All The Things You Are Lead Sheet: A Comprehensive Guide


When it comes to jazz standards, few are as beloved as “All the Things You Are.” The Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II classic has been recorded by countless artists and has become a staple in the jazz repertoire. If you’re a musician looking to play this timeless tune, you’ll need a lead sheet to get started. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the “All the Things You Are” lead sheet, covering everything from chord progressions to improvisation tips.

The Chord Changes

At its core, “All the Things You Are” is a 32-bar AABA form tune in the key of Ab. The A sections follow a I-VI-ii-V progression, while the B section features a IV-IVm-iii-VI progression. The bridge, or the A2 section, changes things up with a III7-VI7-II7-V7 progression. Understanding these chord changes is essential to creating a solid foundation for improvisation.

The Melody

The melody of “All the Things You Are” is a thing of beauty. It’s a great example of how to create a memorable melody that perfectly complements the chord changes. The melody is mostly built around the Ab major scale, with a few chromatic passing tones thrown in for good measure. Pay attention to the phrasing and dynamics of the melody as you play it, as this will help you bring out its full potential.

Improv Approaches

When it comes to improvising over “All the Things You Are,” there are a few different approaches you can take. One common approach is to focus on the chord tones and use them as a foundation for your improvisation. Another approach is to use arpeggios to outline the chord changes. You can also use scales and modes that work well over the chord progressions, such as the Ab major scale, the Ab melodic minor scale, and the Dorian mode.

Transcription Exercises

If you’re looking to improve your improvisation skills, one of the best things you can do is transcribe solos by other musicians. “All the Things You Are” has been recorded by countless jazz legends, so there’s no shortage of great solos to transcribe. Some recommended recordings to check out include those by Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, and Wes Montgomery.

Practice Tips

As with any tune, practicing “All the Things You Are” is key to mastering it. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your practice time:

Break it Down

Start by breaking the tune down into smaller sections. Practice each section separately until you feel comfortable with it, then put the sections together.

Play Slowly

Don’t rush through the tune – take your time and play it at a slower tempo. This will help you focus on the details of the melody and the chord changes.


Try out different approaches to improvisation, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Experimenting is key to finding your own voice as a musician.


“All the Things You Are” is a true jazz standard, and learning to play it is essential for any jazz musician. By understanding the chord changes, melody, and improvisation approaches, you’ll be well on your way to mastering this timeless tune. So grab your instrument, grab a lead sheet, and get to work!