Download (direct link):
J Chord Voicing Handbook, by Matt Harris and Jeff Jarvis (Kendor Music, Inc.)
. Complete Book of Modulations for the Pianist, by Gail Smith (Mel Bay)
. FastTrack Keyboard Chords & Scales, by Blake Neely (who?) and Gary Meisner (Hal Leonard)
Chapter 19: Ten Ways to Go Beyond This Book
J' Five Centuries of Keyboard Music (Dover)
J’ The Great Pianists, Harold C. Schonberg (Fireside/Simon & Schuster)
J' Musician’s Guide to the Internet, Gary Hustwit (Rockpress/Hal Leonard) j1 Pocket Music Dictionary (Hal Leonard)
Those of you who are on the World Wide Web (you know who you are) can buy music reference books online from Music Books Plus at
www. vaxxi ne . com/mbp or at Amazon Books at www. amazon . com. (I talk about additional Web resources later in this chapter.)
Buying Music to Ptay
You are learning to play the piano for one simple reason: to play music.
Okay, so maybe you’re learning for another reason: to impress your friends. After you achieve the first goal, the second naturally just happens.
Unless you’re playing strictly by ear, you’ll need some music to read. Enter the concept of printed music.
Types of printed music
Thanks to five centuries worth of composers, you have a wealth of printed music from which to choose. Generally, you find it in three packages:
Sheet music: Single songs printed on 2 to 12 pages, folded or stapled together.
J1 Folios: Collections of various songs, packaged together for a specific marketing reason.
J1 Classical: Most classical pieces are very long and require an entire little book to hold one piece.
For example, you can buy the sheet music to the song “Footloose,” or you can buy a folio called “Movie Hits from the ’80s,” which contains “Footloose” as well as 50 others.
Buying folios is a great value. Sheet music sells for around $4.95 for one song, whereas a folio sells for around $16.95 and may have 50 to 100 songs. However, chances are that if it’s a really new song, it will only be available as sheet music. It’s your choice: Buy now, or wait, or both.
290 Part VII: The Part of Tens _____________________________________________________________
Printed music, whether sheets or folios, comes in many different formats. The different formats, called arrangements, allow the publisher to release the song in several levels of skill and for various keyboard instruments. It’s the same song, but the publisher has arranged the notes and chords to suit your needs.
Using the “Footloose” example, you may want to play a very easy version of the song on an electronic organ, or you may want to play an advanced piano solo version on a grand piano. Both formats are probably available. And, of course, you can probably find every other level in between.
After you master a song, it’s fun to try playing other arrangements of the same song. (I once learned to play 18 different versions of “Yankee Doodle,” ranging from plain vanilla to rock ’n’ roll. Thank goodness it was just a phase.) Your local sheet music dealer can help you find just the arrangement and style you want.
A fake book is actually a real book. This is the music industry term for a printed music book, or folio, that gives you only the melody line, lyrics, and chords of a song. Compared to a piece of sheet music that has both hands written out and fully harmonized, the fake book acts as merely a road map of the song, allowing you to play the melody, sing the lyrics, and create your own left-hand accompaniment with the chords that are shown. (Chapter 14 gives you some great left-hand accompaniment ideas.)
Working pianists love fake books. They can take a request, flip to the song (usually printed in its entirety on one single page), and improvise the rest of the song. If they are accompanying a singer, even better. A fake book’s streamlined form makes it easy to transpose (or change keys) a song on the spot to accommodate the singer’s range. And that’s why you put the little tip jar on your piano!
Some of my favorite fake books — based on content, usability, and price — are the following:
J' The Classical Fake Book, over 600 themes and melodies (Hal Leonard)
•K Fake Book of the World’s Favorite Songs (Hal Leonard)
-K Keyboard Player Omnibus Edition (Music Sales)
J1 The New Real Book Vol. 1-3 (Sher Music Company)
* The Real Ultimate Fake Book, over 1200 songs (Hal Leonard)
____________________Chapter 19: Ten Ways to Go Beyond This Book
Where to buy printed music
Printed music isn’t as easy to find as CDs, tapes, or chewing gum, but there are several companies and several stores that specialize in it. More and more often these days, large bookstores and mass-market stores like K-mart and Target are beginning to stock sheet music. I guess it shows how many people are playing instruments. And that’s a great thing.
You can also find printed music at a local music store that carries instruments. If all else fails, look in your local phone book under “Music - Sheet” or “Music - Instrument Retail.”