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#2647613 - 05/27/17 01:50 PM Sheet music or fakebooks  
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dat77 Offline
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Just wondering. Do most of you use sheet music or fake books when playing popular music(just for own enjoyment).

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#2647674 - 05/27/17 05:49 PM Re: Sheet music or fakebooks [Re: dat77]  
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Roger Ransom Offline
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Fake books almost exclusively. Sheet music is too limiting.


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#2647761 - 05/28/17 01:00 AM Re: Sheet music or fakebooks [Re: Roger Ransom]  
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Originally Posted by Roger Ransom
Fake books almost exclusively. Sheet music is too limiting.
In my college, I conduct an arrangement course, in which students learn to work with both types of music material. Advantage of sheet music: It contains bass line , so important for harmonization, as well as contrapuntal side voices that can serve as an example.

#2647994 - 05/28/17 08:33 PM Re: Sheet music or fakebooks [Re: dat77]  
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newbert Offline
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Originally Posted by dat77
Just wondering. Do most of you use sheet music or fake books when playing popular music(just for own enjoyment).


I've always played mostly from sheet music, but also find it limiting. So, I'm now working on how to play (well) from a fake book.


Bert
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#2648000 - 05/28/17 08:58 PM Re: Sheet music or fakebooks [Re: dat77]  
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Mark Polishook Offline
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Well, there's a role for both. Sheet music for standards often show you what the composer of a tune actually wrote and intended. That doesnt mean those intenions have to be followed. But often better to know them than not. Fake bools do give a lot of latitude in interpretation. These days most. Fakebools are legal and printed and distributed in accordance with copyright law. In the not too distant past, however, that wasnt the case. Fakebooks then were quickly thrown together collections, often iwth mistakes in melody, chords, and key. But that was also part of the riddle of learning to play jazz. Those who wanted truth, such as it exists, would listen to a Miles Davis recording, for example to get the chords that jazz musicians might commonly use. But that circles back tomsheet music. The chords in sheet music, even when written out in an arrangement by a tune's composer, werent always used by jazz musicians.

Back in the day, at clubs like Bradley's in NYC, the great jazz pianists ofteh showed each other the chords and substitutions they were using on different tunes. Its all interesting stuff, whats better, whats worse, and whats common practice? Those things dont always align or misalign ...

#2648244 - Yesterday at 02:58 PM Re: Sheet music or fakebooks [Re: dat77]  
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jjo Offline
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For many years, I played popular music exclusively from sheet music. I have, to put it mildly, a rather large collection!
Then about 10 years ago I took up jazz, and at that point switched to playing from lead sheets.

Both sheet music and lead sheets have their pros and cons. If you're playing with other musicians, sheet music really has no place. You must use a lead sheet because you have to adapt how you play the piece to what's going on in the band.

If you're only playing solo piano, by yourself, the question is a closer call. In many instances, the arrangements on lead sheets are more complex and more sophisticated that I can work out, even after almost 10 years of playing jazz. However, if would be awkward to improvise from sheet music. You can do it, but that's not what it's designed for, whereas lead sheets are designed for just that.
Furthermore, I'd rather play a simpler arrangement, but one where I chose every note and I know why I chose every note, than a more complex arrangement where I'm just reading notes off a page. There is a deep, deep pleasure in playing music when you understand it harmonically, and you know exactly what purpose each note serves.

#2648302 - Yesterday at 05:24 PM Re: Sheet music or fakebooks [Re: jjo]  
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Grandman Offline
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Originally Posted by jjo

If you're only playing solo piano, by yourself, the question is a closer call. In many instances, the arrangements on lead sheets are more complex and more sophisticated that I can work out, even after almost 10 years of playing jazz. However, if would be awkward to improvise from sheet music. You can do it, but that's not what it's designed for, whereas lead sheets are designed for just that.


Do you find the same advantages of lead sheets vs sheet music that contains the chords? In your experience, what is the practical advatages ,if any, with lead sheets vs arrangements that contain the chords?

#2648329 - Yesterday at 06:09 PM Re: Sheet music or fakebooks [Re: dat77]  
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jjo Offline
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I'm not sure what you're asking. Are you suggesting that if sheet music has the melody, an arrangement, plus the written out chords, you're getting everything you get in a lead sheet plus more?

The advantage of the lead sheet is that a song generally fits on one page, and it's easier to read. If you have sheet music and you're just using the melody and chords, you have to ignore a lot of what's there. Plus, sheet music costs a lot more. In a fake book you'll get hundreds of tunes for the same price that you might get 15 or 20 in a book of sheet music.

Perhaps you're trying to hedge your bets; use sheet music, but make your own arrangement based on the chords, with the written out arrangement to help? If so, I'd suggest that playing from lead sheets is a completely different skill than playing from written out sheet music, and you should decide which way to go. Make a full commitment to one kind of playing or the other. If you want to learn to make your own arrangements from lead sheets, you need to fully commit to that. It's a long and hard journey, but it's also quite wonderful!

#2648342 - Yesterday at 06:38 PM Re: Sheet music or fakebooks [Re: dat77]  
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Grandman Offline
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Usa
Thanks, jjo. I have a bunch of sheet music arrangements with chords and did not know if there would be any advantages to start purchasing fakebooks instead. I always thought you get more with sheet music. You bring up very good points.

#2648364 - Yesterday at 08:18 PM Re: Sheet music or fakebooks [Re: dat77]  
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Roger Ransom Offline
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Many newer Fake Books such as the Warner Bros. series and others, have the original chords plus some common alternates.

Fortunately they are nothing like the old original illegal fake books from the 50's. Plus you can actually read them without a magnifying glass in addition to much better editing.

However, I still dig out my old original fake books that I learned to use chords from for nostalgia. They make me smile.

Once you spend the time to really feel comfortable with fake books, sheet music seems limiting and difficult. Having said that though, I still have lots of old sheet music I dig out sometime too. It's good to spend the time to be able to do both.

It's all good, it's awesome to be able to make music at any level. I love it!


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#2648448 - 6 minutes ago Re: Sheet music or fakebooks [Re: Mark Polishook]  
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Nahum Online content
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Israel

Originally Posted by Mark Polishook


Back in the day, at clubs like Bradley's in NYC, the great jazz pianists ofteh showed each other the chords and substitutions they were using on different tunes. Its all interesting stuff, whats better, whats worse, and whats common practice? Those things dont always align or misalign ...
Constant search to expand his own harmonic language characterize the professional jazz pianist at all . I remember when Andy Laverne came to my concert in a small club in Jerusalem, during the intermission, he sat down to piano and quietly began to try different progressions. I remember when Andy La Verne came to my concert in a small club in Jerusalem, during the intermission, he sat down to piano and quietly began to try different progressions. as known , Andy wrote a very good book on jazz harmony (not for beginners).


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