How To Read Lead Sheets Tutorial
The first jazz standard lesson in the PianoGroove course is Miles Davis’ ‘Tune Up’. This lesson provides an introduction on how to read lead sheets for jazz piano. It’s a great tune for beginners because the form is short and there are a number of major 251 progressions for applying basic jazz theory.
Unlike classical piano notation, lead sheets usually just contain one stave of music containing the melody. The chord symbols are notated above the stave to indicate what chord should be played.
If you are coming from a classical background, learning to interpret lead sheets will be an initial challenge. This is because you are given a lot of creative freedom to interpret (or completely change!) the melody, chords, voicings, phrasing etc…
We apply some of the basic theory: major 251s, chord extensions and we touch upon chord alterations. Don’t worry if something in the lesson does not make sense. This is a good thing because it means you are exposing yourself to more complicated topics. It will make sense with time.