The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #45054   Message #665770
Posted By: Mark Clark
09-Mar-02 - 12:23 PM
Thread Name: what do you want from a songbook
Subject: RE: what do you want from a songbook
Harvey, I'm not sure what costs you're trying to control when you say something is expensive. There are completely free PC-based tools that will do a first-rate, high-end, publishers-quality job on your songbook, including layout, typesetting, musical score, the whole works. The downside is that you have to learn to use these professional tools. If you intend to pay someone else to develop the book and prepare it for the printer, then lead sheets and tablature may indeed run the cost up.

When I buy a songbook, my choice depends entirely on my immediate purpose. I once bought Slim Richey's series of bluegrass songbooks that contained only lyrics and chord names. I wasn't looking for arrangements and I already knew how to accompany the material. On the other hand, if I'm buying a book to learn a Robert Johnson tune, I'd probably want a carefully transcribed interpretation of his arrangement including tablature. In a jazz fake book I want a lead sheet with names of the commonly preferred chords and the lyrics.

If I buy a book to aid in learning a particular performer's style, I don't want dumbed-down “made simple” arrangements of the performers material. If I just want to add someone's song to my repertoire, I'll most likely get a recording of the piece and adapt that to my own purpose.

So, who do you consider to be the audience for your songbook and how many sales may be lost by omitting particular features?

      - Mark