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View Full Version : Fake Books - difference?



Mateo150
03-12-2005, 09:40 PM
I was looking at purchasing a Jazz Fake Book (real book), since many of the articles look at the melodies to famous standards, of which I only know the chord progression. So I looked online, there are many many different editions by different publishers, ranging from $25 to $40. All of them are around 500 pages. Is there any difference in these brands, I mean they are all standards. So the $25 book would have the same exact stuff as the $40 book, right?

Doug McMullen
03-12-2005, 10:53 PM
The New Real Book's, from Chuck Sher are the ones to get IMO. The charts are well put together, accurate and very readable. The New Real Books are the books you see all serious jazz students toting around to classes and jams in Brooklyn music schools.

The "original" real book is good to have around and it's being sold in stores.

The Hal Leonard books are quite serviceable... the charts are similar to the old real book charts, but are typeset instead of in manuscript.

In terms of differences, for example, here's the chords for the first four bars of "After You've Gone"

Hal Leonard: EbMaj7 | Ab9 | Dm7 | G7 |
Chuck Sher: EbMaj7 |Ebmi6 Ab9| BbMaj7| Dm7 G9|

I hasten to add it took no time to find charts that differ like this; this was the first tune I checked.

There are MANY differences, some large, most small, that add up to definite differences between the books. Have fun.

Doug.

Poparad
03-12-2005, 11:19 PM
My first choice would be the old Real Books as they're the ones everyone from pros to students and hobbyists use. It's not that easy to find right away though, as it's an under the counter purchase.

My second choice would be the Hal Leonard reprint of the Real Book. It's very faithful to the original, and even looks like the original (it looks like manuscript rather than typeset).

My third choice would be the Sher New Real Books. They're by far less common, but they're the only other book I've seen enough people with that it would be worth to bring to a gig. Even then, it's only the guys with about 5 or 6 fakebooks who bring that one (at least in my area).


All those other fakebooks are good if you want different collections of tunes. Not every book has the same songs and some specialize in certain types of tunes or styles.

But to start off with, I'd go with the Real Book (old or HL).

silent-storm
03-13-2005, 03:29 AM
The 6th edition of the "New Real Book" is now actually legal so I'd recomend that one, plus it's full of the 'standard' standards.

I picked mine up for 25 bucks which is rediculas considering you can't even photo copy one for that cheap.

I usually recomend people pick up this one, then if they want more to pick up artist specific books such as the Pat Metheny Real Book or the Bill Evans Real Book or the Charlie Parker Omnibook.

Doug McMullen
03-13-2005, 03:36 AM
Heh, Poparad managed to contradict me thoroughly, point for point... LOL... well, no offense taken... but I worry that we've left Mateo with absolutely opposite opinions. Hmmm.

Let me clarify: when I said "the old real book is sold in stores now" I was undoubtedly referring to the Hal Leonard reprint... I wasn't aware that it was a "reprint" I thought they were just selling the actual old Real Book with a Hal Leonard logo stuck on the front.

When I said the the Hal Leonard Fake Books are typeset, not manuscript I was referring to some other big HL fake books that are _not_ based on the old real book... The Ultimate Jazz fake book is the name of one if memory serves.

As for Chuck Sher New Real Book vs. Old Real Book... Well, Poparad definitely has a point. The old real book is likely to be accepted at jam sessions for a long time. If you want a fake book to take along to jam sessions --although I know you'd be okay with the Chuck Sher books here, in brooklyn, you'd be okay with the old real book too... and you'd be okay with the old real book anywhere. For jam sessions the original real book would be the one book to have I suppose.

Buuuut... I didn't think Mateo's primary consideration was jam sessions. For checking out tunes I think the charts in the Chuck Sher are quite superior to the old real book charts. There's details like basslines and comping rhythms, that just aren't there in the old real book. And, the sher books are so much more nicely printed than the original real book (For clarity of printing the Hal Leonard reprint is probably a better choice than the "original" Real Book.)

Hope this helps you make up your mind, Mateo.

Doug

Poparad
03-13-2005, 04:19 AM
Buuuut... I didn't think Mateo's primary consideration was jam sessions. For checking out tunes I think the charts in the Chuck Sher are quite superior to the old real book charts. There's details like basslines and comping rhythms, that just aren't there in the old real book. And, the sher books are so much more nicely printed than the original real book (For clarity of printing the Hal Leonard reprint is probably a better choice than the "original" Real Book.)

I agree with you on that one. The Sher books are a lot more informative and easier to follow if you aren't really sure about what you're doing, or even if you are, there's less guesswork for comping, basslines, form, intros/endings.

VidKid
03-13-2005, 04:25 PM
I also have the "original" Real Book which is all worn out and recently purchased the HL 6th edition to replace, thinking it was the same. The 6th edition is missing songs, but also has some new ones from the original Real Book. I think all I'm gonna do is photocopy the missing charts and add them to the 6th ed. in another binder along with other handwritten charts. :p

If you search on the net, you can get most of the original Real Book songs in BIAB format.

VK

silent-storm
03-13-2005, 07:50 PM
Oops...I also meant the Hal Leondard version...don't know why I wrote the "New Real Book" when that is a different book all together.

Mateo150
03-13-2005, 08:12 PM
Thanks all, I'll probably go with the Sher book since that seems to have the most information. Basslines, comping patterns, etc.... especially since I really haven't heard all that many standards being performed.

metaljustice83
03-20-2005, 08:09 AM
does anyone know where I could get any of these books online?

Poparad
03-20-2005, 02:33 PM
does anyone know where I could get any of these books online?
www.jazzbooks.com (http://www.jazzbooks.com)

ChrisJ
03-20-2005, 04:22 PM
Funnt that I ran across this thread today. I have been using the original "Real Book" since I started playing Jazz, it has been a true learning guide for me. The first one I bought years ago is so beat up that it starts in the B section of songs. I bought another one about fifteen years ago and kept it new untill my one year old daughter ripped the cover off of it about an hour ago. Just in time for this post. Funny how things are timed.
-CJ

metaljustice83
03-20-2005, 07:13 PM
weird, cause after I asked that question I remembered about that site. Twilight zone or something