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Thread: tablet recommendations

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019

    Default tablet recommendations

    i am thinking about using ireal for jam sessions on a musicsheet stand. Do you guys/gals have any recommendations on models that work well for you? Any large tablet users here?

    thank you!

  2. #2


    Other members may be able to offer specific recommendations.
    As you decide exactly what to ask Santa for, there are other things to consider.

    Size: I started with a 10”. It didn’t fit into my upright's case pocket. The tablet plus a music stand felt like carrying a around surfboard. For me, the best compromise between readability and portability was an iPad mini. I found the 7-8” size slipped into my jacket pocket.

    Security: music stands are tippy, tablets are fragile and aren’t cheap. Figure out a way to easily attach (and remove) your tablet to/from your stand. Even a little self-adhesive Velcro on your tablet's case (yes, you want a case too) and the music stand can save a lot of hassle when your stand get's accidentally jostled.

    Back-up: I always try to remember to load my gig-lists into my Phone in case the magic-smoke escapes from my tablet.
    Note, I recently replaced my “old” phone with a 5.5” one. While I prefer using my tablet, I could definitely play a gig with my phone positioned on the shoulder of my low-side upper bout.
    I put some Velcro on a shoelace which I can wrap around the neck under the fingerboard of anybody’s bass and attach the silicone phone case in just the right spot.
    A guitarist I’ve jammed with has an elastic strap he Velcro’s around his lower thigh which securely holds his phone... it works for him sitting in the jam circle.

    Power: be prepared for a dead/low battery. A good power-bank will hold a charge for months and takes little space in your case. At gigs, reduce the brightness to only what's required. I think using “night mode” (white text on black) may help too.
    Night mode is activated on the font-selection screen (Aa). I prefer it except in bright sunlight.

    Let us know what you get and how it works for you.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009


    A few additional thoughts to add to Bob's:

    It depends on which instrument you play and where you like to have your music stand. We have Tuba, French horn, Double bass, violin players where typically their music stand is further away from where they sit or stand (compared to other instruments) because of the position/size of their instrument, so need a larger tablet size to see from that distance.
    In contrast a keyboard player, guitarist, flute (etc.) position it closer so a smaller tablet or phone is all that is required.

    If you are at jam sessions and others will be viewing your tablet, then larger would be better so you can all stand back but still view it.

    Or if you move about on the stage (e.g. vocalist, guitarist, sax), a larger tablet might probably be better, as you can still see the chart as you move.

    Check our specifications here:
    We update iReal Pro several times a year (free updates) and sometimes the minimum OS it will now function in is a later OS version. The Play Store should automatically install the latest version of iReal Pro for the OS version it detects on your tablet.

    There are a few e-ink tablets available with the Android OS, which allow viewing in full sun, glare or other highly lit environments. There are different sizes.
    Some have front lights for dark environments, others do not (you need ambient light or bring your own).

    We have various musicians using larger tablets, the larger iPad sizes. It may also depend on what else (what other apps) you might use (sketching, drawing, DAW etc.)
    As the tablet size goes up, it would be heavier and less portable, although compared to taking a bunch of printed Fake books...

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