Re: Fake Books

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Posted by Wade on April 10, 2002 at 11:25:17:

In Reply to: Fake Books posted by Jon Brady on April 10, 2002 at 08:06:50:

Buy the original Real Book. Since it is VERY illegal, finding a "salesman" can be hard (depending on your location). As stated by Tom Mason in an earlier post, it is always an interesting process to locate this book and make the purchase. Sometimes it is no big deal, but others can be a bit surreal. Ask a local pro Jazzer where to go to get it.

Buy the Bass Clef version if you play euphonium or trombone. But if you play tuba, I would strongly advise that you buy the C Treble Clef edition. The Bass Clef edition is for bass and trombone and is all way above the staff. Since the "genuine" Real Book is all in hand-written manuscript, the many and constant ledger lines look really cramped. This can be hard to read from on a lot of the tunes. All three of the Treble Clef editions (Bb, Eb, and C) look neat and clean. Learn to read treble clef and life will be good.

Tip - if you currently play BBb tuba, but plan to switch to CC in the future, get the Bb book (for trumpet and tenor sax). If you learn to read Bb treble clef on BBb tuba, when you make the switch to CC you will be able to play from the C book with the same fingerings and still be in the correct keys. (A "C" in the Bb book on a BBb tuba would be open, and a "C" in the C book on a C tuba would also be open. It makes things less difficult if you only need to learn the one set of fingerings.) While this makes everything easier, it will, of course, entail the purchase of a second book at some point.

The genuine Real Book is quite a fine example of MAJOR copyright infringement! But it is BY FAR the best and most accurate fake book ever printed. (NO misprints!) As I said before, the authentic one is all hand written. Any "Real Book" that is type-set is phony. These imposters claim to be new, legal editions. From what I have been led to believe, these are by different people and are not as good. If this not the case, I am sure that someone on this BBS will causticly "correct" me.

I have purchased the C Treble Clef version three times in three different States. Each time it came out of the trunk of some guy's car in some parking lot. These salesmen take a risk selling this thing, so be cool about it when you set up the transaction. Don't say stuff like "Dude, why all of the cloak and dagger?" or "Hey, I heard that this book isn't legal. Why is that?" Just give him his CASH (don't ask him to make change) and go away.

Tom Mason is quite correct - never lend it out. That would be akin to giving it away. Hence my having to go through the silly purchasing routine three times.

Have fun and GOD LUCK!

Wade Rackley

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