The Best Apps for Reading Sheet Music and Chord Charts on Android Devices
Are you an Android user? If you are, you know it can be difficult finding apps. You hear about an awesome app, only to discover it's not available for your OS. Despite Android being used on the more devices than iOS, it doesn’t quite get the same app attention.
This makes it hard to find a paperless chart/sheet music app for your phone or tablet. The value of these apps can't be overstated:
- No more carrying bulky paper and binders
- Hands-free control with a Bluetooth Page Turner
- Helpful tools like metronomes and key transposing
- Band Booking and Finance organization
Not all apps are available for both platforms, But, there are still a ton of apps available for Android devices. Enough to leave you unsure of which is the best for you.
I've put together a list of my Top 5 Paperless Chart/Sheet Music Apps to help you find the best app to suit your needs.
Our List of the Best Sheet Music Apps for Android
- Planning Center Music Stand
- (Bonus App)
This was the first solely Android-based sheet music reader ever released. It is focused only on tablets, so it won’t work on Android mobile phones. However, it does feature a PC companion app that’s made for Windows 10. That one will work with any Windows device, whether it’s a PC, laptop, tablet or phone.
Mobilesheets is special because of its filtering capabilities. Since you can configure your data into 20 different categories, you can find the song or setlist you need in a matter of seconds; and it even features voice search.
It also offers hand-free page turning, annotations, built-in metronome, MIDI compatibility and an audio player for backing tracks
Planning Center Music Stand
Planning Center Online is a subscription based software designed for church praise & worship teams. As a part of their subscription services, they offer the Music Stand app, which we had also mentioned in the iOS version of this listing.
Music Stand syncs all sheet music and chord charts that you have uploaded in Planning Center Online to the devices of each team member within a given account. It works on both iOS and Android, and even on any browser.
Music Stand lets you flip through sheet music pages with your finger or a wireless foot pedal. It also has a tool for annotations, a built-in metronome, and features offline access. If you're on the worship team at your church then Music Stand is a great tool.
Musicnotes is one of the world’s largest e-commerce sheet music retailers and publishers. They have over 300,000 pieces of officially licensed digital sheet music and tabs.
Since they’re in the business of selling sheet music online, it makes total sense that they would have their own app for musicians to manage and read music files. This is the Musicnotes Sheet Music Player and it’s available only for Android devices.
The user’s entire Musicnotes library of sheet music and tabs can be organized into set lists. Each piece of music can be marked up, have its tempo adjusted and played with a backing track. The app also features an audio mixer with selective muting and volume controls.
Being that it’s the app of a sheet music retailer, its only downside is that you can only use it with the files that are purchased from them. The app doesn’t allow you to upload your own files.
As it’s name should indicate, this app is focused entirely on chord charts (with lyrics) for guitar, ukulele, banjo, piano and several others. Songbook works for Android tablets and phones.
It also features easy transposition, auto-scroll, zooming and bluetooth pedal compatibility. It can also be synced with Dropbox for larger song collections. For musicians who don’t need sheet music but would rather have an app to manage both their own songs and cover versions, this is the best option in the Android realm.
This is another app compatible with iOS and Android that just deserved another mention here. Bandhelper is more than just a sheet music reader, it's an online service that let’s you organize everything related to your band.
The app is one of the benefits you get with a paid subscription. Since the app is designed to do much more than just read sheet music and chord charts, that part is quite simple.
In addition to chord chats it features lyric management, a stage plot designer, an event calendar and even a basic income/expenses tracker to manage your band’s finances. It’s all controlled through a browser interface, which means all information is synced to each band member’s device.
Pricing varies according to the number of members per band. The app also features annotation, an audio player for backing tracks, and MIDI compatibility.
Bonus App - Orpheus
After writing this list we discovered Orpheus App and just had to let you know. Orpheus is a digital sheet music reader designed specifically for Android and designed to be intentionally minimalistic. It provides only the features you need to reliably read music on your Android device. It features a clean annotations interface, bookmarks for jumping back to sections in long PDFs, dropbox sync, hands-free page turning, and super intuitive user interface.
The best app will be the one that best adapts to your needs. As you could probably see by each app's description, all of them are great for reading sheet music and chord charts of various nature and have some cool features that are unique to them.
As you might expect, all of these work great with Coda’s STOMP Bluetooth pedal and when you pair the two together you can truly experience a next level performance - free from fumbling through pages or forgetting the lyrics!
Do you know a musician who desperately needs to go paperless? Share this article with them as a not-so-subtle hint!