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Real Book and "Real" transcriptions

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by terryjj1, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. terryjj1

    terryjj1 Guest

    Jul 19, 2012

    I'm new at the BIG bass..gave up the electric for the ever lovely DB...what a joy..anyhoo..maybe I'm really ignorant or expect too much but when i try to play songs from the "REAL" book or transcriptions that are supposed to be the real thing, I find they are not similar at all to the songs I listen to by the original artists....for example..Waltz for Debby...it seems to start off like in the book but within 5 or 6 bars I'm lost...I have no idea where Scott went...is this common?...is it actually possible to ge the sheet music of what EXACTLY is being played?...I'm no Scott Lafaro and never shall be but I happen to really like that song and wouldn't mind being able to play along with the music......
  2. LouieV2


    Jan 9, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Youre most likely counting in double time. Same thing happened to me on monday when I was jamming with the school jazz band.. try counting at half the speed youre counting at right now and it might make more sense
  3. Congratulation and good luck in your move to the double bass! Many folks learn quickly that the Real Book is not the most reliable source for chord changes. Even if it were, every jazz musician has his/her own approach to a tune, changing the melody and/or substituting chords. The Real Book strive to show one example (usually, the track its lifted from is mentioned at the bottom).

    When it comes to LaFaro, a number of likely factors involved, number one being that the Bill Evans Trio was noted for its ability to "float" time over the bar lines. When they play a tune in 3/4 time, you're not going to hear "boom-chick-chick, boom-chick-chick." Not to say that the time isn't rock solid, its just that the beats are not going to land where you expect them to.

    Also, Scott LaFaro did not find it necessary to play roots of the chords, often taking a more contrapuntal approach. If you try to match what he's playing up the the chord roots in the Real Book, its not going to work.
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think the points is here - we are talking Jazz. Jazz is about improvising - responding in the moment, making your own music. The kind of charts you see in a Real Book are just a jumping-off -point - that's where you start - not where you finish! :p
  5. Nice thing about the interweb in general and You Tube in particular, is that you can now easily search out and hear many wonderful versions of the same tune. The Real Book is not the Bible. There are many great performances of jazz standards where great artists have decided to play different changes or use a few sub chords that are different than the Real Book. Another reason to use your ears and hear the many ways the same tune can be approached.
  6. Welcome to our little corner of the world. You've picked at tough one to start out on... Phil Palombi has a book of transcriptions you might want to get; it's not for the faint of heart.

  7. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    It's good that you can hear the difference. If you couldn't, it would be trouble. Keep using those ears.
  8. mflaherty


    Oct 9, 2001
    This is good too:

    The Bill Evans Trio - Volume 1 (1959-1961): Featuring Transcriptions of Bill Evans (Piano), Scott LaFaro (Bass) and Paul Motian (Drums) [Paperback]
    Hal Leonard

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