A lead sheet is a simplified version of a song that includes the melody, lyrics, and chords. It is a great tool for songwriters, musicians, and arrangers to quickly capture their ideas and share them with others. But a lead sheet is just the script, so there are many ways to bring it to life and make it into a full-fledged song. Here are some ways to do that:
1. Play it on a real instrument
One of the most straightforward ways to bring a lead sheet to life is to play it on a real instrument, such as a guitar or piano. This allows you to hear the melody, chords, and lyrics in their full context and make any adjustments that are needed. It also allows you to add your own personal touch and interpretation to the song.
2. Use a digital audio workstation (DAW)
Another way to bring a lead sheet to life is to use a digital audio workstation (DAW). A DAW is a software program that allows you to record, edit, and mix audio tracks. You can use it to create a full-fledged production of the song by adding additional instruments, effects, and even vocals.
3. Try it in a different style
A lead sheet can be transformed into a new style of music, Jazz, funk, or rock, to give it a different feel and bring it to life. Bringing in elements of different styles can be done through instrument choice, how a vocalist performs the song, and by playing with different rhythms. It’s amazing how much versatility can be found in a single lead sheet, if we’re willing to look at it through the lens of different styles.
4. Add some improvisation
Another way to bring a lead sheet to life is to add some improvisation. You don’t have to follow the lead sheet perfectly, give yourself some freedom, and see what happens! Improvising allows you to add your own personal touch and interpretation to the song, and can make the song sound more interesting and dynamic. For example, you can add a riff in the instrumental section or throw in some Jazz chords to spice things up.
In conclusion, a lead sheet is a great tool for songwriters, musicians, and arrangers, but it can be a bit static on its own. By playing it on a real instrument, using a digital audio workstation, trying it in a different style and adding some improvisation, you can bring a lead sheet to life and make it into a full-fledged song. The sky is the limit!