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opt12 said:
Everybody always says to MEMORIZE tunes. Now matter how much you have the changes under your fingers, people always says memorize memorize memorize. ..
For good reason. I know in my case, until I memorize a tune, I really don't know it, no matter how many times I read it off the sheet music. I also think using a fake book can be limiting in that everyone plays the music the same way every time. Now, I realize that is a blanket generalization, and that really good musicians can use charts as a guide, rather than as a limitation, but for many, myself included, reading the music limits spontaneity.

I do agree with Razzy though, in the case of complex arrangements with multiple instruments playing different parts, OR in a sub situation with unknown tunes or arrangements, that charts are probably necessary. That's not the same thing as using a Fake Book to read off Blue Bossa, or Watermelon Man....
 

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Rick Adams said:
I cannot possibly give my all musically and be trying to work out what happens next. I guess because it was not jazz and so less complicated songs I could do this more easily.... :|
It might be worth pointing out that most jazz heads are fairly simple. It's the improv part where it gets interesting.

I think if you really play better by having the music at hand, or by sight reading, then that's fine. In my case, I definitely play better when I have it memorized. Clearly, there are situations where charts are useful, though. I once sat in with Mitch Woods and his sax player had charts. At first I thought, "it's jump blues, what does he need those charts for, and why would I need them?" Then when the music started I was glad for the charts, since I didn't have to guess at the horn lines and was able to play right along with the other sax player. When I had a solo, I just looked away and played. There's a time & place for everything.
 
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