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Kindle DX for sheet music on stage

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Largedon, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. I'm getting tired of lugging around binders of sheet music for gigs and am looking into using a tablet or e-reader for use onstage. I've found a lot of discussions on tablets and don't really have many questions on those, but haven't found much on using e-readers. Specifically the Kindle DX with the 9.7" screen and was wondering if anyone has any experience using one of these or something very similar on stage.

    First off, I'm not worried about any other capabilities except being able to organize and read sheet music. The pros I've found for the e-reader are:
    1. Works just as well inside or outside with the e-ink screen.
    2. Long battery life. I have a 1st gen kindle and it rarely needs charging as long as the wifi is turned off.
    3. Handles pdf files.
    4. The 9.7-inch screen should be adequate.

    The things I'm questioning or hoping someone can answer or has experience with are:
    1. It says it has 3.3 GB of internal memory. Will this be enough to be useful? It says it could hold 3,500 books, but not sure how many pdf files that would be.
    2. Is the navigation good enough to find songs in a reasonable amount of time. As you all know, sometimes band leaders don't like to wait.
    3. Overall file management. (ie organizing pdfs into books for each band)

    That's all I can think of at the moment, but hopefully others can come up with some more pros and cons. Thanks in advance.

    Here's a link of a person's experiences doing this, but still not enough info for me before I commit financially.
  2. RattleSnack

    RattleSnack Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2011
    I have Kindle Touch, haven't used it on stage, but one way I see it could work is if you organize all your lyrics in one Word file (one song - one page) with Table of contents beeing page one, and than convert file to pdf.
    Navigation within file is fast, it is easy to get to Contents from anyware within document, and than to chose Chapter (actualy a song) from there.
    Other way is to have multiple files (one file - one song), but root folder shows books as cover page, not list (at least, thats how it shows on my Kindle model), so fast search for a song could be impossible.
  3. I actually wouldn't have any lyrics. This is all notation charts, most are 1-2 page with a few going higher.
    Can you name the Chapters or does it just do them Chapter 1, Chapter 2, etc. I like the idea of being able to make a book for each band and then put all the songs for that band as Chapters as long as I can see the song title and not just Chapter #.
  4. RattleSnack

    RattleSnack Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2011
    One more thing, you probably know this: e-book readers, except for the latest Kindle model, don't have backlight, so you need at least as much light as ordinary paper does. In a dark club, you should have some kind of lamp.
    As for battery life, Amazon expresses it in hours, but paper-turns is actualy when screen is using energy. So, if you use Kindle on a gig, and flip pages a lot, batterie could last less than specs say. Good thing is, it should still be more than enough (i.e. couple of weeks).
  5. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    Ipad is great for setlists and lyrics, readable in a dark club, battery lasts for even a long gig. Should work fine for standard notation, too, though for complicated classical pieces with lots of pages a bigger screen might be better. I use an app called OnSong to organize setlists and make a separate pdf file for each song, trying to keep it to one page if possible (otherwise the singers have to flip them).

    With a couple of bands with about a hundred songs each plus another project with a shorter lists adding new things to the correct list can be a bit of a pain. But once you've got them in the right book it's easy to find and quick to pull up the right song live. So, for that reason I'd recommend using an app dedicated to organizing sheet music if possible, and not a generic PDF file reader. If you play real book standards, you can probably just get a real book app. If you need to transpose stuff for different singers, get something tha that handles transposition well.

    I just sprang for an 18.4" tablet (Dell XPS 18) which I think is as big as I will feel like carrying to gigs. I think that would be overkill for notation - the plan is to use it for controlling synths, drum loops and effects in FL studio, and keep the lyrics on the Ipad.
  6. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    I use my iPad and the ForScore app. Works great. There are other really fine apps to. iGig, I don't use, but it has many fans. You might check out iRealb, it's kinda like Band in a Box for iPad.

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