Creating lead sheets in the style of the Real Book

Hi guys

I would like to ask when it will be possible to create simple jazz lead sheet?
I have Dorico since version 1. Keep paying for every update. Now I have Dorico 5.
I have ZERO usage for this program.
I don’t want to have any players; I don’t want to have any flows. I just want to create one simple sheet of paper that has similar layout to the Real books. Is it a rocket science to add one more template to the JAZZ section???
It is just unbelievable something that simple and easy cannot be accomplished.

Thank you for reading.

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I use Dorico for different things so it is not surprising that I don’t understand what would be necessary to make Dorico suitable for your needs. However, I suspect others with needs more similar to yours may be able to provide useful assistance if you can give specific details about the tasks you are unable to make Dorico perform as you would like. Good luck!

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No it is very simple. Design your own, choose your own fonts and style etc. … then save as template and stick it in the Jazz section. If you don’t have Pro, I’m sure any number of people here would create the template for you based on your design.

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The-Real-Book-Sixth-Edition.pdf (633.3 KB)
The Standards Real Book.pdf (750.0 KB)
REALBK2.pdf (870.8 KB)
this is what i meant by jazz - attached 3 pdf
i would appreciate if anyone can upload something that looks similar
thank you

Is it the font that’s throwing you? Maybe this: Trying to mimic the HL Real Book style in Dorico | VI-CONTROL

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Did you see this one on creating lead sheets (released 2018), some of it might be out of date, but would have been useful? to you back then, or even now?

If you do a search there are others.


I have probably done 300 lead sheets using Dorico. Once the first template was set up (which was easy), there is nothing to it. What’s the problem?


could you upload one for me please ?
thank you

yes i think it mostly the font and layout.
the link you provided is close to what i want to achive (font and layout are OK but chord symbols too small)

Read this thread. That’s easy to adjust however you like. Then save it as a template and you’ll never have to do it again.

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no offense friend but you keep showing me regular/classic font
did you have a chance to look at my pdf?
do you think what you showing me looks alike because i see zero similarity.

if anyone could create 2-3 lines something similar that would be helpful

right now i have to dig deeper into RealScore (SMuFL) Font – RealScore (SMuFL) Font –
looks like this may be something I am looking for
thank you
P.S what i showed you is Hal Leonard Notation Software

Notation Central sell Scoring Express templates that do this sort of thing out of the box, if you’ll excuse the advertising:

…but various “jazz” fonts are bundled with Dorico, so spend some time with them and figure out which ones you like.

P.S. What you showed is not “Hal Leonard Notation Software”. With the exception of the version of Agua de Beber that looks typeset, it’s someone’s handwriting. You can tell from the variations in what, in a font, would be identical characters. See these three "A"s, for instance:



Dorico comes with Finale Ash, Finale Broadway, Finale Jazz, GoldenAge, and Petaluma, which are all handwritten music fonts.

i think the whole point is that you have couple different symbols and you can change them or software is using them randomly something like “round robin”. it is hard to imagine that Hal Leonard still uses handwriting and then scan it and publish. We live in 2023. They released over 50 Realbooks

Hal Leonard[edit]

In 2004, the music publisher Hal Leonard obtained the rights to most of the tunes contained in the original Real Book and published the first legal edition, calling it the Real Book Sixth Edition in tacit acknowledgment of the five previous illegal versions. The cover and binding are identical to the “old” Real Book, and the books employ a font similar to the handwritten style of the originals. One hundred and thirty-seven tunes were omitted from the 6th edition that were in the 5th, and 90 new tunes were added.[5]*
thanks for the link

At this point, it remains unclear whether there is an actual deficiency in the software that stops you from producing the pages as you want.

Lots of examples of Lead sheets have been given, and matters of font styling can be changed easily enough.


maybe for you benwiggy it is unclear.
do you see clefs or time signatures or key symbols on every line ? in my samples?
which sample that was provided looks similar to the one I want to achieve?

so far i have received help from gdball and pianoleo that is relevant.
but all those are 3rd party and have price
i would appreciate if you or anyone could create lead sheet (just 3 lines) that has similar font/layout
that would be really helpful
thank you

That’s the first time you’ve mentioned what it is that you actually want.

Two Layout Options provide this functionality.



Yes – all this powerful modern technology to lay music out and print it, and we try to make it look like a couple of students from the 60s have done it quick and cheap by hand! :laughing:


This took me 10 minutes to make. When I look at the New Real Book. It shure is not the same but if you spent 2 hours you can make it almost the same I think. Just look at the full score layout.
Bernie Lead Sheet.dorico (729.1 KB)

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