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Graham Greenbag
04-10-2018, 07:14 PM
When I’m out walking in the local fields, woods and hills I’d like to have a Uke and some music with me. My Soprano is light enough and, though I love it, loss or damage to it wouldn’t matter money wise. My iPad, on which I carry my music, is another matter and I really don’t want to risk it ‘on the trail’.

Committing things to memory wouldn’t be practical for me. Taking a copy of The Daily Uke is ruled out on weight grounds and taking single sheet copies doesn’t seem very ecological, and they’ll likely get blown away by any passing the breeze too.

Any experiences to share or suggestions for better ways to carry music lightly?

kohanmike
04-10-2018, 08:52 PM
I don't see any other way to be light weight carrying music than a tablet. There are a variety of light weight sleeves or shoulder bags for the iPad that would add protection.

8 tenor cutaway ukes, 3 acoustic bass ukes, 8 solid body bass ukes, 8 mini electric bass guitars

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. http://www.theukc.org
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kypfer
04-10-2018, 09:35 PM
I use sheets of good old-fashioned paper in clear plastic envelopes. The sheets of paper go back into a "central filing system" when I want a change of repertoire ... I've not yet met a "passing breeze" that'd blow away a sheet of paper with a rock on it ;)

Any sheets of paper that do, for whatever reason, exceed their use-by date can be recycled into the usual waste paper recovery system ... a lot more ecologically friendly than the electricity usage and batteries in a tablet!

:music:

NoyBoy98
04-10-2018, 11:02 PM
Buy something cheap and small like an Amazon Fire Tablet to use instead of your iPad, or go online and find a cheap iPad Air if you need to stay within the Apple ecosystem.

Croaky Keith
04-10-2018, 11:09 PM
I have an exercise book with some tunes I want to learn written in it, I use my own form of shorthand notation, the note letter, & if it is in another octave, I add a superscript or subscript to it.

Though I don't go wandering around with it, it would be easy enough to do so.

Jerryc41
04-11-2018, 12:29 AM
How about a think three-ring binder with half a dozen songs? It would weigh less than your uke.

Heavy2600
04-11-2018, 01:02 AM
At home I usually jot down the song on a small piece of paper. I carry them around in my pocket. Why not take a picture of the paper on your phone. I always have my cell phone. You could even email it to yourself and create folders in your email account to organize music if you want hundreds of songs accessible.

ukulelekarcsi
04-11-2018, 01:16 AM
I have an E-reader which is very light (80g) and cheap (80€), much more than any tablet, and also lasts longer on a single battery charge (if you use it for a few hours every day, it won't need charging for a week or even 10 days). Other advantages are that they are much easier to read in full sunlight (very sharp, like paper) or at night (mine has a backlight), not prone to breaking in a rucksack (no glass involved) and are easy on the eyes (they don't tire you out as a blue screen does).

Downsides of an E-reader as a sheet music carrier is that going back and forth is a drag (slow refreshment of the page, unless it's the ones just before or after) and that only the small formats (A5 - 8" across) are affordable - the big ones are 600 € and more. So it's rather small, and although you can zoom in that's not handy unless some else will be your pageturner.

I don't have the 'daily' books as ebooks (epub-format), but I do have the 'ukulele fakebook', which is a combination of both 'daily' books. And there are tons of songbooks availabe for free in pdf-format, or jpg, or whatever - I have all genres, instrumental tabs and chord sheets, binders full or then, which I carry around in this flimsy notebook-like e-reader. But I have good Eyesight, and can play given only a few clues.

UkerDanno
04-11-2018, 04:04 AM
Buy something cheap and small like an Amazon Fire Tablet to use instead of your iPad, or go online and find a cheap iPad Air if you need to stay within the Apple ecosystem.

I was going to suggest the same thing, I have an Insignia 10" tablet, I got off of ebay for $60 with a nice case that converts to a stand, use it for all my music. Music is on a micro SD card, so, easy to plug into the computer and transfer/manage song sheets. It's basic and slow to start up, but works just as well for me as other people and their "fancy" and expensive ipads. :shaka:

Hms
04-11-2018, 04:08 AM
How about using the old jazz chord boxes?
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RafterGirl
04-11-2018, 04:25 AM
I take my uke on sea kayak and whitewater rafting trips. I have been experimenting with how to bring my music along. On my raft, space & weight aren't as much of a problem, but with my sea kayak they are. I use the paper/page protector method. I choose about a dozen songs & put them in a small, flexible binder. I might just bring them loose when I go kayaking in a few weeks? How to use the pages while playing has been my problem area. Using a light weight stand outdoors doesn't work very well. I have two small aluminum low-rider camp tables that I bring, so I thought maybe I can them & put some sort of music holder on top of them. I found this on Amazon.
14 X 9 inches when flat, 20 oz. I took off the page guide thingie but use the other clamp to hold the music page. I'll see how it works on my upcoming trip.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N4GVBMA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Rllink
04-11-2018, 05:28 AM
Buy something cheap and small like an Amazon Fire Tablet to use instead of your iPad, or go online and find a cheap iPad Air if you need to stay within the Apple ecosystem.I agree with this. I have an Amazon Fire and it will fit in my back pocket. It is less than a hundred bucks. If you are afraid of it getting wet, put it in a plastic zip lock bag. I use Mobile Sheets Pro app. You can move music from dropbox right into it and access them without an internet connection. I use it all the time. I also have the ultimateguitar app on it, and that stores songs that you can access without an internet connection.

WestyShane
04-11-2018, 05:39 AM
I was in the same boat, just generally hard on electronics. I also have access to report binding equipment and I know that water proof paper is available at my local surveying/engineering supply shop (or Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0016H1RYE/ref=asc_df_B0016H1RYE5435901/?tag=hyprod-20&creative=394997&creativeASIN=B0016H1RYE&linkCode=df0&hvadid=198069831297&hvpos=1o3&hvnetw=g&hvrand=13947400833495667882&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9012141&hvtargid=pla-320279174553).

I made my own comb-bound waterproof 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" booklet of blank uke tab pages about 3/4" thick. When I find a song I want to take anywhere I write the tab in the book. It's great for camping, travelling, spilling beer on...

I bet Kinkos etc. could do a similar job for cheap.

Jerryc41
04-11-2018, 05:50 AM
I took off the page guide thingie but use the other clamp to hold the music page. I'll see how it works on my upcoming trip.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N4GVBMA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Thanks. That looks good.

sopher
04-11-2018, 06:43 AM
Dude,

Just load the Kindle app on your phone and buy the Kindle version of Daily Ukulele

actadh
04-11-2018, 07:14 AM
All my music downloads go in Google Docs, and are easy to bring up on my phone, laptop, or Nook 7 tablet.

But, to really internalize, I stick a notecard size post it notepad in with the electronics, and do just the chords and a few keywords. I can look at the document if stuck, but it helps to have the minimal aspect, too.

Rllink
04-11-2018, 07:32 AM
Dude,

Just load the Kindle app on your phone and buy the Kindle version of Daily UkuleleI don't think that I could read Daily Ukulele on my phone, strum and sing all at the same time. My Kindle Fire is none too big, and I have the large one. It would be nice if I could though.

acmespaceship
04-11-2018, 08:14 AM
Music documentation I have seen inside ukulele cases, not necessarily my own:

Smartphone or small tablet
Paper, letter size, individual sheets
Paper, several pages stapled together
Paper, letter size folded into a booklet
Index cards
Post-it Notes on the case or even on the uke
Random sized bits of paper taped inside the case
Books (the little Jim Beloff collections are a nice size)
Duo-tang folders (flat, folded or rolled up)
Plastic sheet protectors
Pages with chord progressions and a list of songs that go with them (C-Am-F-G7 is one page with a hundred songs)

Things that can hold paper in place (in addition to the afore-mentioned rocks and stands) include binder clips, masking tape, your foot.

My advice is to pick 5 or 6 songs you really love and need to work on, print them out at a size that works for you, staple them together, and keep that in your case along with a binder clip. On a walkabout you don't need your entire music collection.

I think most of us would do well to spend more time learning fewer songs.

Graham Greenbag
04-11-2018, 08:18 PM
Just a line to thank everyone who has contributed to this thread, the response has been absolutely fantastic and given me a lot of proven solutions to work with. In the first instance I think that I will go with say a dozen paper copies of favourite songs or fingerpicking pieces in a small flexible folder / presentation book. It’s simple and effective and in practice it might not be particularly limiting or un-green.

For the longer term the electronic solutions also have appeal and I’m wondering which device type would suit my particular needs best. I hadn’t considered an e-reader and have never used one but wonder whether, for a broad basket of reasons, one might be right for me. That’s something to investigate further but, for an additional device, factors such as comparatively very long battery life, lower (?) cost, lighter (?) weight, monochrome screen, dedicated for book storage design, and security aspects potentially make one right for my particular purposes. Screen size will be a factor for me too, I feel the need for a tablet sized screen but whether something smaller will do I don’t currently know. To be clear here I’m not saying what the best solution to the issue is; I’m looking towards a path that might end up with something that’s right for me, but that something might not be right for someone else.

Thank you all again for your contributions. They have been a great help to me and I hope that this thread will also provide useful direction to others with a similar question. All the best, Graham.

Leanmaker
04-12-2018, 03:11 AM
At our Ukulele group, I've seen people stick paper onto the body of the Uke with chords for songs - probably just used for a prompt. You would be limited with how many you could put on - but they are easy to see when you are playing as they are right there on the body of your uke :)

bunnyf
04-13-2018, 01:31 AM
I don't think that I could read Daily Ukulele on my phone, strum and sing all at the same time. My Kindle Fire is none too big, and I have the large one. It would be nice if I could though.

No way could I read DU on phone, I can barely read it on my iPad mini and actually it not that easy on my reg. iPad. The font for chords even in the large spiral print version is pretty small and light. Lyrics are also small too. Over time, I have converted many of the songs to one page bold large print chord sheets and put them into my onsong app and they are much easier to use. I do miss the standard notation though for reference when playing fingerstyle, but it forces me to play by ear, which is fine.

bunnyf
04-13-2018, 02:48 AM
I am also curious about folks experience with e-reader devices. What are the negative features and how impactful are they. I would miss some of the features of onsong app, like transposing and organizational tools, but I would love to have that "paper-like" screen. Glare is very often an issue on my iPad. The low cost of the 5x8 reader is appealing, but that would mean that I would really only use it for self-constructed chord sheet, made to maximize visibility.

Graham Greenbag
04-15-2018, 08:03 AM
I have an E-reader which is very light (80g) and cheap (80€), much more than any tablet, and also lasts longer on a single battery charge (if you use it for a few hours every day, it won't need charging for a week or even 10 days). Other advantages are that they are much easier to read in full sunlight (very sharp, like paper) or at night (mine has a backlight), not prone to breaking in a rucksack (no glass involved) and are easy on the eyes (they don't tire you out as a blue screen does).

Downsides of an E-reader as a sheet music carrier is that going back and forth is a drag (slow refreshment of the page, unless it's the ones just before or after) and that only the small formats (A5 - 8" across) are affordable - the big ones are 600 € and more. So it's rather small, and although you can zoom in that's not handy unless some else will be your pageturner.

I don't have the 'daily' books as ebooks (epub-format), but I do have the 'ukulele fakebook', which is a combination of both 'daily' books. And there are tons of songbooks availabe for free in pdf-format, or jpg, or whatever - I have all genres, instrumental tabs and chord sheets, binders full or then, which I carry around in this flimsy notebook-like e-reader. But I have good Eyesight, and can play given only a few clues.

I know little about the ereader option and, along with others, would like a bit more detail please. Kobo and Kindle seem to have the market sown up and even then Kindle seems much more dominant. Kindle uses its own standard for electronic book formats but as it’s Amazon’s that’s maybe not an issue provided all you want to do is read books from them. Kobo use a competing format and lots of material is available from various suppliers, but no one is bigger than Amazon? I am totally in the dark about how any Uke music from say OnSong could be loaded onto an ereader and which ereader(s) might be compatible.

Some additional info would be a help, please.

sopher
04-15-2018, 09:20 AM
I have a 15.4 inch laptop which converts to a tablet. A giant tablet, a BAT! The kindle version of DU on it is just fine.

acmespaceship
04-15-2018, 12:12 PM
...Kindle uses its own standard for electronic book formats...

A Kindle e-ink reader can natively read PDF, Text and MOBI files as well as the Amazon-proprietary AZW. Amazon's personal documents service supports the following formats, converting them if necessary, so you can email these files to your Kindle:

Kindle Format (.MOBI, .AZW)
Microsoft Word (.DOC, .DOCX)
HTML (.HTML, .HTM)
RTF (.RTF)
Text (.TXT)
JPEG (.JPEG, .JPG)
GIF (.GIF)
PNG (.PNG)
BMP (.BMP)
PDF (.PDF)

The only type of file you are likely to want on a Kindle that it can't handle directly is EPUB. Use the free software called Calibre to convert EPUB files to MOBI. Please note that any copyrighted file protected by Digital Rights Management cannot be converted... not without crossing into a legal grey area beyond the scope of this discussion. If you have already purchased a lot of EPUB books, a Kindle might not be your best option.

I used to carry uke songsheets (written by me in a word processor and exported to PDF) on an e-ink Kindle. The screen was too small for me and I appreciate having Android apps like MobileSheets and GuitarTapp so I moved to a Fire tablet. I wish there was an 8.5x11" e-ink reader that didn't cost an arm and a leg :-)

Graham Greenbag
04-15-2018, 06:46 PM
@ acmespaceship. Thank you for your post, most helpful. For those seeking a lightweight electronic storage option your experience and current direction seem to be, to me, a good pointer for the direction to go in.

Basically a Kindle can be made to work but the small screen (say 6” diagonally) typically makes it impractical for our purposes. At least three of the people who have contributed to the thread have found that a basic tablet with a 10” (?) screen is a minimalist electronic solution that works for them. It would be helpful to the thread is more people chimed in here with their experiences of small and relatively inexpensive tablets.

A Kindle Fire 10 is amongst the lowest cost and practical solutions and they are circa 150 in the U.K. I had hoped for a better solution but to me (with potential damage, weight and cost in mind) for casual playing whilst out walking, etc., it makes sense to just take a limited selection of printed paper sheets/copies instead - I guess that most folks felt that all along but if the question were to be asked again in ten years time the answer might well be different.

ukulelekarcsi
04-17-2018, 04:46 AM
Onyx, Kobo, Pocketbook and Tolino also offer cheap and good e-readers, and have the benefit of being open to all digital formats - the Onyx ones usually also have an SD-card slot so your memory capacity is almost endless, and an audio system which lets it function as an mp3 player as well. That said, anything above 10 inches is rather expensive. Also, larger formats clash with the idea of being small carry-along items on a hiking trip.

igorthebarbarian
04-17-2018, 04:54 AM
Kindle’s also have a very long battery life, given that they’re a basic black-and-white display, and aren’t meant for apps or internet surfing. I loaded a couple PDFs and txt files once to see how it would work, and it worked fine. The only issues were sometimes with it wrapping text in odd places. Also i think you’d just want to adjust the length of time before the screen locks out/goes black.

actadh
04-17-2018, 08:53 AM
I have a Nook 7 that is $49 with a $20 SanDisk micro SDXC card that is 64GB. I have all my songs on My Drive in Google, but I wanted offline use, so I download to the SanDisk. It is perfect for me to see in Portrait mode through the Nook Reader. Better formatted, actually, than using my laptop.

Now I am on the lookout for a holder to fit on the seat in front of me when in ukulele choir rather than lugging around my music stand for the tablet. Hoping to find a car seat, tent, or airplane seat holder. that won't bother the person sitting in the seat :)

Editing to add that I have bifocal glasses, and the 7" Nook allows me to see a page at a time when I view through the Nook reader.

ukulelekarcsi
04-18-2018, 09:00 PM
On the question how to load what kind of documents onto an e-reader: it depends on the model. Mine has a usb-connection (and shows up as an external drive on a computer when hooked up - drag and drop) and an SD-card slot, but no wifi. Some have bluetooth, some are linked to a specific cloud drive by the manufacturor, but all have some internal memory as well - you don't need a connection to read.

Document formats vary as well, as said above: some models have very idiosyncratic files (Amazon kindles), all can read pdf, most can do epub, and a lot can handle jpg, doc/docx and even far more. Usually moving images are not possible, although mine (promedia, actually a rebranded onyx) does read mp3 and wav.

Annotations are possible on some but not all (you know: scratching out a chord, encircling that lyric you always miss, adding a seventh to a chord...). Only touch screen ones or ones with a stylus can, and consider that in any case it will take some effort (slow writing).

I did check, and mine is only a 6,7" model and I manage, but I've had others comment that it looks mighty small. It's not, if you consider it to be the size of a pocket book and match your expectations.

TopDog
04-18-2018, 09:53 PM
I use a generic android tablet,and have my sheets in
jpg format. I view them with one of the image viewers
and can scroll through them faster than I could turn
pages!
I currently carry 208 songs from our local group, a dozen
or more of my personal favourites, and around fifty more
that I am currently 'working on' for the group. The tablet
fits into my pocket, or the ukulele case easily,and a full
charge lasts long enough to give me a week to ten days
playing. Not for everyone, but it suits me!

SweetWaterBlue
04-19-2018, 07:51 AM
Until I upgraded to my 2017 iPad, I had an old iPad 2 that ran OnSong and my 700 chord sheets with no problem. You can pick those old iPad 2s up most days for less than $80. So.. if you don't want to carry your good iPad get an old one. Since my band uses OnSong, which only runs on IOS, having a different species of tablet is out of the question for me.

By the way, I also have OnSong on my iPhone, and I have all my songs there. Of course, its pretty small for my old eyes, but it would serve the purpose in the woods, if I already knew most of the song, and only needed a glance or two at the chords or words.

Graham Greenbag
04-20-2018, 12:23 PM
Thank you all for the recent posts on ereaders and tablets, some interesting options.

When talking about these electronic solutions one particular feature is really important to the user’s experience. Please would those posting their experience of electronic solutions add the screen size of their device and whether they use (or need) reading glasses or not. Please feel free to edit your earlier posts to add that information, it will help future readers of this thread.

For what it’s worth I took my iPad down to a Park (diagonally the screen measures 9 & 1/2” and my eyes need glasses) and practised there for an hour. The iPad worked OK but I did have to watch out for Sun on the screen and wasn’t that happy about having it out of the house - I feel that loss and damage are too easy in outdoor environments for me to be risking my iPad there.

ralphk
04-21-2018, 04:43 AM
putting material from the DU books (as an example) into some form of an electronic reader will work for some, but not for me. I end up with lots of pencil marks in the paper DU book for things like song ending tabs, an occasional chord change, notes to stretch a finish and so forth. I guess one could make these notes, typically made on the fly in a jam session, on paper and then sent them to the electronic device, but this seems to be a lot of work.

TopDog
04-21-2018, 10:25 PM
As an addendum and in light of the last couple of posts;
my android tablet is a seven inch screen,slightly larger
than average ereader devices. I wear glasses full time,
I have bi-focals for distance and reading,and the size of
the tablet is easy to read (for me) with no problems!

JonThysell
04-23-2018, 04:47 AM
Put DU and DU:LY PDFs on your phone. Not ideal, but if you're looking for variety beyond what you're willing to memorize, it's the cheapest compromise.

Otherwise, just buy The Daily Ukulele To Go (Fakebook) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1480342270/ref=cm_sw_r_em_apa_OgF3AbPCXG7TM