I'm creating a songbook for my scouts group. I just need the guitar chrod names written above the lyrics. Without the staff. Is there a way to do that with lilypond?

2 Answers 2


Lyrics aren't dependant upon the music: you can specify rhythms in them directly as the example demonstrates.

\version "2.19.41"

verseI = \lyricmode {
\set stanza = #"1."
This4 is8 the first4 verse.

theChords = \chordmode {
 c2 f4 c

   \new ChordNames { \theChords }
   \new FretBoards { \theChords }
   \new Lyrics = "lyricsI" { \verseI }

enter image description here

  • In my edits I have made durations consistently implicit. It worths mentioning that the rhythm I used for the lyrics was taken from Richard's first answer: { c4 d8 e f4 g }
    – Paco Vila
    Aug 12, 2016 at 22:19

Well, lyrics and chord names both are supposed to adhere to actual music so you need to trick around a bit. I haven't tried figuring out how to decrease the staff spacing here (which also is more fit to music) but here goes (without music governing the rhythm, you also need to put durations in the lyrics):

\layout {
  indent = 0
  ragged-right = ##t

\new Score \with {
  \remove "Bar_number_engraver"
<< \chords { c1 g2:7 a:m c1 g2:7 a:m }
   \new Lyrics \with {
 \override VerticalAxisGroup.staff-affinity = ##f
 \override LyricText.parent-alignment-X = #LEFT
 \override LyricText.self-alignment-X = #LEFT
   \lyricmode { This4 and that and sor2 -- row \break
      Come4 back here to -- mor2 -- row }

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.