What are Lead Sheets?


A Lead Sheet is a song with a one-note melody written in the treble clef and a chord symbol above the melody.  You can think of a lead sheet as a “skeleton” of the song. It shows the melody and the basic chord structure.  The more you understand chords and harmonic substitutions, fills etc.. the more you can fill in this “ skeleton” .

The chord symbol written above the melody line indicates the chord to play in the left hand.  The lead sheet is a very important tool for playing quickly.  The 2 main advantages to playing songs in the form of a lead sheet are:

1.  You are using , in a very practical way, the chords that you have been taught, ( I never teach chord drills with out a practical application ).

2.  The student is getting a very big sound within the first month of lessons. Think of the months and years it takes to play 4 notes simultaneously when studying piano the “ traditional way”.  With a Lead Sheet, the student is playing songs they know and love and getting a full, rich sound without having to “ read “  a bass clef, full of 3 seemingly arbitrary notes.

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Harmonic Patterns