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How To Use Charts
Welcome to MyRealBook.com !
MyRealBook.com is a new site that offers you, jazz musicians, more than one thousand free jazz charts. Find below an example of Love For Sale, a well known tune by Cole Porter. You will be able to select tunes, transpose them in any tonality, build tune lists and get them in PDF format with additional transposition for B flat and E flat instruments, and much more...
This site is actually in beta version, and some of its great features are not yet publicly available.
What can I get on this site?
At this time, you can:
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Search a tune by its title or any part of its title. Select a transposition for a specific instrument (C, Bb or Eb) Display the corresponding chart in PDF format Print the chart Save the chart to your local computer disk for future use Send the chart by mail to any mail address. New: Display all paper real books containing a given tune.
How much does it cost ?
Nothing. This site is free for you to use. It is paid for by the ads displayed on each page
Do I have to register to use this site ?
No, you do not even need to register to get charts. You can do so in a totally anonymous way. However, some future functions may need you to register and create a personal account (see "Roadmap below").
Will this site remain free ?
Basic use (such as selecting a tune and getting the corresponding chart) will remain free. We hope to add many other functions (see "Roadmap below") while continuing to provide free access, paid for by the ads. If however this model proves not to be viable, we might offer some advanced functionalities for a small annual fee. This will depend upon this site popularity. So, help us help you: make all you friends use this site. The more users, the more chances there are for this site to remain free.
We hope to introduce the following functions in the near future:
Transpose charts to any key (helpful for singers!) Group charts into personal real books (for example for a specific gig) with ability to record meta data (gig date and location, emails of other musicians, personal notes...) Create C, Bb and Eb version of each book. Send each version of each book to specific email addresses. Many other functions...
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Help us make this site better
Do not hesitate to contact us to report any problem or to request new features. We clearly want to hear from you!
Why are melodies not available?
This site would of course be much more useful if the charts would include the melodies. However, this would infringe copyright laws. You will not find melodies here.
Who are we ?
We are musicians, like you. We are developing this site mostly because we need it. We hope it will also be useful to you. Note that English is not our primary language. So, if you are English native speakers and want to help us make this site better by improving the text, do not hesitate to contact us!
How to read charts
If you are using this site, you are supposed to know how to use charts. The following will simply explain the specificities of our charts. For informations of how to read charts, you may refer to one of the many site dedicated to this subject. For example:
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Jazz scale Chord notation Jazz chord Interval (music) Major scale Minor scale
myrealbook charts specificities
In music, and specially in Jazz music, there are many ways to represent things. Here are some guidelines to use our charts.
Charts are optimized for easy reading. This means that the form of the tunes is emphasized as much as possible. Parts are labeled with letters. For example, and AABA tune will be displayed with four parts if it can fit on a single page. If not, a repeat sign will be used for the first two A parts. We try to avoid D.C. when possible. We use 4/4 for time indication for tunes that may be played as 4/4 or 2/2. This applies, in particular to Latin tunes. For swing tunes, it's up to the musician to choose to play in 2 or in 4.
Style and tempo
We do not indicate the tempo, but we give and indication of style, as follows:
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Afro: 12/8, 6/4 or ternary 4/4. Tempo around 100-120 quarter notes by minute. Ballad: mostly ternary. Tempo around 60 quarter notes by minute. Bossa Nova: Binary. Tempo between 40 and 80 half notes by minute. Even Eights: Binary. No specific tempo indication. Funk: Binary. No specific tempo indication, but generally medium to up tempo. Latin: Binary. No specific tempo indication. Shuffle: Ternary. Tempo between 80 and 180 quarter notes by minute. Slow swing: Ternary. 40 to 80 quarter notes by minute. Medium Swing: Ternary. 80 to 140 quarter notes by minute. Medium Up Swing: Ternary. 140 to 180 quarter notes by minute. Up Tempo Swing: Ternary. 180 to 240 quarter notes by minute. Pop Rock: Binary. No specific tempo. Waltz: 3/4 measures with no tempo indication. This style is ternary because it is in reality composed of one dotted half note by measure, which can be divided into three quarter notes.
It is important to note that these are only indications. Most tunes can be played in most styles. Trying new styles with old tunes may lead to interesting surprises (or complete disasters).
Chord symbols determine the scale in use at each point of a tune. There can be as many chords in a measure as there are beats (this is a limitation of myrealbook charts). Chords are use for their function in the tune, and to indicate what scale can be played when improvising. Not to indicate exactly what notes are used in the chords. This means that the following are equivalent:
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C C^ C^7 C^9
They all mean a Major seventh C chord. This chord is composed of the following notes: C E G B D, with the possible addition of A (the thirteenth, or sixth), but no F since this note must not be played in a Major chord.
This chord corresponds to the C scale: C D E F G A B C (again, note that the F must be avoided as much as possible). This is what is called the "Ionian"" mode. C6 means the same scale, and is just an indication that the seventh is to be replaced by the sixth. Any one of these chords with an added #11 (C#11, C^#11, C^7#11...) means the "Lydian" mode, which in C corresponds to the following scale: C D E F# G A B C. This is the same scale (i.e. is has the same ordering of tones and semitones) as the C scale starting from the F note (F G A B C D E F) C7 or C9 means the fifth degree scale (Mixolydian mode), equivalent to the C scale starting from G: (G A B C D E F G). In the key of C, this scale is C D E F G A Bb C. The fifth degree chord is called the "dominant" chord. The fifth degree may have many alterations: C7b5, C7#5, C7b13... Note that the # or the b (flat) applies to the following symbol and not the preceding one when used with a degree, unlike when used with notes (compare #5 to G#). If all scale degrees are altered, the chord may be noted Calt or C7alt, which corresponds to the scale built on the seventh degree of the Ascending Melodic Minor scale. In C, this scale is C D Eb F G A B C. Thus the scale built on the seventh degree is B C D Eb F G A B. Transposed to C, this give the following scale: C Db Eb Fb Gg Ab Bb C, but this scale is generally written C Db D# E Gg G# Bb C, i.e. a C7 scale with both augmented an diminish second, and both augmented and diminish fifth. and no sixth (or a minor sixth, which is the same note as the augmented fifth). D- or D-7 means either the second degree (Dorian mode), or the sixth degree (Aeolian mode). It's up to the musician to determine what scale to play (Dorian or Aeolian) based on the related chords. For example, in the following sequence: C^ A-7 D-7 G7, it is obvious than A-7 is the sixth degree (Aeolian scale) and D-7 is the Dorian scale. (The difference between the two is the major sixth in Dorian mode and minor sixth in Aeolian mode). C-7b5 is the same as Cø or Cø7 and means the Locrian mode, i.e. the scale built on the seventh degree of the C Ionian scale: B C D E F G A B. Transposed to C, this gives C Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C. This scale is most often used for the second degree of a minor key (here Bb minor), although generally not built with the same notes, since a first degree minor scale have a major sixth and often a major seventh. Speaking of the minor first degree, the corresponding chord is noted C-^7 (here in the key of C). We may also encounter is the "suspended", or "sus" chord. This chord represents the same scale as the 7th chord, but the third is replaced with the fourth. This chord may be written Csus of Csus4. It plays both the roles of the second and fifth degree in one chord, although it very often resolves to (meaning "is followed by") the fifth degree (dominant) chord. The + chord, for example C+, sometimes noted C+5 or C#5, corresponds to the whole tone scale: C D E F# G# A# C. This scale has only six degrees. There exist only two of this scales. One starting with C and the other with C#. All other whole tone scale have the same notes (although not in the same order) as one of these two. Last, the diminish chord, noted "o" or "o7" (for example Co or Co7) corresponds to two symetric diminish scales: The half tone/whole tone (or half/whole) and the whole tone/half tone (or whole/half) scale. Like the whole tone scale, these scales do not correspond to a mode. Unlike the whole tone scale, they have eight notes and there exist three of each. The half/whole C scale is C C# D# E F# G A Bb C and the whole/half C scale is C D Eb F Gb Ab A B C. Some of the scale above may be replaced with other scales when improvising (for example the blues scale or the pentatonic scale). Refer to one of the many books published on the subject or to one of the many related sites for more information.
Usually, the lower note of a chord is the root. However, it may happen that another note is to be played as the lower note. If you are a bass player, or a piano player playing without a bass, this indication is very important. Such chords are noted with a slash and the indication of the bass note. For example, C7/Bb means a C7 chord with a Bb (the 7th) as the lower note.
A trick for non jazz guitar player
If you are a non jazz guitar player, you may not be familiar with five notes chords that jazz player use to play. You may even not use four notes chords except for the 5th degree. For example, for a tune in C, you will probably use the following chords: C, F, D- A- G7. In jazz tunes, you may rather encounter C^7, F^7#11, D-7, A-7 and G7 and all these chords should be played with the 9th. If you are playing with a bass, you do not need to play the root of each chord. So you may use diatonic substitution and replace 1 3 5 7 9 with 3 5 7 9. This means that instead of playing C^7, you may play E-, or better E-7. As the bass plays the C, this give the complete C^7 five notes chord (including the ninth). To play C^7 A-7 D-7, you can just play E-, C, F, which, with the bass, produces perfect four note chords.