I use the electronic method with paper as a backup.
I'm using a second hardware rev Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 device running MobileSheets (paid version) and it has worked out great for me over the years. At some point I'll get a backup tablet, surely another Samsung Galaxy tab.
My workflow for making charts through to live performance:
- Paper Chart - use for first rehearsal of a tune and keep the latest printed copy for note taking.
- MuseScore v1.3 Windows(http://musescore.org/): (OpenSource runs on Win/iOS/Linux) - to create Jazz style lead sheets with MuseScore or OpenDocument/Word saved as PDF for electronic versions of charts.
- MobileSheets (http://www.zubersoft.com/mobilesheets/) - (Paid app runs on Android tablets with a Windows helper app) - MobileSheets provides a Windows version that supports organizing uploading, organizing tunes, and categorizing them by genre and various metadata. Once I have a PDF version of a chart, I then upload the PDF and create a song in MobileSheets (on Windows PC), create a backup of MobileSheets PDFs and metadata, and sometimes setup set list placeholders for upcoming shows.
- Live Performance Prep - Once I receive the final setlist for a show, I can usually create a couple of set lists via drag/drop songs within 5-10 minutes of walking on stage at the very latest. Sometimes I use a bluetooth pedal to turn pages (AirTurn BT-105 with ATFS-2 Pedals & Pedal Board). Prior to walking on stage I turn off notifications, Wifi/4G, turn on Bluetooth if I'm using a pedal, and finally I disable the Swipe on the Android tablet and set it to use the basic Samsung keyboard as this is the only way to get it to work with the AirTurn BT-105. Finally, I startup MobileSheets and Load All for the appropriate Set List.
- On Stage - play, listen, jam, and groove... every now and then tap on the BT pedal to turn a page if I need to use a chart for a reference.
There's always a chance that the mobile device will have some sort of issue. However, I have had a good experience with the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Just backup with paper or a second device to hedge against loss of power/battery or heat/humidity issues that may effect your device.
One final note on MuseScore... I really like the Jazz lead style of creating charts for keys, but if you are looking to also add lyrics, MuseScore does not make it easy. You have to create the full melody line as adding lyrics requires notes. If you have the patience, it works nicely. However, I don't use it for lyrics. Just chords and tagline type melodies.
You can jam lyrics into text above or below the system/staff, but that won't line up syllables with chord markings. I'm hoping MuseScore will cater to the chord chart scene, but it's mostly supported by classical, orchestral, symphony, and jazz players. It's starting to make some in-roads for guitar players as the next release 2.0 will support full guitar tab notation and it does figured bass as well.
Check it out and let me know what you think. I'd like to hear if others have a positive experience. Feel free to ask me about MobileSheets at a John K. Band show... I'll surely be toting my Samsung Galaxy around.
PaulChairman of the Boards
The John K. Band