Mac Manual

Creating a New Playlist
There are two ways to create a new playlist -

  1. From the main menu, File ➭ New Playlist
  2. At the bottom of the Playlist column in the Outline, click on the + button.
Add songs to a playlist by dragging them individually or in groups from the Index.
Change the order of playlists by dragging them to the desired position.
Delete a playlist by highlighting it and simply pressing the Delete button.
Rename a playlist by double-clicking on the playlist name.
Delete songs in a playlist by opening the playlist and selecting the song(s) and pressing the Delete button.
Change the song order in a playlist by dragging each song to the desired positions. Note: the list will be re-ordered according to title, composer or style if any of the respective column headers are clicked.
Send a playlist with the Export button on the Toolbar at the bottom.  Export via an email, directly to the Forums or save to disk.
Importing Playlists
From an email - open Apple Mail, find the email containing the playlist code link, click on the link. iReal b will open and import the playlist. You will now have the newly imported playlist added to the Playlists index where you can access it.From the Forums - tap on the Forums button and wait for the page to load. Navigate to the desired forum and tap the link of the desired playlist. The new playlist will be added to the Playists index.Note: in both cases, if any of the songs in the incoming playlist are not already in the song library they will be added as User songs.
Print any song chart  -

  1. From the main menu, File ➭ Print
  2. 'command-p' on the keyboard

This will send the chart to any printer connected to your computer or allows you to save the chart as a PDF.

Open the Editor three ways -
1. From the main menu, File ➭ New Song
2. Select the Editor button on the Toolbar

    • create a new song with a blank chart
    • create a new song with a chart based on a template of common song forms
    • edit the current selected song
    • edit a copy of a currently open chart

3. From the main menu, Edit ➭ Edit Song (this opens the Editor to the song that is currently highlighted in the Index)

Once the Editor has been opened, it will display in the Index section, with the song chart being edited appearing in the Song View. A blinking cursor indicates the location being edited. To move the cursor stepwise you can use the arrows on the keyboard or click on anywhere on the chart you want it to move to.

The dashed gray line indicates the actual size of the iPhone screen. Any chords added below this line will cause the layout to squeeze to fit on the screen.
Note: to keep charts readable on the small iPhone screen 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 three aspects to setting or changing chords in the Editor -

  1. setting the root, quality and inversion respectively
  2. setting regular and alternate chords (in small font above the regular chords).
    Note: you cannot add slashes or repeat bar symbols in the alternate chord position.
  3. setting the size of the chord in the chart

To set or change a chord, move the cursor to the desired location (if a chord is already present the Chord Text Field will display the selected chord).
Now you can set your chord, always starting from the root and moving onto quality and inversion.

Using the keyboard, type the desired chord.  To allocate a specific chord quality you can either manually type it or you can open the drop-down menu of the Chord Text Field in the Editor and choose from a list of available qualities. You cannot set a quality and/or inversion without first selecting a root.

Custom chord qualities can be assigned to the selected root chord by typing in the Chord Text Field.
Note: If you intend to use your chart with the built-in Player, custom qualities are not recommended, as only the most common qualities will be recognized and interpreted by the Player.

To remove a chord, simply press Delete on the keyboard or click the (x)Delete Beat button in the Editor (note: pressing Delete on the keyboard removes the chord without changing the bar spacing of the chart).

If you must display a quality or inversion without having a root, select the Invisible Root symbol (it appears in the Chord Text Field as a 'W') -

The passage will look like this in the chart on exiting the Editor as the red dot is just a place holder in the Editor -

Press the Return button when done to move to the next cell.

Alternate Chords
Clicking the Regular chord button will change the Chord Text Field allow you to type an alternate chord, which appears above the regular chord in smaller font in the chart.


Chord Size
The two buttons, ‘S' and ‘N’ allow you to change the size of the chords starting at the current position of the cursor up until the next chord size marker.


The default size is Normal and wherever possible, this is the recommended setting. When many chords need to be displayed close to each other, select the Small size. You will see a small red ‘S’ appear in the current cursor location which means that from that position on, all the chords will be displayed in a smaller font until a Normal size character (‘N‘) is encountered. The N works in the same way that all chords will be displayed at normal size until an S is encountered.
The red S and N characters will not be visible once exiting the editor.

Symbols and Other Buttons
In addition to the expected root names, there are additional common symbols to choose from.


Depending on where the cursor is, the buttons will highlight which symbols are present in that particular position.
Press the highlighted button to remove the symbol or press another symbol to add/replace it.

Besides the common musical symbols you will find different arrows to add varying amounts of vertical space to your staves.
You will also find the End symbol which tells the Player where to end the last chorus.  See the Player description for more information.


(+) Insert Beat - adds a blank cell in the currently selected position shifting the following part of the chord progression of one beat/cell forward.
(x) Delete Beat - removes the current cell, moving the rest of the chord progression backwards one beat/cell. To delete a whole beat you’ll need to choose the Delete Beat four times (if that’s how many cells were used for the bar).

Key and Time Signatures


Set and/or transpose the song chart here.
Select the desired key signature and press the Set and Transpose button. All the chords in the song chart will be transposed.

If you select Set, only the indicated key signature of the song will be changed.

To change the time signature, position the cursor at the beginning of the desired bar and choose a time signature from the drop down menu.  Do the same to remove.



Insert any kind of text related to the staff where the cursor is currently positioned in this field.  You can also choose one of the pre-determined texts (e.g. D.C. al Coda, D.S. al Coda, repeat times up to 8x) from the drop down menu to control the behavior of the Player or you can manually type a text of your choice.  Use the arrows to position the text in relation to the staff.

Song Information

Title - you cannot use a title already in use in the song library.
Composer - provide separate first name and last name. If the song has multiple composers, include only the last names separated by dashes in the last name field.
Style - type in your own style name or choose one from the drop down menu.

Select, Copy and Paste
Drag the cursor across the area of the song you would like to select (this currently only works by starting at the top of the desired area and dragging downwards).

Then, either -

  1. From the main menu, Edit ➭ Cut/Copy
  2. 'command-x' or 'command-c' on the keyboard
Select the location in the chart you want to paste to, then either -
  1. From the main menu, Edit ➭ Paste
  2. 'command-v' on the keyboard

Cut - the selected area is removed, moving the remaining part of the chord progression back.
Delete - will clear the content of the selected cells without removing them.
Copy – will save the content of the selected area to the clipboard.

The player adheres to specific rules when it interprets the chord progression in a song chart.
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.

Rehearsal Marks
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 ABC 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 3x4x...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.

Rehearsal Indications
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:

Chord Qualities
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:

while this:

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)

END Charcter
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.


Android Editor 2

The Player is located on the Toolbar at the bottom of the screen.  Open a song that you’d like to play (displays in the Song View) and simply press the Play button.

During playback, each bar is highlighted in grey as it is played and a number in the top right corner indicates what chorus is currently playing.
During playback if you change the tempo, the style or another setting, the change won’t take effect until you regenerate the song by pressing the Play button again. This will be indicated by the flashing Refresh button.
Choose a main style (Jazz, Latin or Pop), followed by a sub-style (Bossa Nova, Slow Swing,etc)

Set the number of choruses the Player will generate by clicking on the side arrows to the desired number.


Set the tempo by moving the slider to the desired tempo.


Set the Volume of the individual instruments and the amount of Reverb as desired with the Mixer


Choose a one, or two-bar Count In before playback, and you can also turn off the click during count in.
Turn on/off the marker that indicates the position of playback.


To loop any number of measures, click and drag over the desired measures and press play.
You can export the audio portion of the song with the Export button in the lower left corner of the window.
  • 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.
A song chart can be transposed to any key signature.  The current key signature of a song is displayed in the Key window on the toolbar.  If the song is in the default key, it will appear in the color blue.  If the song has been transposed, that is, is not in the default key,  it will appear as green.

Clicking on the Key window displays the available alternative key signatures. Scroll through and select a new key signature and the song chart will automatically be transposed.
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 the Settings to match the key of your instrument.
In the main menu, choose iReal b ➭ Preferences.

Additionally, there is the option of Number Notation (Nashville System) to display a song.

Whether you transpose in the regular manner on the Toolbar or using global transposition in the Settings, these can sometimes yield unusual enharmonics.
For more control over the transposition of each chord it is recommended that the transposition function occurs in the Editor.

In the iReal b Forums you can find help and useful information about all things iReal b and you can download a large number of user contributed songs as well as sharing your own.

Open the forums with the dedicated button at the bottom of the screen

To import songs or playlists from the Forums to your computer, navigate to the desired song or playlist and click on the link (it is not necessary to be a registered user). iReal b will import the song or playlist and display it in the Index View.
Note: the Outline on the left will highlight either the Last Imported category in the Library or the imported playlist name in the Playlist Index.

To publish your own songs and playlists on the Forums you do need to register first.
Choose the song or playlist that you want to post and select the Export button on the Toolbar, followed by either 'Song to Forums' or 'Playlist to Forums'.

The song or playlist will be copied to the computer's clipboard and from here you can open the Forums in another window where you'll be able to add your song/playlist to a post using the pasteboard.

iReal b for Mac is organized in three sections -

  1. The Outline on the left which is the first part in navigating through the song index. Choosing any category here controls what is displayed in the Index -
    Library - displays the entire song collection or lists the most recently imported and edited songs.
    Playlists - displays all songs contained in any playlists that have been imported or created.
  2. The Index section in the middle which lists all the songs by title, composer and style according to what category has been chosen in the Outline on the left.
  3. The Song View on the right which displays any chosen song chart to play and edit.

Browse the song library by selecting Songs from the library in the top left corner then scrolling through the lists to the right of the library window. Selecting any of the three headings will sort the songs alphabetically according to song title, composer or style.

Search through the songs and composers in the Library or currently selected playlist. Choose Find (Command-F) from the Edit menu or press the magnifying galls button in the lower left corner to open the search field. The Index will immediately display all matching results in your library as you type.

View a song chart by selecting a song in the Title and Composers Index and it will appear to the right in the Song View, where charts are played as well as edited. This view will change accordingly as different songs are selected.

The general Tool Bar at the bottom of the screen contains the main functions of iReal b.


The Share button allows you to export a song or a playlist:

  • via email as an html attachment (compatible with iOS and Android versions of iReal b)
  • to the Forums via the pasteboard
  • to disk (to your computer) in .irb format (only compatible with Mac)
  • the audio in WAV format (one song at a time)
  • the audio in MIDI format (one song at a time)
  • the chord chart to MusicXML (open in Finale, Sibelius or other music notation software)

Links to the Forums


          Opens the Search field

Song Editor

  • Edit an existing song chart
  • Create a new song chart with a blank chart or from one of the  templates based on common song forms
  • Edit a copy of a currently open chart



Set the Volume of the accompanying instruments and the amount Reverb with the Mixer button


Player Settings

      • Choose a one or two-bar Count In before playback
      • Turn on/off the marker that indicates the position of playback
      • Turn on/off the click during the Count In


         Practice Settings

  • Automatic tempo change and automatic transposition


Sets the main Style of a song and also the sub style of that style group

Set the number of choruses the Player will generate when pressing the Play button. Also set the tempo of the song.

The Stop and Play buttons for the Player

Displays the Key Signature of a song and allows you to set and also change the Key Signature. The key in blue indicates the default key and in green indicates that the song has been transposed.

In the main menu, choose iReal b ➭ Preferences


  • Transposing Instrument - If you play a transposing instrument you can change the Global Transposition in the settings to match the key of your instrument.  Additionally, there is the option of number notation (Nashville System) to display a song.
    For further information, see the section: Transposing a Song.
  • Symbol for minor chords - Choose the preferred minor symbol (- or m)
  • Background Texture - Customize song chart backgrounds with a range of different textures and colors
  • Player Position Indicator - Edit the color of the player position indicator
  • Chord Diagrams Anticipation – Allows you to set when a guitar or piano chord diagram appears before the actual chord plays (up to one second)
  • Chord Scale – Choose your clef for the Chord Scales diagrams (In-app purchase required)

Chord scale settings_mac

  • AirPlay Offset - when checked it will delay the position marker by two seconds allowing it to be synced with the audio when sent through AirPlay (available in Mountain Lion or through third party apps like Airfoil for earlier operating systems).
  • Backup - It is very important to regularly backup your song library. From the main menu,choose File ➭ Backup
The Player recognizes all the time signatures provided in the editor.

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.

Important: the in-app purchases require OS X 10.7 or higher.

To purchase additional Guitar/Piano Chords or Chord Scales, click on Store in iReal b:


Once you're in the Store, you can select the extra features that you would like to purchase.

You can watch a demo before you make the In-App purchase.


Note: If you have already purchased the In-app, you will not be charged again to download it to your device. Then just click on Restore (Restore Previous Purchases). You have to be logged in with the Apple ID that you used for the original purchase.

The INSTALLED button will indicate that the in-app was purchased.
Installed in-app_mac

The Libraries for the Chord Scales, Guitar and Piano Chords will appear if you click on the icon at the bottom of the screen.