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Software/Tech to Display Songs when Performing

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Oct 12, 2018 - 10:09:53 AM
396 posts since 10/21/2009


What software and tech have you all found that works great for showing (and storing) the words, chords, notes, etc of songs that you use when you practice and perform them?

I would use it to learn new songs, sometimes at jams and performing, and notes that refresh my memory on songs I haven’t done in awhile without having to almost start from scratch with the song’s nuances.

I have been using hard copy and a 3-ring binder. It hasn’t been as simple as making a copy of a song from a book, as you probably know—usually because the song in a book is printed too small to see easily from standing or a “performance distance,” or the words are different or not enough verses, or the chords are wrong or too many, AND because I can include notes or show words or phrases the way they’re sung. So far, I’ve been retyping the song with larger typeface, easier-to-see chords, etc. It is very time consuming to say the least.

I could retype the song and put it on an ipad or similar, but that’s not much of an improvement, if any. In that case, I’d also be going from having an 8.5x11 sheet to look at to considerably smaller letters for the size of an iPad.

However, I’ve gotten to where lugging an ever-expanding book around is not going to work for long either. And I’d like to have multiple ways of categorizing the songs.

There must be some better options by now... What works well for you?

Thanks in advance,

Oct 12, 2018 - 10:28:47 AM
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7 posts since 5/15/2018

I’ve been using forSore on an iPad Pro. I also have a buetooth footswitch to flip pages but can’t recall the brand name.

Oct 12, 2018 - 11:29:11 AM
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17 posts since 2/8/2016

I have used Setlist Helper on Android devices. It is excellent for organizing songs and I believe the font size is readily adjustable. It also has an auto scroll feature.

If you have a windows tablet, then I would recommend Chordle.

Oct 12, 2018 - 12:15:12 PM



396 posts since 10/21/2009

“ForSore”? Not finding it, maybe a typo?

I’ll buy the hardware when I figure out the total picture too. Very likely larger than a phone. At this point I’m operating system agnostic; open-minded to what’s out there.

So recommendations on the whole package are helpful. Scrolling features and a foot pedal to turn pages are good points!


Oct 12, 2018 - 12:35:22 PM
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1320 posts since 4/6/2004
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Oct 12, 2018 - 2:59:05 PM



21065 posts since 7/6/2005

We use OnSong. Our singer has a foot pedal and we can synch our ipads to turn the pages. OnSong can transpose, etc. We upload our set lists to DropBox and then sync them to the ipads.

Oct 12, 2018 - 5:02:23 PM

2274 posts since 4/19/2008

I prefer the total freedom of making my own arrangements using the Apple Pages app and then using Apple's Keynote to display them.

Oct 12, 2018 - 5:57:54 PM



456 posts since 4/19/2011


Oct 13, 2018 - 8:23:25 AM



396 posts since 10/21/2009

Some great suggestions! I am looking into them.

Sometimes with uncommon songs, it is very helpful to have the notes of the melody line (only) along with the words and chords; can you do that with any of these apps? Either by creating that part of the score from scratch; or importing a score and cutting out the bass clef section (and maybe harmony notes in the treble section)?


Oct 13, 2018 - 7:44:31 PM



396 posts since 10/21/2009

I guess I should have also asked before, do you have problems with bugs or glitches in the software/app you use?

I’m hearing that Onsong has some nice features but bugs are common. Is that your experience?

I was in a new-to-me jam not long ago and at one point, most others were trying to sync their ipads and it wasn’t happening; and then they couldn’t all find the song. Time went on, and on, and on, and on... I was happy to have my 3-ring binder with multiple copies of ea. song; we would have played 3 songs ea. around the circle in the time it took to get the app working.

Stability/reliability is critical...

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