Jazz songs books

Discussion in 'Jazz, Acoustic, Classical & Fingerstyle' started by greatusername, Nov 25, 2017.

  1. greatusername

    greatusername SS.org Regular

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    I was just wondering if any of you knew a great book of "must-know" jazz songs, but in standard notation ? I know it would be easier to find tabs, but I'd really like to work on my sight reading so anyone knows about a book of that sort?
     
  2. Lemonbaby

    Lemonbaby SS.org Regular

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    Ehrm... Real Book?
     
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  3. greatusername

    greatusername SS.org Regular

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    Not necessarily, I just don't know jazz that much and need guidance. I'm in the process of learning "A foggy day" (Joe pass version) and really love playing it and the challenge of reading it purely in standard notation. So in the end I'm really just asking for resources to learn more jazz songs in that said notation.
     
  4. erdiablo666

    erdiablo666 Do not go Djently

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    Real Book. It's what everyone uses.
     
  5. metallifan3091

    metallifan3091 SS.org Regular

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  6. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    How about checking any used bookstores in your area? I always pick up great jazz books (I now have more chord melody books than I can study haha) for cheap at Half Price books.
     
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  7. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    If you play guitar, make sure you get the "key of C" edition of the Real Book, not the Bb edition.

    But yeah, the Real Book is the book everyone uses in jazz for a reason. No jazz musician should ever be without one.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. noise in my mind

    noise in my mind SS.org Regular

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    ^^^^beat me to it
     
  9. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    I'm not sure if the Real Book is what the OP is looking for, though it was the first thing that came to mind when I read the thread title.

    The OP mentions leaning Joe Pass's version of "A foggy day", so he may be looking for note for note transcriptions of specific performers' arrangements rather than a general lead sheet approach.
     
  10. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    But that's where the entire idiom of "jazz" comes into play. When you learn jazz standards, you learn the chords and melody. Then, if yu're at a gig and the bandleader yells out "Play Red Top in G," then you know what to play, but not exactly, just sort of mostly, such that the end result sounds good, but is still spontaneous, etc... that's just kind of generally how jazz works.

    Learning jazz songs note for note is also possible, but I think most jazz musicians generally recommend against it, unless you are studying deeply into one specific player, like Django, or something, but then you need to knw specifically what to look for.
     
  11. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Yeah, grab that. It's awesome, it's sort of the common ground that allows jazz musicians to "talk" - you go to a jam with unfamiliar musicians, and everyone pulls one out.

    It's also great comping practice - the melody lines are notated in standard notation, the chord changes are written in in slash notation, so you can get as much out of the book playing melody lines as you can sitting down and looking for interesting ways to comp the accompanyment.

    Also worth a look if you want to practice reading standard notation in a different context - I've always had a soft spot for Bach's 2- and 3-Part Inventions, and that's easy to find a score for. I should actually pull that back out...
     
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  12. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    I don't disagree, but I'm not sure that is what greatusername is wanting to do. Joe Pass's version of "A Foggy Day" is a solo chord melody peice and greatusername also said:


    So it seems to me that he may be wanting to learn specific arrangements rather than create his own. Perhaps he can clarify his intent for us.
     
  13. greatusername

    greatusername SS.org Regular

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    My initial idea was, in fact, to learn specific arrangements note by note. I understand it's kind of against the spirit of what jazz is and would be open to suggestions as to great place to start learning what jazz really is. The reason behind my initial request was that, even thought I understand jazz is mostly a collective kind of thing, I do not have anyone to play with. I'll check out the real book (sorry for my misunderstanding haha didn't know) and thanks to everyone !
     
  14. mongey

    mongey SS.org Regular

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    I say get the real book app. Its really good. pun intended

    you can transpose, play it as a backing track to jam to and do all sorts of stuff
     
  15. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    I don't think learning others' arrangements is a bad way to start out, especially for solo chord melody type playing. Unfortunately, I don't know of any books to recommend to help with that.

    Then, once you've got a grasp of what you're doing, you can use The Real Book and similar books to provide the melody and chords to songs you want to develop your own arrangements for.
     
  16. JustMac

    JustMac ss not-so-regular

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    You absolutely can learn arrangements, in general I wholly recommend Joe Pass's material (he's done it all as far as the big Real Book standards go), BUT be aware of what's going on. For example, know what changes are going on first. You absolutely need to know the general form of a song to learn from it. For example, Joe played around a lot with moving inversions on the top 4 strings over a single chord, I didn't even know you could do that in music until I started analysing what was going on , I thought they were all different chords (I noticed how he seemed to be playing multiple chords over what looked like just a single chord on paper) .

    One thing you have to be a bit aware of though, is that Joe's solo (ie no other instrument) style was such that he occasionally defied the song's structure and melody to impose his own preferred "movements" in lieu of the other instruments (not substitutions per se, just diversions), for example his version of Night and Day on Virtuoso is very unlike the original to my ears, whereas his rendition on the For Django album is really quite faithful to the original. A lot of his solo stuff I wouldn't even recognise the song!





    I actually prefer ensemble-style Pass; his single note lines were phenomenal!


    I tried doing what you're doing a few years ago (learning Joe's stuff just in and of itself) but it was mostly useless because I had no idea what framework I was even operating in -- it is a lot more conducive to musical progress if you learn the basic chords underneath and then learn the arrangement. It'll help your knowledge of jazz language, note relationship, chord progressions and improvising too! If you already know how to read notation then the roman-numeral and moving tonality concept will be a doddle to you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017

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