Why I Created iGigBook

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Phil Smith
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Why I Created iGigBook

Post by Phil Smith »

They say necessity is the mother of invention and this has never been truer with respect to the creation of this application. I own a large number of physical fake books, all of the bootleg real books, all of the New Real Books and a host of others. The challenge for me has always been, given a list of tunes I may do at a gig, getting all of the music together in one place so that I can use it effectively. To meet this challenge I created a binder with just the indexes of all of the books and when I needed to find a tune, I would consult the index of each book to see if the tune was present. This process was tedious, but way better than flipping through pages of a book. Once I located the songs I would make copies of pages or print copies from PDF versions of the books to create a "gig book" that I would play from at the gig. This worked pretty well when I needed a number of tunes from different books and way better than lugging multiple books around however it seemed that on every gig tunes got called that were not in the book I created(but may be in the book that I own) and that I don't either remember or know.

Until the iPad a device did not exist that was large and portable enough with sufficient battery longevity that also provided a means for me to create software for accessing this information efficiently. Incidentally, the realbook.us site was a side effect of trying to create a transposable chord chart resource on a windows mobile device way back in 2002, the small screen, dismal battery life and lack of processing power didn't make such a tool practical so the next best thing for easy access was the web and realbook.us was born.

I'm primarily a Microsoft Windows based software developer and so the adoption of the Mac OS and the iPhone development platform was a slow one simply because I'm busy gigging and writing software for clients. Once I got with Mac OSX I was able to get up to speed with the iPhone development tools and make far more efficient a process I've been doing for a long time.

I've had a lot of fun developing this tool and testing it on actual gigs in addition to interacting with other musicians and listening to their feedback and ideas. iGigBook and the iPad are currently what I use on gigs be they Jazz standards or reading gigs and having a wealth of music available to me at my fingertips just makes a whole lot more possible. Hopefully you'll think the same.
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Re: Why I Created iGigBook

Post by irmler88 »

Thanks Phil. Been looking for this for years.

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Re: Why I Created iGigBook

Post by Alantay »

IMHO the iPad and igigbook have revolutionized the world of playing live music. 2 years ago I neither had an iPad nor a clue about music apps in general. Once I got mine, I'm noticing them on stage more and more. . . Not only do you have access to tons of tunes, the convenience and quick search just intensifies the creativity we all hope to bring to the party.

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Re: Why I Created iGigBook

Post by magic88ball »

I'm in agreement with Alantay and irmler88 above...

The iPad / iGigbook combination is a truly wonderful combination. Like you and I sure many others on this forum, I've been dragging physical paper books around for many years at gigs (over 20 yrs in my case), and wishing for an easier way. The search, organizational, sharing, and page turn features in iGigbook have really set a new high water mark for live music reading & playing. I've been using it for over a year now, and frequently recommend it to students and friends. Many people talk about building things and changing the world, but so few actually try. I, for one, am so glad that you took the time and applied your skills to creating this application and in so doing helped so many out there in the live performance world have a new and good way of organizing and using what's been floating around in backpacks, book bags and piano benches for years. I know the forum is full of frustrated folks trying to figure things out, and I think it's really nice that you actually check in and point people in the right direction. Best luck in going forward and thanks again for your efforts.

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