My Big Fake Guitar Book

stenacron

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Had an on-line jam session earlier this year and I was talking to our singer about exercises to make quick chord changes and maybe sing along a bit. He strums and sings all the time and suggested using a guitar “fake book” to help the process. He said the “want” to play and/or sing the songs will provide the motivation and the variety of tunes will be a good practice routine. Made sense… problem is I couldn’t find a fake book that I liked enough to spend $30 on and then there’s the whole hard copy is feeling kind of outdated issue.

Long-story-short I decided to make my own. Little bit of everything here… some because I like the song, some for chord sequences or note picking, and some because I happened to be watching a Sounds of the 70s info-mercial and caught myself singing away! Anyway, it worked... after only a week or two I started noticing an improvement in muscle memory and swapping chords around quickly. I even learned a few new chords along the way. Shared it with several guitarists at work and all - newbies and long-time players alike - seemed to enjoy it. Thought I would offer to share it here in case anyone is interested. It's a PDF file (27 MB) and I can email it to anyone that wants to PM me with their email address.

The latest version is actually the 12th edition. I keep it to 100 songs and revise t periodically if I find a few mistakes to correct, or add lead guitar work, or swap out songs that just aren't working for different ones. Most are in "fake book" format meaning they are formatted to read/play on demand, but some have more details than others. I also added about 16-17 pages of performance notes for each song up front.

It has a little bit of everything... here's the song list:
  • 867-5309 Jenny (Tommy Tutone)
  • A Horse with No Name (America)
  • Africa (Toto)
  • Alone Again (Dokken)
  • Bad Moon Rising (CCR)
  • Band on the Run (Paul McCartney & Wings)
  • Because the Night (Patti Smith)
  • Behind Blue Eyes (The Who)
  • Better Man (Pearl Jam)
  • Cats in the Cradle (Harry Chapin)
  • Champagne Supernova (Oasis)
  • Children of the Sun (Billy Thorpe)
  • Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Queen)
  • Creep (Stone Temple Pilots)
  • Crocodile Rock (Elton John)
  • Day After Day (Badfinger)
  • Diamonds and Rust (Judas Priest)
  • Don’t Go Away Mad (Mötley Crüe)
  • Drift Away (Dobie Gray)
  • Drive (Incubus)
  • Easy (The Commodores)
  • Every Rose Has It’s Thorn (Poison)
  • Fell on Black Days (Soundgarden)
  • Fooled Around and Fell in Love (Elvin Bishop)
  • Fortunate Son (CCR)
  • Free Fallin’ (Tom Petty)
  • Free Ride (Edgar Winter)
  • Friday I’m in Love (The Cure)
  • Gimme Some Lovin’ (The Spencer Davis Group)
  • Hard Days Night (The Beatles)
  • Hard Luck Woman (KISS)
  • Have You Ever Seen the Rain (CCR)
  • Heart of Gold (Neil Young)
  • Heaven (Warrant)
  • Here I Go Again (Whitesnake)
  • Heroes (David Bowie)
  • Hey Hey What Can I Do (Led Zeppelin)
  • Hey Jude (The Beatles)
  • Hey You (Pink Floyd)
  • Hotel California (Eagles)
  • House of the Rising Sun (The Animals)
  • Hungry Heart (Bruce Springsteen)
  • I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing (Aerosmith)
  • I Won’t Forget You (Poison)
  • I’ll Fall in Love Again (Sammy Hagar)
  • If You Only Knew (Shinedown)
  • It’s Been Awhile (Staind)
  • Jessie’s Girl (Rick Springfield)
  • Just Between You and Me (April Wine)
  • Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Bob Dylan)
  • Layla - Live, Unplugged (Eric Clapton)
  • Learn to Fly (Foo Fighters)
  • Listen to the Music (The Doobie Brothers)
  • Livin’ On a Prayer (Bon Jovi)
  • Lola (The Kinks)
  • Love Hurts (Nazareth)
  • Make It Real (Scorpions)
  • Mother (Pink Floyd)
  • My Kinda Girl (Chickenfoot)
  • Night Moves (Bob Seger)
  • No Sugar Tonight (The Guess Who)
  • Old Man (Neil Young)
  • One Headlight (The Wallflowers)
  • One (U2)
  • Only Wanna Be with You (Hooty & The Blowfish)
  • Pink Houses (John Mellencamp)
  • She Talks to Angels (Black Crowes)
  • Shooting Star (Bad Company)
  • Show Me the Way (Peter Frampton)
  • Signs (Tesla)
  • Silver, Blue & Gold (Bad Company)
  • Since You Been Gone (Rainbow)
  • Space Oddity (David Bowie)
  • Still the One (Orleans)
  • Stone Cold (Rainbow)
  • Summer Breeze (Seals & Crofts)
  • Summer of ’69 (Bryan Adams)
  • Surrender (Cheap Trick)
  • Sweet Home Chicago (The Blues Brothers)
  • Take it Easy (Eagles)
  • Tennessee Whiskey (Chris Stapleton)
  • That Thing You Do (The Wonders
  • That’s the Way It Is (Bruce Hornsby)
  • The Man Who Sold the World (Nirvana)
  • The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (Gordon Lightfoot)
  • Times Like These (Foo Fighters)
  • Tuesday’s Gone (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
  • Two Princes (Spin Doctors)
  • Used to Love Her (Guns ‘N’ Roses)
  • Wagon Wheel (Darius Rucker)
  • What I Like About You (The Romantics)
  • Who Says You Can’t Go Home (Bon Jovi)
  • Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd)
  • Wonderful World (Sam Cooke)
  • Wonderwall (Oasis)
  • Woodstock (Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young)
  • You Are the Woman (Firewall)
  • Your Decision (Alice In Chains)
  • Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie)
  • Zombies (The Cranberries)
 

Unknownflyman

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I tried to do the reading charts on stage years ago but then the lights are out or dim, somebody would knock the stand over, my eyesight sucks in the dark, so I just would memorize 4 sets of music and before every gig just do set lists in larger marker so I could see what's coming next.
 

stenacron

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I tried to do the reading charts on stage years ago but then the lights are out or dim, somebody would knock the stand over, my eyesight sucks in the dark, so I just would memorize 4 sets of music and before every gig just do set lists in larger marker so I could see what's coming next.
Agreed, I would never try and read/play along on stage for all the reasons you mentioned.

It works though for sitting on the couch and strummin'/singing, or hanging out with friends and having them sing while I play (I prefer the latter). 🤘

Putting this book together actually turned me on to songs that I never thought I would like (never would have bothered to learn), but now LOVE playing them. Music is funny that way.
 
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