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Gypsy Fakebooks?

chip3174chip3174 New
edited May 2007 in Repertoire Posts: 135
Hello all,

I'm new to the style but I have been playing bop/swing based jazz for about 13 years. Is there a collection of gypsy tunes that are in the fakebook format as in the Real Books? So far I have only been able to find a handful of gypsy tunes.

Any advice is appreciated.

Wonderful site and wonderful forum!


  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,378
    Try "The Gig book"
    It's pretty good, the only things I don't like are that for the melody there's only tab, there's a lot of ii-V's in place of just the V and there are some minor mistakes here and there.
    Still there's like 80 tunes in there! Chances are you'll find the ones you need. The chord charts work and you can figure out the melodies from the records.
    For songs that Django wrote try "The Ultimate Django book"
  • chip3174chip3174 New
    Posts: 135
    Hey much thanks, I'll check those books out. Are they available on Amazon, or maybe this site? I'll take a look now.

  • Posts: 597
    The GIG book is currently out of print.

    The Complete Django

    Is that book done in a fakebook style? I see it has tab, but are the tunes printed on one or two pages for easy reading during gigs--or do they take up several pages?

    Are there any books (beyond the Gig Book) like chip asked about? I'd love to find something in a standard notation fakebook format.
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,820
    The Complete Django is more or less in a real book format. Some of the more complicated tunes require page turns. But in general it's pretty easy to read on the gig. Of the larger collections, it's by far the most authentic in terms of chords and fingerings.

    Other then the gig book, and the Cosimini books (which are chords only and going out of print), there really isn't anything else with lots of tunes, except for the Mike Peter's Django Anthology. But that is standard notation only and is fairly inaccurate.
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,058
    i have a friend who made a gypsyjazz fakebook, handwritten .. it looks EXACTLY like your standard realbook... really awesome job... too bad he doesnt' want to share it with anyone :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

    i understand why of course, he doesn't want people using his work without giving him credit for the hours he spent on it... maybe he could get it published somehow though...
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,820
    I would have done one a long time ago...but the rights for Django's tunes are all tightly controlled in the US. There's almost no way you could do it legally.
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,058
    that's too bad , cuz he's got a whole bunch of tunes, not just django compositions, but every song that's regularly played in the style is in the fakebook in the Gypsy Jazz keys ..

    you met him Michael, he was at django in june last year with his wife and daughter, we had dinner that one time haha

    this year a whole bunch of my students will be going too
  • chip3174chip3174 New
    Posts: 135
    It seems like there would be a way to make a legal fakebook for django's tunes, just like they did with the 6th edition of the Real Book...who controls the rights to the Django tunes, his estate? Maybe if enough of us expressed interest in the subject we could write to someone, maybe get a "Real Gypsy Book" in a few years.

    It seems like this might be the biggest hurdle for a lot of beginner Gypsy players like myself to get over. There are only a few actual Django tunes and the other ones that he played a lot (Limehouse Blues, After You've Gone, etc.) are in keys that work best on horns. Not that I'm lazy, but on a gig I would rather not have to transpose on sight....

    Anyways I'm glad that there has been some interest sparked here.

  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,820
    Hal Leonard controls the rights....and believe me, they don't really care to share them. It took years of wrangling and deal making just to get them to let me publish the few tunes you see in my books.

    They're really not interested in producing their own stuff for the Django market because it's so tiny and unprofitable. Why bother with Django when they can make millions producing Eddie Van Halen and Nirvana books?
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