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Old 03-21-2015, 12:31 AM
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rogue_drummer rogue_drummer is offline
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Default A question on Real Books

Reading on another post about getting a Real Book, there are Real Books and there are "fake" books. Even theories on which Real Book is THE book to get.

I read recently the "Real Book Edition 5" is considered THE book to get since it comes closer to any book in the series of establishing and presenting the songs as originally published or documented and played as used by thousands of jazz musicians all over the world for many years. However I hear it is hard to find.

According to what was written, the later version, version 6, comes close but leaves out some songs, has incomplete charts, etc.

Anyone else read this or have more knowledge of the Edition 5 as opposed to the newer version 6, or was this simply misinformation? An uninformed author?

Any thoughts on the matter? Or would any Real Book suffice?

As crazy as it sounds, at 53 I'm sorta wanting to get into the blues and jazz scenes more and more around the D/FW area. With UNT, TCU, TWU, and SMU all within 1 hour away from each other the jazz scene is beginning to make a comback. Several noteable jazz and blues clubs are now mainstays with devoute followings. Buttons, Scat Jazz Lounge, etc.

Thanks!
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Old 03-21-2015, 02:58 AM
Matt Bo Eder
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Default Re: A question on Real Books

I dunno. As long ago as 30 years ago I had a Real Book given to me as a Christmas gift and I still have it (although the pages have started to fall out from the cheap plastic binding). I've since bought a new one, a cooler, half-size book, and it doesn't seem to be missing anything.

I suppose the issue with the Real Books were they were unlicensed so the composers were not getting compensated for having their music published. But if that's the case, I'm surprised they just went "legit" because the use of Real Books in colleges has been going on for ages. I've done quite a few gigs where Real Books were passed out and we were all going through the songs, like live background music.
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Old 03-21-2015, 04:40 AM
SmoothOperator SmoothOperator is offline
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Default Re: A question on Real Books

I try to get the original arrangements whenever possible, or at least buy the sheet music to the songs I like, real books can get expensive and often don't cover the most popular songs. I used to go to a bluegrass jam, where they could call the page number to play, I think this is the best case use.

I once ordered the blues real book off amazon, I think the mail man stole it, and I had to call to have it shipped again, then I lent it to buddy, and it disappeared again. Kind of funny considering how blues musicians don't like sheet music.

The distinction is original= recording or composition, real book= high quality reproduction, fake book=simplified version. Though, there is a company that uses the Real brand, which makes it confusing.
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Old 03-21-2015, 05:07 AM
toddbishop toddbishop is offline
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Default Re: A question on Real Books

I don't think it matters what version you get-- maybe in the newer ones they've corrected some of the mistakes and notoriously bad chord changes, and gotten rid of some of the things nobody ever plays, ever. Since they're mostly just the melody of the tune + chords, with little in the way of arrangement, I don't think you'll find it a huge help in playing. Maybe I'd use it as a listening guide-- if you listen to everything in the book, along with the chart, you'll be at least partly on the same page as a lot of people you'll play with. You won't need it on gigs/sessions-- they usually don't even bother to tell you what they're playing before they count it off.
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Old 03-21-2015, 06:39 AM
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rogue_drummer rogue_drummer is offline
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Default Re: A question on Real Books

Thank you. I was primarily going to use it as a listening guide and to become familiar with the songs considered standards. While I may never play a lot of the material in the book I at least want to recognize the tunes and be familiar with them. To "broaden my jazz horizons" so-to-speak and learn about the particular artists who created them.
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Old 03-21-2015, 03:07 PM
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Alain Rieder Alain Rieder is offline
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Default Re: A question on Real Books

As a drummer who also studied a melodic instrument (the cello), it always made sense to actually have lead sheets to learn new songs. I feel I can better follow the song forms as well as the melodies and chord movements.

I think I have the 5th edition (I don't have it at hand), and I don't know about the 6th edition, but I think the 5th is the most widely owned. I also bought Sher Music's New Real Books, 1, 2 & 3, as well as their World's Greatest Fake Book.
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Old 03-22-2015, 05:18 AM
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brady brady is offline
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Default Re: A question on Real Books

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddbishop View Post
I don't think it matters what version you get-- maybe in the newer ones they've corrected some of the mistakes and notoriously bad chord changes, and gotten rid of some of the things nobody ever plays, ever. Since they're mostly just the melody of the tune + chords, with little in the way of arrangement, I don't think you'll find it a huge help in playing. Maybe I'd use it as a listening guide-- if you listen to everything in the book, along with the chart, you'll be at least partly on the same page as a lot of people you'll play with. You won't need it on gigs/sessions-- they usually don't even bother to tell you what they're playing before they count it off.
This is pretty much how I've used mine.

It's also a great book to adapt a lot of Syncopation exercises to.
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