so many)

    The Real Book: Volume I – Sixth Edition (C Instruments) - C Instruments Sheet Music - Sheet Music & Songbooks | musicroom.com

    This one has lyrics too which is good for sight singing but has 190 rather than 400 pieces like the former.

    The Real Book Of Jazz - Melody Line, Lyrics & Chords Sheet Music - Sheet Music & Songbooks | musicroom.com

    Anyone got experiences and knowledges in these booksees?

    I'm also shopping around for in the UK "Reading Contemporary Guitar Rhythms M. T. Szymczak" at a price that says "This book is for serious geeks who are prepared to pay more x 2" rather than "x 3", but that's another story.
    Please listen to this podcast.

    Guitarwank - Episode 99V April 30th, 2018 — GuitarWank

    With regards to learning jazz repetoire and the use of real books etc. This the advice I wish I'd taken 25 years ago.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Please listen to this podcast.

    Guitarwank - Episode 99V April 30th, 2018 — GuitarWank

    With regards to learning jazz repetoire and the use of real books etc. This the advice I wish I'd taken 25 years ago.
    The 10 Mother Tunes Every Jazz Musician Should Know - Learn Jazz Standards

    In a nutshell, Forman's list and advice - add Summertime and rhythm changes to this list and learn to play great melodies on your guitar by EAR.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    Just saying "burn the real book" isn't useful for the vast majority of people.
    I certainly agree, and wasn't familiar with Jimmy's rants. I wasn't trying to troll the thread (much), but this is an area where it's important to remember that there's an alternate school.

    My main gripe with using fake books is that, on more than few occasions, I've seen people reading the changes in the book and ignoring what other people on the bandstand are actually playing (if the pianist or horn player is playing a substitute change, etc).

  17. #16

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    There is always the possibility of a train wreck. I don't think that can be totally prevented. Listening certainly helps, but some people just don't listen, and I don't know what to do about that. People are people, after all. My main point was that the real audience for the real book is, or should be, casual players who want to be able to just sit down and play with others, not professional gigging musicians. Perhaps, even probably, all the rants are directed at pros who use it, but that's only implied if at all. Guys like me don't need to throw out the real book. I have some copies of hand-written/typed fake books from the 40s and 50s given to me by mentors, so I know they've been around a long time. They didn't just spring into existence from nothing at Berklee. At my stage of life, I'm not going to put in the effort to learn a thousand tunes from recordings. Nor a hundred. I play for fun, not for money, and I'm not going to make it feel like work. I learn tunes that I like because I want to, not because I have to in order to make money. If I had decided to become a professional musician, I would have put in the work and learned tunes, but I didn't go that route. All I really care about is being able to get together with others and play, with no preparation and minimal discussion. Fake books allow that. I don't have the actual Real Book, but I have several similar fake books, and I'm not about to throw them away.

  18. #17

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    A Real Book is a tool...if it's used correctly, it can be quite useful. I compare it to using a ruler. Some people think just because they used a ruler their lines are straight and their measurements are correct. They rely on the tool, yet they haven't the skills to use it.

    You still have to use your ears.

  19. #18

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    Up to the piece "Ana Maria". It sounds good when singing the melody over playing the chords but for this one I can't work out what is going on theory wise with the chords and there are no key sigs. What chord / theory book would cover this stuff I wonder?

  20. #19

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    When I was studying with Charlie Banacos, we used the Real Book as a learning tool. He would pick a song and I would learn to play the melody, harmony, chord tones, ie. only the root, then 3rd, 5th, up to the 13th. It really helped me to "hear the song". As for using the Real Book on a gig. It's an insurance policy for when you may get that request. There's a Guitarist from RI, Gray Sargent. He's the band director for Tony Bennett. I remember someone saying that he was a human jukebox. Name the song, and key, and watch him play it like he wrote it! What I hate seeing now is, watching everyone looking at their electronic books on the stage. We have free weekly summer concerts in my town. I can't believe how many of the singers need a teleprompter to get through a song. Most are classic rock cover bands, etc. It's sad.

  21. #20

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    There are pdfs of The Real Book on the web, volumes 1 - 3. These aren't rips of the Hal Leonard book or other commercial publishing house but look just like the assembled one (with corrections) that I bought "surreptitiously" from a Berkeley student back in '75 I think. As such, anyone want to chime in with an opinion as to whether there are any legal or ethical issues in downloading these?

  22. #21

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    I'm up to Real Book April Joy on page 33. Scratched my head over the key but appears to be Bb Lydian (albeit with no Bb in the key sig.)


    Quote Originally Posted by zdub
    There are pdfs of The Real Book on the web, volumes 1 - 3. These aren't rips of the Hal Leonard book or other commercial publishing house but look just like the assembled one (with corrections) that I bought "surreptitiously" from a Berkeley student back in '75 I think. As such, anyone want to chime in with an opinion as to whether there are any legal or ethical issues in downloading these?
    It's illegal and unethical. Deliberating is due to your temptation. For physical copy buying its 462 pages is cheaper in terms of printing and binding than printing and If collating 462 pages yourself.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arpeggio
    I'm up to Real Book April Joy on page 33. Scratched my head over the key but appears to be Bb Lydian (albeit with no Bb in the key sig.)

    It's illegal and unethical. Deliberating is due to your temptation. For physical copy buying its 462 pages is cheaper in terms of printing and binding than printing and If collating 462 pages yourself.
    Yep, you're right! I just read the wiki on the Real Book, which has some interesting historical info on its creation at Berkeley and how Steve Swallow contributed some transcriptions to it. Says that the inclusion of the melody line (as opposed to fake sheets with just chords and lyrics) is what makes it illegal. Also that Hal Leonard sought out and pays the authors in its compilation.

    Note that I was asking the question and not encouraging downloading.

    Also going to assume that ALL individual transcriptions of non-public domain songs which are distributed beyond the original transcriber are illegal, such as the thousands of ones that are available in guitar pro format and regardless if they aren't 100% accurate.

  24. #23

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    Buy them all... I think there are 6 Hal Leonard... and Chuck has 3 New Real Books, the standards... the latin, the All Jazz, the european
    Just go the the sights... I also have the digital versions... both legal and not.

    I buy them all so I don't feel as bad using the not legal etc... I know Chuck and know he's not rich because of fake books...

    I've transcribed thousands of tunes... It was my job when I was a kid... I generally always make arrangements of tunes for gigs... most of my gig binders are generally arrangements.... and even when there is no music.... we always make head arrangements up front..... I am a pro, I do know most tunes... and if I don't I will after the first time through... I have no problem with charts.... except shows where your part of the show. Ever work in the pits...

    If you only play memorized tunes at gigs.... and just the basic versions.... it's cool.... but do you call that jazz. I would need 20 versions of every tune.... just don't have the time and hate rehearsals. If you get your sight reading together... you can sound,(and even look), like you have music memorized.

    I also have Bb and Eb versions.... Most guitarist waste tons of money on BS ... give a little back. What are you going to use to practice your sight reading...

    What's the difference between a guitarist staring at a chart or a guitarist staring at his/her fretboard.... or deep in his/her head with eyes closed and making facial expressions? nothing... they're all in their own world.

  25. #24

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    I think a Fakebook is like the answers to a math problem.

    If you are learning maths then you need to do a little study, memorise some principles and then ,right away solve some problems.

    Then you look up the answer and if you got it wrong you try and work out why, what you missed, if you are stumped you ask your teacher.

    So in the beginning a fakebook must be used judiciously. Pick one tune, learn to sing it, try and work out the chords based on what you know. If you get stuck look at the answers in the book and work out what you missed, the mistakes you made. Same as learning maths.

    Same as learning any language really. You hear something, you intuitively understand it, you want to write it down/play it on your instrument/elaborate/comment on it.

    At a certain point you will actually have learned the language. And if you have solved enough problems and read widely enough you might find yourself in a position to spot errors in the books, or errors in the grammar of the original. NOT before you have done the work though.

    You will NEVER be in that position if all you ever did was to copy the answers out from the back of the book.

    Sight reading music is the same as sight reading text. There is the halting attempts by beginners, who might be indifferent to spelling mistakes and lapses in syntax and indeed meaning itself. Then there is the brash and confident and fine sounding drivel of newsreaders and others who place SOUND over MEANING and whose renditions seem accomplished to the casual listener but ridiculous and devoid of meaning to the cognoscenti.

    Then there is Richard Burton.

    Aim for that, I still am.

    If anyone reading this is tempted to apply their prejudice to the study of maths to music then I strongly urge them to grow up.

    D.

  26. #25

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    Here is Richard Burton, sight reading.