A number of years ago at a Harry Connick Jr concert was the first time I’d seen musicians using an electronic display for reading their charts. The entire band had LCD screens that displayed the music charts. There was also a system in place that would automatically turn pages as the band played.
After a few weeks with the iPad I started to wonder what was out there for doing just the same thing, also though I wanted an application that would store all the music charts that a musician collects. Basically get rid of the need to carry around binders full of loose pages of music.
Not surprisingly, with the huge variety of applications that have been build for both iPhone and now iPad there are a number of choices available.
Some apps like Ultimate-guitar.com ‘s Tab App and Agile Partner’s Tab Toolkit both look like really promising solutions to the problem, but for me neither of these were the best solution. While they both allow you to search and store guitar tabs I didn’t want to get locked into particular file formats. Instead I’d prefer to use PDF as the file format. I’m going to spend time getting a digital collection of charts together, I want it to be in a format that is portable and I can use in other software apps now and into the future.
- Support for PDF as the file format for the charts
- Have an easy way to load the PDFs info the application (via iTunes syncing)
- Simply page turning
- Easily annotate the score to make rough notes about the chart
- Ability to group charts together to make a set list for a performance or a practice session
In the end I went for ForScore as it had a couple of other features that I thought were nice, a web browser in the app that allows you to import PDFs directly on the iPad being the main one.
Now all I have to do is spend a couple of rainy days to create PDFs of the charts to import into the app.