My New iPad – PERFECT for Gigs!!!

Just had to take a moment to write about my new iPad and how great it is for gigs! I absolutely LOVE it!!!! Consider that I usually bring a small suitcase FULL of lyric books and fakebooks to my gigs…literally, a SUITCASE!…particularly the one at Gold Coast Casino because we take so many requests. Now, I only bring my iPad and the charts for whatever musicians I am using (which many times means ONLY the piano book if it’s a jazz gig). I used it for the first time on New Year’s Eve for both The Orleans gig and SC Prime Steakhouse, and it went great…SOOOO much easier! My favorite apps so far are the iRealBook and the unrealBook. PERFECT for the working musician and singer!

The iRealBook is absolutely AMAZING…their website describes the app like this:

“iRealBook is an app for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android that contains a collection of hundreds of chord charts of jazz standards, jazz classics, latin, brazilian, pop classics and more.”

They also have a forum of user-added charts where you can easily download (and EDIT) hundreds more! In addition, you can easily transpose the charts to any key you want and email them anywhere, AND it now features a music player which lets you PLAY the music as well (sounds like a LIVE jazz trio accompanying you…well, sort of….but DEFINITELY good enough to practice to). In the photo of me above, that’s the app I have open on the iPad. And guess what? It only costs $9.99!!!! I know…REALLY inexpensive for what you get!

The unrealBook app on the iPad

The other app I mentioned, the unrealBook, is equally as COOL, but for different reasons. This is where I have PDFs of all my lyric sheets and any other charts or sheet music not already on iRealBook. Their website features a list of the app’s features:

  • unrealBook allows you to access your entire library of music or lyrics on your iPad with ease.
  • Replace your bulky and heavy binders with a small and light iPad filled with your music PDF files.
  • The alphabetized and indexed list makes it easy to find the song you are looking for.
  • No more asking for a light for your music stand on dark stages.
  • No more worrying about a breeze turning a page by accident.
  • Search for a song quickly and easily.
  • Create bookmarks that allow you to easily load up a large PDF and go directly to a page within.
  • Use bookmarks and PDF files together to create set lists for different gigs.
  • Hot spots allow you place highlighted areas on the page that allow you to jump from one page to another when pressed (think To Coda and D.S. signs).
  • There is a built in music player so you can listen to your music while you check out the score!
  • Connect to the world via email, URL download, dropbox support.
  • Annotate your scores with auto-highlighted text and colored pens with different sizes.
  • Create set lists easily. Jump to any song in a set list directly or step through the set list sequentially.

Within just a few hours of downloading the unrealBook (which cost $4.99), I had converted all my lyrics sheets to PDF (previously in Microsoft Word, converted to PDF form using Cute PDF Writer, freeware version) and uploaded them to the iPad. Within the app itself, I then created “set lists” based on song style (medium swing, jazz ballad, etc.) so that I could find what I was looking for easily and quickly during a gig, and added text to each lyric sheet indicating the key. Voila! I now have close to 400 lyric sheets ready to access anytime with one finger!!!!!! So easy…

Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE technology!!! :)