Rather then simply reading from beginning to end it tries to decipher the form by recognizing repeat bar lines, 1st, 2nd and 3rd endings and other rehearsal marks such as D.C. al Coda or D.S. al 2nd Ending.
The in (intro) and V (verse) rehearsal mark indicate a section in the song that will only be played once at the very beginning. Subsequent choruses will start after the intro or verse indicated by the presence of an A, B, C or D rehearsal marks.
Repeat Bar Lines
The first 8 bars will play twice. Make sure in your charts to always pair an open repeat bar line with a closing one.
You can also add a text indication like 3x, 4x...Nx within the repeat section and it will be repeated N times.
In conjunction with repeat bar lines, 1st, 2nd and 3rd endings are also recognized.
Here’s a 3rd ending which needs an accompanying D.C. al 3rd ending or D.S. al 3rd ending to work correctly.
D.C. (Da Capo) indicates that the form goes back to the very beginning (including eventual Intro or Verse) of a piece and it needs to be paired with an indication of what to do after going back to the top.
D.C. al Fine also needs a Fine to indicate where the form ends. This results in an ABA form.
D.C. al Coda also needs a coda sign and an actual coda. The Coda will be played in each chorus as part of the form resulting in an AABA form.
D.C. al 2nd ending also needs a Fine to indicate where to stop after going to the 2nd ending. This goes back to the top but then skips the 1st ending and goes straight to the 2nd ending.
The previous three examples also apply to D.S. (Dal Segno) but with the inclusion of a Sign.
D.S. al Coda needs a Sign, a Coda sign and a Coda.
In the examples above we saw the use of Coda in conjuction with D.C. and D.S. which both make the coda a part of the form. If you would like to add a coda not as part of the form but as a coda only played at the very end of the song, don’t add any D.C. or D.S. indications. Simply add a Coda symbol within the song (not required) where you want it and then a Coda at the end of the chart (required).
In the above example only during the very last chorus take the Coda.
Commonly Used Rehearsal Text Indications
Included in the editors to assist you.
The Player recognizes other special symbols such as N.C. (No Chord) which will result in the piano and bass dropping out for the duration of the N.C.
The Single and Double bar repeats:
The player recognizes all the chord qualities that are included in the editor but also recognizes a few of the commonly used custom chords such as 7+ (uses 7#5), m#5 (uses -b6) and more.
Chord Spacing in Bars
The player can read bars of different length, but the chords within the bar need to be properly spaced to indicate what beat they occur on.
Currently, supported note length values for chords are whole notes, half notes, quarter notes and (in 3/4 time signatures) dotted quarter notes.
If an error message appears about chord spacings when you play your own charts, this means that the player is not able to calculate the length of chord relative to the other chords in the same bar. It is important to position the chords spatially so they clearly indicate their length.
An example of unclear chord length.
While this will play successfully.
If you leave the first beat or beats of a bar empty they will simply be ignored. For example, if you want the the first two beats of a bar to continue playing the chord from the previous bar, add slashes to those two beats.
This will play correctly:
will sound like:
Note: Blank bars are ignored completely, this includes empty space (no bar lines) anywhere in a system, for example, the empty space before a 2nd time bar where it starts mid-system to line up vertically with the 1st time bar. This means you’ll have to add the % (repeat bar) sign if you want the chord from the previous bar to repeat.
Note on Error Messages
After pressing the Play button, the audio begins to construct before it starts playing. If there are problems with your chart, error messages tell you what is wrong and the bar number of the error. It counts from the first bar and keeps on counting up through any repeated sections.
For example, if a song has a repeated A section of 8 bars, then a B section of 8 bars and an error is found in bar 18, this is the 2nd bar of section B
(A8 + A8 = 16 + B2 = Bar 18)
A special END character controls the functioning of the Player.
While playing the last chorus, the Player will end the song with a Fermata at the bar indicated by the END character. This is useful for a song that includes a turnaround at the end that goes to a chord that is not the final chord.
If no END character is present, the Player will look at the final chord; if it’s the root or the dominant of the key signature it will play a root chord, otherwise it will simply end on the last chord.
- The Player function generates piano (guitar for some styles), bass and drums accompaniments for practicing.
- iReal b provides three base styles – Jazz, Latin and Pop. Each of these has a subset of further styles to choose from.
- The Player generates accompaniments by reading the chord progression in the charts and also by following rehearsal instructions such as D.C. al Coda or D.S. al 2nd Ending.
- It plays the 50 exercises currently included in iReal b’s library and it can play most user-generated song charts as long as they follow some simple layout rules.
- It generates accompaniments with random rhythmic variations in the various instruments’ patterns, making each chorus sound different and spontaneous.
- It plays all of the times signatures available in the iReal b Editor including odd time signatures, such as 5/4, 7/4 and 7/8. It even allows mixed meters opening the possibility for many other time signatures (you must use the Editor to change the time signatures).
- The songs can be transposed and will playback in the new key.
- Any song will playback in any of the available styles, although some styles obviously sound better with particular songs or time signatures.
- Sections in songs are recognized and marked with drum fills.
- Automatically generates an ending for all songs.
This is how they are interpreted -
- 4/4, 3/4 and 2/4 simply play as written in all styles
- 2/2 plays as 4/4
- 3/2 plays as 3/4 + 3/4
- 5/4 plays as 3/4 + 2/4
- 6/4 plays as 3/4 + 3/4
- 7/4 plays as 4/4 + 3/4
- 6/8 plays as 2/4 so a triplet based style like Afro 12/8 is recommended for this time signature
- 7/8 plays as 2/4 + 3/8 and does not work with triplet based styles like Swing and Afro 12/8
- 9/8 plays as 3/4 so a triplet based style like Afro 12/8 is recommended for this time signature
- 12/8 plays as 4/4 so a triplet based style like Afro 12/8 is recommended for this time signature
Time signatures can change within a song, for example, for each section and as often as each bar. This allows you to create sophisticated compound time signatures.
Here’s an example of 9/4:
Note: 4/4 is the default time signature if none is chosen at the beginning of a song.
Search for a particular song title or composer by tapping the search button in the menu at the bottom of the screen.
View a song chart - simply tap on the title of the desired song in the Songs or Playlists index. To return to the index, tap the BACK button at the bottom of the screen.
Note: song charts will display in portrait mode only.
By swiping left or right you can easily go to the previous or next song.
Tap anywhere on the screen or tap on the Android Menu button to reveal information about the current song chart at the top such as, the title, composer, style, current key and default key.
On the top right you can Transpose the song to a different key signature.
If you tap on the iReal b icon on the top left, you can go back to the Song index.
- Settings – set-up features and settings. For further information, see the following section: Settings.
- edit the current selected song
- edit a copy of a currently open chart
- create a new song with a blank chart or with a chart based on a template of common song forms
- Delete the song
- Share the song
- via email
- by posting to Forums
- as an image in an email
- as an audio (WAV) file
- as a midi file
- as Music XML
- Playlist - add the current song to an existing or new playlist
Deleting a Song
Go to the Songs index, long press the song name, then choose Delete (you need to confirm it once more after you choose to delete it).
Settings for iReal b can be accessed from the main list view or from the song view by activating the menu at the bottom of the screen - tap the Menu button.
Here you can control some basic settings -
- Transposing instrument - choose global transposition (for horn players with transposing instruments)
- Minor Symbol - choose preferred minor symbol
- Color Scheme - set your text/background for the song charts from four color schemes
- Playback Position - you can turn the playback position marker on/off
- Version - installed iReal b version on your device
- Songs - shows the number of songs in your iReal b
- Video Tutorials
- Online Manual
- Forums - link to download songs
- Backup - you can create a backup file that you can email as an attachment
- Restore exercises - you can restore the 50 exercise songs that come with iReal b
- Reset all settings
- Erase all content
- Advanced Audio Settings: you can turn off the Automatic Audio buffer and set it up manually. It should improve the sound quality on certain devices.
- In the songs list view - tap the menu button, then tap Forums
- In Settings - tap on Forums.
To import songs or playlists from the Forums to your device, navigate to the desired song or playlist and tap the link (it is not necessary to be a registered user).
Due to the Android web browser not being able to handle large lists without crashing, playlists should be limited to 300 or less songs.
Currently there is a playlist of 1300 jazz standards available on the Forums to download. If you look beyond the initial post of 1300 songs, you'll find that these have been divided into smaller parts for Android users - Jazz 1300 Standards
To publish your own songs and playlists on the forums, you do need to register.
Choose the song or playlist that you want to post and press the Share button in the Menu followed by the Post to Forums button.
In the Song View tap the screen to reveal the Menu at the bottom of the screen.
Choose the Share button.
Share the selected song -
- Email – an email with an html attachment containing the song code in a link format will be generated for the email client of your choice.
- Post to Forums- the song code will be saved in the pasteboard of your device. From here you’ll be redirected to the Forums on your device's web browser, where you’ll be able to add your song to a post using the pasteboard.
- If you have trouble posting, try changing the style of the Forums (at the bottom of the page).
- When sending a song via email or posting to the Forums, any transpositions that are made will not be retained – the song will remain in its default key.
- Image - an email containing the song chart as an image (jpeg) will be generated on your device's default mail app.
- Audio (WAV) - export the audio as a WAV (one song at a time).
- MIDI - export the audio as a MIDI file (one song at a time).
- MusicXML - This will create a chart in MusicXML format containing all the chords and rehearsal indications, with empty bars for you to add melodies or solos. MusicXML can be opened by Finale, Sibelius and other music notation software.
A playlist can easily be shared with other iReal b users in the Forums or via email. While viewing a playlist tap on the Share button:
From here you’ll have two choices -
- Email – an email with an html attachment containing the playlist code in a link format will be generated for the email client of your choice.
- Post Playlist to Forums - the playlist code will be saved in the clipboard of your device so it can be used in the Forums with a ‘Paste’ command. Note: sending playlists via email to yourself is a good way of making a backup of that playlist.
All transpositions are saved, so next time you open iReal b the songs you’ve transposed will be in their new key.
If you play a transposing instrument you can change the global transposition in Settings to match the key of your instrument.
In global transposition mode, the transposition will be indicated at the top of the screen when you tap anywhere on the screen. This will appear along with all relevant information about the song chart such as, composer, style, current key signature.
The first large button allows you to switch Styles.
Below this, under the Graduation hat button, you can set your Practice settings (automatic tempo change and automatic transposition)
Next to this, the Tempo of the chart is set by dragging the slider along and fine tuned with the - and + buttons.
You can choose a one, or two-bar Count In before playback.
Next to the Count In, you can nominate the Number of Choruses the Player will generate when pressing the Play button. Note: the more choruses, the longer it will take to generate the accompaniment.
At the bottom of the Player window you can control the Volume of the accompanying instruments and the amount of Reverb as desired.
A Default button at the very bottom right corner returns everything to the default settings.
To start the Player at any section of a chart, tap and hold to play from the desired location.
To loop playback a section of the chart: long press (tap hold) on the first measure you want to start the loop on, then when you get the play button appearing, long press on the end loop measure.
You will see a line from the start to end loop, then tap on the line to start player.
- Editing area – the upper half of the screen is where you see the song being edited and can be scrolled up and down to reveal the whole song. A blinking cursor indicates the location being edited. To move the cursor simply tap anywhere you want it to move to.
- Tool area – the bottom half of the screen where you’ll find the editing tools to add chords, symbols and text to the song chart. Note: on devices with smaller screens, swipe across the screen to navigate the full tool area.
Note: to keep charts readable on small screens a maximum of 12 staves is allowed and to avoid any squeezing of the layout at all, one should use 9 or less staves.
There are two ways to input or edit chords in the Editor -
- Type the chord manually via the keyboard that appears when inputing in the text field, then tapping Enter (note: this will move the cursor two cells, so you may still need to tap on the screen to get to the desired location).
- Using the CHORD button next to the text field to first choose the root,then tapping again, to display a list of available qualities (only possible if you have already chosen a root).
The REGULAR CHORD button will let you switch between inserting regular chords, if you click on it once, the ALTERNATE CHORD button will display and you can insert Alternate chords. The chords will be added in small font above the regular chords.
If you click on the ALTERNATE Chord button, it is going to change to the TEXT field and you can enter your text.
The SIZE button allows you to change the size of the chords - S, small and N for normal - starting at the current position of the cursor until the next chord size marker.
INSERT - inserts a beat (a blank cell), shifting the following part of the chord progression one beat/cell forward.
DELETE - removes a beat (the current cell), moving the rest of the chord progression backwards one beat/cell. To delete the whole beat you'll need to tap DEL four times (if that's how many cells were used for the bar).
The top row contains bar lines generally including, single open and close, double open and close, repeat open and close and final.
The second row contains the one bar repeat, two bar repeat, no chord (N.C.), Fermata, Coda, Segno and Invisible Root symbols.
The 4/4 button allows you to change the time signature.
The three red arrow buttons allow you to add vertical space between staves as required.
The END button adds a marking for the Player to indicate where it should stop playing in the last chorus.
Following are the ending numbers - 1st, 2nd and 3rd ending plus an empty ending mark that can be used for custom repeat indications by adding your own text (e.g. “Open”, “On cue”…)- see the following section, Text.
Note: Custom ending indications are not interpreted by the Player.
The Rehearsal Marks are letters or abbreviations inside a black box. You can select from V (verse), in (intro), A, B, Cor D.
To add text at the current cursor position, simply type it in the text field after you have tapped on Staff Text
If you press the TEXT button which appears next to the text field after tapping on the Regular Chord button twice, a list of commonly used texts (e.g. D.C. al Coda, D.S. al Coda, repeat times up to 8x) will be displayed for you to choose from.
There is an UP and a DOWN button at the bottom of the editor to the left which will allow you to move the text up or down.
Various buttons below the Staff Text button allow you to edit information about the song chart -
- Song Title
Alternatively, you can use a third party app such as PrintShare or similar ones to print it directly from your device.
There are two ways to create a new playlist -
- Open the Playlists index, tap on Menu and then tap on New Playlist.
- While viewing a song chart tap on the screen to display the toolbar, tap on Playlist then select New Playlist.
Go to the Playlists index, long press the playlist name, then choose Delete (to cancel, tap anywhere else on the screen).
Playlists Index->Long press a playlist->Rename;
Rename then press OK or Cancel.
There are two ways -
- While viewing a song chart tap the screen to display the toolbar-> select the Playlist icon-> tap an existing playlist name or create a new one by tapping New playlist.
- In the Songs index long press the song name-> select Add to Playlist -> tap an existing playlist name or create a new one by tapping New playlist.
Note: You cannot add a song more than once to a playlist.
Deleting Songs in a Playlist
Go to the Playlists index, open the playlist you would like to edit. Long press the song you want to delete and select Remove (you will need to confirm it once more before you delete it).
Note: deleting songs from a Playlist does not delete the song from your library nor any other playlist.
Changing the Song Order in a Playlist
Go to Playlists index, open the playlist you would like to edit.
Then you can either,
- Press the Menu button and select "a-z". This sorts the playlist alphabetically.
- Long press a song, then select Move. You can then select a new position relative to the other songs in the playlist.
Sending a Playlist
A playlist can easily be shared with other iReal b users on iOS or Mac and with the online Web Editor.
While viewing a playlist tap on the Menu button, then select the Share button
From here you’ll have two choices -
- Email - that will create an email containing an html attachment. The html attachment contains the playlist code in a link format (also includes a list of the included songs).
- Post to Forums - that will save the playlist code in the clipboard of your device so it can be used in the Forums with a ‘Paste’ command. Note: sending playlists via email to yourself is a good way of making a backup of that playlist.
From an email - open the Email App on your device, navigate to the email containing the playlist html attachment. Open the attachment and tap on the link. iReal b will now open and import the playlist. Deleting the playlist can safely be done without loosing any songs.
From the Forums - tap on the Forums tab and wait for the page to load. Navigate to the desired forum and tap the link of the desired playlist. iReal b will now open and import the playlist into the Playists index.