Transfering Lyrics to an iPad

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by Paul in Colorado, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. telel6s

    telel6s Tele-Afflicted

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    I was giving a singer in a band I know a hard time because he was reading straight off of his tablet for the chorus in Marley's 'Stir It Up' - all five or six times it gets sung. He admitted that he needed some clues for the verses (new-ish song in their set list) but simply because the tablet was there he kept on reading while singing the chorus throughout the song.

    I know people can get fixated reading lyrics off of a sheet of paper in a binder, but my anecdotal experience is that this is a bigger factor when using tablets.

    I tried one free chart apps for my Android table (don't remember which one). But I have well over 400 computer files, some of which are 20+ years old now (do computer files age? hmmm), and in many different layouts. Plus sheets I typed ona typewriter (yes, I'm old). Trying to convert all of those into a tablet happy format would be a ton of work. True, some of those songs I may never play again, but my current solo gig list is around 100 active songs. Also, as my eyesight begins to get worse, I can print out in larger fonts, even if it is now on two pages. One unintended consequence I like about that is I can place the music stand farther away from me and off to the side. There's nothing I need to read word-for-word or note-for-note, but it's nice being able to glance over to get cues for the next line, verse or bridge. I think this helps me stay connected with the audience, and even when I do look at a sheet I'm not dropping my face down towards the floor.

    All that said, I'm enjoying reading this thread and the different apps that are mentioned. It would probably be a good thing to get everything on a tablet as a backup or to have those other 300 songs available that I'm unlikely to play but if someone requests it I could pull it up.
     
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  2. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    we don't have to actually read the lyrics to every song, our band leader does not, but we may be requested a tune with a $20 bill which we have not done in a long time, if at all.

    I use the Ipad for all sorts of stuff, charts , setlists, notes etc...not just lyrics

    I have set lists and some charts from bands from a few years back that i sat in with and still sit in with now and then.
     
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  3. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

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    Lyrics from PC to iPad into a lyrics APP will be very fast. If you turn the iPad on it’s side and scroll the lyrics, they will be about the same size as when printed on a sheet or two of paper. So then you are good to go. You just have to enter the scroll time for the song.

    However if you want much larger fonts you will have to format song sheets. A first step can be just select the largest usable font for each song sheet.

    Songs still on paper, it will be best to find them on the internet, copy and paste into the APP.
     
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  4. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Holic

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    I use the app: songbook as Onsong is iOS only, and we have some android tablets in the mix. It can sync with Dropbox or a google folder. It’s worth learning chordpro as it opens up transposition features.
     
  5. ce24

    ce24 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Our band uses iPads and onsong. I control them all from my app. We have a band router and we all connect to each other thru that. What I see they see, when I scroll they scroll. Need a song? Google the song with "yesterday chords" up pops ultimate guitar with yesterday....share to onsong app voila.... Lyrics and chords ready to go...2 minutes max. I have the blue tooth pedal that starts and stops scrolling and goes to next song. Great app. It's only $30 for onsong app. Yaay technology.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  6. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

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    Some Good APP features: changing keys, showing chords with capo, all kinds of formatting, embedded chords instead of of flying above the words, capability to edit on pc, Dropbox friendly, capable of playing background tracks, total playtime for a set, able to send MIDI such as the settings for a drum machine at the beginning of a song, MIDI start/stop, etc
     
  7. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    regardless of which technology or APP all we use, it's a million times better than carrying a few notebooks "PAPER" or a music stand.

    Its a permanent record of charts , songs, setlsits, whatever. If we are taking it from Google Drive or another HOSTED location then viewing it OFF LINE, everything is still stored and available with pretty much any NET active device.

    There is also a nice app called "documents" which syncs with Google DRIVE . That app allows for draggin all of the titles into a viewable side bar, in order, so they can be accessed as needed. The entire set list can be placed in the side bar.

    Too many good things available to not take advantage.

    And all this time people thought Iphones, Androids and Ipads were for talking and texting ! :rolleyes: NOT !
     
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  8. telel6s

    telel6s Tele-Afflicted

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    This is all good for any new songs I want a sheet for. But my current files are not all in the same format; I often have "REPEAT Chorus 2x" or similar; where I have chords written out it may only be on the first verse and first chorus and not the whole song, etc. Converting my files to get that to work nicely in the app I had tried was not insignificant. And the auto scrolling function was a pain to set at the correct speed: I don't play songs at the same tempo every time (a coffee bar gig might get a slower tempo than an outdoor party); not all my files are written in linear order because I don't type out the chorus each and every time, I can think of two songs off the top of my head where the first verse is repeated as the last verse so my sheet just says something like "Repeat First Verse".

    As for finding on the internet, copy & paste, that's fine and good if you can find a correct version. But so, so often the versions out there are incorrect or written at a beginner's level. Don't get me wrong, I almost always find some version of a song online when learning something new. Yes it's lazy of me but so much easier than learning a song from just the audio. But it's rare, I think, when a song on Ultimate-Guitar or any other site is spot-on perfect. And that's before I may change an arrangement for playing solo (mostly what I'm doing these days) or for the particular group. (Separate pet peeve - these "learn how to play" videos on YouTube that are clearly wrong and you can find the original artist playing the song where you can easily see their hands and the chords they are playing. errrrrr.)

    I don't want this to all sound like I'm trying to find excuses not to use an app on my tablet. I'm going check out a couple of the ones that have been mentioned in this thread. Maybe one of those apps will work better than whatever I tried a year or two ago. And if I pick up three new songs next week, writing them up in a tablet-friendly format will be no more work than my current printed-page-friendly format. I attached two songs as examples. The first fits on one page but a constant scroll-pace would not work because the chords are included for first verse but not the second, so the scrolling rate would have to change mid-song. In the second, I did an admittedly weird thing and have lyrics for first and second verses written directly beneath each other for each line. So again, a constant scroll rate would not work. Also, there is a hard page break between first and second pages which, in the one app I tried, messed up the scroll rate. Fixing these two songs would be relatively easy; fixing nearly 100 files all with similar quirks is just a whole lot of work.
     

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  9. Boil

    Boil Tele-Holic

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    A page turner is a better solution than auto-scroll as you are in control.

    Find yourself a scanner with a sheet feeder and scan your current paper charts to .pdf make any new charts in .txt and you will be all set.

    We have a few charts in PDF, I try to avoid it as much as possible but sometimes I need to embed a line of manuscript as a memory jog for my keyboard player so I make him a custom .pdf, if I make a setlist I need to make sure his is using the custom file but that's a minor issue.

    Now if I could just get the guys to stop sending me files in Word.....
     
  10. Boil

    Boil Tele-Holic

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    Oh yes and you may already know this but if not make sure you create your charts using a fixed width font like courier and make sure your tablet is set to display a fixed width font otherwise things will not line up properly.

    If you use the Chord (aka Chordpro) format it's not as much of an issue, as a bonus fixed width fonts are easier to read.
     
  11. Random1643

    Random1643 Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm one of those guys who could already hear/play the chords in lotsa pop, folk, blues, etc songs when I started gigging in my early teens, but being quasi-dyslexic could never remember lyrics very well. That hasn't changed in a half century, so trade-offs. (I can't type either in the sense that if you look at/think of a letter and then one of your fingers hits the key for that letter; my fingers learn/remember letter patterns that = words.) Like others I use lyrics mostly tho to jog memory; am a little more dependent on the new songs.

    Recently got rid of the binders full of lyric sheets. These sheets were all generated from MS Word docs tho so I have an editable, convert-able one sheet version for each song. I have a cheap HP laptop with a 14" diagonal screen.
    • My computerized solution is to SNIP the text of each song creating a PNG file which I then paste into a PowerPoint (PPT) slide and re-size to fill out slide. I also add the Title of the song to match the lyrics then "hide" the Title on that sheet. I save all Word and PNG files to hard drive. Then I can work with PPT in Outline View where in the left-hand column I can see and drag the titles to re-order the setlist and matching lyrics for the next gig. Huge improvement over paper. Most gigs these days I use a Gretsch for standard & drop tuning songs, a parlor w/a humbucker for open G & D songs, and a 5-string banjo w/ a humbucker. I have 3 separate PPT files, one for each instrument.
    • At the gig I run the PPT file in Slide Show so I can hit the Space Bar to forward to the next slide/song or hit Backspace if needed. (Prior to retirement I did thousands of presentations using PPT so this is familiar software.) Also use the Spider Remote app on my laptop to manage a Line 6 120w modeling amp. I use the old DOS Alt-Tab command to toggle between amp mgmt and setlist/lyrics. In the app I've saved 3 different amp, cab, mic, effects, etc "profiles" for each instrument.
    • My laptop rests on a largish media tray set low so I'm connecting with audience; there's space alongside the computer to place cell/clock, slide, other small items on the tray. Losing binders, paper, music stand - and with modeling amp losing inst switcher, pedals, power supply, many cables, etc - my gig space is less busy, cluttered than previous.
    • QUESTION: If I can add another item to the thread, what are folks doing to deal with sunlight, brightly lit gig settings? I ordered acoupla cheap "anti-glare" screens that fit my laptop. They're in the mail right now.
     
  12. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

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    You can make use of emoji . Like a guitar emoji where the guitar lead goes (I use a verse or chorus guitar marked with where all can follow), a stop sign emoji, 2️⃣3️⃣4️⃣ where you’ve had trouble getting the count right.
     
  13. memorex

    memorex Friend of Leo's

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    I just create a Word docx. I use standard 8.5 X 11 page size. I usually create a Word docx for every set list and copy all the lyrics to one document, one song per page. That way, after each song, it's a single swipe to get to the next song. After I finish a set list, I make a copy of the docx file, and change the Page Background color to (RGB) 16, 16, 16. Then I change the font color to 240, 255, 134. Then I Save As PDF. Then, I use the iTunes app to transfer the PDF to my iPad.
     
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  14. Junkyard Dog

    Junkyard Dog Tele-Afflicted

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    Your song sheets look similar to mine (see post #5), which are also pdf files and work well in iBooks without having to convert anything. Ibooks is a free app developed by Apple.
     
  15. telel6s

    telel6s Tele-Afflicted

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    Unfortunately, I'm on Android. But good to know that this style of sheet works for you. Hopefully one of the Android apps I try will work.

    Thanks.
     
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  16. Boil

    Boil Tele-Holic

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    Mobile Sheets then, it really is a good program and for $15 you can't go wrong.
     
  17. Junkyard Dog

    Junkyard Dog Tele-Afflicted

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    I notice that Adobe itself has a FREE pdf reader for Android. I have not tried it, but it appears to be highly rated.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.adobe.reader
     
  18. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

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    I’ve found you have a good chance of getting a tablet from friends, family, coworkers for next to nothing.
     
  19. Junkyard Dog

    Junkyard Dog Tele-Afflicted

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    Very good point. And I'll add that I am running the very first iPad model on the stage. It's close to 10 years old and has a 7 year old operating system (iOS 5.1.1). While I probably couldn't load any of the currently popular video games on it, it works just fine for displaying song sheets!
     
  20. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

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    The old tablets also work ok on the new digital mixers.
     
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