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Topic: Just Curious...

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  1. #1

    Just Curious...

    Why do they call them Fakebooks?

    Humorous answers welcome, but I would really like to know the real answer.

  2. #2

    Re: Just Curious...

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanPerkins View Post
    Why do they call them Fakebooks?

    Humorous answers welcome, but I would really like to know the real answer.
    'cause with the melody line and chord charts in Fakebooks, you can fake your way through a song! Isn't that all there is to it?

    Randy

  3. #3

    Re: Just Curious...

    Because when you are playing them they only have the melody and a jazz musician will improvise around that melody. Or, the player should have had them all learned before the gig but needs a cheat sheet!
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong

    Rich

  4. #4

    Re: Just Curious...

    Reminds of the time when I purchased my first fake book for music college, 32+ years ago. It was call "The Real Book". I kid you not.

    There was a guy standing on a street corner near to the music college selling these books. He had a large box of them. I think these "Real Books" were fresh from the press. These were required books to have because they were extensively used in the college's jazz ensembles. It seemed that every student and faculty member had one. I used to wonder how the maker(s) of "The Real Book" got away with making them because of copyright laws. Maybe because they were transcriptions of jazz songs?? I don't know. But these "Real Books" seemed to have made a mark for themselves. There is a music notation font in Finale which closely resembles the hand-written (and photo copied) notation of "The Real Book".

    Is "The Real Book" still around?? I lost my mine long ago. (Whispers quietly) I would love to have another one if they're still being made.

    Gosh. . . a whole flood of cherished memories just rushed through my soul while thinking about "The Real Book" and the hours spent playing jazz music with friends and fellow students during my music college days. Precious memories. . . .
    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  5. #5

    Re: Just Curious...

    Yes, I do recall seeing some sort of "Real Books" at Borders.

    I can't play anything, but I have found Fakebooks to be useful for studying melody without any clutter.

    But, yeah, the idea is that you "fake" your way through a song... play the melody, and improvise the chordal accompaniment in some fashion. Kind of an improvisational performance style more than anything I guess. Can't really get away with it in a classical music recital.
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  6. #6

    Re: Just Curious...

    Thanks all for the responses.
    Much appreciated.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Re: Just Curious...

    Hal Leonard publishes a classical fake book. I think it's a great resource if you want to write an arrangement of a classical piece. Just melody and chords, that's all you need to get going.

  8. #8

    Re: Just Curious...

    Yes, the New Real book is definitely still around, but now it has gone legit. Or at least the book that you can find in any Guitar Center, Sam Ash, etc. called the "Real Book" is legit and it still has that kind of hand written font. They even have a couple of editions of it now.

    Recently I saw at one of the online sheet music stores that you can buy it with the CD that has the actual music for every song. That would be nice for me because it has a million songs in it, but I only know a handful of them. Too bad I never went to jazz music school.

  9. #9

    Re: Just Curious...

    I bought mine in college from a guy who showed up at a Jazz Band rehearsal and sold them out of the back of his car (no kidding). I bought the "pocket size" version. You'd have to have a pretty hefty pocket to fit it in.

  10. #10

    Re: Just Curious...

    reminds of the time when I purchased my first fake book for music college, 32+ years ago. It was call "The Real Book". I kid you not.
    I have one of those! I also have the "RED Book" and The original "BLACK Book" or at least that is what the jazz guy in the next practice room in college told me (when he saw mine) said it to be. I also have one that says "The Original Fake Book" but it is tan in color not black. Mine were all bought at reputable music stores so I don't think any were really original fake books. Original fake books were photo copies of copyrighted music compiled into a collection. Earlier ones, as I understand it, were hand written (ugh - writer's cramp for sure).

    You have to be careful because in most of the early fake books, one or two notes and chord changes were not correct. That was (as I was told) the way they got around copyright laws.
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong

    Rich

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