I am one of those worship leaders that still use printed chord charts as a fallback / crutch. I am however, sick of wasting paper to print them out for myself. I have a book, but things often get lost in the shuffle from week to week.
My question is... has any had any experience with using an e-Book reader type device to load up your chord charts. If so, what device was it, what was your experience, etc?
I've used a laptop, but found it more trouble than it was worth. I suppose if there was an easy way to scroll through the charts on the fly - a footswichh maybe, that might make it easier.
I visited a church once that had this nifty setup where each musician had a screen in front of them, and the "pages" would get flipped automatically. I think there was a guy in the booth running it. Looked expensive.
I hate to revive this topic, however, has anyone had any practical experience using any of these e-book reader devices to manage their chord charts for a Sunday.
I'd envision loading up a PDF from Planning Center for a specific set, and then simply pressing the button at the end of one song to bring up the chart for the next. Often, I find I'm not even really using the chart, but it's a good fallback to have.
Trying to be green...
I've never tried it, but it does seem like it would work. The only thing I'd worry about would be having a big enough screen that I could read the whole chart at a reasonable size without scrolling. Although I think an iPad or a similar device would be an awfully expensive music stand ;-)
I have tried using a laptop myself, doesn't work real well. Paper is the best. Now there are digital music stands. When I checked into them about 2 years ago, you had to have the director's module (est. $4,000) and then the extension moduals (est. $2,000 ea) to be able to use it. With the director's you can change the page and change all of the extensions at the same time. Really cool, but expensive.
Also, thought about putting the chord sheets up on the wall in the back of the church, but just have to make sure that the person running it has to change at the right time.
I'd be interested in a cost analysis of using the traditional paper copies vs. some sort of digital reader.
Personally, I'm thinking that you'd have to use thousands? of sheets of paper to actually come close to the initial price of a reader(s)? But there is the cost of running the copier for paper. And do you factor in electricity used to charge the reader(s)?
I'd be curious to see if it is indeed a "greener" option.
I've seen these things around:
FreeHand Systems MusicPad Pro Plus Digital Sheet Music Tablet | Sam Ash Music 1-800-4-SAMASH
I don't know if that's the same thing that webebo was talking about, but it seems pretty smooth. You don't necessarily need the "maestro" module. At the demo I saw the presenter was able to transpose or adjust the music on the fly if it was in the right format (similar to Finale or Sibelius). With a scanned PDF he wasn't able to do that, but could still "write" notes on the page. You can get a foot pedal to flip pages back and forth. It's a pretty smooth system, but I can buy a lot of paper for $899. I've heard that they don't work very well outdoors in the sun.
Personally it looks like another potential point of failure to me. If your entire music library is stored in there, what happens if it drops and the screen breaks? What if the battery is dead and there's not a spare power outlet? I'd be very hesitant to rely on it. It seems that adding technology to my rig makes things more difficult, not less.
Planning Center's new sheet music display app (for both regular computers and ipad):
Introducing Planning Center Online Music Stand Ministry Centered Technologies
I would think this would definitely be a contender if you were looking to do something like this.
Thanks for pointing out this feature.. I use PCO, but I'm not overly comfortable relying upon a WiFi internet connection to deliver stuff for me. I am however looking in to an alternative solution..
I have found some software that enable a page flipping function with a pedal to toggle back and forth using existing PDF library, etc.