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Definitive Bob Dylan Songbook (Music Sales America) Paperback – September 1, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 788 pages
  • Publisher: Music Sales America (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844493059
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844493050
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #385,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
At first glance this book is fantastic. Any casual Dylan fan will be blown away at the sheer volume of songs covered in this collection, no doubt many of which they have never heard of, while the Dylan fanatics will find several features lacking but still sufficient. In order to adaquately review this book claiming to be 'Definitive' it must be seen critiqued from multiple sides.

1. So firstly, for the casual Dylan fan. It seems obvious enough to me that a casual fan would not necessarily be looking for a 'Definitive' songbook, but you are pretty much guaranteed to find the songs you seek in here. It really is one of the more definitive songbooks for Dylan, boasting some 330 songs.

However, if you have much experience at all playing guitar or keys or whatever, this book is surprisingly mediocre. The transcriptions of these songs come with simple notation, and extremely basic chord charts (as well as full lyrics for each song). Many of the transcriptions are downright wrong, and sound nothing like any studio or live recordings I have heard. Some songs that come to mind are "It's all over now, Baby Blue" "Ballad of a Thin Man" and many others.

The downside for guitar players is that everything has been shifted to standard E tuning. This means that there are no songs transcribed with open tunings (as he did for "Oxford Town" and half of Blood on the Tracks). But most disturbingly is the total lack of capo transcriptions. Not one song has been transcribed for capo. Dylan was surely one of the most notorious capo users of pop music, and yet this has been bypassed. This obviously will dramatically alter the tone, especially on songs like "Mr. Tambourine Man" which sounds far too bass heavy in this transcription.
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I don't really mind this book. I've read several not great reviews. The few songs I have tried so far have the right chords. Some of the lyrics aren't 100 percent correct and not always placed in the right spot (if detailed phrasing is an issue for you, but you can figure it out easily enough).
I like it because it is compact and complete. Really helped me to figure out some difficult timing issues I'd encountered (i.e., Romance in Durango taking a little detour from 4/4 to 1/4 in a few spots...cute). Side note: As this is a very Spanish sounding tune, perhaps that is how some Spanish songs roll.
Aww, I dunno. I like the Bob pic on the front and so far the binding has held up fine and ...oh my gosh 325 freaking songs! Any half ass musician can figure out a few of the glitches or transpose here and there. I say, get it and enjoy!
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By T on April 13, 2013
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I bought this book for my brother-in-law. He plays the guitar and loves Bob Dylan's lyrics. The book, itself, is well setup - except for the remaining song lyrics for each song written without musical notation (only first part of each song has music, then the rest is written as lyrics only). For me, unless you know the song really well, it's hard to follow that way - always playing for the first few lyrics with music.
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Many of the songs by Dylan that I love with the music to learn to play them. Great deal for the money.
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Bob Dylan might be arrogant but I guess he has a right to be. Incredible poet and musician.
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Great, great song selection, but some of the songs are wrong. I don't know why that is. It's annoying
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What can i say,, all easy to follow music of my favorite Artist
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The only thing I don't like about this, is that it is a Fake Book. That is, a book that only has the melody score with no other parts, or orchestration. Had I been able see it, I still would have bought it. It is still a bargain.
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