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using a tablet instead of sheet music

  • Gretchen
    Gretchen Cover

    Barbara Brundage has a great blog on using an Ipad in place of sheet music. However, I find the Ipad screen just too small  and too much glare so I am considering getting the new Asus EEE B121 slate with a 12" screen. That way my music is the same size on a computer as paper.  Has anyone tried a tablet other than Ipad for music? What do you do to organize your music?  How do you scan it?  Suggestions for a blue-tooth foot turner?  Thank you for any advice or thoughts.  This is my year to do away with page turn angst.

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    replies to "using a tablet instead of sheet music"
    • Saul
      Saul Davis Zlatkovski

      I can't imagine swithcing to a computer. It will open up a whole new world of complications, seems to me. How long does the battery last? How do you turn pages? What if it fails? Doesn't seem reliable to me. I would spend the money on a multifunction printer with an 11x17 flat bed screening area so you can photocopy music as needed to solve page turns.

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    • Gretchen
      Gretchen Cover

      Saul,

      I can't imagine not using a tablet.  Batteries last 2-10 hours. For my little dinky amount of playing at a local church on occaision, I can plug in to an outlet.  No more sticking pages in the Florida humidity or relying on a page turner.  Plus I will be able to keep my music organized without looking through piles on the floor.  Look at the young musicians. They are all moving to computers/tablets.  Move with the times.

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    • Tony
      Tony Morosco

      Saul, a tablet isn't really a computer. At least not in the sense that people seem to think. They don't suffer the same kinds of problems that, say, a laptop can have. They are extremely reliable.

      My iPad, if I start with it fully charged and use it just for sheet music, can last, well, I don't really know because I have never been able to play that long. On average the life span of the battery is about 10 hours. Starting with a fully charged battery there is virtually no way you can run out of battery in one gig if you are primarily using it for sheet music.

      You can turn pages any number of ways. Of course you can turn pages by simply touching the screen, easier than turning an actual paper page. But you can also use a foot switch so you can turn a page with a foot tap as well.

      There is nothing wrong with using paper music, but people have been using computers and electronics to make music for a very long time. It isn't a new or untested thing. After all, half of what makes a synthesizer work is a sound module that is just a computer dedicated to interpreting input from a MIDI controller and translating it to digital information that gets reproduced as sound. I still have an old one from the 80s that takes floppy disks yet still works reliably.

      I know people who use computers to handle all sorts of performance needs, from sound mixing to controlling lights.

      Not suggesting that anyone needs any of that. Just pointing out that use of computers, electronics and the such as part of a live performance is not new, and not nearly as unreliable as you might think. Not only are there ways to make it work well, but there are plenty of resources to learn how to do that from the people who have been making it all work well for decades now.

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    • Gretchen
      Gretchen Cover

      Tony, thank you for your comments. Now moving along to the original questions...

      What bluetooth foot pedal are you using?   

      I know Barbara recommended using Forscore for sheet music.  Is that the program you use?  I read that it comes in a Mac and PC format.  Any suggestions for a newbie to get started on moving to a tablet?

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    • Barbara
      Barbara Brundage

      Forscore is not available for either mac or pc, only for iPad. There is a program called musicreader that would work in windows 7, which is made by the people who make the airturn.

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    • Tony
      Tony Morosco

      I use an airturn foot switch. I almost went with the page flip, which is cheaper, but with the air turn you can position the foot switches which you can't do with the pageflip.

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