(If you do not see a RENEW button, please select a plan
and enter any code you may have received in a renewal notice online or in print.)
If you have ANY questions at all, please contact support@claviercompanion.com
1 minute reading time (228 words)

Steps to learning a lead sheet

Lead sheets are a simplified form of music notation designed to present the essentials of a tune, while still leaving room for creative interpretation.

Lead sheets consist of two main parts: 

  • Written melody 
  • Chord symbols Interpreting lead sheets works best if you and your students already know the tune. Hopefully, this one is familiar (see Example 1).
Steps to learning a lead sheet 
Get the basic right-hand melody and left-hand chords down pat. Use common inversions for good voice leading and playing ease.
Add a left-hand style appropriate to your student's ability level. It could be a simple rhythmic pattern or something more elaborate such as an Alberti bass (see Example 2).
Embellish the melody by adding a few notes here and there (see Example 3) . . .
. . .or get all fancy with the likes of these Baroque flourishes (see Examples 4 and 5).
To stretch a lead sheet into a complete performance, follow the same steps you used to learn it. First, play the basic tune and chords. Then "dude up" the left-hand style and/or right-hand melody on subsequent repeats. You could also add an intro, outro, key changes, or improvisation… all good topics for future columns.
Until next time, enjoy your creative music-making journey!

Example 1
Example 2
Example 3
Example 4
Example 5

You have to be a member to access this content.

Please login and subscribe to a plan if you have not done so.

Breakin’ it down: The art of modifying orchestral...
Winds of Change
 

Comments

Already Registered? Login Here
No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.ClavierCompanion.com/

About Piano Magazine

Piano Magazine is the leading resource for pianists, piano teachers, and piano enthusiasts. We bring you informative, interesting, and inspiring ideas on all aspects of piano teaching, learning, and performing. The official name of Clavier Companion magazine was changed to Piano Magazine in 2019.

Follow us on

Terms of use

Have Questions?

We are happy to help.

Editorial questions? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Advertising questions? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subscription questions? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Technical questions? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Cron Job Starts