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Question about the Real book


keyman_sam

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So, i'm trying to learn jazz, and i purchased the jazz piano book. I want to get a fake book, and start learning tunes. I'm looking at :

 

1). The real book sixth edition - C Instruments(Plastic comb) in amazon.

 

2). The New Real book - Volume 1 (Key of C).

 

 

I have two questions :

 

1). Which one is the better of the two? I.e. which one has more songs, better transcriptions.

 

2). Noob alert ahead : Does the Key of C mean instruments like the Piano, or does it mean that all the songs are transposed to the Key of C so as to make it easy for people to play?

 

Thanks folks. :D

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1. I would say the real book sixth edition would be more likely to be used at a jam session but the New Real book has better chord changes.

 

2. Key of C means that the tunes are for concert pitch instrumets, (piano, guitar, bass). Instruments such as alto sax, baritone sax, are in Eb, tenor sax, trumpet Bb.

 

John

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Thanks sven and hyde! Now, i just need more opinions on the books! :)

 

P.S. I just purchased Real rhapsody unlimited! :D It rocks. Well, first, it wouldnt enter because of my internet settings, but after some messing around, got it to work. I'm in heaven. Thanks to the person who suggested it to me! :D

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"The Real Book: Sixth Edition" has had the errors corrected. "The New Real Book" has far fewer jazz standards and an over abundance of obscure non-swinging fusion tunes that nobody I know plays.

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Harry spends his time teaching jazz piano online and playing solo piano gigs.

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It's not the tune per se that makes jazz ... jazz, it's what you do with the tune.

 

I have a real book and it is in perfect condition - it hardly gets used. You'll be more rounded if you take tunes written by Gershwin, Hoagy Carmichael, et al, and improvise on those tunes. You'll still be playing jazz and the folks in the audience might actually have heard those tunes as well.

 

I open the real book and find very few tunes I would want to play on a job. I think I could go another 40 years and not play Giant Steps or Joy Spring. Learn tunes, not jazz tunes per se ... you'll probably get more work.

 

I played a job tonight and had an older woman come up to me and tell me how much the tunes I played meant to her. She actually had a tear in her eye. You can improvise on Cheek to Cheek or Night In Tunisia, but the former will get you hired back.

 

This thread struck a nerve with me. I worked many years with a first rate guitarist. He could play Windows but didn't have a clue how to play Lazy River. I've never been asked to play Windows on a job.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

I think I could go another 40 years and not play Giant Steps or Joy Spring. Learn tunes, not jazz tunes per se ... you'll probably get more work.

 

You can improvise on Cheek to Cheek or Night In Tunisia, but the former will get you hired back.

 

This thread struck a nerve with me. I worked many years with a first rate guitarist. He could play Windows but didn't have a clue how to play Lazy River. I've never been asked to play Windows on a job.

Hey, what about being able to play both kinds? I seem to detect a bit of bitterness here...

I've played Joy Spring, Giant Steps and Windows on jobs, many, *many* times. I guess it depends on the kind of job. :)

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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

It's not the tune per se that makes jazz ... jazz, it's what you do with the tune.

 

You'll still be playing jazz and the folks in the audience might actually have heard those tunes as well.

 

Learn tunes, not jazz tunes per se ... you'll probably get more work.

I agree for the most part. :thu:

 

A "jazz" audience under 50 years old may not care for tunes in the Great American Songbook, Real or Fake Book.

 

Before there was a "Book", jazz musicians took popular tunes past and present and re-worked them. Reharmonized chord changes from existing tunes were the basis for original compositions.

 

Therefore, I believe "Anything Goes". Just a matter of interpretation and presentation. ;)

 

I would play Night and Day, Giant Steps and Sunday Morning (Maroon 5) in the same set. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

You'll still be playing jazz and the folks in the audience might actually have heard those tunes as well.

 

Learn tunes, not jazz tunes per se ... you'll probably get more work.

I'd learn as many tunes in as many styles as possible, for the same reasons you're giving Dave. I agree that most people want to hear 'songs' they know, and a much smaller number of people want to hear 'tunes' they know. The distinction (for those that don't know) - songs have words. Unfortunately, the majority of the people who would want to hear a 'tune', would want something more like Kenny G than Kenny Garrett. Regardless, the more versatile and well rounded you are as a player, the more you'll work.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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Maybe this is just me, but the art would be more important to me right now than the quantity of gigs. So I'd prefer to do a type of gig where I can play Windows...Otherwise I'll skip the gig and just work on Microsoft Windows instead. :D

Hamburg Steinway O, Crumar Mojo, Nord Electro 4 HP 73, EV ZXA1

 

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Keyman Sam, all the New Real Books (Sher) are great, have very accurate transcriptions, much more so than the original Real Book. The Real Book 6 is basically the same as the original but with the mistakes corrected and without some of the tunes that they couldn't get copyright clearance on.

 

For some reason that I don't yet understand, the original Real Book became a jazzer bible, used as a sort of list of tunes that everybody needs to know, and became a definitive source of chord changes and heads that everybody learned even though in many cases they are obviously wrong.

 

So you'll go to a jazz jam and pretty much every tune called will be one in the Real Book, and every tune will be played as in the Real book, mistakes and all.

 

The New Real books were meant as a legal alternative to the original Real Book, and with a wider selection of tunes, and without mistakes. Then Hal Leonard came along and one-upped the New Real Books by redoing the original without the mistakes.

 

So now we have about 10 "Real Books" to choose from, if we're so inclined.

 

But the mystique of the original (and now the corrected original in RB6) seems to be immortal. Why that is so, I dunno, it's almost cult like :)

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Originally posted by marino:

Originally posted by Dave Horne:

I think I could go another 40 years and not play Giant Steps or Joy Spring. Learn tunes, not jazz tunes per se ... you'll probably get more work.

 

You can improvise on Cheek to Cheek or Night In Tunisia, but the former will get you hired back.

 

This thread struck a nerve with me. I worked many years with a first rate guitarist. He could play Windows but didn't have a clue how to play Lazy River. I've never been asked to play Windows on a job.

Hey, what about being able to play both kinds? I seem to detect a bit of bitterness here...

I've played Joy Spring, Giant Steps and Windows on jobs, many, *many* times. I guess it depends on the kind of job. :)

Marino, you have to admit there's something amiss when a young musician can play the tunes from the real book but never heard of Hoagy Carmichael. I will have the occasional student and always find it interesting to have them list the Gershwin tunes they can play ... or even know.

 

I agree knowing kinds both as well. I rather doubt anyone's eye will tear up when hearing Giant Step of Windows (unless of course it's being played very badly.) :D

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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When someone says to me that the gig will require a couple of sets of jazz and bring a real book, they invariably mean the illegal sold-under-the-counter bible-status version, with the wrong chords in Lush Life, the two bars missing in Desafinado (I think it's Desafinado, one of the Jobim tunes ...) etc. The new Shur books are really good and I have vols. 1-3 plus the "Standards" one. But the latter is the only one that's had much use. I call "Joy Spring" most jazz gigs cause I enjoy playing it (and it usually gets the sax player off stage and heading for the bar muttering some lame excuse cause he knows I'll count off real fast :D ) but most of what we play are, like Dave Horne, the Gershwin, Porter, Rogers & Hart, Ellington and Jobim tunes. The other guys I play with have their hardcore jazz favourites that we'll do - e.g. Blue Monk - but only a few.

Keys: Hammond SK2, Hammond SK1, Hammond SKpro, Korg Vox Continental, Waldorf STVC

Amplification: Line6 L3T, Yamaha DBR-10, Presonus Air 10, Leslie 122V

 

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Maybe this is just me, but the art would be more important to me right now than the quantity of gigs.
The purpose of practicing thousands of hours is to perfrom. If you practice your ass off for that one jam seesion a month you're probably missing out on playing more jobs where you can play ... mom and dad might actually hear a tune they know.

 

I've played jazz jam sessions - they usually do not pay well, the drummer is too loud and the sax player is full of himself .... other than that, they were enjoyable. :D

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

I've played jazz jam sessions - they usually do not pay well, the drummer is too loud and the sax player is full of himself .... other than that, they were enjoyable. :D
:eek: And I thought in "Dave's World" live players were ALWAYS better than sequencers...
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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

I've played jazz jam sessions - they usually do not pay well, the drummer is too loud and the sax player is full of himself .... other than that, they were enjoyable. :D

Dave, I'm confused as to how this is different from any other jazz gig? ;)
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

Maybe this is just me, but the art would be more important to me right now than the quantity of gigs.
The purpose of practicing thousands of hours is to perfrom. If you practice your ass off for that one jam seesion a month you're probably missing out on playing more jobs where you can play ... mom and dad might actually hear a tune they know.

 

I've played jazz jam sessions - they usually do not pay well, the drummer is too loud and the sax player is full of himself .... other than that, they were enjoyable. :D

Well, the reality is that if I worked off the principle that someone's mom and dad can hear a tune they know, it will throw the whole concept of improvisation or even bebop for that matter, out the window.

 

For this reason, I have to ask myself, why do I want to play jazz? So I can play melodies? And given your specific intent as a marketing plan to reach the largest audience, then of course your approach is sensible.

 

But my goal is to reach the true jazz afficionado, and I live in a big city where there's a large number of them (not as a proportion but as a total number). So it would be a distraction, in my case, to tone down the music for the general 'mom and dad' (or really someone's grandpa and grandma).

 

So your gig scenario can't really be generalized. I have a hard core jazzer (guitar) that I just happen to randomly meet that's only a block away from me. Thus, one can't assume that we all have to tone down our music. We all ought to strive to play what we feel we want to play because it moves us. Playing jazz for me without improvisation is ok, but it's no longer jazz.

Hamburg Steinway O, Crumar Mojo, Nord Electro 4 HP 73, EV ZXA1

 

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The good thing about real books is if you tote them all to a jam you don't have to work out that day.

 

The simple answer is that you need the same one as every one else at the Jam. If on the other hand you are playing with a fixed set of people (in a band say) then its probably better to go get some representative recordings and work from those.

 

There's PDF copies of many of the old books floating around the net. These are useful though personally I have paper copies of them as well so that I am not ripping anybody off - but the PDF ones are much easier to print out to make up ones own book.

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Originally posted by Jazzwee:

Well, the reality is that if I worked off the principle that someone's mom and dad can hear a tune they know, it will throw the whole concept of improvisation or even bebop for that matter, out the window.

I'm someone's dad, and you're probably playing a ton of tunes I know.

 

Originally posted by Jazzwee:

For this reason, I have to ask myself, why do I want to play jazz? So I can play melodies?

Yes. This is EXACTLY why you should be playing jazz. What else is an improvisation but a melody? Heck, you're the one who's always promoting the 'chord tones on the strong beats' method as it makes the improvisation more accessible to the listener. Be consistent here Jazzwee...
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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Jazz .... art ....

 

I think too many folks have watched too many movies about too many artists who starved for too much their ... art.

 

You don't have to dilute jazz down to homeopathic levels, you can just add a little water and spread it out a bit further.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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IMHO, there's reason to own BOTH books, and to exclude neither:

 

Yes, Dave has a point with regard to learning a great repertoire of songs to play for non-bebop educated audiences. That repertoire will make you a lot of money over time. I've been playing these songs for over 30 years and they are true gems, particularly if you're playing for older audiences.

 

But that said, if you really want to learn Bebop there's a whole other repertoire that I think is equally mandatory to learn, and that would be in The real book sixth edition. In my opinion, learning to play these heads and eventually learning to solo on them is an integral part of learning the traditional bebop vocabulary; an important stepping stone on the road to becoming a modern jazzer.

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Originally posted by kanker, apparently:

Originally posted by Jazzwee:

Well, the reality is that if I worked off the principle that someone's mom and dad can hear a tune they know, it will throw the whole concept of improvisation or even bebop for that matter, out the window.

I'm someone's dad, and you're probably playing a ton of tunes I know.

 

Originally posted by Jazzwee:

For this reason, I have to ask myself, why do I want to play jazz? So I can play melodies?

Yes. This is EXACTLY why you should be playing jazz. What else is an improvisation but a melody? Heck, you're the one who's always promoting the 'chord tones on the strong beats' method as it makes the improvisation more accessible to the listener. Be consistent here Jazzwee...
I meant playing the heads of tunes without improvisation.

Hamburg Steinway O, Crumar Mojo, Nord Electro 4 HP 73, EV ZXA1

 

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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

Jazz .... art ....

 

I think too many folks have watched too many movies about too many artists who starved for too much their ... art.

 

You don't have to dilute jazz down to homeopathic levels, you can just add a little water and spread it out a bit further.

I think we can meet on the middle on this. There is no 'excludable' tune to me in jazz. It's only limited by what I've been able to learn as I'm still woodshedding on other issues and there's only so much time.

 

My only point is that in a cocktail situation, there's limit to improvisation. I was playing for a party last night. And I know that I have to play a certain 'palatable' way to non-jazz enthusiasts. So I played the tunes slower and simpler. I realize this is the reality.

 

But I don't want to abandon what I really like about the music which is the more complex side, rhythmically, harmonically, and more lengthy improvisations (which would be intolerable in a cocktail piano situation).

 

I hear that to play piano at Nordstroms, the piano players are specifically banned from doing ANY improvisation -- which I can believe because of the environment.

 

I realize that I find myself toning things down based on audience reaction. However, it is safe to say I don't have the capability (yet) to play jazz at the level expected for that type of music in Los Angeles. That's a pretty high bar still and that pretty much excludes everyone but the ones at the very top of the game. I wish to reach that point someday, in which case, I will have the opportunity to play exactly what I practice, which is trio based jazz. I don't want to set my eyes at a lower goal since it will detract me from improving my 'art'. If you criticize the artistic expression of this, then one is just a craftsman. I shoot for something more artsy, whether or not I can achieve it.

 

I realize that even when Bill Evans started, he did weddings, bar mitzvah's and parties. So I'm sure he toned it down there too. But he went home and practiced his ass off to achieve bigger and better things artistically. And it paid off for him.

Hamburg Steinway O, Crumar Mojo, Nord Electro 4 HP 73, EV ZXA1

 

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Originally posted by Jazzwee:

I realize that even when Bill Evans started, he did weddings, bar mitzvah's and parties. So I'm sure he toned it down there too. But he went home and practiced his ass off to achieve bigger and better things artistically. And it paid off for him. [/QB]

Yes, but what I read and heard about him later on in his carrier he started to play more "commercially"

What is art anyway without the audience :rolleyes:

♫♫♫ motif XS6, RD700GX
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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

Jazz .... art ....

 

I think too many folks have watched too many movies about too many artists who starved for too much their ... art.

 

You don't have to dilute jazz down to homeopathic levels, you can just add a little water and spread it out a bit further.

Right, it's Black music after all. Only White European music can achieve art status. :rolleyes:

 

Busch.

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