- The official title
- Who wrote it
- Who’s version you’ve been inspired by
- What the original key is
- What key you sing it in
- What the groove or time signature is
- The tempo in beats per minute
- Title – You might think it’s “Everybody Must Get Stoned,” but it’s not. It’s “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35, and someone will bust you for calling it “Everybody Must Get Stoned.”
- Songwriter – Sometimes it’s not the person you think. For example, a lot of people probably think that Patsy Cline wrote “Crazy,” but guess what! It was Willie Nelson.
- Version – Most people know the Talking Heads song “Take Me to the River,” but Al Green wrote it, and a band might play that version if you call the song.
- Original key – You can go online to musicnotes.com and find out or ask a musician.
- Your key – Work with a professional or figure it out yourself, but the original key is not always the best for everyone to sing.
- Groove – Grooves have names like swing, shuffle, funk, and rock. If you don’t know the name of the groove, you can at least use the time signature like 4/4 or 12/8.
- Tempo – Either check the sheet music on musicnotes.com to see if they’ve included it on the first page or use a bpm app to tap along to the song to find out what it is.
Here’s an example of a chart Ted Ervin and I wrote with all those items right at the top: