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  1. #1
    Premium Member robdbirch's Avatar
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    Default Software Accessories: Chart Management Software

    Software Accessories: Chart Management Software

    The last topic on metronomes didn’t get much traction. This week I’ll try chart management software.
    It would be nice to hear what other people are using and their favorite features.

    This past year I was lucky enough to find a group of people to put a list of songs together and play. We would get together maybe a couple of times a month. I would go to the session and the other guys would introduce some new songs or mention new songs to learn. I would go home and right away learn the guitar parts to the new songs. Between working on JamPlay lessons and other self indulgent endeavors and probably the age of my brain, by the time we would meet up again to play, a few weeks later, I would have pretty much forgotten most of the guitar parts to the new songs that I had learned a few weeks back and I have to listen to the song again during the session to help me quickly remember the parts. The other musicians really didn't seem to mind listening to the song at the session themselves, it is kind of casual get together.

    One of the band members mentioned a popular chart management software that he had seen other bands use on stage. I went home and looked up the software he mentioned. I fount that the software only worked on Android. So, I started downloading and experimenting with Chart Management Software for iOS for about a week. Most of the software I found was rather disappointing and a few were mediocre at beast. Then I found OnSong. OnSong is music software done at it’s best. The thought given to the features, functionality, documentation, videos and other aspects of the product are absolutely outstanding. They have even responded rapidly to feedback and help.

    OnSong (iOS and macOS only and Web Browser):
    OnSong is worth every penny to me. The list of features and functionality is long and well thought out and practical. I paid for just about every feature that the app offers.

    OnSong Features:
    Here are some of the features I really like:
    Very Flexible Charting import/export
    Very Flexible Chart notations and annotations
    Edit Charts on Laptop, iOS devices, Web Browser
    Management of charts into Sets, Books, Folders
    Chart projection onto TV/Monitor via Apple Air Play
    Automatic scrolling with lots of tunable features, bpm, flow and triggers
    Play with backing tracks while automatically scrolling through the charts

    This isn't charting software like GuitarPro, it's more for performance, to help you quickly remember arrangements, lyrics, chord changes and being able to add your own performance notes and annotations.


    Bias Warning: Currently the software I use runs on the following platforms:
    Apple’s MacOS and iOS

    The software I mention may or may not run on other platforms if it does I will try to mention which platforms.
    If it doesn’t run on your platform let us know what you are using.

  2. #2
    Premium Member palico's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
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    South Carolina
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    I don't use any software, just a set list of songs. I do keep some Word documents for chart for use at home. My bassist uses an excel type sheet on this tablet with just the chords for progressions of each song. It's not the entire song just labels for say "Verse" "Chorus" "Bridge" with the chord progression for each but no context as to when they occur or timing. I remember being in groups where people would have music stands and big books for lyric chord sheets. That always looked totally amateur to me, so I refused to use them and memorized everything I needed to play for a given session/performance. If I really had a problem with particular song, I would hand write or print it and tape it on the floor on on my monitor. Now with tablets they don't looks so bad as they can be small and out of the way. My singer uses a some specialized software on her tablet with just lyrics. I don't still don't like it a lot but I give her a break as remembering the guitar lines to 40 or so songs is not that hard. In any given song there is likely only about 3 progressions repeated and leads I either make up on the spot or are so iconic that I have little trouble remembering them. There is lot more words to those 40 songs.
    Phileos High Energy passionate Music with Heart and a bit of Southern Attitude.

  3. #3
    Premium Member robdbirch's Avatar
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    Yes, I was doing something similar using Google docs. I would manage the list in a Google spreadsheet and add a link in a cell to roughly the best matched tablature at ultimate-guitar and to the song in iTunes/Apple Music. I would share the Google spreadsheet with the other guys. Sometimes at a session there were songs I had never heard before. We would listen to them and run through them a couple of times at the session, afterwards I would go home to refine them a bit. They were goods songs but they just were not sticking with me. So at the next session several weeks later, when playing the song even looking at the tablature didn't really jog my memory enough to my satisfaction. I am kind of a technology exploration guy, so when one of the guys mentioned this type of software I had to go check it out. One of the features I like with onSong, is that when you add the chart or tablature to a list it attempts to match it to the same song in your music library on the device. When you use the tablature in OnSong, right there in the tablature you can push a play button to listen to the song. It will even scroll sync the tablature/chart to the song if you want to play along with the chart. Now when I get to chance to play with those guys, I have the chart and song right there, ready on my phone. I also bought a little bracket that allows me to mount my iPhone to the mic stand. If we played once or a couple of times a week, I don't think it would be much of an issue, we're pretty busy and sometimes its over a month before we play again. Shoot remembering lyrics seems tough even for some famous performers own songs, they're sometimes hidden discreetly on stage.
    Last edited by robdbirch; 06-06-2017 at 10:37 AM.

  4. #4
    Premium Member
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    Nov 2009
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    I've got a good friend who used OnSong and loves it! We use PlanningCenterOnline for our church stuff and it works REALLY well, but it specifically targeted at churches.
    -Chris Liepe
    Content/Instructor
    JamPlay.com

 

 

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