Reading Fake Books and Lead Sheets


My Accordions

Various useful links

Alternate Chords

Fakebooks & Leadsheets

Slash Chords

One of the quickest ways to add a lot of music to library is to invest in some “Fake Books”. These are huge books filled with songs of a particular genre or time period. Books like “The Best Fakebook Ever” and “The Disney Fake Book” and many, many others contain the melody line, lyrics and chords for their songs. They are a great resource!

And the same cautions apply to the “lead sheets” you can get for free on some internet sites, and ones you pay a few dollars per song for.

I always suggest to learners that the best thing they can do to expand they musical knowledge and to have a lot of fun is to get some of these books and just start to play the songs. Start at page 1 and keep going until the end.

To accelerate your learning, try adding harmonies to songs; experiment with various bass patterns; and sing!!! Have fun ... and remember, no one can hear you sing over the accordion!

If you are helped by the tutorials, artwork, music and programs on this website, please consider sending us a small tip to help in maintaining, updating and adding to our content. Let's keep the web ad-free! Thank you!

But, a caution. Quite often the chords are wrong! Don't be misled into thinking that just because it's published that way it's right. I've found the same error in not only one book, but I've seen the same error duplicated in different books by different publishers. In many cases you'll see a song published in many different books all by the same publisher, and the mistakes are faithfully copied in each volume.

So, if a chord in a song doesn't sound right :

  • it might be your ears,
  • it might just be a dumb song,
  • it might be a typo on your part,
  • it might be a bad chart.

And it doesn't end there. Often the lryics and/or the melody is wrong. But, honestly, you will encounter similar problems with expensive, “professionaly arranged” charts as well.

You will need a bit of musical education to track down some problems, or a musician friend. But, if you see something like a “Em” chord in the key of B-flat and it sounds odd, you probably would be well to try a E-flat or E-flat-minor chord instead.

Don't even ask how I know all this!

Web Design--Bob van der Poel This page was last modified on 2024-03-21