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fake books

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by themadbasser, Dec 8, 2002.

  1. themadbasser


    Sep 4, 2002
    I am starting to play jazz more and more and I want to know how or where you can get a fake book. Further more what is the difference between a fake book and a real book?
  2. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    In short, a "real book" is legal in that copyrighted materials are acknowledged and rights to use the material have been arranged. The original "fake books" did not make any such arrangements, containing songs for which no permission was received and presumeably no royaties were paid.

    The original fake books were used by pro muscians such as lounge pianists who would need to be able to play requests of dozens of songs, so a rough outline in the form of a chord chart, lyrics and melody was helpful for on-the-spot playing. These books were circulated under the counter in a sort of black market manner and were not generally sold to the public at large. The material was also somewhat less reliable than today's real books.

    Real books enjoy wide circulation among both amateur and professional musicians. Too, there are many kinds of real books not just jazz. I have real books for blues, folk music and broadway tunes. Many of today's real books still use the old term "fake book" in their title.
  3. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks! In Memoriam

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    Not really GI kinda stuff, let's go to Misc.

    Chris A.:rolleyes:
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    As was pointed out above, there was history - but now they are one and the same thing. Most sheet music shops will have a section which says : real books/fake books. There is no practical difference.

    If you can't find them in shops, then try :

  5. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    The Real Book, which is not copyrighted and is illegal, is the book started by a certain college. It's also the one that shows up on the most bandstands.
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think that Boplicity probably meant the Sher "New Real Book" which is the most popular one over here.

    I have seen the odd copy of the Real Book in Jams and the first thing we noticed was that there were "mistakes" compared with the "New Real Book".
  7. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I've seen quite a few copies of the illegal one, among the band I used to play with. Actually, if I recall, when we went to Denmark, there was a band having a jam in this pub, and they had a copy of the illegal real book.

    I think the Sher one is actually verified for accuracy by the composers - at least to some extent - isn't it?
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    But what sort of "sample" are we talking about?
    So - I've never seen any kind of fake or real book used at a pro Jazz gig - all the pros I've seen have "internalised" these standards long ago. But Jazz "students" like me, use these things all the time!

    So - I've been to Jazz Summerschool for the last 5 years at the University Of Glamorgan with between 150- 200 students on the course - they reduced the numbers in the last couple of years, as it was getting unmanageable.

    So - different people go each year and I reckon I must have encountered at least 400 different people - that vast majority have had copies of the New Real Book. If they didn't have it when they came - they bought it from the special on-site shop which operated during the two weeks on campus.

    During that same period - I have seen 2 or 3 copies of the illegal book - so my view is 100 to 1 in favour of the Sher book!! ;)
  9. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Well, in my case, no they weren't really pro Jazz gigs.

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