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The real book - advice please

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by weeding, Feb 27, 2006.


  1. weeding

    weeding

    May 17, 2005
    Just started a 4 piece band, which consists of:

    Bass, Guitar, Drums, Voice/Piano/Clarinet/Sax

    Now for our first song we're doing sultans of swing - dire straits
    but we'd like to become a small jazz group. As far as this goes, getting a real book is pretty much a certainty, but for those who own one, which one would be the best to get? I'd be getting a C version, as the clarinetist can transpose easily. So, which version of the book should we get. We're not looking for any motown or other types of stuff, just general jazz.

    Cheers
     
  2. Dkerwood

    Dkerwood

    Aug 5, 2005
    Midwest
    You'll find that there's really no authoritative fake book... but if you can only have one, the Real Book is a good way to go. The C version is good, but I'd really suggest having each player buy their own. That, or plan on Xeroxing a lot of music.

    If you're really serious, though, the pros on cruise ships are starting to go towards scanning in a few dozen fake books into a laptop and setting that on a stand. That way you've got it all right there, and depending on the format and interface, you can even get to songs quicker than using books.

    I've got about 6 fakebooks in .pdf format on a CD-ROM out in my car, and it's FAR better than trying to carry around a ton of fakebooks (which I also have).
     
  3. weeding

    weeding

    May 17, 2005
    Yes, but then there is the problem of dragging a laptop around all the time, which as a student in college I dont own one of my own (rented from school with restrictions) and getting to a printer evertime I want to get a copy of the music..
     
  4. Dkerwood

    Dkerwood

    Aug 5, 2005
    Midwest
    True. There is a bit of an investment to be made. The plus side is that you have all of that music in a digital format... and each of your band members could buy only one different fake book and scan them all in to share with everyone else.

    Anyway, yes, the Real Book is a good place to start. Just make up a list of some standards that you like (the "Just Standards" book is great, too), and see if the book you're thinking about has the songs in it. Sometimes between 5 books, you'll get 5 versions of "Autumn Leaves" and zero versions of "Black Orpheus"...

    Which is all well and good until you want to do Black Orpheus, right?
     
  5. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Honestly, I don't find carrying a bunch of Real Books to be really practical for gigs. What I do is print out the charts that I need. The only reason why you would want to bring all those charts is in case of a request. But honestly, folks are more likely to request "Moondance" than "Orinthology" at a gig. Also flipping through pages of 3-4 books isn't practical for a gig.

    Bring the books to rehearsals, but bring a condensed version of some type for gigs.

    Real Books 1 & 2 are a good place to start.
     
  6. Dkerwood

    Dkerwood

    Aug 5, 2005
    Midwest
    Which is another advantage of the laptop system that I forgot. :D

    Plus, you don't have to worry about losing charts somewhere along the way. Every man has the ENTIRE collection with him in an easy to access format. And can't lose anything (in the traditional sense).

    Ok, I'm done. I promise.
     
  7. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    An interesting thing with that laptop idea, is that you really don't need anything that powerful. Just something that can read a PDF. Imagine bringing a laptop and portable printer to a gig?

    I know that I have used my cellphone to get to Olga.net to pull down a chart. If the Palms and Pocket PCs had bigger screens, they would be nice options for gigs. But they can store stuff PDFs, it's a matter of getting them out of there practically.

    Now you got me tinkering with ideas.
    - Using the IR port on a Palm device to transmit to a printer
    - Connecting a Palm device to a printer via cable
    - Putting a chord chart DB for songs onto a palm pilot.

    The other cool thing about the laptop/palm pilot is that you can also put other transcriptions on there as well. I used to have a database that I developed that had the chords/tabs for all the songs on OLGA. A Palm version of OLGA would be sweet.