Creating lead sheets in the style of the Real Book

benwiggy what is your purpose here because you are not bringing any help.
maybe talk to someone.

First of all not “We” but “I” am trying to create a lead sheet.
If you do not know this, Hal Leonard is the largest music publisher in the world.
Just Real Book series has 86 positions.

This is Real Book Pop Volume II released recently by Hal Leonard not by “some” students from the 60s.
Your sarcasm does not hide your lack of knowledge.
I feel sorry for you man if you need to have clef, time and key every couple bars.
I am pretty sure I have better memory. Actually all jazz musicians they just need to have it at the beginning or whenever there is a change. I understand there are people that must have it every couple bars :slight_smile:
i am also pretty sure that if you reply you will not bring anything to help me. ZERO

FredGUnn - i think you are missing something. Please do not compare some NYC copyist to a publisher. 2 completely different things.
Hal Leonard (the publisher) only pays for copyrights to the Copyright owner. They pay for the song. They can publish it with whatever font they want. However they always use handwritten style font with specific layout. All Real Books are like that. Pop, Rock, Dixie, Christmas etc…They are not copied or printed. They are legally and currently published, and this is how the publisher and users wanted it to look like.
This is an older Hal Leonard Real Jazz Book. Shitty font and layout nobody liked.

And I am opposite. There is no musical benefit to have them every couple bars…

Thank you

What part of “every breath you take” you can’t recreate in Dorico?

You posted several examples, that all look completely different. But I’m sure almost everything is possible to recreated in Dorico.

Probably I can recreate every part. Dorico is avery powerful software :slight_smile: It is more about the look. Look of the finished piece.
If I copy (input) Sting piece to Dorico at the end it will look different to what I want.
Long story short it would be nice to have a template in the jazz section called “Lead sheeet”.
Same as you have in the solo section but with all the proper fonts setup, with all appropriate settings to have similar “handwritten” style look found in all Real books.
I think someone mentioned earlier that creating a template is easy and fast.
I would be very appreciated if someone could create one for me. I have Dorico 5 Pro and a lot of stuff I could share. I just would like my song to look similar to Hal Leonard Real Books. Not identical.
And as you see there is demand for that since there are 3rd party companies selling fonts and templates to look like handwritten Real book. I can always spend money but would be interested what final look I can achieve with Dorico first.

Did You open the file I posted? Maybe You can use it?

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Well all your examples are so different. So how should the default “lead sheet” template look like?

they should look like Hal Leonard Realbook.

this is one page from Real Latin Book

this one is from Hal Leonard Real Christmas Book

this one is From Real Pop Book
they all look alike

Dude, just buy some fonts already, and engrave your music.
Have fun. Get drunk. Play some Jazz. Walk your dog. Listen to the folks in this thread that told you EXACTLY how to engrave in that style.
Stop posting examples.




to me they look similar, but they definitely look different from Dorico Lead sheet template…
i am not going to participate in this discussion anymore as I can not be more clear or express myself more clearly. The atmosphere is not what I expected. i also think that samples i provided should be sufficient to understand what i am talking about. apparently couple guys did understood and helped which I would like to say THANK YOU and some will never understand
anyway i will keep reading posts. maybe someone will write something helpful

I don’t know how can you combine “I have ZERO usage for this program.” with the start of your last post.
What I think most people are confused about is what do you actually want to achieve.
Did you open Maarten’s file and saw how he accomplish what he did? pianoleo also provided some steps. So you should do what they have done, to learn.
Creating your own templates is extremely easy to do. You create a new project, set up your fonts, layout options and what not, then Save As Project Template. Then you can use it on Steinberg Hub on “Create New”. Your custom template should be on the same category you saved in, with some dashes on top right of its frame.

Sincerely confused at this point.


Ok the font is just Petaluma and Courier New, but in the end it’s all possible. Here are many people, who work with this software professionally (me excluded) and know everything that’s possible. Ask a precise question and you will get an answer.
Your first message was, this software is crap and you can’t use it the way you want it to create a good jazz template. Then you posted three completely (!) different examples. What answer you’ve expected?

Those default templates are, what they are. They are a default. Most people don’t use them exactly like they are. They are guidelines so you can have a starting point from where you can create your “style”, if you don’t already have your own templates and know exactly what you want.

Your last three, at least are similar examples but handwritten. As mentioned above, take a look at the chord symbols and title. there are small differences. So there won’t be A font that creates exactly this irregularity. Everything else is solvable.

Choose a music font and text fonts you like, adjust the sizes. You want thicker bar lines, make them thicker, etc. If you want to create a close copy, look at every element. Are the stems thick/long enough? Winged repeatings, etc…


He clearly wants other people to do the work for him. Although the key steps were provided, he repeatedly asked if someone couldn’t just provide him with the template


thank you brother
that was helpful

@woocaash “I feel sorry for you man if you need to have clef, time and key every couple bars.”

I think you do yourself no favours by insulting fellow musicians, It may be that your area of specialism is fake books but you would do better to understand how much of the classical repertoire is written, rehearsed and performed.

For instance, cello music can be written in any of three clefs and it is essential that the current clef is written at the beginning of a system.

A lot of music can also change key frequently so having the current key is also essential. Could the performer remember the last change? Yes but what happens when the conductor says “Let’s start at bar 84”. Do performers search all previous systems to find the last change of clef/key and time signature?

I’ve played from fake books for 20 years and almost universally, they do not change key or time signature throughout. That’s simply not the case with many other musical forms.

I am not denigrating the music published in Fake Books - it takes a lot of skill and idiomatic interpretation to play them well. However, please make your point without insult and with understanding of the broader musical repertoire.


After a while, it started to sound like a wager. “I bet I can get those Dorico morons to build templates without me lifting a finger, just by riling them up”


I was late to the party, and found reading this thread delightfully baffling (sarcasm).

So many attempts to help, so much indignation. Yay the internet lol.

One thing I always find so bizarre about threads like this is how eager people are to curse a program for not having a pre-made template that exactly suits their needs. This is so very odd to me. There are very few programs that I use that have things just as I want them out of the box. So, rather than curse the developers and accuse them of making n a bad program, I make new templates just how I want them, and simply use the software from there.

Imagine how different this thread could have turned out if the OP simply said, “I’m trying to imitate this style, and there’s no baked in template to get me what I want. Does anyone else have a file I could start from? Or how can I make dorico do X,Y, Z? Thanks!”



That’s because you (like many others here) are creative: you like to create things.


For what it’s worth:

The 2017 book “Berklee Contemporary Music Notation” by Jonathan Feist (editor-in-chief of Berklee press) includes a section “Obsolete Lead Sheet Practices”, which discusses “lead sheet conventions that many are currently moving away from at Berklee” (pages 63-64).

They are: omitting the clef after the first system, omitting the ‘begin repeat’ at bar 1, the dash (-) for minor, and handwritten notation fonts. (He discusses each in detail.)

He acknowledges that these may be contentious, that they go against long-practiced traditions, and that there are local or personal preferences; but they reduce readability. (I agree.)

One old practice absent from the list is omitting key signatures after the first system. He doesn’t even mention it in the section on key signatures; he simply says that they occur on every system, full stop.

IMO, the Dorico team are generous to include options to accommodate notation traditions that the pre-eminent college for jazz and commercial music considers obsolete/detrimental.

Notation practices in the original Real Books, the Hal Leonard Real Books, and the Sher Real Books aren’t dogma. Those books have their place, but they aren’t some kind of ultimate authority. (I say this as a professional who’s performed jazz and related styles professionally for over 30 years and taught for over 20 years.)


very soon brand-new real book will be released.
cooperation between the largest music publisher in the world (Hal Leonard), and the prestigious college for modern and contemporary muscic (Berklee)
The Real Berklee Book: C Instruments by Hal Leonard Corp., Paperback | Barnes & Noble® (
same font, same style, same layout

I’ve found that the best way to approach questions on a user forum is to start out from the assumption that you, yourself, are somehow either in error or missing something.

going in on the offensive and accusing the software and its developers of various crimes and misdemeanors rarely gets one sympathy and the help one requires.


it seems that this entire thread was really about advertising for the HL Berklee Real Book.:open_mouth: the OP questions were answered (in detail) early on. save $45. i’m happy with my 6th edition :grinning: :grinning: