As you may know, I’ve been talking up Wikifonia.org as a great place to go for free lead sheets. Wiifonia will even transpose songs into your key, and give you beautiful files, ready to print. Well, I just found another free online source. Each has its pros and cons.
My new discovery is UltimateGuitar.com, and if you click that link, you’ll see the chords to Imagine, a song I help you play on Piano Accompaniment Styles for 50 Great Songs (part 1).
Though I’ve yet to explore UltimateGuitar.com in depth, it seems to have a really extensive catalog of songs. I tested it by searching for something I was pretty sure would not be there–Send in the Clowns. (It’s an artsy kind of song, and not at all guitar-friendly.) But there it was, wouldn’t you know, and in several different versions, no less.
A few points: one thing I like about Wikifonia is that it’s 100% legal and ethical–composers get paid when you download, though the service truly is free to users. (I think someone with deep pockets funds the project.) I question whether the same can be said for UltimateGuitar.com.
And unlike UltimateGuitar, Wikifonia provides real lead sheets with melody and bar lines notated, so you can actually count out the beats, instead of just syncing up the chord changes with the lyrics. For some songs, like Adele’s Someone Like You (which is also on my video), the Wikifonia sheets even show you exactly what notes to play in the right hand.
When you use UltimateGuitar, under “type”, choose chords rather than tabs. (Tab is short for tablature, and it stands for a kind of notation that shows you where to put your fingers on the guitar frets.)
Like Wikifonia, UltimateGuitar will also transpose the song into your key, a really useful feature.
I’m delighted to turn you on to these sites, because they’re a perfect complement to the tutorials on DoctorKeys. I’m thinking, in particular of Piano Accompaniment Styles for 50 Great Songs (parts 1 & 2). With the accompaniment styles you’ll learn in those two videos, and all the song sheets you can now get online for free, you can build yourself a pretty cool repertoire.