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(@easewlad)
Active Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 11
09/11/2009 10:41 am  

Hi,

Seen these mentioned in several threads. Can someone please explain what they are ?

Cheers,
:?


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(@musenfreund)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5134
09/11/2009 11:13 am  

They're collections of music but they give only the bare bones structure of a song -- the chords and key.

Well we all shine on--like the moon and the stars and the sun. -- John Lennon


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(@alangreen)
Member Moderator
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5365
09/11/2009 11:21 am  

And maybe the melody line too

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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(@minotaur)
Noble Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 1092
09/11/2009 12:51 pm  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fake_book

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


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(@whoelse)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 110
09/11/2009 1:36 pm  

I borrowed this from the Wikipedia definition (thanks Minotaur):
"Fake books are not intended for novices: the reader must follow and interpret the scant notation, and is expected to have thorough familiarity with chords and sheet music. However, fake books can be an avenue to playing songs quickly; a few chords and a one-note melody line can allow even an amateur to play a passable version of any song with relative ease."

I have a couple of fake books and use them even though I am a perpetual beginner. I like using them to play really simple, stripped down versions of songs. I skip past the ones that are beyond my skill level and still have lots of tunes to work on. They sound very bare, but recognizable, so it's fun to practice playing. Most have just the chords with no indication of the strum patterns and only the notes for the vocals. So it doesn't have the guitar lead lines, most of which are too advanced for me anyway, but playing the vocal part is simple and a fun way to practice. :D

They're usually not cheap (those darn copyright laws :( ) but you can get a lot of use out of them, so I think it's a good learning tool even for beginners.


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(@notes_norton)
Noble Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 1500
09/11/2009 3:33 pm  

Fake books generally have the melody line, chords, and lyrics. They are great for guitarists (and other musicians) who want to simply play the chords and either sing or play the melody. They are called fake books because the underlying arrangement is not notated (bass line, counter melody, etc.) so the musician has to "fake" the background parts himself/herself.

Self serving plug:

You can get the best price on dozens of fake books, from easy to hard, in many genres, right here:
http://www.nortonmusic.com/mom.html

Although they point to Amazon, I get a tiny percentage if you go here first, plus it is the only place I know of where so may titles are in the same place.

I hope I haven't offended anybody or broke the rules with this reply.

Notes

Bob "Notes" NortonOwner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmithThe Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


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 Ande
(@ande)
Honorable Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 659
09/11/2009 5:58 pm  

A list of books in one place is helpful, imo.

And I'd add- fakebooks are fun for anyone. Very commonly used in jazz improv. (I used to play sax)

BUT they're only good (to me, at least) for providing the bare bones you need to jam with, and work with, songs you already at least sort of know. Not so good for sight reading new songs, as there isn't enough info.

Best.
Justin


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(@noteboat)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 4931
09/11/2009 6:48 pm  

I'm going to disagree - I think fake books are excellent for sight reading... and cost effective, too.

The key to being good at sight reading is to practice it - and that means reading pieces at sight: taking a piece of music you've never seen before and playing it. To really practice sight reading, you need to play each piece just one time (if you play it again, even a few days later, you're no longer really sight reading). So you need a lot of music if you want to be able to sight read.

The fakebooks in my collection each have 200-1200 songs in them. At an average price of about $40, I figure I'm laying out about 15 cents per song. And I don't know many other ways to get enough material to really practice sight reading (20+ new pieces each week) at anywhere near the same cost.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 6355
10/11/2009 1:27 am  

two guitar players, a campfire and a Fake book is all you need sometimes.
I have a cowboy song fake book. great stuff. a friend has a rock fake book.
we were so used to lead sheets; as we called them; just lyrics with the chord we wrote above.
a fake book is better. it has simple notation; basically the melody line.
plus the lyrics, and the chord thingy * above the notation.

*chord thingy: refers to a youtube video. hilarious British comedy skit about famous musicians in court testifying about tabs . I lost the link. sorry

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


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(@notes_norton)
Noble Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 1500
10/11/2009 2:11 pm  

<...>I think fake books are excellent for sight reading... and cost effective, too.<...>

As many people here know, I play 7 different instruments. I started on drums, quickly switched to sax, and that has been my main instrument for my life so far. About 2 years ago, after causally doubling on guitar in bands (mostly barre chords) for years, I decided to get serious on guitar. So I got a Mel Bay book, another book on scales, and a few others.

I can sight-read music very well on the sax, flute and wind synthesizer, but I have to work at it on piano and never learned to read music on the bass.

Mel taught me how to read guitar music, and I use fake books to keep my skills up and improve them.

I can sight-read easy stuff, and need to "woodshed" the more difficult pieces. But the majority of songs in a pop/rock/country/blues fake book are easy enough to sight read. It's good practice, and by playing mostly familiar songs, it's a lot of fun.

Although I see the advantages of reading TAB, I prefer to simply read the music lines without TAB. Why? So I can read any piece of music put in front of me.

I played on a cruise ship many years ago, and the guy in the piano bar took a bunch of fake books on board with him. Once a night he would do a little thing he called "Learn That Song". He would open a fake book to a random page and play the first song he was unfamiliar with. The audience loved it.

For the novice to intermediate guitarist, he/she can open the fake book, strum along to the chords, and sing the melody.

Leilani and I do that every once in a while. We try to pick songs that have a few new chords, open the chord dictionary, find the best position for that song, and have a good time. It's a fun way to learn your way around the neck.

The uses of a fake book are many. It depends on your skill level and your imagination.

Insights and incites by Notes

Bob "Notes" NortonOwner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmithThe Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5497
12/11/2009 11:08 am  

Some fake books have TAB for the riffs that make the song when applicable. An example being the intro for "Carry On My Wayword Son".

I was all about the TAB books early. Give me a fake book now and I'll be mostly content. Gotta beware of cheapos, though. There are some out there that have canned strum and pick patterns and they show the pick and strum patter numbers at the beginning of the song. I guess from concept it isn't bad, but the one I have like that has incomplete songs. Phooie. :evil:

I also think they are a better chord/song sheet solution than the internet chord sheets that get repeated dozens of times no matter how far off they are. Regardless of which way you go, make sure you can view a sample page if purchashed online just to make sure it's in a format you can get along with.

I still do like act-centric TAB books just because they do have complete guitar tracks if you've purchased the right one. Ever so important sometimes when you need to figure out a little riff or something that connects a couple song sections together. They can be a bit off here and there too, so in the end it boils down to being a really good guide.

Roy"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@joehempel)
Noble Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 2419
17/11/2009 4:44 am  

I may have to get a fake book now, if only for the sight reading possibilities. I enjoy reading the classical stuff and learning that way, but to be able to do it with pop/country/rock that would be great!

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


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(@adrianjmartin)
Trusted Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 76
27/11/2009 12:06 pm  

Arrrghhh now I can't decide wether to get a White Tab Book or something like Ultimate Rock Fake Book :?:

the white tab preview on Amazon does look a bit complex to me....might save that for later...


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5497
27/11/2009 3:31 pm  

Arrrghhh now I can't decide wether to get a White Tab Book or something like Ultimate Rock Fake Book :?:

the white tab preview on Amazon does look a bit complex to me....might save that for later...
I think I saw the white book, volumes I-II-III in a set on Musician's Friend for either $60 or $69 recently.

As far as complex or not complex, if there's a book with just the chord names and another with chord names, patterns, multiple guitar parts and TAB for lead and rhythm guitars, you can still always use the book as if it had just the chord names. Later on you can take on the harder to do pieces as you see fit.

Roy"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@mahal)
Estimable Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 108
30/11/2009 3:45 am  

I'll be the heretic and say like many other things fake books have been overtaken by technology. Now if you are a piano bar player or cruise ship pro and need to be able to play music from many styles and genres yes you need a good fake book rather then say I don't know that sorry.

However as a beginner, well the chords of songs you want, if they are in a fake book well some free site already has a lyric/chord or tabs of the song. The advantage of the fakebook then becomes the lead line, the standard notation of the melody and unique instrumental breaks.


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