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  1. #1

    Default Real Books: transposition help?

    So I am contemplating ordering the "Real Book" from Hal Leonard in the Eflat edition.
    The problem is, we're starting a combo, and my friend plays the trumpet. If he bought the Bflat version, would it be equivalent, or is the Bflat version just everythign written for Bflat instruments.
    Don't get me wrong, I know how to transpose the sheets, I have to sight transpose and play 1st trumpet parts in school band anyways (the trumpets are BAD)
    I'm just not sure how the real books work
    is it like this?
    Real book for Eflat instruments:
    First chord for Eflat instruments: Gmaj
    Accompanying chords written in : Bflat maj

    Sorry if I seem like I'm rambling, i'm trying to post on my iphone on the bus

  2. #2
    Forum Contributor 2010-2015 patmiller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Real Books: transposition help?

    That's the way it works. Each book has the same thing, melody and chords, but transposed. So if you all start playing a tune you will be playing unison (or octaves, depending).
    Pleasing everyone is impossible; pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

  3. #3


    Hey Trombonist,
    I think you are understanding how they work. The Eb and Bb books are made for transposing instruments, so they can simply look at the book and play without having to change the notes.
    So the books are as follows:

    Original Real Book: Flute, Trombone, Piano, Guitar, Bass, and all C instruments

    Eb: Alto or Bari Sax

    Bb: Soprano or Tenor Sax, Trumpet

    Hope that helps!
    UNT Jazz Grad Student/Freelance Saxophonist - DFW Private Lesson Instructor
    Selmer Series II alto / Morgan Jazz 7M - Java 3
    Yamaha 82Z tenor / Vandoren Java T55 - Java 3 / Guardala MB II - Java 3

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Real Books: transposition help?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Trombonist View Post
    Accompanying chords written in : Bflat maj:
    . . . and just to be crystal clear, the chords on your music are in your key, not in concert key. (I've seen some transcriptions, as well as older "sing-along" books like this).
    You can't blow it if you haven't lived it.

    TK Melody UL soprano
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    Julius Keilwerth SX90R tenor

  5. #5
    Souportwenty's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

    Default Re: Real Books: transposition help?

    I think there are two things you could consider. First, it is often easier to transpose a "concert pitch chart" for a Bb instrument(tpt, tenor, soprano sax). They just read everything up a whole tone (Bb=C, C=D, D=e...etc.). Then you have a concert pitch (what it really is) book for bass, guitar and piano. You also buy an Eb book and you pretty much have it covered. The second thing is that an alto sax player can also read the melody lines from a bass book. Just change the key signature and read their bass clef as if it is a treble staff. If this just adds confusion, just follow your original idea and buy the Bb and Eb books. That way the piano, bass and guitar can transpose.
    Tenor: Saxart Creative Tenor Silverplate, Warburton LA 7*, ED Rovner lig.
    Alto: Selmer Mk VI, Barone Vintage, ED Rovner lig
    Soprano: Jupiter 947, Bari HR, ED Rovner lig

  6. #6

    Default Re: Real Books: transposition help? age 12 my teacher recommended the C real book...

    first of all you should LEARN the songs you play,so its more of a reference after a while
    second of all ,you need to give a copy to the rythm section,so that you have a band....and those guys dont like to transpose......or want you to kiss there @$$ that they are playing with you.....

    buy a C book
    SML Revision D Tenor Otto Link Slant Sig 7* Brillhart HR Sakshama Lost Wax Guardala MBII in sterling silver Theo Wanne Wood Ambika 7* Strathon 7* Stan Getz Legend 7*
    R&C curvy soprano Wanne Gaia 8 soprano mouthpiece

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