The iPad for Acoustic Musicians Part 1

You know, probably the biggest surprise I had in the past year was my iPad. I bought one very reluctantly when they first appeared, thinking that I was investing in a necessary but tiresome tool for authors who want to continue to be authors. (For those who only know me as a musician, I have another life writing books about tech-y things like Photoshop Elements software.)

I was absolutely astounded at how instead it’s wound up becoming my favorite gig tool ever. There’s a lot of stuff written about the iPad for electronic music and electric guitar players, but even for classical musicians the iPad is becoming a gotta-have. It’s let me go from lugging all this to a gig:

musician's gig stuff
What I used to bring: Big bag 'o tunes, purse, stand light, tuner

to bringing only this:

Happy Owl clutch
This small clutch replaces everything in the photo above (and yes, the two images are to scale--check the tile lines).

and let me tell you, when you also have haul a harp around, that makes a big ol’ difference.

When things work out, the iPad is the best gig resource ever, but unfortunately there are some issues, too. In the next few days I’ll go over just how I use mine. I’m a harpist, and we have some special considerations (page turns are harder for us than for most instruments, for example), but even if you play flute or acoustic guitar or whatever, pretty nearly everything will apply and I hope be useful for you, too.

I never expected to love the iPad so much for music. (Ironically, for a technical author there are still puh-lenty of issues with digital publishing, alas.)

Next time: The iPad itself: what’s hot and what’s not when you’re on a gig.

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