How do you guys organize your "sheet" music?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by sbpark, Jul 10, 2016.

  1. sbpark

    sbpark Friend of Leo's

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    I'm looking for ways to organize lyrics, chord charts, etc. for a bunch of covers I've been learning over the last year or so since talking up the challenge of singing, and eventually playing out at an open mic. Looking for suggestions and info on how you guys store/organize/catalogue your sheet music. Are you old school and keep it in a folder, binder, etc.? Or do you keep evening on your laptop, iPad, tablet, or other storage device? Do you have a particular app or program you use that you really like for this that easily allows you to transfer the lyrics with chords written above the lyrics in a similar format as you see online? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. sacizob

    sacizob Friend of Leo's

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    Alphabetical in a note book. However, I never use sheets live.
     
  3. Alamo

    Alamo Doctor of Teleocity

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    In Italian Restaurants I loudly proclaim that I need a sheet on the table. then that's the end of that.
    on other occurances I've tried tablet devices -- too small to read or page change ain't happening.
    printed stuff is similar -- too low light to read, need my glasses, pages etc.
    best thing is to memorize them in the head -- no lights or glasses required. but do deny the one too many drinks.
     
  4. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    I'm old school at this... and I guess at most things. I have about 70 or so songs in my repertoire that I play and sing. I have created one sheet for each song in Word, with the lyrics superimposed over a chord chart of the "arrangement". They are stored in a folder on my laptop. I have printouts of all of them. I use the 81/2" x 11" punched 3 hole clear page protectors. I put one song in facing one way, and the next facing the other way for each protector. Then put the whole thing together in a 3-ring binder. So it's kind of a fake book for the songs I do. It comes in handy at rehearsal though I have memorized the lyrics, chords and arrangements (pretty much ;)) and don't use it at a gig. I can easily change around the order and the book can act as a set list too. I usually play in a trio but if we are adding a fourth, I give the book to him/her to use in preparation and/or at the gig. Probably not the best method, so thanks for asking the question. I'm looking forward to reading what others do.
     
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  5. Brazen

    Brazen Tele-Meister

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    I use iReal Pro on an iPad, which I usually clip to a mic stand.
     
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  6. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    Organize?
     
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  7. evanjones99

    evanjones99 TDPRI Member

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    Microsoft Word document for each song with lyrics, chords and key riffs (both to jog memory and in case someone is sitting in). Easy to print out lost sing sheets or print up a new book for me or someone else.

    Maximum of two pages per song so it takes up a double page spread in the display book (like a ring binder, but with a lot more holes down the side to eliminate page sag).

    Print out a set list for the front of the display book and order songs in set list order, but process of preparing song sheet means the songs are mostly memorised.

    It is more labour intensive than other methods, but a) I don't play very often and b) the fewer things that can go wrong, the better.

    I've also got an AirTurn and a Microsoft Surface with all my song sheets on it. It's good if there is a request for a song not in the display book, but changing between Word documents at the end of each song interrupted the flow.
     
  8. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    Depends on which job but my cover band stuff is now all paperless on iPad. I have iReal Pro but prefer a basic chord structure I put together myself with any playing notes in MS word and save as PDF and just use iBooks to view it.

    They are formatted to fill the screen. I usually know them though.

    [​IMG]

    List of songs and pages at start. I can quickly scan through to any song or use search.

    I use same in another band which is reading heavy.

    I also have the ultimate guitar tabs pro app, which is good for basic lyrics with chords and busking stuff. Any you save in favourites are kept offline for gigs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
  9. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    ^^^ my chord charts look a LOT like that, LOL. This is from the Clapton song on Reptile. I don't do it anymore, but nice to have the chart in case...
    upload_2016-7-10_18-36-37.png
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
  10. strat56

    strat56 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I use OnSong on my iPad. I recently got iGig but haven't spent too much time with it yet.

    OnSong is very feature rich and easy to use, http://onsongapp.com/
     
  11. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    I know others using OnSong. If you want lyrics, etc and more dynamic stuff, it looks good.

    More than I need but could be worth an extended try
     
  12. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I've accumulated 100s of paper chord charts and sheet music, some I create on computer, some I photocopy from song books & fake books etc., so some kind of organization is necessary!

    I use one of those expanding file folder carry cases with alphabetical tabs, like these on Amazon:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Tele wacker

    Tele wacker Tele-Holic

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    I have one Master book that I keep an alphabetical order. When we play a gig, I put the gig songs in a smaller 3 ring binder. I seldom use the music but I take it in case one of the other guys needs it.
     
  14. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Sheet music? We don't need no stinkin' sheet music! o_O If I showed up at a jam with sheet music they'd make me stand in the corner with my nose against the wall. :( LOL

    Seriously though, I have hundreds of pages of lyrics in ring binders and they're alphabetized. I'll draw from that when I have a gig or a jam or even a rehearsal where I need lyrics and put only what I need in another binder organized like a set list.

    I seldom need to chart chord progressions so I don't like to do that often. I want the music and the arrangement down pat so I can focus on my vocals. If I absolutely need those I use the same system I do with the lyrics.
     
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  15. stxrus

    stxrus Friend of Leo's

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    Originally multiple 3-ring binders. Each band, project, or folks I played/jammed with.

    I currently host an open mic/jam and have an iPod with onsong. The basic tunes the core band does with tunes that we have done more than once in the past. Somewhere around 185 tunes.

    At my age and a rampant case of CRS I need all the help I can get. I'm looking a second iPad to archive all of the books that have failing page protectors and yellowing
     
  16. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    You guys that posted charts had a lot of these things: # They are scary...
     
  17. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    binder, has to be black
    lyrics left, chart right, facing
    plastic protected, stays flatter
    alpha'd

    never used live
    if we're not off book, we're not playing it

    I have a thing about a chart fitting on a single page -- it helps memory
     
  18. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    My blues trio plays a variety of songs that aren't purely blues, and are sometimes fairly well known: Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, Booker T songs, and personal favorites by Boogaloo Joe Jones and cool stuff like that.

    I play the chords and melody. We tend to choose songs that sound complete even when I am playing the melody only, with no chords, just bass and drums. The bass player and I have to some kind of understanding about how we can do a satisfying rendition, even without the chords.

    Even though I have our established songs memorized, there are some when both the bass player and I will draw a blank about how the song goes. For example, Next Time You See Me has a melody that is on the more commonplace side, blues-wise. This means that when we call it, I am sometimes having to whisper to the bass player to sing a bar to trigger my memory.

    My workaround to this has been to write out the melody and chords in Sibelius, then save the page as a pdf, which I keep on the computer and iPad for quick recall. I only have to glance at the melody, then I'm good to go. I rarely read from the page while playing, unless we are learning a new song.

    As I age, reading has become an increasingly handy tool in a number of situations.
     
  19. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    All lovingly put in ring binders, then I lose the s***ing binders.
     
  20. Stringbanger

    Stringbanger Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I think my music is the only thing in my life that is organized! I have kept songs in 3 ring binders for years. I put the songs in alphabetical order, and then I label the end of the binder with a permanent marker, then I stand them vertically in a cupboard in the basement. I must have 20 or more.

    Some of the names are:
    Current Repertoire
    Backup Repertoire
    Blues Songs
    R&B Songs
    Songs By Heart (and believe me, when you get to be my age, you will forget songs you thought you knew by heart)

    Band Songs
    Incomplete Songs
    Songs from The 1890s-1920s
    Moldy Songs I
    Moldy Songs II
    Originals
    Coming And Going Covers
    Slide Guitar
    Unfinished Originals
    Revolving Band Songs
    Backup Reserve Repertoire

    This method has worked very well for me, and it's fun. Say I get tired of my Current Repertoire, I'll break out one of the older binders. Then I'll stumble on a song that I want to revisit, so that song gets moved to a more current binder. Kind of a hierarchy of songs. Conversely, if I get bored with a song, it gets moved lower in the pecking order.
    PS-I firmly believe in having a hard copy of all my music. You can't predict what will happen in the electronic world. IMO.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
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