Printing out sheet music or chord charts isn’t just a waste of paper, it’s also cumbersome and bulky.
You don’t need any extra weight when you’re heading off to a gig. That’s why so many musicians are moving towards paperless sheet music apps for iPads and tablets. They provide benefits far beyond saving paper, all to make your life easier.
Here Are Our Top 5 Favorite Sheet Music Apps for iOS and iPads
- Paperless Music
- Planning Center Music Stand
- Band Helper
If you're only looking to go paperless with your music, OnSong is a great app. It offers the stand ard chart navigation features, while including slick features like auto-scrolling, instant key transposing, and synchronization between devices.
The most popular version is $19.99 in the app store, both for iPhone and iPad, and you also get the option to use OnSong Console on a Macbook. This lets you control the music library that is running on several devices.
Import new songs from PDFs, Word, Dropbox, and other online sources such as Planning Center Online. OnSong has an almost endless compatibility with external sources. The real seller is the ability to control backing tracks, lighting, and a metronome for the whole band.
Orchestral musicians love Forscore. The standout feature is your ability to write your own sheet music, scores, and edit directly in the app. You can also add scores from most cloud services like iCloud, Dropbox and Google Drive.
Associate audio files with each score to play with backing tracks, while adjusting speed and pitch independently. Loop a section of the music to practice the tricky parts.
The iPad version of Forscore is a manageable $9.99. The “mini” version for iPhone is also available, but it’s not quite as robust as the original one.
Paperless Music is a great no frills option. Add all of your sheet music, guitar tabs, fake books, and scores. You can import directly from other apps, your image library, iCloud, Dropbox, and even your mail app.
While you can't edit in this app, you can add text notes and hand-written notes. At $4.99, this is great for someone who needs to digitize their music.
Planning Center Music Stand
If you play at a church, chances are that you use Planning Center Online. It is a subscription based planning software for worship teams. An add on app is Planning Center Music Stand. Music Stand lets you flip through charts and lyrics, and allows you to take notes.
It's designed for iPads and iPhones, and features offline access. You can sync to other devices and control chart changes for all via Bluetooth control.
The Music Stand app is only available for paid subscription to Planning Center Online. It's only $5 per month, and syncs to setlists in Planning Center Online.
BandHelper is great resource for managing everything for your band. Create setlists, attach videos and recordings, and transpose recordings for practicing. BandHelper also has lyric filing, stage plots, tempo triggers, and starting pitches.
On the business end, BandHelper has event scheduling, income/expense tracking, and contact storage. You're even able to push events to your website through this app. Use the automated e-mail feature to let your mailing list know about upcoming shows.
All of this is controlled via the website, and synced to all band members' devices.
As with Music Stand, BandHelper is a subscription service. Excellent for cover bands and bands where set lists change often. The pricing varies according to the number of band members.
The best app will be the one that best adapts to your needs. These apps are good at specific functions, and all have unique features. If your budget is tight, check out this list of free iOS and Android apps. All of these pair perfectly with our STOMP Bluetooth® Pedal. When you pair the two together (much pun intended), you can truly experience a next level performance.