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A software to write lead sheets

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by crocau, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. I am looking for a software (or freeware) to write down my lead sheets for my big band. I want something simple BUT with the possibility of writing chords symbols. All the software look like they were made to write piano parts ! I don't care about midi stuff, just a music word-processor. Any idea ??
  2. I use Score Writer for lead sheets and I've been very happy with it. Here's the link:


    - Rob
    (Fellow Canuck)
  3. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I got the free Final Notepad download, it's OK. You can't do 5/4 (or 7/4 or 11/4 etc.) in it, which is a drag. But it does have a chord tool, just pick a C instrument to write out the melody.
  4. Savino


    Jun 2, 2004
    although a bit pricey unless you can get an educational discount. Sibelius is the most efficient, dummy proof notation software I've seen. On a side note, you have a big band playing off lead sheets?
  5. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have a much more modest need for a notation program - to make the eraser-smudged scrawl of my bass line/solo transcriptions legible to others (or even me sometimes :( ).

    Do you think that the free program you mentioned would do this, Ed? Do you have a web link for it?

  6. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks - it's downloading now. I'll soon be able to answer my own question. :p
  7. Well, I write the lead sheet for the rythm section (piano, drums, guitar, mmm bass) and I give it to my trombone player. When we play in quintet, the horn is simply blowing with the sheet. When we play in a complete big band setting (alto sax, tenor sax, 2 trumpets, trombone) the trombone player does some arrangments starting from the lead sheet.

    I am not so good at making arrangments form horns... And I hate transposing in Bb or Eb... :mad:

    We have to offer a variety of formations . You can't beat the big band, but not everyone has the budget to hire 9 musicians ! We get more Real book quartet gigs.... But then , we can't play Sing-Sing-Sing !
  8. agamemnononon


    May 21, 2012
    The best lead sheet software is Chordastic. It is easy to use and has many powerful features.
    I would personaly mark this as my favorite.
  9. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    I use MuseScore. It is free and easy to use.
  10. Jakeahearts

    Jakeahearts Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2006
    I just started using this - it works great and it's open source!
  11. I've been using Finale PrintMusic for several years. It's not free, but it's also not ridiculously expensive (around US$100) if you just want basic notation software.
  12. lurk


    Dec 2, 2009
    I've got sibelus, but a couple of students use a free program called Lily Pad. I don't know what it's like to use, but the results are very attractive.
  13. Which of the programs listed above allow you to enter the notes by playing a piano keyboard hooked up (midi, etc)?? (pref free software, with both notation/chords on the same chart). I've seen that done before and it's sooooo much faster entering it as you listen to the song.

    I'd like to go paperless/iPad and this would help me get my transcriptions of bass lines/ song arrangements looking more professional than a photo of a sheet of paper with my handwriting. Great resource to hand to a Dep when the need arises.
  14. inrharmony


    Nov 22, 2015
    I use Sibelius First, which is a pared-down version of Sibelius....runs about $100, if I remember. I'm sure there are major differences between the First and the regular editions, but for creating lead sheets, I'm quite happy with it.
    Scatabrain likes this.
  15. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman

    Jan 1, 2010
    MuseScore | Free music composition and notation software
  16. koricancowboy


    Jun 10, 2003
    Did you mean Lily Pond? It's great but it is a programming language that you need to learn. Not hard but MuseScore is better if you like a GUI.