Fake / Cheat books ?

Posted In: Coffee Break

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    Alison on #252836

    Hi Guys and Gals,
    Would what I call a ‘Fake’ book in my British English be known as a ‘Cheat’ book in US English ? My pupil saw a video and he’s telling me about cheat books.. You probably know that I am asking about the books with only the melody and lyrics of popular song (usually with the guitar chords) ? Thanks Alison

    harpist123 on #252837

    Fake? Cheat? In my opinion, neither word fits (though we are stuck with them)! Because whatever the musician plays when using the chord progressions indicated is far from cheating OR faking! It is all music! I have always preferred the term “lead sheet”. When playing from these books the musician has to have quite a stash of improvisation techniques available to him or her, and that is far from fake, “in my book” 🙂

    Sylvia on #252845

    Fake books.
    I have several. I use a free left hand.
    This shows the Ultimate, which is very good.

    charles-nix on #252846

    Always have only heard of fake books in US, never a cheat book. There is nothing fake about it, though. When you think about it, they are a harmonic description, very similar in content to a figured bass. No one would ever think of realizing a baroque continuo part as faking.

    balfour-knight on #252859

    I agree, friends! I first heard of “Fake Books” when I was 15 and playing piano in restaurants with Bass and Drums. Our Trio played all the current pop songs and used that lead sheet format so we could all be on the “same page” and would not have to memorize so many tunes. I knew about 300 of the songs from memory, but using the Fake Books, I could play more than 1000. You do have to develop your improvisational skills, and it can be quite challenging, I must say. But it was a great way to pay my way through college without having to wash dishes, ha, ha!


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