How I Organise My Chart Books For Gigs


This week’s vid is sooooo important!

I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about preparing your chart books for gigs (ie ‘sheet music’). If you’re keen on performing then you need to know this stuff and having a good set of chart books can make the difference between whether your band sounds good… or really average.

It can also affect the band’s enjoyment of the gig. (hint: Noone likes a crap chart book) So to stay in favour with your instrumentalists, show professionalism and to give your band the best chance of sounding as good as possible, make sure you watch all of today’s video. 

Nicola xx

This is how to organise your chart books for gigs:


1. Make sure your charts are decent (here’s what to include)

Make sure your charts have four bars to a line, include the groove at the top of the page, show the sections of the song (ie A, B or Verse, Chorus), number the pages of the chart, make sure the text is clear and easy to read (try Sibellius), include a song title, include lyrics.


2. Index your chart books

Adding an index at the start makes it easy for your instrumentalists to locate a song that you call. Don’t forget to number the pages!


3. Have a chart book for each instrument

Keep one book for piano, one for drums, one for bass etc… This is because the instrumentalists will scribble notes on the charts and if one drummer has already done it, the next drummer won’t need to.


4. Make sure to have keys (or guitar), drums, bass

These books will cover you for most gigs. Then you just need to transpose them for the horns if you decide to use one.


5. You will need another book written specifically for horn combos

If you want cool horn lines like a mini big band, then you’ll need your charts written out specifically for a horn combo (see the video for how). The chart books for the rest of the band stay the same, but prepare this special book for your horn players.

Did you like this video?

If you found it helpful or have any other song delivery techniques you’d like to share, leave me a comment below!

Nicola xx

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