If you're looking for any of the Jazz Real Book PDF books, you've come to the right place!
We've compiled a list of all Real Books that are public domain and open property, so that anyone can enjoy it and find it very easily.
If you're looking for a very particular lead sheet or Jazz Real Book, feel free to use the search bar in our menu bar above and type in the name of the specific song you are looking for.
With that being said, did you know that some older Jazz Real Book PDFs (Version 5) are public domain, while some of the newest ones (Version 6) are not and are owned by publishing houses?
Unfortunately, we won't have access to the newer versions (Version 6) as those are copyrighted, however in the mean time, do enjoy the ones that we have available!
If you're looking for a specific lead sheet or jazz chart, use the search box in our menu bar and type in the name of the song's lead sheet you are looking for. We have indexed every standard individually as well. If you can't find the standard you are looking for, please be patient as we continue to index every jazz standard.
Or visit our Sheet Music Category here!
PS: If you're having a difficult time opening these files and are seeing an error code, please consult this guide.
List of Real Book PDFs
Below you can find all Jazz Real Book PDF files we have access to that are in the key of C. This key is for instruments such as guitar, bass guitar, piano, vocals and any other C instruments.
- Real Book - Volume 1 (Key of C) - Edition 5. (MOST COMMON)
- Real Book - Volume 2 (Key of C) - Edition 5.
- Real Book - Volume 3 (Key of C) - Edition 5.
Below you'll find all Real Books we have compiled that are in the key of Bb. The following instruments are Bb instruments: Soprano saxophone, Tenor saxophone, Trombone, Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Bass saxophone, bass trumpet, bass clarinet and more.
- Real Book - Volume 1 (Key of Bb) - Edition 5.
- Real Book - Volume 2 (Key of Bb) - Edition 5.
- Real Book - Volume 3 (Key of Bb) - Edition 5.
Next, you'll find all of the Real Books that are in the key of Eb.The following instruments are Eb instruments: Alto Saxophone, sopranino saxophone, soprano flute, alto trombone, and many more.
- Real Book - Volume 1 (Key of Eb) - Edition 5.
- Real Book - Volume 2 (Key of Eb) - Edition 5.
- Real Book - Volume 3 (Key of Eb) - Edition 5. (Unavailable)
Finally, you'll find all of the Real Books that are written for Bass or F instruments. (Such as Electric Bass Guitar and Upright Bass).
Additional Real Book PDF documents.
Below you'll find a list of additional Real Books. These fall under a different category as they are more stylistic aimed and added later on after the original Real Books were brought out.
- Real Blues Book
How To Use A Real Book PDF?
A Real Book PDF is a very very handy thing to have. When I was in college studying music, I dealt with Real Books on a daily basis. From small bands to big bands, to practicing improvising over changes to jam sessions.
At some point, my Real Book started falling a part, and the problem was that there are so many real books that I couldn't carry all of them. I most often only had one with me, and so whenever a song was called that I didn't know, or didn't have in my only Real book I was carrying with me, well that was a problem.
At some point, having a Jazz Real Book PDF on an iPad or iPhone became more and more popular.
What I'd like to explain here, is how to go about learning, memorizing and using the Real Book PDF books that we've shared here.
1. First you need to make sure that you are aware of some of the most important songs in the jazz world. If you take a look at one or more of the Real Book PDF books we've shared, you'll notice that each book has around 300 different lead sheets and songs.
There's just absolutely no way that you'll be able to memorize all of them, let along the chord progression or the melody independently.
So, the first step is to make that list!
Songs like Giant Steps, Tune-Up, Donna Lee, Someday My Prince Will Come, Starlight, Oleo and many many more are songs that are very often called in jam sessions. Obviously there are many many more.
This is also the main reason why we have decided to share individual lead sheets of individual Real Book PDF books. That way, you can compose and put together your own personal Real Book PDF instead of being dependent on having to flip through multiple PDFs and to keep on searching for when you've find the chart you're looking for.
By the time you've found your chart, the song most likely already has ended.
2. Next, you need to memorize the most famous jazz standards. To be quite honest, yes there a lot of jazz standards, but the ones that get played often and are very famous are not a lot in quantity.
My recommendation is that once you've compiled the list or used our list of many jazz standards that are played often, you simply memorize the melody and harmony.
Easier said then done, but it's unfortunately something I highly recommend.
As a professional musician, I've received many many many gigs over other people just because I knew songs by heart and wasn't depended on sheet music. I'm even talking about Top 40 songs and other R&B songs. It's a good feeling knowing that memorizing music can help you win the musical lottery in terms of musicianship.
3. If you don't know a song, pay attention, try to memorize the chord progression one cycle in and start to recognize chord progressions. This means that if you've memorized lots and have played lots of jazz standards, you'll know that II V I's are very often occurring chord progressions, along with Secondary Dominants. But once you've learned more about jazz you'll also know that a lot of harmony can be reharmonized.
If you're a bass player, you can absolutely wing it by using your ear and maybe visually following the guitar player or piano player. The thing that has helped me wing things a lot, is to really really pay attention when playing a song. You'd be surprised how often people in the audience and even players don't hear if you play a mistake.
Whenever you're on a small stage or in a jazz club, things happen. Music is loud, everyone is playing all kinds of voicing and extensions. You CAN get away with stuff.
However, a song will feel much better if you know what you're doing, and a pro will single you out if you're winging it, especially if you're sound is magnified like a piano player or vocalist.
However, if you can "wing it" for about 1 time through the head and then are aware of the chord progression by using your ear, then you're miles ahead of any competition in the music industry as a professional.
How To Become A Good Jazz Improviser And Player?
Above in the previous topic, we talked about everything we could be doing to be more in control of the song that we will be playing. This is crucial, because without knowing the melody by heart, and knowing the harmony by heart, there really isn't much else you can do.
It's absolutely crucial to know these things by heart before you go in and play the main theme, chords or a solo.
But, before you can really feel confident that you can steal the show and leave an enormous impression, you have to make sure that not only you have memorized your lead sheet or sheet music of whatever song it is you're preparing for, you have to make sure you know your instrument really well, and with that being said, I've made sure to write down an entire list of things you have to do and steps you have to take before you can become a really really great jazz musician.
Let's have a look.
1.Know Your Scales
The very first step you have to do, is to know all of your scales, in every single key.
Now, there are hundreds and hundreds of scales out there, but I'm going to be breaking down for you what scale you really really have to learn. And I will also be breaking down what it is you can be doing to change your sound as a player based on the scales that are available.
Let's have a look at what scales I recommend that you memorize!
THE MAJOR SCALE (Septatonic, hexatonic and pentatonic) in Jazz Real Book PDF.
The major scale is the most basic western music scale that exists. Therefor it is extremely important to know this scale in every single key like the back of your pocket.
Now, if you've noticed, I wrote the words septatonic, hexatonic and pentatonic behind there.
Well, in a way these are 3 different version of the Major scale, and I will give you exactly the example of what they look like and why they are important to know!
This scale is important, because it's the foundational 7 note scale. It is used in any music genre, from classical, to jazz to pop music. If we were to use the C major scale as an example, we would be playing the notes C D E F G A B.
This is one of my absolutely favorite scales, even more so than the pentatonic scale.
All what the hexatonic scale is, is it is a septatonic scale minus the 4th degree or 4th note.
So, if we take the notes of the C Major hexatonic scale, we get C D E G A B.
I love this sound, because it is a sound keith jarret and bill evans always make.
It's a hybrid between the pentatonic and the septatonic scale, and it works great because the 7th degree isn't as much as an avoid note as the 4th degree.
This classic major pentatonic scale is essentially a hexatonic scale, minus the 7th degree.
Essentially, if we were to be in the key of C major, we would have C D E G A as the major pentatonic scale.
Conclusion For The Major Scale
The hexatonic scale is the way to go for free solos without worrying too much, but it is really good to know all of them! So make sure you practice all of them!
It is also important to know that these 3 versions of the major scale also exist in the minor scale, however they do look a little bit differently, and we will have a look at that right now!
THE MINOR SCALE (septatonic, hexatonic and pentatonic). Related to the Jazz Real Book PDF.
Well, same as the major scale, the septatonic version is the most widely used version. It's the seven note scale that mathematically can be brought down to this: 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7.
If we were to be in the key of C minor, we would have the following notes be part of our C minor septatonic scale. C D Eb F G Ab Bb
The hexatonic version is essentially the septatonic version, without the 6th degree, or the 6th note, which in this case is the Ab note. Why the 6th note is taken out in the minor version while the 4th note is taken out in the major version, is because they essentially have the same version.
Let me explain. Every major scale has a relative minor. You can look at them as siblings and family members, which is why we call them relative. The relative minor to C major is not C minor, but A minor. So, if in the hexatonic major scale of C we take out the 4th note, which is F, we take out the 6th note in the minor hexatonic version, which is also the F note. A (1), B (2), C (3), D (4), E (5) and our F (6) which is the sixth note.
It's all about function.
The pentatonic scale follows the exact same principle of the major pentatonic scale. Essentially using the same notes as its relative major.
So, if we look at the C major pentatonic scale and see that the notes that are being used are the C D E G A notes, and we know that the relative minor scale of the C major scale is A minor, we then take the same exact notes, except we just start it from the A note, which then we get A C D E G, which equates to the mathematical formula of 1 b3 4 5 b7.
THE ALTERED SCALE (Use in the Jazz Real Book PDF list)
The altered scale is the holy grail of jazz.
You can play the altered chord only over primary, secondary or extended dominants.
Essentially, if we were to use G7 as an example, we could play the altered scale over the following dominant chord version that you could come across in music.
G7, G7(b9), G7(#9), G7 (#11) though I don't like the sound of the altered scale here and would rather use a dominant lydian scale over this chord, but theoretically it works, G7 (b13), G7 (b9, b13), G7 (#9, b13).
There are a few other combinations such as dominant chords with a #5 and regular 9s, however I would use another scale on that for the sound of things.
Now, it's important to know, that while jazz is happening, you can make choices that are different from your accompanies.
It would be really could if your piano player who accompanies you would play an altered chord (any of the ones mentioned above), but we could simply play the scale over it without the proper voicing underneath it, and it would still give some kind of cool effect.
When you do learn the altered scale, it is important to know that you can essentially make hundreds of different combinations that could end up in patterns. You don't have to use all notes, even though the altered scale doesn't have any avoid notes, officially.
In my opinion, the #11 is the avoid note, but we'll leave that up for debate.
Actually, try taking it out in your playin and see what it does! Use the Jazz Real Book PDF library that we've created here!
Having access to various Jazz Real Book PDF books can be a really really helpful thing. Use this site as you please and if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section down below.
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PS: If you're having a difficult time opening these files and are seeing an error code, please consult this guide.