Fake Books

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Bass-4-God, Dec 25, 2014.

  1. Bass-4-God


    Feb 19, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I have been thinking about purchasing a fake book. I see most of the books I have looked at are written in treble clef. So my question is could I use the fake book to learn the chord changes of a song as well as study I guess the melody of the song. I'm looking at one of the Praise and Worship fake books I thought it might help me to learn some songs and anything else I could possibly gain from it.
  2. markoc


    Jan 6, 2014
    North San Diego
    There are many bass clef fake books available. Harder to find in stock at the local git. store but they exist.
  3. Good thinking. With Praise music I have never been handed anything, from a band director, but fake chord sheet music, so yes learning how to play Praise music from fake chord makes since. Yes the treble clef normally is the melody or tune of the song. So fake chord, or a lead sheet, will let you do what you asked about.

    I recommend the following "real book" sheet music books.
    Praise Worship, Hal-Leonard, The best praise & worship songs ever.
    Modern Worship, Hal-Leonard Volume 37
    Both have treble as well as bass clef, chord names and lyrics. Pretty much all you will need. I'm sure I got them from Amazon.

    The Internet can usually find fake chord on most Praise music. Use these search words; For example: Chords, "O come all ye faithful" found this: http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/m/misc_christmas/o_come_all_ye_faithful_crd.htm

    No treble or bass clef is shown on what the Internet will get you, but, you have the chords that will be used in this song and the chord chart is what we end up playing from. Roots to the beat is what 80% of Praise music uses and when that needs some filling out R-5 or R-5-8-5 will do just about all you ever need.

    You can usually construct a chord chart from your church hymnal. Look at the bass clef and assume the lowest note in the measure is the root for that measure. Not exact, but, normally close enough. If you have access to the United Methodist Hymnal page 145 the song Morning Has Broken illustrates this, as it also has the chord name above the treble clef. See how the chord name and the lowest note in the bass clef measure usually match up.

    Have fun.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2014
  4. Ric5

    Ric5 Inactive

    Jan 29, 2008
    I like 5, 8, 10, and 12 string basses
    Pretty much most fake books and most tabs are wrong ... Both can be a good resource for learning a song, but you need a good ear to figure out where they are wrong.
    zontar likes this.
  5. radioface


    May 2, 2013
    Why bother with fake books when there are fake
    book apps for smart phones and tablets?
  6. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman

    Jan 1, 2010
    You are better off using your ears and taking the tunes off yourself.

    I have found that, usually by the time I sat down, figured out, and wrote out a tune, I didn't need the chart. (...but, it's always nice to have it to refer to later)

    You may find it a bit time-intensive at first, but like anything else, you get better at it the more you do it.
  7. Jhengsman


    Oct 17, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I agree, like many other entertainment products the internet has decimated the music publishing business. Any of the top songs you find in a fake book you can google or use an app to pull up a chord/lyric chart. Also the publishers have a cut off date so the book will be a few years behind and not have the most current songs and a lot will seem like filler as the older songs get squeezed down to only the best survivors on regular playlist. And in most cases all you will see is look it is all the same chord progressions, some songs just are published in a different key from the most famous recording, maybe in natural keys for standard tuned guitars easy version and not flat as many play in because keys and horns like those keys.The fake book however with more room for visuals then a phone screen will normally give you the lead line in standard notation.

    I would spent my money on instructional books and videos to supplement the free tutorials and covers up on youtube. The worst will be no better then the guy playing the lines along with a recording that we see, the best will give actual instruction
  8. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    I grew up in the age where the only fake books you could get involved a handshake to the customer service rep and then them handing you a book in a bag and expecting cash. Seriously, that's how I bought my first Real book, well before all the copyrights were added.

    To the OP, I was encouraged to buy the treble clef versions as well. Reasons being that 1. learning to read treble clef is a useful skill, in addition to bass clef, 2. the chord changes are the same, no matter the book and 3. in the event that you want to play a chart out of a fake book the pianist doesn't have (which happened a lot when I introduced Michigan to the "Colorado Cookbook"), having the treble clef book to toss on their stand is ideal.

    But yeah, nowadays get one of the apps, or the PDFs of the fakebooks and upload them onto your tablet, and don't look back.
    BassChuck likes this.
  9. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    I'm not really sure how 'wrong' fake books are. True there are a lot of songs that have alternative chord choices and really, no one plays the melodies exactly as they are notated. But fake books are a great source of information, and wonderful tools... if you know how to use them.

    The apps are good enough, and you can easily change the chords if you don't care for what's given. Go to www.jazzbooks.com for a great selection of books in treble and bass clef.

    So, if you're going to learn tunes to play with a band, get the fake books... but if you're looking for something in bass clef to work on melodic and rhythmic reading, look elsewhere. (Simandl, Storch, etc)
  10. Bass-4-God


    Feb 19, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    So if I understand correctly the best use for a fake book is to learn the melody and or chord changes if trying to learn songs which what I am trying to do. Being I play at my church and sometimes I find they through out songs I am not familiar with and then I see them in a fake book or something similar.
  11. The word "fake book" can have several formats, depends on the type of fake book you purchase. Need to "look inside" to make sure you are receiving what you think.
    • Fake chord sheet music normally has just the lyrics with a chord name shown over the lyric "tune" this specific chord will harmonize. Nothing here to help with the melody. You are given the lyrics and the chord progression and you are to fake the rest.
    • Now lead sheet music will have what the fake chord sheet music has plus the treble clef is added for the melody notes. It does not normally have a bass clef shown. So a lead sheet is what you need if you want to play the tune (melody).
    • A fake book will have sheets of fake chord or lead sheet music put into book format. Again to be safe look inside.
    • A real book will have lyrics, chords, treble clef and bass chef. Normally.... Even when it is called a real book, better look inside. For example The Real Book, sixth edition, really only has the bass clef with chords shown. The melody is in bass clef. There is no treble clef and the lyrics are not shown. When I bought it I was wanting bass clef bass lines. Did not get that. Long story real short; need to look inside to be sure.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
  12. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    Nothing against them, but I'd rather have a good old RB hard copy or 3 ring binder on my stand any day.
  13. The problem you can find with the Real Book is that there are several different versions and you might only play a small percentage of the songs from any one of them. These days, I've got my little collection of various fake books just like a lot of people but once upon a time as a poor student I just made a list of the most popular songs from each book (or songs that I was likely to use) and either copied them from friends Real Books or transcribed them myself. I ended up with this huge folder of useful tunes rather than various books containing some so-called standards that I've never played or even heard to this day. I also wrote them out in both treble clef and bass clef in case I wanted to use the melody in any solos. One great thing about transcribing them yourself is that you get a really good idea how the melody is often phrased by both singers and instrumentalists and your transcription can reflect that rather than having the sometimes clunky whole note/half note version of the Real Book. The transcribing route is longer and harder but much, much better for you in the long run.
  14. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Even with an app you still need the book in PDF format.