By Marc Jacoby on Wed, 10/28/2009
Sorry but I haven’t posted lately as I’ve been preparing my materials for tenure review here at West Chester University of PA.
But, after attending a recent conference hosted by the Association for Technology in Music Instruction (atmionline.org) I have some great new apps to share with you. I’ll roll them out over the next few weeks. Here’s the first.
If you play an instrument and use a fakebook, iReal Book ($7.99) may be of interest. Its name is based on a fakebook many jazz musicians use called the Real Book. Only this app just displays chord symbols without melody so it’s very similar to another fake book called Pocket Changes. As you can see from the screen shots, you can either browse or search the song list (730 to date) in different ways. You can also create your own custom playlists. More songs are being added by other users and you can create your own and submit to the developer for consideration to include in the next revision release.
What makes this app useful beyond the hard copy version is its ability to change keys. So, if the singer you’re accompanying is having an off night and wants to sing All of Me in the key of A, you can quickly alter the chord changes. It also can display in the reverse type style of black background and white text making it ideal for use in low light settings.
There’s also an editing program for desktop computers (so far Mac-only) that makes creating your own chord charts much easier. From the editor you can email the chart to yourself or others who have the app or upload to the forums that the developer hosts.
All in all this is an excellent addition to my iPhone and one I’m sure many musicians can put to good use.