Guitar Tablatures

Some of you already know that I like to play the guitar in my spare time. And there is no such hobby that it cannot be combined with LaTeX. This is why there is my rather badly maintained musixguit package. But this isn’t what this post is about. I don’t play much classical guitar any more but am concentrating on jazz.

In jazz — and especially for a rhythm guitar player — chords are much more important. And, of course, the Real Book. In the Real Book they have their own font for chord symbols resembling the early hand-written Real and Fake Books. And since jazz chords are rather unique in the way they and their alterations are written having the right font helps a lot to typeset lead sheets. It also looks better, then. One might argue that (La)TeX isn’t the right task for this, anyway, but LaTeX’s part of the fun, isn’t it?

However, most notations are faster done by hand so I am still not sure if I want to purchase the professional Jazz Font that is (or can be) used with Finale, for example. There are a free but unmaintained and unfinished fonts, though: Jochen Pietsch’s Jazz Fonts. I used one of these fonts, New Real Book, and wrote me a little package, realbookchords, for typesetting chord symbols with this font. It works but has of course limitations due to the unfinished and thus incomplete font:

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