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Best cheat or songbook used for requests on the fly

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  • Best cheat or songbook used for requests on the fly

    Hello everyone-this is my first post-I'm a guitar player/singer formally in a 3-pc mostly rock band venturing out now as a solo act and I need lots and lots of advice if you could be so kind. First of all-what is a good songbook to rely on for requests on the fly? I've seen the ones with 1000-1200 songs in each book but which is the best one? Or any others out there? I'll be playing some country and mosty rock/pop standards? Whick book would cover most of the requests I may be receiveing?

  • #2
    The people I know who cater to requests these days either have excellent memories and forty years in the biz or they're using an iPad or equivalent hooked up to some service. Fake books, it seems, are 'way out of fashion.
    There is more than one way to do this. Notes Norton

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    • #3
      Pretty much as Pogo says. I have a huge selection downloaded from Ultimate guitar into Onsong on my iPad, I have been through them all a few times which is enough to "wing it" if called upon. Having it electronically means being able to call it up in seconds.
      Cheers Steve

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      • ScottyD
        ScottyD commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you for the advice-I've seen the Ultimate Guitar Ap and I'm sure it would be a lot easier on my Ipad vs a bulky songbook-thanks again!

    • #4
      Hi ScottyD, welcome to the forum. Although I've got a few fakebooks on my tablet, and have used jazz fakebooks in the past, I don't use them now. If I know a song well enough to fake it, I'll do just that, fake it for a couple of verses and a chorus or two. But that's me - they do work well for other people.

      One thing I would say is, doing a solo can be hard enough; don't try to be all things to all people. Just because someone requests something doesn't mean you have to play it, unless of course that's the nature of the gig. Sure if someone puts down a hundred bucks and says play Islands In The Stream (happened to me) then by all means, scroll through your tablet and see if you've got it. I think you'll find though that unless you can sight sing and read chords at the same time, fakebooks are really only good for getting you through a tune you basically know, and often don't have the melodies anyway. So they're more like prompt books.

      I know many people that use their tablets for prompts, and to keep those tunes they do once a year, handy. Some of them make their own library, others use what's commercially available.

      If you've got a certain direction, you might concentrate on getting the best material for that bag, and hope for the best. You could also learn lots of popular songs, and head the audience off at the past by substituting their requests for ones you do know - "sorry I don't know Forever In Blue Jeans, how about Sweet Caroline".

      .

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      • #5
        Originally posted by Shaster View Post
        If you've got a certain direction, you might concentrate on getting the best material for that bag, and hope for the best. You could also learn lots of popular songs, and head the audience off at the past by substituting their requests for ones you do know - "sorry I don't know Forever In Blue Jeans, how about Sweet Caroline".
        Yep.

        I use a book of my own creation for my gigs. My memory was never good and is *not* improving. By having the book I can play songs I otherwise couldn't. The book contains lyrics and chords but no melody. If I don't know the melody out of my head, then let's be honest, I don't know the song. The book works for me but I am thinking about a tablet -- easier to handle and a smaller opaque rectangle between me and my audience.

        As to requests, I've found that my audience is happy with what I choose. I play music from the 10s to 40s and market it as "jazz-age jazz." If someone asks for something i already know -- i.e. have practised to the point where I'm far deeper into the song than just mouthing the words -- I'll do it. Otherwise, or if it's outside my jazz-age jazz thing, I deflect: "sorry I don't know 'Cheek to Cheek', how about this other Irving Berlin song. Or I politely decline. I owe myself and my audience better than some low competence version of a song. If I like a requested song and think it would be a nice addition to my repertoire, I'll offer to learn it for next week if they'll be back.
        There is more than one way to do this. Notes Norton

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        • #6
          I don't do requests that I don't know. If I get multiple requests for a song, I figure maybe I should learn it. But if one person is requesting a song that no one else cares about why bother?
          BD

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          • daddymack
            daddymack commented
            Editing a comment
            because that one person will go out on the interwebz and say all sorts of bad things about you and ruin your career!
            I do a lot of side work ,and many of the guys I do that with use tablets and can [if they have internet access] pull up a quick and dirty chord chart in a matter of moments....me, just tell me the key and lets go...
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