Joining the digital age
When I first heard about using a tablet instead of paper sheet music, it didn’t seem worth the expense. I didn’t feel like I would recoup my investment before the tablet became obsolete. In addition, there weren’t many options for apps and the platforms they worked on. Fast forward to 2020. It’s a difficult time to work in any field but there are some challenges unique to musicians and music therapists. My patients have diverse musical experiences and preferences. It wasn’t unusual for me to have several large gig books, a music stand, and an extra instrument (or two or three!) in my bag. The more equipment I have with me, the more chance to spread infection through contaminated surfaces. Although I wipe down and disinfect my equipment regularly, the best way to reduce risk is to reduce the amount of stuff I carry with me.
I’m using Mobile Sheets and Ultimate Guitar on a 10.5” android tablet. I don’t have a foot pedal so do need to swipe for page turns. I love being able to assign the music to categories and/or playlists. I’m even able to do some editing in the reader if I don’t like a chord or need to make notes about where to place my capo or preferred keys to sing and play in. The tablet also fits comfortably into the pocket of my guitar case. My one disappointment is that displays are smaller than I would like. I’m still able to comfortably read the music though. Another thing to keep in mind is that music takes up a lot of storage! I bought the tablet with the most storage I could get. I looked at tablets with bigger displays but those tend to get into laptop/2 in 1 territory and are vastly more expensive.
I’m using a Procase to protect my tablet because I drop things. A lot. The built-in easel is great for landscape viewing but not so great for portrait viewing. This makes it a bit worthless for music viewing. The hand strap works to attach it to a music stand though at this point I’m trying to avoid taking the stand with me. The case itself seems pretty sturdy and should provide the kind of protection I need. It does add a bit of weight to the tablet but still better than the tons of books I’ve been carrying with me.