Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Visual Real Book

Click here to go to the Visual Real Book 

These days there's many backing tracks and play-alongs on Youtube. Earlier I posted a few of my favourite channels for play-alongs with static sheet music here. But a few days ago I came across a more recent one called the Visual Real Book that displays the chord movement in real time. There's no notation for the melodies, only the chords are visible. Obviously the tracks are all created in PG music's Band-in-a-Box using the "RealTracks" (full recordings of real instruments, lasting from 1 to 8 bars at a time, playing in sync with the other MIDI tracks) and the screen is then captured in real time on video. The effect is pretty much like the iRealbook that I have on my iPad. Only the sound of the Visual Real book is way better. So if you want to practise in front of your laptop, this channel really comes in handy. It seems that there are about 160 free backing tracks for jazz musicians now and new ones are added regularly. They even have their own Facebook page on which they post their latest uploads.


  1. Thanks Dick for telling us about this. The last 2 years when I've gone to a gig I've seen several musicians using an Ipad with thousands of tune available being available to read. This is just for reading the charts. Some just have the changes but other times they have music. Is there an app for setting this up? I'm wanting to do this so I will never have to toke a fakebook or pocket changes book around. If you know the best way to do this or where I could go to find out how to do so, I would really appreciate it.

  2. You need an iPad and then install the iRealbook Byron.

  3. Hi Dick
    Thanks for your numerous posts. I wonder what is the difference (not a day made) between this Visual Real Book and Band In A Box. These two look very similar. Aren't they. Thanks again and keep on working for jazz and jazz guitar in particular.