Weekend cover band players: Do you use a tablet for music or lyrics?

YerKidd

Member
Messages
1,176
The singer in one cover group I'm in uses a iPad, and she still messes up the words. She claims it to be brain fog by way of radiation treatments she had for cancer years ago. Who knows.

I won't use one. Ever.
 

JoeB63

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
14,333
One more thing: If you use charts, or a tablet, you'll always need it. As long as you have the crutch available, you'll never memorize your parts.

If you're on charts and aspire to get off of them, go back to the start: (Re)Learn the songs by listening to them, with no visual aids -- even if you have to play/sing the same song 200 times to get it down.
 

Turi

Member
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11,044
I love seeing all the old people cry about this stuff, it feeds my soul.

The reality is nobody cares. The venue doesn't care. The punters don't care.
The only people that care are a handful of people on an internet forum or two.

That said - I agree with @JoeB63 - if you use charts or a tablet, you'll never be able to move away from it, even for things as simple as lyrics.

I have a little attachment for my mic stand that I put my phone onto, I use it relatively frequently - I use it for my setlists + I use it for requests, so long as I've heard a song before, I will absolutely give it a shot if requested.

I wouldn't be able to do that without the phone there.

I could use it for lyrics for the stuff I play if I wanted, I used to, but now it's just setlists + requests because I don't actually *like* it there. I played a few gigs using it for chords/lyrics but it just wasn't for me - I'd rather learn the songs myself, by ear, I write down the lyrics and chords etc and learn a few basic riffs if needed and then it's burnt into my head.

When I was using it for chords and lyrics, it was hilarious - I could go to a GIG and play for 4 HOURS and everything was all good. Then I'd go to an open mic, play for like 15 minutes and feel like I could hardly remember a single freaking song.

So I'm not a fan of using them myself, outside of just setlists + it opens me up to requests - to anyone besides me, it would look like I'm using a phone for lyrics/chords because I mean, it's literally right there, but I'm not.

I've never had it mentioned. I've never cared when anyone else uses them. I don't care when people go all old school and pull out their freaking music books etc because they're afraid of technology etc.

The reality is, you can do this stuff super discretely now. You can have your setlists, lyrics and chords all on your phone - you can have each song scroll, at the right tempo, so you don't have to touch the phone while playing.

It's not like the olden days where people are building an entire library and shifting through book after book, page after page - it's discrete and can be even faster than using a setlist at your feet - for me, I don't even have to look down to see what the next song is. It's right there.

My opinion is basically:
- nobody cares, old people whining about this is hilarious; and,
- they don't suit me personally for chords/lyrics, but I use them for setlists and requests.
 

Festus

Member
Messages
1,565
One more thing: If you use charts, or a tablet, you'll always need it. As long as you have the crutch available, you'll never memorize your parts.

If you're on charts and aspire to get off of them, go back to the start: (Re)Learn the songs by listening to them, with no visual aids -- even if you have to play/sing the same song 200 times to get it down.

Wrong. If you’re a better than average musician, then you’ll get the tune down after playing it a few times after using a chart. Unless it’s some wild azz Zappa tune.

As for rehearsals, I only do them if I’m paid to rehearse. Otherwise, I’ll show up to the gig with all songs learned (maybe some charts, maybe not), and you can hit the record button.

Some of theses ultimatums absolutely kill me.
 

Turi

Member
Messages
11,044
Wrong. If you’re a better than average musician, then you’ll get the tune down after playing it a few times after using a chart.

This isn't how it actually goes down though - great in theory, not what happens.
 

Simon

Silver Supporting Member
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7,711
It depends on your situation. I play in a group with over 200 songs and it's great to look at only when needed, and really helps if you blow a arrangement.
If your band has just a nights worth of music,, man up and memorize.

The greatest thing is that you can pick some songs and go out and play them without having to have them memorized first.
That way if they don't work for the band or audience, you don't have a bunch of time into them.
I know longer have to obsess and lay awake at night with lyrics constantly running through my head. I don't miss that at all!!
 
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Turi

Member
Messages
11,044
uh, yea, that is how it goes down in my world.

What world is this? Specifics?
How many people have you seen who used tablet/books etc for charts, and actually learnt the songs purely from playing those songs, from the charts/tablets etc, without any other rehearsals or learning of the song?

Who? What's their names?

I'll believe it when I see it, lol.

They're a crutch. I've never seen anyone used tablets/books etc for songs when playing live, play those exact same songs at a later date without the tablet/book.
And if I had, how would I know they learnt it from the tablet/book being used live, as opposed to them just learning the song at home etc in their spare time? I wouldn't.

I call BS.
 

Laurence

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,212
No, but others in my last band did. I found it bothersome. And yes, I did sing.

EDIT: I have no problem whatsoever playing from sheet music or an iPad if I'm doing an orchestra or pit gig.
 

Festus

Member
Messages
1,565
What world is this? Specifics?
How many people have you seen who used tablet/books etc for charts, and actually learnt the songs purely from playing those songs, from the charts/tablets etc, without any other rehearsals or learning of the song?

Who? What's their names?

I'll believe it when I see it, lol.

They're a crutch. I've never seen anyone used tablets/books etc for songs when playing live, play those exact same songs at a later date without the tablet/book.
And if I had, how would I know they learnt it from the tablet/book being used live, as opposed to them just learning the song at home etc in their spare time? I wouldn't.

I call BS.

Fine, call BS. That tells me you don’t work with musicians.
 
Messages
153
Just a weekend cover band guy. We all have tablets, I keep mine mounted on my mic stand. I don't use it for music but we use them for our set lists, controlling our IEM mixes, and personally I use it to keep track of patch numbers and notes about the song; i.e. capo position.
 

fuzz guy

Member
Messages
1,959
Heck no, I memorize my parts. Our singer uses an iPad for lyrics though and it kills me, I think it just looks like he's unprepared and unprofessional. I do have a little notebook I bring to rehearsals though in case I forget a part, but never on stage performing.
 

RhytmEarl

Member
Messages
12,763
I played bass in a variety/wedding band back when I was in school. They had a book of 500 tunes. An honest to god "book" of charts. So, we all had Manhasset stands and stand lights. I also played guitar in a rock 'n roll bar band at the same time. No books, all memory.

IOW, I see both sides of the equation and as someone above already commented, no one, outside of the couple of guitar players who are in the audience because they don't have a gig, cares.
 

guitarjazz

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
24,624
and a clip-on tuner. I've played a bazillion tunes in my life so "If you can sing it, I can play it".
 

Drew W

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
643
My classic rock cover band has about 70 songs ready to pull out at a gig. The drummer has an iPad reminding him of certain parts and it also flashes the tempo of every song at him.

On songs we have just added, the singer will sometimes discreetly check her phone for the first line of verses. She is trying hard to get away from that though. The bass player is sorta new and once in a while he will have notes on paper at his feet next to the set list. I go from memory.

However, I did use an iPad when I was playing with some artists where I did not have the time or inclination to commit their unconventional arrangements and unfamiliar songs to memory. I usually set the iPad against the wedge in front of me and could view 2-3 songs at a time and would reach down and swipe up every 3 songs to see my notes for the next few songs. The thing was, the iPad became a crutch over time and songs I certainly would have/should have learned, I didn't bother because I had the iPad to guide me.
 

willyboy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,583
I use an iPad, but mostly for the setlist instead of dealing with paper at my feet, and I mix the band from it. I will use it for charts for when I do gigs where it's needed, in some cases there is no rehearsal and little to no prep time, or where I'm reading score type stuff where memorization isn't really possible.

As a pro sometimes sheet music is a necessity.
 
Messages
1,078
I once watched a 5 piece band play a 15 minute slot at an open mic night. Every single one of them had a tablet that they clipped to their microphone stand. Not the best look when one of the 3 guitarists still forgot his part.

Poor sound man having to deal with them setting up and taking down. He's a good sound man and a really nice guy but he was not happy on that night.

If you're playing a real gig there's a lot less harm, but as an audience member I'd still rather not see tablets on stage.
 




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