As musicians, we’ve all been there, right? You’re playing along, you have your sheet music up on the stand. You try to get into it, to get a groove going, but you keep running into that pesky issue of having to stop, lean forward, turn the page, and start again. It’s really distracting, for you and the audience.
Must we really carry, store, and maintain all these paper scores? Let’s face it: paper is old. There is a better way.
Let’s talk about that…
Digital Sheet Music!
I know, big shocker right? But the number of users with access to digital smart devices increases every year, becoming a common staple among most Americans by 2015, where 68% of U.S. adults had a smartphone, and 45% had a tablet. Compare to 2011, only 4 years prior, the number was 35%.
Where am I going with this? I had a point…
Oh yeah! The point is that you probably have one. In fact, 68% of you reading this will be on a mobile device.
These things are powerful, and can do a lot of things, from shopping, to controlling the lights of your home, to starting your car. Why not use it fro sheet music? Of course, a little smartphone won’t do very well, but a 9″ samsung tablet will do as well as if it were your standard letter-size dinosaur method.
“But Jason” I hear you protest, “Won’t I need to turn the pages with my finger? I may be rid of the untidiness of stacks of paper, but my page turning issue still persists!”, To which I respond: First, my how eloquent you are, and second…..
Enter the Bluetooth Pedal Page Turner!
These devices are quite simply a pedal that rests on the floor, connects to your iOS, PC, or Android device via Bluetooth, and pressing said pedal causes the music on-screen to turn itself!
This kind of setup, using a page turn pedal and a large screen tablet or iPad eliminates two reoccurring problems for musicians: the clutter of having so many papers (and if you are like me, keeping songs separate from each other), and the need to turn the page with your hands (or someone else’s).
This system has actually begun to gain some popularity among musicians around the world, especially since most people have an iPad or androids tablet anyway. Why not use it for music? Some professionals even prefer this method, such as pianist Sam Haywood, who regularly tours and collaborates with renowned violinist Joshua Bell.
You could just hire a page-turner…
Maybe if you have an extra $50 to blow each practice, recital, and performance.
No disrespect to any page-turners out there, but this method is neither cost-effective nor practical. While professional musicians have been hiring page-turner for centuries, its just that much more money out of the pocket for the average Joe who just wants to practice at home without the hassle.
Not to mention accommodation, transportation, and stage space. An AirTurn PEDpro fits in your backpack for travel and rests on the floor with a profile no taller than 1 inch.
Finding a human page-turner is also an issue. What if you can’t? There goes your performance!
It’s not exactly easy for the page-turners themselves. Being a page-turner can and will put you in extreme pressure situations. It requires nerves of steel, having to read each note (and the musicians own whims and musical liberties) with exact precision. One mistake could mean disaster. And that’s not even covering how they can manage all this and still keep out of the pianist’s way. That is if they manage.
This is a rather humerus video of famed pianist comedian Victor Borge, addressing this issue in a rather un-serious and slightly exaggerated light:
Not all experiences are negative. Not all experiences are positive either.
But why go through the trouble?
Here’s the thing: the technology exists to settle these issues. It does take some getting used to, but it becomes second nature quite quickly. And for less than $100 you can be free of all those pesky sheets and all those moments when you couldn’t turn a page and couldn’t get someone to do it for you.
It’s an initial expense, but you won’t have to worry for as long as it lives, which is already saving you time and money. In my personal experience, it’s well worth the investment.
On the other hand, you are relying on an electronic device, which is only as reliable as the manufacturer. You wouldn’t be relieved of any embarrassment if your pedal gave out in the middle of a performance. With that in mind, It is essential that you choose a good one.
For the unsure, I have made a detailed post covering different models and doing comparisons to find out which one is right for you, so that in the event you decide that this is something you’re interested in, you can make an informed decision
Follow the link here to My Product Comparison