Over the weekend I posted my own sheet music for the old song “He’s in the Jailhouse Now” on my musician blog.
Some good things about it:
- Carefully proofread and corrected. I used it in a couple different rehearsals and ironed out the bugs.
- On a single page. No page turns.
- Big type and simplified changes. Easy enough to visually parse that you can play from it on stage with minimal lighting and rehearsal.
- Evenly spaced, with four measures to a bar.
- Lyrics, melody and chord changes in one place.
- Source Sibelius file provided for making modifications.
- PNG, PDF, and Sibelius can all be shared, modified, and redistributed, because they are under a Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike license.
- Pretty damn good if not perfect copyright status, to ensure that people could really use it.
- Good documentation on the history of the song. I spent a couple hours looking up the details and collated a number of different sources.
Doing a clean and thorough job with sheet music is pretty rare. Free (as in beer) sources are usually a mess. Commercial sources are usually oriented towards piano players or beginners. My version is higher quality than other free sources and is oriented towards real-world players.