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iPad App for Guitar Tabs

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Do you guys use an app you like to keep your guitar tabs and sheet music organized and available? I use an ipad and have been looking around. Seems like forescore and unrealbook are recommended pretty highly but i can't make heads or tails of all the features.

I want to be able to organize and use PDFs and chordpro / tab formatted song, be able to have them live on dropbox/icloud etc and be available offline.

Support for chordpro/tab seems to be unclear. Forscore sounds great but it doesn't appear to support guitar tabs.

Is there any clear winner here?

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Tried a few but onsong is the only one that works 100% as it should 

You can fudge around with the others and you will eventually , I suppose , have your songs on the ipad , but onsong user interface is streets ahead of the rest 

Gets what ya pay for 

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I've never used tabs. 

Back in my day we had to know it all. Showing up at a gig with any assistance was unacceptable.

And they called those the good old days.

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If you use Dropbox and you want your files to be available offline, you need to pay a subscription for that - they have removed it from the free version as I found out myself the other day.

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3 hours ago, Murph said:

I've never used tabs. 

Back in my day we had to know it all. Showing up at a gig with any assistance was unacceptable.

And they called those the good old days.

Ya  no kidding Murph!

the memory was a bit sharper back then,,  I was in one band for close to 20 years w/all the same members.  We had a set list about 270 songs long, we could play any one at any time,  never used chord charts, or lyric sheets..

Fast forward 30 years, and out of the 150+ songs I've stocked up for solo gigs,    I'd be lucky to pull off half of them with out some sort of memory aid. 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Murph said:

I've never used tabs. 

Back in my day we had to know it all. Showing up at a gig with any assistance was unacceptable.

And they called those the good old days.

I would have to if I ever played out.   I can't ever remember what I did yesterday. Getting old sucks lol

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I hate this 'I never needed any help , I learned the songs before I gigged' stuff that arises every time someone asks about a songbook or an app 

 

A weeks wages say that when the electric guitar appeared there was a long line of people saying 'never needed one of those when i was gigging'

 

Do your own thing and let others do theirs 

 

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21 minutes ago, blindboygrunt said:

I hate this 'I never needed any help , I learned the songs before I gigged' stuff that arises every time someone asks about a songbook or an app 

 

A weeks wages say that when the electric guitar appeared there was a long line of people saying 'never needed one of those when i was gigging'

 

Do your own thing and let others do theirs 

 

ya, I'm with...    it is not a sign of weakness or any of that other rubbish.   It is just that in the past,. when I was way younger,  I was able to retain things a lot more than I can now.  

 

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Just a comment. I never learned how to mess with tabs. Don't know how they work. Wasn't meaning any dis-respect, whatever it takes to learn a tune is fine with me.

However, there was no way in hell you were gonna put a music stand with lyrics on a stage for a paying gig in Phoenix in the 70's / 80's. This would have meant you didn't know your songs and weren't "ready". I realize these days even the pro's use iPads and those fake monitors with lyrics. It just didn't happen back then. Not in the markets I played.

 

Edited by Murph

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I didn't think the OP wanted to use his tabs on stage while playing, he said he wanted to be able to "organize and use" them on all his devices so I was thinking it was for practice. Maybe I misunderstood? But the last time I played with my son in law, he was using some kind of chord app for his bass and never looked up from his phone, LOL. We were just having some family fun though, not playing in a club. 🙂

Anyway, I don't really use tabs either, but have a big collection of lyrics and chords in text format and a few spreadsheets with tuning info. I use MS Office 365, it works on almost any device, subscriptions are pretty cheap and include a huge amount of cloud storage. The "home" version is $100/year but you can share it with 5 other people who each get 1TB of cloud storage and can use it on 5 different devices. If you don't already have a subscription, maybe you have a friend or family member who is not using all 6 of theirs? You don't even need to be a family member to share a plan.

Edited by Boyd

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2 hours ago, Murph said:

Just a comment. I never learned how to mess with tabs. Don't know how they work. Wasn't meaning any dis-respect, whatever it takes to learn a tune is fine with me.

However, there was no way in hell you were gonna put a music stand with lyrics on a stage for a paying gig in Phoenix in the 70's / 80's. This would have meant you didn't know your songs and weren't "ready". I realize these days even the pro's use iPads and those fake monitors with lyrics. It just didn't happen back then. Not in the markets I played.

 

My first decent lead playing lesson was in the mid sixties with a play along LP with tabs by the Ventures. Still remember it. 

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I also don't believe you should have learning or memory aids on stage - if you haven't leaned the song properly, it is best not to do it. You are supposed to engage the audience with a joke or a smile or a story and some good guitar playing and singing and even a bit of a tap 😲...not stare at a phone. Entertainment it is called. Can you even see a phone or iPad with some of the stage lights being so bright?

That said, I like everything we can do to get the song in my head...sheet music, books, guitar tab, lyrics on paper or on iPad or computer, online video, tab, teacher everything

BluesKing777.

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Well , fair enough , if you've got to the point where you have 'stage lights' then I'll agree that you should , and probably have anyway,  learned your songs completely and utterly 

It is possible to use a book / ipad / whatever without sitting staring at it the whole time , in fact it's possible to appear not to be using it at all . To just sit and read  would be a little amateurish for sure 

My point is just that , there are plenty about who have full time jobs and families etc and yet enjoy entertaining at the weekend without the time to dedicate to learning 100's of songs inside out 

They shouldn't be made to feel they are in some way 'not doing it right'

I've seen more musicians that were from unentertaining to downright rubbish and none of them had a songbook or an ipad 

And I've seen plenty that were great using their crutch 

Never,  ever ever seen anyone sitting staring at their notes . Not once 

 

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Whatever it takes to put on a good show.  Last stadium gig I had, I had monitors with the words, but didn't need them...

 

 

 

*for the record - last stadium gig = last open mic, and monitors = wife holding an iPhone.

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They had 'stage lights' at a local blues jam night - the classic blue light on top of one PA speaker and the red light on top of the other....plus 2 on the floor either side of the foldback wedge. Once you sat down on a chair to play guitar/sing, you could not see a thing except blinding light and the temperature went up to about 140 from the heat of the light on your face....and just as you start dripping blindly, someone took your photo! Good luck seeing your iPad/phone if you had one! Good luck seeing anything really, and you had to be careful not to walk off the edge of the 'stage'.

You want another little story? A blues band I played in for a few months rehearsed at a pub on Monday nights! No hiding our dirty laundry until we perfected a tune or 2 - 'rehearse live'. The pub owner found an old aircraft landing light one day and painted the globe blue and put it in front of the stage. Wow. Talk about getting religion and seeing the light. Anyhows, I got up with my metal Dobro to do my solo set and the reflection of the light on the guitar blinded everyone in the bar, so there were calls to break the light..... Again, good luck with the iPad.

BluesKing777.

 

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I used to think having the lyrics or music on stage was a no no, until in the late 60s/early 70s Frank Sinatra appeared on a TV special of his using sheet music.  From then on, it was A-OK in my book to use lyric sheets or music sheets.  And, then, I realized that orchestras and string quartets use sheet music practically all of the time.  And years later I read how Andres Segovia knew every lick  of his guitar solos by heart, but would put up a music stand with music on it  for effect sometimes, because his audience seemed to expect him to do so.  And, then I started learning about how studio musicans often request charts.  

So nothing wrong in my book any longer if someone uses lyrics, sheet music, or iPad or prompters.  As a matter of fact, now in the 2000’s I now usually set up a music stand with a set list and who knows what else on it at my gigs just for effect. And, maybe rummage through it a little once or twice at a gig to pick out a piece of music to glance at a little...just like some of the described masters do.   Kinda cool and in my performances I feel it adds some occasional visual credibility like Old  Blue Eyes, Segovia, the Wrecking Crew, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, etc.  But, I do agree there was a time when it seemed it just wasn’t done.  But, there was also a time when I never sat on a stool on stage and always felt I should stand at a gig, when now I always bring a stool to sit on when I gig, along with that music stand prop off to my side.

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

 

 

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Back around 1970 when I was in college, we did a dramatic reading of a play where the actors had their scripts on music stands with lights. I was the lighting designer and thought the bright stand lights were too distracting , so I put blue gels on them for the final rehearsal. The cast came out on stage, looked at their scripts and freaked out because the pages were blank - they thought it was a gag. But the problem was that the scripts were printed on a ditto machine (some of you are too young to remember those ). Blue light makes blue print invisible. 😄

We pulled the gels off the lights and all was well.

Edited by Boyd

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