Posts Tagged 'jazz'

How to Read a Fake Book

By Kevin Harper

History of Fake Books and Lead Sheets

Imagine this: you’re a famous jazz player; you’re busy on the road going from gig to gig. One day you come up with a great tune and want to write it down and orchestrate it for your ensemble, but orchestration takes a long time. So instead, you write down the melody and then write out the general chords and any potential rhythms. When you read it during the gig (for the first time no doubt!) you and your bandmates have a general outline of what needs to happen – everything else is improvised. Because improvisations are different everytime, writing down the “correct” way of playing any tune in the old days was impossible.

As jazz grew in popularity, everyone wanted to hear all the popular songs, but the problem was that many of these tunes were hard to find or unpublished. Eventually, lead sheets were circulated from band to band and that became the standard way of notating tunes.

The original fake book, known as The Real Book, contained illegally reproduced, copyrighted songs. It was meant to be used as a textbook of standard jazz tunes. The publishers wanted to pawn off the tunes in the book as “real” versions of the songs. However, legal battles ensued, so any other future books had to have a different name. Thus, the term fake book was born from The Real Book. It also has a double-meaning in that the performer is “faking” his way through the song because the arrangement is not the same as the original version.

Continue reading ‘How to Read a Fake Book’

10 Outstanding Resources for Jazz Musicians

By Zachariah Friesen

Teachers, students, professionals and dreamers, welcome to the jazz reference mecca. This is comprised of some of the great literary resources, DVDs and method books for the aspiring jazz musician. Learn the keys of success from people who have success in the profession. With these must-have resources, you’ll be jamming, gigging and living the jazz life in no time.

1. How To Listen To Jazz by Jerry Coker – To play jazz you must learn how to hear jazz. The great Jerry Coker beautifully explains how to train your ear and what to listen for in jazz music.

How To Listen To Jazz by Jerry Coker

How To Listen To Jazz by Jerry Coker

Continue reading ’10 Outstanding Resources for Jazz Musicians’

Holiday Gift Ideas

By Brendan Lai-Tong

Hi Sheet Music Plus Fans! We hope that your  2012 been full of great lessons, performances and musical accomplishments.  Now that the holiday season is finally upon us, this is the perfect time to start looking for music gifts for your students, friends, teachers and colleagues. Check out these great gift ideas below:

Gift ideas for classical musicians:

Did you know that Sheet Music Plus sells CDs? We have 8,000+ recordings under the Naxos label including  greats like Bach, Mozart, Debussy and more. Listening to recordings of great performances is an important part of growing as a musician, so why not add a few to your holiday shopping list!

Bach CDs

Bach CDs

Mozart CDs

Mozart CDs

Debussy CDs

Debussy CDs

For those who are looking to become full-fledged Continue reading ‘Holiday Gift Ideas’


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Thought-provoking articles by musicians for musicians, music lovers or those that want to learn more about it!

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