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It's Real

It's Real
By Gary Woods

When I started out in the music there were a ton of songs we were expected to know. This was a problem because I didn’t know a lot of them and hadn’t even heard of even more of what I was expected to play. To get over this little hurdle I had what was called a Fake Book and was usually sold out of a guy’s trunk in the middle of the night because the royalties hadn’t been paid on the music.

The one name of a Fake Book I clearly remember was The Real Book so naturally these days that Fake Book has migrated to the computer and can be found in the App Store for both Mac and iOS devices as well as a version for the Droids. The apps is called iReal Pro in homage to The Real Book and sells for $20 from Technimo.

The software offers 36 song styles including 15 jazz, 9 Latin and 12 pop with the accompaniment determined by the style of music. For example Jazz selections have keyboard, bass and drums and pop music also includes guitar. Instrumentally the program is pretty limited using the Mac’s built-in software instrument sounds and unfortunately you can’t choose better sounds from a third party provider.

The onscreen display has all the music on the left side with chord charts residing on the right. iReal Pro also includes 50 exercise charts that you can use to hone your skills and it also has an editor with which you can creates songs on your own. 

If you like to jam along with some great tunes then iReal Pro is a good way to do it.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors and he is a Broker/Associate at Sotheby’s International Realty.