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  1. #1

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    Just downloaded the app iReal Pro to my phone and laptop.

    There's a wealth of things I can do with this! I'm excited, anybody else play along with this? I gotta admit Im unable to keep to the tempo that a lot of songs are played in but I became very familiar with that option button, LOL

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Good app. Not perfect, but for what you pay, a very valuable practice tool. The piano player is annoying, put him on Rhodes and he plays more tastefully

  4. #3

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    I use it as an essential tool for learning songs, practicing, working on tempos, etc.

    I live in a place where it's hard to find other amateur jazz players who are interested in the same tunes I am, so iRealPro is my band.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    The piano player is annoying, put him on Rhodes and he plays more tastefully
    How?!

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe2758
    How?!

    Ok, so I'm using it on an Android and an iPad--I have my droid here with me, so I'll give you those instructions--I think it's pretty similar on my iPad but I can't remember off the top of my head.

    So on the screen with the changes, tap so the "tools" come up (tempo, key, etc.)

    At the bottom, theres the square for stop, triangle for play, and then the little three striped box thingy. Touch that.

    On the screen that pops up you can adjust the volume of the instruments and if you touch the treble clef, you can change the piano to two different rhodes sounds or vibraphone.

    Most of the time, I just use drums and bass, though, and turn the piano off completely.

  7. #6

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    Jeff, thanks man. It sounds so much better. I use it every day and the piano was indeed annoying.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe2758
    How?!
    I use it on iOS, iPad or iPhone. If you have a song displayed, at the bottom of the screen to the right of the "play" arrow is a box with 3 bands. It's the "Mixer" tool. Touch it and you will have a screen to control the instruments. Touch "Piano" and you will have some options. I kinda enjoy playing with the "Jazz Organ" setting sometime, or the Leslie Organ. You can also dial out the keyboard instrument totally and play with a bass & drum to get your trio chops together.

  9. #8

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    I don't have that on my phone or computer because I find the tone of the piano and instrumentation a bit annoying. Is that just me or do you guys who use this app think it is just fine?

  10. #9

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    The instruments are not great sounding for sure. But it's free. I use it a lot. If you want better sounding instruments, Band in a Box is probably a better option. But, you know, not free.

  11. #10

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    Ok! I am not a big user of my Android model phone with apps but I did not know it was free. That makes it sound better to me already.

    So you guys just turn your phones on and what? Listen through headphones as you play?

  12. #11

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    I paid for mine...the free version is probably some sort of sample. I play right out my phone speaker...very convenient

  13. #12

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    I play the irealPro through the headphone out of my iphone/ipad into the aux in on my amp.

    Then play along with my guitar into the usual instrument in on the amp.

    easy peasy

  14. #13

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    If my neighbors aren't home, I airplay it through my stereo. If they are, I put on my headphones, and plug my guitar into my computer.

  15. #14
    destinytot Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by chancho
    Just downloaded this app to my phone and laptop. There's a wealth of things I can do with this! I'm excited, anybody else play along with this? I gotta admit Im unable to keep to the tempo that a lot of songs are played in but I became very familiar with that option button, LOL
    I bought the app a few months ago - excellent tool.

    I use it to prepare chord charts (while riding the bus to work), which I share with the band as a playlist or export as jpeg for printing.

    I use it on a tablet - a bq Edison 3 (great Spanish brand).

  16. #15

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    I Bluetooth it thru a Bose wireless speaker. Perfect for practice.

  17. #16

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    As well as using on my own I jam once a week with a drummer. We downloaded a bunch of songs - Moanin, Driftin, Sandu etc from the irealpro forum (the list of songs on their is amazing) and just use the bass, what a great tool.

  18. #17

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    I've been using this app for years. I used to run a jazz jam and it saved me from having to carry a load of realbooks to every session. I have a tip for anyone who backs vocalists (who rarely sing in the original keys): first, set up a playlist for each singer, then do 'add to playlist' for each required song. Second, open a playlist, select each song, and change the key to suit the singer. The key change will only be effective for that playlist. Also - any changes you make to the playback tempo, style, etc will only apply to that playlist. You can email a playlist to other band members too!

  19. #18

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    I've been using it for chord charts on
    Jam sessions etc ... For a while and its
    Great

    But just started using it for quick playalongs
    Practicing tunes , change keys , style , tempo
    Instantly ... Im loving it at the moment ....
    I know its got Casio plinky plonk sound
    but hey its Cheap !

    We're so lucky to have these kind of gadgets
    Available ...
    Best £8 I've ever spent !
    (Not affiliated honest)

  20. #19

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    I use it on an Android tablet, and it makes the tablet useful. Without it, I don't have much use for the tablet any longer. I've never worried about the tone of the backing tracks, it's not like I'm going to use it for professional accompaniment. It's good enough for practice.

  21. #20

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    I use it also for jamming with friends eg have a drummer no bass just drop out the drums and often the cheesey piano, instant trio

  22. #21

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    Great app...put the piano player on Rhodes or vibes, he plays more tastefully.

  23. #22

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    Greatest practice tool ever!

    There's a sax player around here, who even performs with it.... Well, I don't know about that, but the audience doesn't seem to mind and he gets asked back, so......

  24. #23

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    I kept my old iphone 4 longer than practical just for this app but the tiddly little screen was proving an eye strain so I invested in a new tablet just last week.

    So many tunes...

    Is anyone here on their forum?

    Does anyone here post up their transcriptions?

  25. #24

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    Its a great app to a jazz musician rescue when one needs charts quick, but they got so many chords wrong in so many tunes! Approach with care. Also annoying that even though it has editing, it only allows you to do it in default key.

    Otherwise great tool.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzbow
    I kept my old iphone 4 longer than practical just for this app but the tiddly little screen was proving an eye strain so I invested in a new tablet just last week.

    So many tunes...

    Is anyone here on their forum?

    Does anyone here post up their transcriptions?
    Yes, I posted some Ronny Jordan songs.

  27. #26

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    I plugged in Gilad Hekselman's March of the Sad Ones, I should put it on the forum I guess. If that interests you I can email

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive
    Its a great app to a jazz musician rescue when one needs charts quick, but they got so many chords wrong in so many tunes! Approach with care. Also annoying that even though it has editing, it only allows you to do it in default key.

    Otherwise great tool.
    The chord charts are, of course, provided by the forum users, not by iReal. Also, if you really want to edit in another key, just change the default key then change it back again when you're finished - couldn't be simpler.
    If I want to amend a song, I duplicate it first then make changes to the copy; if I sit in with others, they will most likely be using the original version!

  29. #28

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    it's fantastic, so immediate, on my phone i bluetooth sound to a little JBL bluetooth speaker,

    i edit most charts, lots of mistakes, but hey kind people post those and make them,

    I have it on tablet,but find phone easier/portable, i dont think the sound is too bad.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by A440
    The chord charts are, of course, provided by the forum users, not by iReal. Also, if you really want to edit in another key, just change the default key then change it back again when you're finished - couldn't be simpler.
    If I want to amend a song, I duplicate it first then make changes to the copy; if I sit in with others, they will most likely be using the original version!
    Thanks for another key tip- it worked!

    Still, I'm a bit annoyed how many mistakes you can find in so many tunes. If forum users make the charts, who decides whose version of any given song should make it into database? Because most of the tunes only have one chart available. If I wanna correct a chart, how do I make sure other people can find it?

  31. #30

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    Anyone can upload charts. It's a collaborative effort. If you're convinced that a chart is wrong, edit it to reflect what you believe are the correct chords and upload the result. I suggest reading the forum's FAQ and sticky threads before doing so, however.

  32. #31

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    I think you have to accept that each person's idea of the 'correct' version is going to vary. Another thing that is going to vary is the intro and coda/ending that are added in a live situation. I often add them to the chord sheet to make sure the bass player does what I want (I like to be in control!).
    If you think you've got problems with the odd chord sheet ... I worked with a sax player for a few years and he practised by playing along to the Aebersold CDs, and so he wanted the Aebersold version of the chords for everything. I was carrying loads of paper sheets around until I started putting them into iReal - 196 of them at the last count!

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzbow
    I kept my old iphone 4 longer than practical just for this app but the tiddly little screen was proving an eye strain so I invested in a new tablet just last week.

    So many tunes...

    Is anyone here on their forum?

    Does anyone here post up their transcriptions?
    Jazzbow,

    I posted a few things there when I first started using ireal early last year. I posted Garden in the Rain (as there wasn't a chart even close to the Diana Krall version) and a couple more with my funny substitutions. The guys and the moderator on the forum are very helpful. All in all, it was the best $20 I ever spent on a program. My complete standards vocal book of 200 plus tunes is ireal, with the ireal charts on the left and the lyrics on the right side. I had to doctor some tunes to my liking, and do a few from scratch, however, I can open the book, and have my upright player read off the same book I use for the lyrics (I can recall changes and melodies, but my memory sucks for lyrics)

    I am currently working on making a book for myself and Thelma Jones, (Joe Pass/Ella style, only I croak out vocals as well) Thelma has been churning out R&B and soul / gospel records since the 60's and is much in the vein of Etta James. In other words, she is a real life diva (and a sweetheart to boot)

    I am transposing everything we will sing together up a minor third and we are splitting the difference on the keys. It will be at the lower end of her range and I will need tight underwear on some the tunes to hit the high notes, but in theory, it should work.

    It is really really convenient with ireal just to transpose anywhere and print a new chart. The program is priceless as far as I am concerned....

  34. #33

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    For Android, how does it compare with other apps...or with BIAB on PC? Thanks.

  35. #34

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    I haven't used BIAB in years, nor have I used Windows, so I can't comment on that. I'm not sure what you mean by "other apps" with Android, but iReal works fine on Android. I don't think there is any real difference in how it works on any platform. The only other music apps I have on Android are the Fakebook app. That one lets you add .pdf files so you have the actual sheet music, but to play you have to use Spotify or YouTube, it doesn't have a play function other than a metronome.

  36. #35

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    Thanks. I shouldn't have asked my questions because the answers were a click away...so I clicked and received enlightenment. It seems ireal is somewhat unique so I purchased it and already discovered some glaring holes in my skill sets...so much for complacency :O

  37. #36

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    Just did a quick tutorial/review of iReal pro, great for practicing improvising over chords, learning new songs, and bringing to the jam/studio session instead of the old real book(s)

    Check it out here!


  38. #37

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    I have found it to be the most helpful practice tool I've ever used.

    Any tune I can think of. Any tempo. Choice of rhythmic style and instrumentation. Can change key with every chorus.
    Backgrounds sound pretty good.

    Then, on a gig, chords for a zillion tunes, at my fingertips, in any key. Usually, the commonplace changes.

  39. #38

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    It’s a great app for practice and learning. I like that I can easily edit chord charts, and often do to make a vanilla version or reharmonize. For practice I usually use just the bass for a backing track, maybe with a bit of drums. I think the comping track is awful.

    It’s not a real book replacement since it lacks melody. But I try to learn melodies by ear rather than reading.

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP
    It’s a great app for practice and learning. I like that I can easily edit chord charts, and often do to make a vanilla version or reharmonize. For practice I usually use just the bass for a backing track, maybe with a bit of drums. I think the comping track is awful.

    It’s not a real book replacement since it lacks melody. But I try to learn melodies by ear rather than reading.

    Oh yes, the comping is awful, lol. I just turn it off completely.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I have found it to be the most helpful practice tool I've ever used.

    Any tune I can think of. Any tempo. Choice of rhythmic style and instrumentation. Can change key with every chorus.
    Backgrounds sound pretty good.

    Then, on a gig, chords for a zillion tunes, at my fingertips, in any key. Usually, the commonplace changes.
    Yes, great for finding chords to songs, and very useful for practice.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by greveost
    haha, why do you think so?
    - No melodies
    - Robotic accompaniment (don’t practice with that shit, please, play with humans live or on record.)
    - Playing ‘over’ standards (rather than learning to outline harmony in their lines)
    - People start to think learning tunes is memorising chord progressions
    - Bad changes very often
    - excuse for people not to learn repertoire
    - jazz gigs devolve into people staring at their phones just like the rest of modern fucking life

    As a tool it is very useful, but increasingly it is becoming a crutch. A couple of these issues could also be identified from using the Real Book or Aebersold playalongs.

    But iReal takes these problems, centralises them into one place and adds some more. It is another step down the line of the devolution of our music into ‘notes over chords’ and robotic, non swinging rhythm. More automation of the soul. More pseudo music.

    (No wonder the technocrats think they can automate music with AI.)

    Now, want my recommendation for a great jazz app? Drum Genius is amazing.

  43. #42

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    Best iRealB story is a friend and colleague of mine saw a mate of his playing bass on the Ronnie Scott’s late show - reading off his phone.

    This guy (one of best musicians I know) sends him a text. Instantly the guy (also a fab player) freaks out, stops playing and starts swiping at his phone screen.

    Text reads: ‘learn some ****ing tunes.’

  44. #43

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    iRealPro is a great tool for real musicians, since it's very easy to 1) change the chords into whatever re-harms one prefers, 2) write your own charts on originals or add any tunes not already available, 3) create intros, interludes and outros, 4) transpose into the key favored by the singer or leader; on top of all that, one can send one's arrangements to either another player's device (phone or tablet) or to a printer. As a bandleader who has been lugging around heavy boxes of arrangements for singers for decades, the iRealPro makes life much easier and gives an arranger/leader a flexibility that is nearly miraculous. And nobody will not improve by practicing along with it's "robotic" backing tracks. I have 4 filing cabinets full of parts for groups of various sizes and instrumentation: all of the rhythm section charts fit easily into one iPad, that's hundreds of tunes. Add ForScore to your software collection, and all the written parts and lyrics can also be carried in that same 9-ounce iPad. Its shortcomings are far outweighed by its convenience and price, and easily overcome by good musicians.

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Best iRealB story is a friend and colleague of mine saw a mate of his playing bass on the Ronnie Scott’s late show - reading off his phone.

    This guy (one of best musicians I know) sends him a text. Instantly the guy (also a fab player) freaks out, stops playing and starts swiping at his phone screen.

    Text reads: ‘learn some ****ing tunes.’
    Hahaha! Hilarious! Yeah, I see people reading from phones a lot nowadays, especially on jams. Well... I do too (but I put my phone flight mode heh heh heh)

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz
    iRealPro is a great tool for real musicians,
    I thought people might feel got at, which I was keen to say I also use the app. This is not a personal thing or a gatekeeping\shibboleth thing for me, because I think that kind of judgemental BS is very annoying and rather adolescent.

    It's just that I agree with the excellent musicians who are very down on it for very specific reasons. Ethan Iverson is one example. I don't know if he's a 'real' musician or not. What do you think?

    No-one's saying iReal isn't useful, me or Iverson, or anyone else... It's very useful. And as with anything it can be a handy tool when used with intelligence.

    since it's very easy to 1) change the chords into whatever re-harms one prefers, 2) write your own charts on originals or add any tunes not already available, 3) create intros, interludes and outros, 4) transpose into the key favored by the singer or leader; on top of all that, one can send one's arrangements to either another player's device (phone or tablet) or to a printer.
    Again iReal tends to exacerbate problems already existent in jazz. Budgets. Lack of rehearsal time. Diversification of the repertoire (people don't play old show tunes all the time) which while not a problem, does mean there's more stuff to learn, more styles of tune. Like I say, none of us can impact this. But we can acknowledge the problems rather than saying 'modern tech is great!'

    As a bandleader who has been lugging around heavy boxes of arrangements for singers for decades, the iRealPro makes life much easier and gives an arranger/leader a flexibility that is nearly miraculous.
    Well, you do have score apps on an iPad. I've done plenty of singer gigs off iReal charts (often printed out.) I'd much rather be reading off a chart with the melody and lyrics. Getting them in the right key is a faff, especially as singers are often a bit clueless in this department. (Although singers are a lot more clued up in other ways....)

    And nobody will not improve by practicing along with it's "robotic" backing tracks.
    Do you think they swing?

    I mean, I dunno, my time feel is hardly as good as I want it to be, but I do know that the best musicians I know swear by playing with great drummers who really swing, and say that feel is basically learned experientially. There's some good'uns on records if you can't get the real thing.

    I have 4 filing cabinets full of parts for groups of various sizes and instrumentation: all of the rhythm section charts fit easily into one iPad, that's hundreds of tunes. Add ForScore to your software collection, and all the written parts and lyrics can also be carried in that same 9-ounce iPad. Its shortcomings are far outweighed by its convenience and price, and easily overcome by good musicians.
    Convenience.

    Why do we crave convenience as musicians? Lack of rehearsal time, practice time, and so on? Pressures of pulling together gigs? All understandable.

    Yes good musicians can overcome it... but you know what? Good musicians also have good ears, better sometimes than they think. Putting aside interesting reharms, arrangements and so on, you should be able to learn a standard by ear. If a gig is unimportant enough for the players to be looking at a phone, it will also be forgiving of mistakes in the changes. And you'll learn more.

    OTOH, and this may hurt to hear, is it any wonder most people are bored by jazz gigs when we don't truly inhabit and perform the music we claim to love? (You may dislike modern pop for instance, but at least Ed Sheeran isn't reading off a fucking tablet.)

    Not being horrible or judgemental, just stuff to think about.

    But as I say social norms are hard to fight. iReal is here to stay. It's the job of the jazz educators to point out it's shortcomings. As we do of Kenny G :-)

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    - No melodies
    - Robotic accompaniment (don’t practice with that shit, please, play with humans live or on record.)
    - Playing ‘over’ standards (rather than learning to outline harmony in their lines)
    - People start to think learning tunes is memorising chord progressions
    - Bad changes very often
    - excuse for people not to learn repertoire
    - jazz gigs devolve into people staring at their phones just like the rest of modern fucking life

    As a tool it is very useful, but increasingly it is becoming a crutch. A couple of these issues could also be identified from using the Real Book or Aebersold playalongs.
    Yes, it is a tool, no more no less.

    The software in itself will not suggest that you play over changes rather than through and/or anticipate changes. It doesn't matter if you play with real people or a software.

    The software, is not a substitute for real people, it is a tool used for practice.

    Yes, the Real Book as with all kinds of lead sheets will make you lazy if you take the easy route, it is also just a tool. Use it wisely and it can become a real benefit.

    The responsibility is, in the end, it the hands of the improviser.





    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Now, want my recommendation for a great jazz app? Drum Genius is amazing.
    Heard about that one as well, will check it out, thanks!

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Don't play them then. Why play a tune you don't know?
    I get your point, but sometimes I am in the house band of a jamsession and sometimes a tune gets called that I don’t know. Especially when there’s no pianist, it’s nice that iReal allows me to play the tune with the rest of the band anyway. Btw, that’s a skill on its own, imho, to be able to make something musical out of it, when you see the chords and hear the tune for the first time. Fun!

    (Okay, when none of the other musicians on stage know the tune, it’s better not to play it; that’s asking for trouble).

  49. #48

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    It's the same thing like any Real Book...if you use it as a tool, and know how to use it, it's great, and if you use it as a crutch, it's crap.

    Clickbait title on my new blog Authoritarian Jazz Guitar: "Burn your iPhones!"

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    I get your point, but sometimes I am in the house band of a jamsession and sometimes a tune gets called that I don’t know. Especially when there’s no pianist, it’s nice that iReal allows me to play the tune with the rest of the band anyway. Btw, that’s a skill on its own, imho, to be able to make something musical out of it, when you see the chords and hear the tune for the first time. Fun!

    (Okay, when none of the other musicians on stage know the tune, it’s better not to play it; that’s asking for trouble).
    Fair enough! I mean people have always used fake books... But you get around the rep, the idea is to get off them fast, no?

    Look, when I say diversification of the rep presents an issue - in the 1930's Tea for Two was a big deal. But most jam tunes you could lughole. Rhythm changes with a honeysuckle bridge, riff tunes in F, you get good at hearing bVI7 chords and so on....

    Now, a sax player comes up and wants to play a Wayne tune... it's not so easy. And it's fun to have a read through and decide whether you want to learn that tune or not.... So jams, sure... I wouldn't like to get up on a tune I'm reading, but a a house band stalwart, you kind of have to get through things.

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Fair enough! I mean people have always used fake books... But you get around the rep, the idea is to get off them fast, no?
    It is and it isn't. Sometimes I think every new song I know pushes two I kinda knew out of my brain.

    That and I'm realizing, there was about 5 bridges ever written, and every standard uses one of them. But how to remember which one they use? Sometimes a quick glance "brings it all back."

    Or maybe I'm just getting older, have a stressful life, and need to make excuses for forgetting things that aren't "BUY TOILET PAPER AND FURNACE FILTER, NOLANS GAME IS AT 6, HOW ABOUT SOME KIND OF PASTA TONIGHT?