Whether you are a songwriter, or a musician who plays in a gigging band doing lots of functions (weddings, parties, etc.) and have to have access to a wide repertoire of songs to suit the occasion (or requests from the floor), trying to keep all those songs – and all those chord charts – in your head is an accident waiting to happen. Most of us resort to a notebook or binder/folder of some sort. This is safe… well, safe-ish until you leave it somewhere. The alternative is to use a computer; easy to backup but difficult to transport to your next gig for instant recall and not so helpful when you are out and about and want to continue working on a song idea.
So, who ya gonna call? Er…. Ghostdust, that’s who….. and their highly regarded SongSheet app. As I’ve outlined when reviewing the app and covering it’s various updates over the last couple of years, the essence of SongSheet is very simple; it provides an environment where you can create chord/lyric sheets for your collection of songs (your own songs or those written by other songwriters – this is, therefore, also a tool for collating your own song ideas). These are then catalogued within the app, can be searched quickly and, for live performances, organised into set lists, allowing you to step through a series of chord sheets with just the swipe of a finger.
What’s more, songs and set lists can be emailed either to yourself (for backup purposes) or to other band members so you all get to play the same songs in the same order at your next gig (always a crowd pleaser!). You also get various ways to customise the layout and display of your songs when the app is in use. In principle then, SongSheet offers a very useful toolset for the busy gigging musician.
Originally, SongSheet was been an iPad-only app. To a certain extent, that’s an obvious design decision given the larger – and therefore, more easily viewed – screen of the iPad, iPad Pro or even the iPad mini. In an ‘on stage’ environment, bigger is probably better when it comes to reading chord charts or lyrics as you are performing. However, regular users requested an iPhone-friendly version of the app and Ghostdust delivered; SongSheet for iPhone appeared back in September 2016.
While the smaller screen format might mean a bit of squinting (although perhaps not too much if you happen to use an iPhone Plus model) on stage, as a means of carrying around your song catalogue and your ‘song in progress’ ideas at all times, an iPhone version is undoubtedly a good thing.
Anyway, while the iPhone version is usually priced at around UK£7.99/US$9.99 – cheaper than the Pro version for use with your iPad or iPad Pro – for a trial period, Ghostdust has made the iPhone version free. I assume the idea is to allow potential purchasers of the iPad version an opportunity to try the app out on their iPhone before committing to SongSheet Pro. That sounds like a good deal to me….. SongSheet is a great solution to carrying all your chord/song sheets to practice or gigs and, once you get into the SongSheet swing, the Pro version is undoubtedly a good investment. And, if you want to try the technology without stumping up for Pro first, now’s just the time to give SongSheet for iPhone a try.
SongSheet for iPhone