The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #1

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    Hi,

    I'm a gigging musician and also a guitar teacher.
    I'm wondering about review of people who switched from paper to tablet for work ?
    I'd like the idea to have everything centralized in one place ( i have tons of music sheet for my different bands, for the classes i give... )
    I also like the idea of not needing a light on stage to read my charts, and the ability to use the iRealPro app.

    Any pro and con ?

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Do all musicians have to have notes in front of them?
    Tablets are good because nobody wants to burden their memory.
    Last edited by kris; 06-30-2022 at 11:31 PM.

  4. #3

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    Always have a backup power supply available

    As usual, there are quasi-religious wars among fans of Apple and Windows tablets. I don't know whether one is better than the other, but pick the one that's most common among the circles in which you circulate.

    Same for display software.

    Actually, select the software first (most common, etc.) and then get the hardware it runs on.

  5. #4

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    A couple of thoughts.

    I run Irealpro on my phone and it's generally been readable enough. I also use it for practice. IRealpro always puts a tune on 1 page afaik, which means sometimes the font is small, but mostly it's fine.

    I haven't switched to tablets but I know a lot of people who have.

    The most advanced guy has one for every member of the band. He's working on being able to control all of the from his tablet. That is, he picks the tune and everybody sees the same one automatically.

    But, this took a lot of work. For one thing, a lot of his charts were multiple pages with complicated roadmaps.

    So, he decided to get them down to no more than 2 pages. He then got married to Sibelius.

    The result is great. He's got most of his charts with Bb and Eb versions in the tablets. He carries them in a small briefcase, which replaces huge books.

    Another way to do it would be to unroll the roadmaps so that every chart just read straight through, start to finish. That might not work for long solo sections. Then, with a page turn button on the floor, you could control it pretty well.

    Corrections are easy. I don't know if he can correct his copy and have all the tablets updated, but I'd guess that's available.

    When my octet put out pdfs of all the charts, we spent a lot of time at rehearsal fooling around with the tablets. Somebody is missing something. Another guy wants to send it to them, but then he can't connect and now we're spending time talking about digital communications problems.

    When that guy came to my sessions, I'd have my big ol' books and he'd call tunes on his tablet. Then some people would read from the book anyway -- and, often enough, the charts weren't the same.

    And there were some charts that couldn't be distilled to 2 pages. Some of them, you might be on page 5 and see a repeat and not know it's on page 3. With paper, page 3 is right in front of you and the repeat sign should be obvious.

    So, if you gig Real Book type charts, you could easily have every RB at your fingertips.

    If you're playing longer, more complicated arrangements, paper still has some desireable features.

    It may be a good idea to either do it (all the way) or not do it. Mixing paper and electronics can be frustrating.

    ADDENDUM: A lot of players I know could easily play a long standards gig without a book. I could too, if I call the tunes.

    But, most of them don't. They prefer to play more arranged music with solo sections. And, that stuff is much harder to memorize. Busy players may even be playing more than one arrangement of the same tune with different groups. There's no dishonor in reading that kind of music. What is interesting is that some players can memorize a show worth of music much more quickly than others.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 07-01-2022 at 05:14 PM.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madansi View Post
    Hi,

    I'm a gigging musician and also a guitar teacher.
    I'm wondering about review of people who switched from paper to tablet for work ?
    I'd like the idea to have everything centralized in one place ( i have tons of music sheet for my different bands, for the classes i give... )
    I also like the idea of not needing a light on stage to read my charts, and the ability to use the iRealPro app.

    Any pro and con ?

    I used a 10" Samsung Android tablet with Mobilesheets MobileSheets on it. This plus a bluetooth page turn pedal, and a tablet holder that clips onto the microphone stand, is a great way to work on stage. Mobilesheets does everything you need, handles big PDF books as well as single text lead sheets, chordpro, etc. Does transposing,backing track playing, sharing with band members etc etc.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris View Post
    Do all musicians have to have notes in front of them?
    Tablets are good because nobody wants to burden their memory.
    Do you think all musicians know all the tunes ever written ?

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madansi View Post
    Hi,

    I'm a gigging musician and also a guitar teacher.
    I'm wondering about review of people who switched from paper to tablet for work ?
    I'd like the idea to have everything centralized in one place ( i have tons of music sheet for my different bands, for the classes i give... )
    I also like the idea of not needing a light on stage to read my charts, and the ability to use the iRealPro app.

    Any pro and con ?
    The acquisition of a used iPad pro some 3 years ago made my life on stage and the organisation of my teaching so much easier ! The App FORESCORE lets me organize my sheetmusic for all my various projects, including the lists of students etc. and if the need arises I can send an recieve pdf's to+from my fellow musicians . I have a footpedal with which I can scroll so no more noisy page/paper rustling during a quiet scene on stage (musical, theater production etc.). Who wants to argue against that ?

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by gitman View Post
    Do you think all musicians know all the tunes ever written ?
    no...but it is often the case that they don't even know the basic standards.
    It was like that at a few jam sessions where I attended .... terrible - only tablets.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by gitman View Post
    The acquisition of a used iPad pro some 3 years ago made my life on stage and the organisation of my teaching so much easier ! The App FORESCORE lets me organize my sheetmusic for all my various projects, including the lists of students etc. and if the need arises I can send an recieve pdf's to+from my fellow musicians . I have a footpedal with which I can scroll so no more noisy page/paper rustling during a quiet scene on stage (musical, theater production etc.). Who wants to argue against that ?
    i was lucky , a friend gave me their old ipad and i stripped it down and put the
    Forscore app on it

    agreed really really useful
    you don’t have to glue your head to
    it , sometimes it’s nice to have a quick
    look at a tune before playing

  11. #10

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    Tablets are very handy, it's worth it to get a big one (like the 12.9 ipad), as you can read a two page chart on it, something you can't really do with 10' ones. You can also get a foot switch to change pages if you need one!

    But you have to carry and worry about yet another piece of gear. On good gigs I'd still rather have paper charts that I know will be there 100%..

    About Ireal, I like it for practice, but wouldn't trust it for live playing, as it's not 100% bug free, and sometimes - rarely- it may freak out.
    Last edited by Alter; 07-01-2022 at 07:32 PM.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter View Post
    Tablets are very handy, it's worth it to get a big one (like the 12.9 ipad), as you can read a two page chart on it, something you can't really do with 10' ones. You can also get a foot switch to change pages in you need one!

    But you have to carry and worry about yet another piece of gear. On good gigs I'd still rather have paper charts that I know will be there 100%..
    I used to carry paper as backup. I would leave it in the car, just in case. Happily I never had to use it. You can always double with someone else in the band if your tablet fails - i.e. move next to them and both use their tablet (depending on their using the same sheet of course)

  13. #12

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    iRealbook Pro may indeed freak out at a bad time, but I generally dump those playbacks into my computer, work on them a bit (bass and drum stuff, mainly), mix down and transfer the tracks to a memory stick for my Jam Man, which is much easier to operate on a gig. Then in my iPad, I have the list of tunes and the numbers that belong to them; with a 3-button footswitch, I can scroll quickly in either direction to get to a tune that's on the JamMan, which holds 100 tunes on a memory card, with very little limitation on the length of each track (although it may be 10 minutes). Of course there are other ways to do this, but I think playing the iRealbookPro soundtracks directly from the iPad is less than ideal. In any event, I use an iPad standard size, and could possibly benefit from a larger size, but I do tend to know the tunes fairly well once I've worked on them, so the chart is up for quick reference only.I can print out my own versions of what I've done to the iRealbook tunes for bassists and keyboardists, and can transpose them for hornplayers if all they need is the changes. Of course, arrangements still have to be written out and either printed or sent to a screen on a device. I carry backups of the recorded tracks in iPod Nanos, as well.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz View Post
    iRealbook Pro may indeed freak out at a bad time, but I generally dump those playbacks into my computer, work on them a bit (bass and drum stuff, mainly), mix down and transfer the tracks to a memory stick for my Jam Man, which is much easier to operate on a gig. Then in my iPad, I have the list of tunes and the numbers that belong to them; with a 3-button footswitch, I can scroll quickly in either direction to get to a tune that's on the JamMan, which holds 100 tunes on a memory card, with very little limitation on the length of each track (although it may be 10 minutes). Of course there are other ways to do this, but I think playing the iRealbookPro soundtracks directly from the iPad is less than ideal. In any event, I use an iPad standard size, and could possibly benefit from a larger size, but I do tend to know the tunes fairly well once I've worked on them, so the chart is up for quick reference only.I can print out my own versions of what I've done to the iRealbook tunes for bassists and keyboardists, and can transpose them for hornplayers if all they need is the changes. Of course, arrangements still have to be written out and either printed or sent to a screen on a device. I carry backups of the recorded tracks in iPod Nanos, as well.
    I would never use the software that generates the backing tracks at a gig. Always spit the final result out as a simple mp3 and have backups. At a pinch, you can use any player, even a phone, and still get through the gig.

  15. #14

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    Suppose I have a band rehearsal and all have tablets ... what needs to be done to make corrections to the tunes.
    On paper it is probably easier and faster?
    Pencil and paper-are they working?

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris View Post
    Suppose I have a band rehearsal and all have tablets ... what needs to be done to make corrections to the tunes.
    On paper it is probably easier and faster?
    Pencil and paper-are they working?
    With some software, at least, you make it on one tablet, and updated version gets distributed to all the other band members. In principle, easier than with paper.

    From Mobilesheets manual

    When playing as part of a group, it’s often necessary to keep the libraries of each groupmember synchronized, especially when utilizing features such as the leader/followerconnection feature. While a library backup file can be used to accomplish this, it is an all-ornothing approach to solving the problem, as restoring a backup file will replace the entirelibrary on the device. A much better solution is to use the library synchronization features inMobileSheetsPro that will merge libraries together. To access this feature, tap the overflowbutton on the library screen and select “Sync Library”. When selected, the following types ofsynchronization are displayed:• Synchronize to a device• Synchronize to a cloud folder• Synchronize to backup fileEach type of synchronization will be covered in detail in the following sections.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris View Post
    Suppose I have a band rehearsal and all have tablets ... what needs to be done to make corrections to the tunes.
    Start with all of the errors and inconsistencies discussed and decried in many threads on JGO. Then add chord substitutions and reharmonization, eg I far prefer to use Abm9 Db9 to the usual Fm7 Bb in the 2nd bar of Yardbird Suite. Many (like me) will add the half step twist that Wes loved so much to a 1-4 transition. So in a C blues form, the 4th bar might be C#m7 F#7 into the F in bar 5. Even a simple Gm7 C7 has to be added - you can’t just play these edits yourself and let others (even if it’s just one other, like a bass or keyboard) try to hear and pick up what you’re doing or continue with the score, diluting the cool effect or clashing with it.

    And it’s not at all easy to correct hard copy well and cleanly. White-out is messy, correction tape is tedious, erasers leave smudges and partial image, etc.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit View Post
    Start with all of the errors and inconsistencies discussed and decried in many threads on JGO. Then add chord substitutions and reharmonization, eg I far prefer to use Abm9 Db9 to the usual Fm7 Bb in the 2nd bar of Yardbird Suite. Many (like me) will add the half step twist that Wes loved so much to a 1-4 transition. So in a C blues form, the 4th bar might be C#m7 F#7 into the F in bar 5. Even a simple Gm7 C7 has to be added - you can’t just play these edits yourself and let others (even if it’s just one other, like a bass or keyboard) try to hear and pick up what you’re doing or continue with the score, diluting the cool effect or clashing with it.

    And it’s not at all easy to correct hard copy well and cleanly. White-out is messy, correction tape is tedious, erasers leave smudges and partial image, etc.
    That's not what I meant.
    I was talking about the technical support of tablets when making changes and corrections during the band rehearsal.

  19. #18

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    i regularly annotate and make changes to my pdf lead sheets during rehearsals
    using my ipad Forscore

    If that was your question ?

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu View Post
    i regularly annotate and make changes to my pdf lead sheets during rehearsals
    using my ipad Forscore

    If that was your question ?
    Yes...thank you.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris View Post
    That's not what I meant. I was talking about the technical support of tablets when making changes and corrections during the band rehearsal.
    Sorry, Kris - you just seemed to be in an anti-tablet position. Your original objection to tablets in this thread was "Tablets are good because nobody wants to burden their memory." Then you stated that "On paper [editing] is probably easier and faster". I just provided many examples of how and why it's both necessary and less satisfactory on paper. Pingu told you how many do it.

    I bring a tablet on every gig. I now have 21 fakebooks on it plus a few hundred original scores - there are thousands of tunes on it. Although I probably know a few thousand tunes well enough to play from memory, I and most others need a little reminder every once in a while. For example, I occasionally confuse bridges between similar tunes that I haven't played in a few years. I even confuse titles betwen tunes no one's called in a decade. Lat week, a vocalist called If I Only Had a Brain and Little Jazz Bird. I haven't been asked to play either of those in so long I can't remember. So I opened the sheets just to make sure I got it right - backing a performer is a responsibility that must not be taken lightly. And I'm almost certainly not the only one who knows far more tunes than I do their titles. I've been asked to play many tunes I didn't recognize by title but knew well once I saw or heard the intro or first line.

    I don't think there's any subsitute for tablets, laptops etc for the gigging musician unless you have get hard copy charts for everything, you have enough room, light, and proper stands on your stage or playing area, and you play shows with set programs.

  22. #21

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    I know a great musician who doesn't like electronics, computers etc... but that's a completely different story.

  23. #22

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    I'd rather play with someone who has a tablet than play with someone who has no idea what's going on.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllanAllen View Post
    I'd rather play with someone who has a tablet than play with someone who has no idea what's going on.
    Do you mean jazz concert or jam session?
    I think you should play with someone who knows about playing ... the tablet is just an electronic book.
    There are usually rehearsals before the concert, but with renowned musicians the rehearsals go fast.
    All musicians know what's going on.I used to play in a band where the leader forbade the use of sheet music stands on stage.
    I had to memorize everything.Fortunately, there were rehearsals before the concerts.

    Random jam sessions are also random musicians.Maybe the tablet will save the day.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris View Post
    That's not what I meant.
    I was talking about the technical support of tablets when making changes and corrections during the band rehearsal.
    OK, In my answer above (did you see it?) I was saying how the changes are automatically distributed to the other musos tablets. That's a big advantage because you only make the change once and then they all get the update.

    As for actually making the changes, if the lead sheet is a text file, you can just edit it, delete and type in new stuff using an on-screen keyboard. If it's an image or PDF, you can literally write on the screen with your finger (I have scrawled stuff like the new key the singer wants), or add a text field and type in the new notes and changes etc, if you want it a bit neater.

  26. #25
    Thanks you all for your awnsers.
    I just received a Xiaomi Mi Pad 5 ( 11 inch screen ) and it looks really nice, the screen is good quality.

    Since you convinced me not to use ireal pro in concert due to stability, i'll make all my chords chart in PDF, but do you have any PDF viewing app that would be nice for concerts and gigs ?