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#159695 - 05/24/07 07:22 AM When playing from Fake Books, do you...
Taike Offline
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Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 2674
Loc: Taiwan-Laos-China
When playing from Fake Books, do you play songs straight from the book, as they're written, or do you arrange them, give them your personal stamp?

Since my background is organ I usually played from books showing three staves (RH, LD, PD) and very lush arrangements, e.g. Bill Irwin's Concert Series) but always tried to put on own personal stamp.

When playing the keyboard I usually play from fake books or sheet music and that definitely calls out for arrangements, IMHO. Who else arranges his/her own music and who just plays it the way it's been written? I'd love to hear especially from those that play gigs. Remember, I'm not talking about vocals, you throwing in some tra-la-las and yodels, but the music itself, chords, bass, melody and all the little extras that give a song that certain "it" of yourself.

Taike
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#159696 - 05/24/07 03:06 PM Re: When playing from Fake Books, do you...
hellboy44 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/04/03
Posts: 541
Loc: Australia
I learned keyboard from a Fake Book (!)

I guess I'm a vocalist first and instrumentalist second.

The answer to your question from my end is interesting:

I try to recreate the sound of the original popular recording as much as possible (many audiences want this) - believe it or not, it's a skill in itself to recreate live the recording.

Where we put our own stamp on it IS in the vocals, i.e. doing great "live vocal" versions of the song and even changing lyrics humourously...........occasionally!

I've also found the younger the audience, the more they demand an EXACT reproduction of the original hit.

This way of working is probably a lot different to most of you, and the more accomplished musicians amongst you would probably find our gigs a little boring musically...oh well.
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#159697 - 05/25/07 06:20 AM Re: When playing from Fake Books, do you...
cassp Offline
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Registered: 03/21/03
Posts: 3714
Loc: Motown
It's a FAKEbook - duh! Most of the music in my fakebooks (bibles)are lead sheets and require some imagination in dealing with chord structures. When I used to play exclusively on the organ and made my own arrangements. I'm not a great reader anyway, but most of the sheet music I have is for piano-vocal and those left hand parts are not anything I want to play.
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#159698 - 05/25/07 05:47 PM Re: When playing from Fake Books, do you...
Taike Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 2674
Loc: Taiwan-Laos-China
Quote:
Originally posted by cassp:
It's a FAKEbook - duh! Most of the music in my fakebooks (bibles)are lead sheets and require some imagination in dealing with chord structures. When I used to play exclusively on the organ and made my own arrangements. I'm not a great reader anyway, but most of the sheet music I have is for piano-vocal and those left hand parts are not anything I want to play.


I get your point, Cassp, but you won't believe how many players play exactly what's written. Since most keyboard players just hold down the left hand there won't be much going on there. And what about the right hand? Play exactly what's written or make it your own?

Taike
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We STILL live in a time where 90% of people decide what the truth is according to their feelings. Those are the ones who don't bother with the inconvenience of having personal supported explanations for their claims.

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#159699 - 05/25/07 08:36 PM Re: When playing from Fake Books, do you...
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
Don't recall ever seeing any registration suggestions in a fake-book....

You call up ANY sound, you are doing more than the book says...!

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#159700 - 05/26/07 03:41 AM Re: When playing from Fake Books, do you...
cgiles Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 6059
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
I'm still using the same old fake book from 30 years ago (maybe more). A good portion of it is hand-transcribed and a good portion of it is totally inaccurate (as though some musician wrote down what he THOUGHT the chords should be) but there isn't much in it to "read" but the chords and the lead. I've only ever used it for standards (mostly jazz standards) as you can figure out the changes to most "modern" music in about 30 seconds.

As far as putting a "stamp" on what I play, definitely. Everything I play sounds like a minor blues full of Horace Silver riffs and occasional sprinkles of tasteful Hank Jones stuff; most often (these days) played over a semi-funky jazz fusion arrangement. I do play things differently, though, depending on whether I'm playing piano or organ. All my organ stuff is straight out of the Jimmy Smith(RH)/Groove Holmes(bass) handbook. I'm sure everyone steals from their major influences. I sure do. BTW, I do also love that "balls to the wall" rock organ style (think early Santana, have forgotton the organ players name - old age).

chas
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#159701 - 05/26/07 03:41 AM Re: When playing from Fake Books, do you...
Taike Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 2674
Loc: Taiwan-Laos-China
Quote:
Originally posted by Diki:
Don't recall ever seeing any registration suggestions in a fake-book....

You call up ANY sound, you are doing more than the book says...!


There sure are, Diki. Hal Leonard has a huge selection of them. Although EZ-Play they're still fake-books.
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We STILL live in a time where 90% of people decide what the truth is according to their feelings. Those are the ones who don't bother with the inconvenience of having personal supported explanations for their claims.

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#159702 - 05/26/07 04:46 AM Re: When playing from Fake Books, do you...
bruno123 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 4328
Loc: West Palm Beach, FL 33417
Taike,
If I understand your post, you are asking about the notes and chords that are written in a fake book. Do I change or add to the melody, and do I change or add to the chords that are written.

I have a background in improvisation and re-harmonizing, so when reading from a fake book I take each chord and reduce it to its simplest form. G13 to G7 Am11 to Am. From there I recreate based on what I have learned.

EX. G7 chord for three measures going to a C chord.
G7 COriginal
1- Dm7 G9 CMaj7
2- Dm7 G7-9 C6
3- Dm7 Db7 C6/9
The song can be made to flavor any type of music. I remember being given an assignment of re-harmonizing Twinkle Twinkle Little star the song became an involved Jazz creation.

Melody
In the melody there are important notes and notes that add to those important notes these notes are leading to or away from the important ones, I keep the important, and if it feels right add what I am feeling. When I am done it is John, not the best in the world, and it has my flavor. The same song is not always played the same.

IMHO, John C.

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#159703 - 05/26/07 05:21 AM Re: When playing from Fake Books, do you...
Taike Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 2674
Loc: Taiwan-Laos-China
Thanks, John C and Chas. That's what I meant.

Taking a song and making it your own by the way YOU play it. Not because of the voicing (registrations) but what you add (or obmit): intros, endings, fill-ins, riffs, etc. That's how you make a song your own.

Of course, registrations also play an important role but playing the same notes with a different voice isn't making a song your own.

Playing a song in a different style is also making it your own as long as you adapt the song to the style.

IMHO

Taike
_________________________
We STILL live in a time where 90% of people decide what the truth is according to their feelings. Those are the ones who don't bother with the inconvenience of having personal supported explanations for their claims.

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#159704 - 05/26/07 09:22 AM Re: When playing from Fake Books, do you...
cassp Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/21/03
Posts: 3714
Loc: Motown
Quote:
Originally posted by Taike:
I get your point, Cassp, but you won't believe how many players play exactly what's written. Since most keyboard players just hold down the left hand there won't be much going on there. And what about the right hand? Play exactly what's written or make it your own?

Taike


Thanks for taking my DUH! comment for what it was; just fun. I always try to start with the written chord and will look at the left hand notation (if there is any) for my cues. I integrate a lot of walking bass and accompaniment on the left hand. I also try to put some rhythm in there too; very few held chords. For the right hand I play melody and chords; very few single notes most of the time. Since I also play in church, I've gotten pretty good at playing the melody with a chord on the right while playing counter melody/chords and walking bass with the left (of course I play pedals too). Hope this is a better answer to the actual question posted.

[This message has been edited by cassp (edited 05-26-2007).]
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