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Popular Songs - Best Real/Fake Book for popular songs


alby

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Dave Horne makes an interesting point about playing songs that people are familiar with as opposed to playing the standard jazz repertoire.

 

He mentions Gershwin, Hoagy Carmichael, etc.

 

Now I am going to take it even further, and suggest tunes by Billy Joel, Elton John, etc.

 

Are there any good fake books for these popular songs, not just "Grandma & Grandad songs" but "mum and dad" songs.

 

I need a fake book with intelligent chord changes, melody, and lyrics in a form of a lead sheet that does not take more than two pages for each song.

 

The fake book needs to have a selection of tunes that can be played instrumentally in a jazz piano trio setting, and has enough structure to improvise over.

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Originally posted by alby:

Dave Horne makes an interesting point about playing songs that people are familiar with as opposed to playing the standard jazz repertoire.

 

He mentions Gershwin, Hoagy Carmichael, etc.

 

Now I am going to take it even further, and suggest tunes by Billy Joel, Elton John, etc.

 

Are there any good fake books for these popular songs, not just "Grandma & Grandad songs" but "mum and dad" songs.

 

I need a fake book with intelligent chord changes, melody, and lyrics in a form of a lead sheet that does not take more than two pages for each song.

 

The fake book needs to have a selection of tunes that can be played instrumentally in a jazz piano trio setting, and has enough structure to improvise over.

You have high expectations of a "Fake" book. ;)

 

DH, is right to the extent of selecting tunes to which folks may be familiar.

 

In order to do that, you have to know the potential audience. What if they are under 50 years old?

 

Might require something different from the Great American Songbook. Could be a tune from any era or genre.

 

Therefore, it would be a better to compile a list of tunes you want to play, from the past through present.

 

Find the music for those tunes on CDs, sheet music and/or do your own transcriptions and arrangements.

 

Once you feel comfortable with your repertoire, road test it i.e. perform. With the right mix and flavor i.e. something in it for everyone, hopefully you will find an appreciative audience. :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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Look at "The Standards Real Book" from Sher Music. It has many, many popular ballads and a variety of songs from the 60s and 70s.

 

Look at doing songs that have been redone in more recent years, e.g.

"I Only Have Eyes for You" 1934; redone by the Flamingos.

"I've Got You Under my Skin: Cole Porter 1936; hit for the Four Seasons in the 1960s.

"Alfie" new movie remake recently; more people know the song.

 

Look for songs that have been in newer movies, e.g. "The Way You Look Tonight."

 

I've always enjoyed Ramsey Lewis' approach. You can find neat trio versions of old Beatles and other songs from the 1960s. Booker T did a lot of that was well, but I'm not sure how that will translate to piano. Also Ahmad Jamal.

 

More contemporary is Phillipe Saisse Trio; "The Body and Soul Sessions" CD. Also Herbie Hancock's CD "The New Standards" A "New York Minute" and "Norwegian Wood" transcriptions can be found here.

 

Some Beatles, some Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Burt Bacharach, these can work.

 

Take Five is probably the most popular jazz tune in existence. It still gets regular play on smooth jazz stations.

 

Busch.

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alby,

 

With fake books, you get what you get. The word FAKE is a big part of these books. I also think as ProfD said that you're asking a bit much from them.

 

Fake books give a basis for the song and pretty much expect the user of them to add the color. Think coloring book.

 

Good luck.

Steve (Stevie Ray)

"Do the chickens have large talons?"

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hal leonard produce quite a few pop fake books. Don't let your brain fall asleep while reading through the changes though cause they tend to contain quite a few errors.

 

There's a fabulous piano trio version of "All along the Watchtower" on this album:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Jimis-Colors-Francis-Lockwood/dp/B0000564ZO/sr=1-2/qid=1165238848/ref=sr_1_2/102-8172939-5638546?ie=UTF8&s=music

 

Sting's "Roxanne" works well as a ballad. I've also heard a brilliant version of "Walk on By" by Melbourne singer Shelley Scown with Paul Grabowsky's trio that would work as well in just a trio setting. They do it in 5/4 - a sort of floating 5 that noone definitively spells out, rather than the 5/4 of Brubeck's calling card.

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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Hmm. A Fake Book for All Along The Watchtower? Three-chord song with no changes? I'm surprised someone would need a fake book for that song. My band plays that song, and it makes me think of Susan Dey's character on the Partridge Family just sitting there stoically playing chords (of course I throw in some other things now and then, but mostly I'm playing chords on that song).

Steve (Stevie Ray)

"Do the chickens have large talons?"

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I have the Beatles fake book, which is pretty good. The outline format makes it easier to add or change elements of the tunes. There's a Soul Music fake book, which is rather disappointing, and the tunes they've selected are pretty simplistic anyway (people need a fake book for Soul Man?). I'd like someone to do one of those Artist Transcription books for the Funk Brothers and for Stevie Wonder.

 

Even the bigger PVG books are rife with errors and omissions. I remember looking through the Complete Stevie Wonder and musing that it was a) incomplete; b) transposed into different keys; c) rhythmically and harmonically inaccurate in some cases. I've noticed mistakes in my Billy Joel and Elton John books, too. As in all other music, the written notes are only half the battle. Your ears and your musicality inform the rest. If you want to ensure accuracy in covers, the RECORDS, not the sheet music, have the final say.

 

I'm doing a solo piano background music gig now, and on the list, in addition to standards and the requisite holiday music, are:

- Still Crazy After All These Years

- Baby Grand

- New York State of Mind

- Creepin' (Stevie Wonder)

- Herbie's reharm of Norwegian Wood (always seems to go over well)

- Sunny (also covered by Wes Montgomery)

 

David

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Nord Electro 5D, Novation Launchkey 61, Logic Pro X, Mainstage 3, lots of plugins, fingers, pencil, paper.

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Originally posted by David R:

 

Even the bigger PVG books are rife with errors and omissions. I remember looking through the Complete Stevie Wonder and musing that it was a) incomplete; b) transposed into different keys; c) rhythmically and harmonically inaccurate in some cases. I've noticed mistakes in my Billy Joel and Elton John books, too. As in all other music, the written notes are only half the battle. Your ears and your musicality inform the rest. If you want to ensure accuracy in covers, the RECORDS, not the sheet music, have the final say.

 

David

Yes, yes, yes! Just another failing of relying too heavily on sheet music. Hear something you like, then go play what you heard, not what someone decided to put down on sheet music for you to play.

 

[Disclaimer -- the above comment in no way belittles the act of reading sheet music...for I also read sheet music. But, if you want to get it exactly how you heard it, then your ears are the only sure way.]

Steve (Stevie Ray)

"Do the chickens have large talons?"

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Originally posted by davorp:

Thanks, yea i know google is my friend just i did not use it now sorry ....

That's ok. I didn't mean it in a jerky way -- just trying to give you a decent link with a full answer to your question. People here should ask questions about stuff even if they could get the answer elsewhere. Kind of what this message board is all about.

Steve (Stevie Ray)

"Do the chickens have large talons?"

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The Warner Brothers series "Just Standards Real Book", "Just Jazz Real Book", "Just Blues Real Book", and "Just Classic Rock Real Book" are the best IMHO, both in terms of intelligent chording and legibility. I'm hoping that Warner Brothers makes more like these.
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I need a fake book with intelligent chord changes, melody, and lyrics in a form of a lead sheet that does not take more than two pages for each song.
You know, the chord changes given are not carved in stone.

 

Take the tunes you like, come up with good changes (or a mini arrangement), print it out, and carry your own fake book to a job.

 

If the changes given are good, you have nothing to do except maybe come up with an intro and an ending.

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 stepay:

Originally posted by David R:

 

Even the bigger PVG books are rife with errors and omissions. I remember looking through the Complete Stevie Wonder and musing that it was a) incomplete; b) transposed into different keys; c) rhythmically and harmonically inaccurate in some cases. I've noticed mistakes in my Billy Joel and Elton John books, too. As in all other music, the written notes are only half the battle. Your ears and your musicality inform the rest. If you want to ensure accuracy in covers, the RECORDS, not the sheet music, have the final say.

 

David

Yes, yes, yes! Just another failing of relying too heavily on sheet music. Hear something you like, then go play what you heard, not what someone decided to put down on sheet music for you to play.

 

[Disclaimer -- the above comment in no way belittles the act of reading sheet music...for I also read sheet music. But, if you want to get it exactly how you heard it, then your ears are the only sure way.]

Sorry about the late reply.

 

Transcribing from a record is not always the answer in coming up with the definitive version of a song.

 

When I did a piano trio course, a guy transcribed Autumn Leaves from an oscar peterson recording, and it turned out to be in a non standard key, and the chords had been changed to dominant 7ths to facilitate oscar peterson's improvisations. (Ok I know the Autumn Leaves is usually played in 2 differnt keys at minimum, but his version was in a something like F# minor.)

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Originally posted by alby:

Transcribing from a record is not always the answer in coming up with the definitive version of a song.

 

When I did a piano trio course, a guy transcribed Autumn Leaves from an oscar peterson recording

 

his version was in a something like F# minor.)

Doing your own transcription provides a more definitive version of a song that works for you.

 

Ah yes, those old mediums (records & tapes) from which tunes were transcribed could result in a key change i.e. sharp or flat by a 1/2 step or so.

 

There are enough tools available nowadays that make transcribing easier i.e. books, software, CDs, etc.

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 alby:

Originally posted by sorro:

Here are some links to try

Sorro,

 

Thanks so much for these links. Great site. It is amazing that these pdf's are available for free on the net.

 

The Latin Fake book is great. I have been looking for the lead sheet for Mas Qui Nada for about 12 monhts. I didn't want to buy the whole fake book for 1 song.

 

The rest of the downloads are great as well.

 

regards

Alby

Let's be clear on something here. Those are pirated copies of commercially available books. Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, you have just stolen someone's product.

 

No, I don't want to hear any bullshit arguments from anyone about "fair use" or any such thing. :rolleyes:

 

Sorro, you might not have been aware of the nature of those downloads; hopefully knowing this, you will avoid advertising such information, especially in a forum where a number of us try to make a living through our art, which includes publishing.

 

Sure, none of our songs are in those books, but I choose to stand on the principle of the thing.

 

There... I've said my piece. Flame away if you choose... I'll be content to ignore any such replies. :wave:

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Originally posted by Sven Golly:

There... I've said my piece. Flame away if you choose... I'll be content to ignore any such replies. :wave:

How's this for flames Sven - You're absolutely right. Time to report posts methinks.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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Originally posted by kanker, apparently:

Originally posted by Sven Golly:

There... I've said my piece. Flame away if you choose... I'll be content to ignore any such replies. :wave:

How's this for flames Sven - You're absolutely right. Time to report posts methinks.
Links deleted.

 

This forum does not support piracy.

 

dB

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