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Hello everyone,

I'm going back to school this year for jazz studies and wondering how indispensable others find tablets to be. I think it's a great option for replacing the giant real book, but I don't know much more than that. Maybe sight reading is too difficult, for instance, especially since we're far from the music as it is.

Just wondering what other people's experiences are. Also, any suggestions for brands or models? I own a smart phone and a reasonably large laptop (PC) currently, so maybe those two things already serve my desires well enough.


p.s. Sorry if this is the wrong forum -- didn't know where to put it!


IndianaGlen Mon, 08/11/2014 - 13:15

I LOVE IRealB on my Ipad; it's great for a practice tool and if I don't know the changes I can read them as I play. However, I can't see actual sheet music notes while playing my vibe I need actual sheet music for that. (although I wear reading glasses, and I am a lousy reader)


rogersvibes Mon, 08/11/2014 - 16:58

I have an iPad and I use it more for practicing when I don't have access to an instrument, although it's also good to read changes from (if you must!). If you also have Garageband, you can have iRealB play the changes of a tune in the background, while you play along on one of the Garageband keyboard instruments. My favourite is the 'soul organ', which is like a Hammond B3 kind of sound. I have learned many tunes doing this and it's great to keep your ears in shape. You can also work on voicings and such.

DanaSud Tue, 08/12/2014 - 10:56

I have a 1st generation iPad. It works great for reading music too. I use a pdf reader and have loaded all my charts, real books, etc into it. I love that it is back lit (no light required), heavy enough not to blow in the wind (no clips required) and I can quickly organize set lists such that I don't do a lot of "page turning".

I also use the iRealB app but much less often. Usually only when a singer calls a tune I don't know well enough to transpose on the fly. I try to stay away from it because it doesn't include the melody (disconnect #1) and it is a crutch I try to avoid because I end up using my ears less (disconnect #2)

All that being said, I am blessed with very good vision. I can read tiny print even when sharing a stand several feet away with an upright bass player with bad vision. Of course, this has been slowly deteriorating lately as I approach my 40th (sniff sniff).

It also has the limitation of only being able to display one page at a time. I have become fairly adept at page turning and mostly only use it for a quick reference. Usually as soon as I see a chart on a song I have played many times before, I don't need to look at it again (memory starts working again...)

All in all I have reached a point in the development of my ears (yes it took me this long) where I am actively trying to avoid reading as much as possible. Instead I am trying to memorize things quickly or use my ears to guide me. I don't even like having to look at the bars anymore......

my 2 cents