Great Solution for Gigging Grunts Like Me

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Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:07 pm

Great Solution for Gigging Grunts Like Me

Post by stevescheinberg »

I know a lot of tunes, but I confess that I still like to have Real Books within reach on a gig or jam session. And as a sax player, I often want or need to have an alto and a tenor with me because some songs just sound better on one horn or the other, or lay in a better key on one horn or the other. Well, what this has always meant is stuffing a bag with up to SIX thick Real Books (assuming I want volumes 1 through 3) and dragging that along with everything else. Then when a tune is called, especially one I'm not familiar with, there's the race to find the volume, flip to the page... aaauugh! It can be a mess.

iGigBook fixes all of that. The first time I used iGigBook, and put it to the test, was on a friendly jam session. I had an alto sax (Eb instrument), a tenor sax (Bb instrument) and an EWI (any key instrument). For every tune that was called, I was able to punch it up, pick what book to read it from, and go! And since I had both the Bb and Eb versions of the Hal Leonards, I was able to hit the "key" icon to select between the Bb (default) and Eb versions of the books. I had also loaded some miscellaneous C books, and was able to select tunes from them that weren't in the Hal Leonards and play them on the EWI as a C horn.

For the tunes that aren't in ANY of my books, the very extensive book of changes included with the app is a nice fallback. I can let someone else play the head, and then take a solo, play fills, whatever.

No problem at all reading the music off the 9" iPad screen. And obviously, no stand light needed!

Beats the hell out of a bag of books and flipping pages.

I have not tried building set lists yet. I also have not tried building my own index yet, but I might take a whack at that some time.

You do have to understand the setup process. I'd say it's a LITTLE tricky at first, but once you've been through it only one time, you'll know the drill. In my case, I needed to run a couple of my pdf files through Adobe Acrobat to delete duplicate pages (yep, several pages were in the file twice!) or add a blank page here and there to make the indexes line up. But everything about setup issues is documented, so there really are no mysteries. In fact, a friend of mine bought the app, and I was able to walk him right through the setup. Also, the creator of the app is very responsive to questions and problems. When a recent bug snuck into the app (song search), it was quickly fixed.

I had very high expectations for this app, and in fact, bought my iPad Air mainly because I needed an app like this. And I must say it did not disappoint in the slightest. Again, the key is the setup. Once each book it set and the index lines up accurately, you're good to go. Highly recommended. I brag about this app all the time.

--Steve Scheinberg
Baltimore, MD

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