measure from jazz piano lead sheet

Can someone tell me what do the symbols here mean? and how to play them in triplets as written in the lead sheet?

  • I’d just like to add to the answers that when using rhythmic notation like this a diagonal line indicates an unspecified pitch of a quarter note or less and a diamond is used for a half note or more. Jun 24, 2021 at 18:25
  • @JohnBelzaguy - often there's just 4 slashes (in 4/4) which doesn't tell much - except 1-2-3-4 - comp. as you wish. But with more complex rhythm patterns, there will be tails where quavers and shorter notes are needed, and rests are written the same as in standard staves.
    – Tim
    Jun 25, 2021 at 7:44

2 Answers 2


This is rhythmic notation; it indicates the rhythm to be played, but not the literal notes to play. The notes played would be from a Gm7 chord, indicated above the staves, voiced according to the tastes of the pianist.

The rhythm itself is as given in @Tim's answer.


A bracket with a 3 above it means play the 3 bracketed notes in the time it would take to play two of that same value note. So here, there's a minim - 2 beats, and then the triplet - consisting of a quaver rest and a crotchet - both of which constitute one beat. Followed by the final crotchet, making the total of 4 beats.

Now, that triplet - how to play? I'd probably count 12 for that bar, to start with. That means the minim gets 6 counts, no.7 is the rest, 8,9,10,11,and 12 are the tied notes at the end. In counting 12, emphasise 1 4 7 and 10, as they are still where the normal 1 2 3 and 4 are. So, put simply - 1st note plays on 1, other note plays on 8.

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