Well, it’s been 2 years and almost 2 months since my first lesson on guitar! I stopped taking lessons after a year since I fell off of practicing the homework my teacher gave me in lieu of trying to learn the worship songs in order to play at my church. You can read more about my first year here.
The binders needed to go!
I’m still playing at church on Sundays and beyond. But as for the weekly praise team worship practice, lugging around all the paper copies of my chord sheets wasn’t working because once I arrived on Thursday and received the set-list for Sunday I’d have to search through all my music to pull out the songs and then rearrange them into a separate binder for church. I’d say my music is kept in 2 over-stuffed 2″ binders and 2- 1″ binders… and I brought it all because I didn’t know what songs we would be doing and that’s just too much to carry back and forth each week.
Tried to go digital by creating a folder in Google Drive
So…………. with the new year, I just went for it and played using my iPad mini for service. I made a folder in Google drive for Sunday and moved each song (saved as a .pdf file) in there. That was great to not have to carry anything except that and my guitar! Thank the Lord that I downloaded the songs for Sunday onto the iPad because one Sunday we lost internet service for some reason. Going paperless was a piece of cake. Just need to make sure the device was fully charged before service and that I DON’T FORGET IT at home! Also, if a song we were doing wasn’t in a good key for me to play on guitar I could easily find and download it onto Drive and then view it. The bad thing was it took a few minutes to move the songs into a folder (at first I made copies of the songs and moved that because I was afraid I would delete it somehow) and I had to time the turning of the pages (for chord sheets over 2 pages) with my finger in-between strums. I asked around and heard about getting a page turner. I said to myself I would not spend any money on some gadget until I know this paperless method is going to work out. So I played it using this method for several weeks until President’s day weekend.
Introducing a page turner and a great app!
President’s day weekend, while dreaming at the local Guitar Center, the “iRig Blue Turn” Bluetooth page turner was on sale. The reviews on Amazon looked okay and the price was cheaper too so I bought that and it has worked out beautifully. I had to download an app for it, in order for it to work (it would not turn pages in the folder but if the songs were in the app it would turn the page) but the app they recommended didn’t meet my needs. I wanted one that had access to Google Drive because that was where all my songs were kept. I wanted one that I could write on it if any changes were made during rehearsal so that I wouldn’t have to try and remember everything. Also, I wanted it to be FREE, if possible, and obviously would work on the iPad Mini. Thankfully, I found one that did all these things: piascore. It’s really easy to download songs (acutally I just downloaded the whole folder so that they are all there) and then put them into a set-list. I can easily rearrange the songs within the set-list or delete or add or make several set-lists. Best of all, I can use my finger to write on the chord sheets and it stays with the song (let’s say if I used that same song in a different set-list, those edits were still there). I know there is a paid version for this app, but it’s doing all that I needed it to do right now and I’m really happy about it.
Ready to go digital?
So, if you’re ready to move to paperless – these tools may be worth looking into if you plan to use and iPad for viewing your music. (My android phone screen would be too small to try and see for worship. I have heard that there are some great paperless apps that work well on Android too.)
The iKlip stand works on my guitar stand too!
I did also get the iKlip 2 for the iPad mini which was also on sale that day. I didn’t use it yet until today when I realized maybe I could hook it up to my guitar stand….. and it works!!! The only thing I don’t really like about it is the super-snug fit of the device in the holder. I had to take off my case in order for it to fit and sliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide it into there. I am confident it will NOT fall out though! One day I plan to get a microphone stand and then I plan to clamp it on that. But that’s ooooone day. 🙂 Just using what I’ve got for now!
FretRest Proline HT1010 guitar stand
iKlip 2 for ipad mini stand adapter
iRig Blue Turn bluetooth page turner for iphone, ipad, mac and android
digital music score reader Piascore
Do you have other tools that help you?