iPad for live music, lyrics and chords
Over the years as a guitarist and singer I have amassed a large repertoire of songs with considerably varying tempos, genres and artists. Only the prolific Bob Dylan could remember that amount of lyrics let alone chord progressions. To date I have songs stored in loose-leaf format and categorised alphabetically by popularity and then title.
Can you imagine the inconvenience of my ring binders with heavily thumbed ripped pages and smudged titles? When performing if the band gets a request I can generally find a song fairly quickly and work out the changes needed for the rest of the band. But on occasion someone asks for a song I don’t have listed in the popular binder or only half the lyrics because I left the other half at the last gig. New Years Eve 2010 saw a solution to these problems when I acquired Apple’s iPad.
The iPad, in combination with three apps Softalk’s Autocue, Evernote and Tabs has truly transformed the way I approach gigs by allowing me to read, in real time, scrolling lyrics and chords. The nearest alternative a conventional bulky autocue would cost hundreds and more importantly mean yet another flight case to load in and out.
Guitar toolkit and Amplitube are another two apps ideal for dressing room preparations and with the help of an iRig from IK Multimedia we are able to tune, check chords, record and rehearse sounds. Dropbox with its cloud computing technology enables us to swap and edit set lists and lyrics not to mention photos and song demos.
The iPad is also great for just plain old browsing!!
Charlie Watts when asked to sum up his career replied “five years of playing and twenty years of hanging around”.