Image how distraught you would feel if like me you turned up for what should have been the biggest performance of your life, and you had managed to pick up the wrong piece of sheet music. All my friends and family where there waiting and I was a just a bag of nerves think the whole performance was doomed. Thankfully for me a flat mate came to my rescue, but it was at this point I decided to buy a tablet, so I could have all my music on me everywhere I go.
Over time I have seen tablets and page turners become increasingly more popular as composers and musicians use them for more convenient and easy access to sheet music. The technology allows users to utilize a variety of advanced page turning methods, including anything from wireless foot pedals to “sip-n-puff” switches and jellybean push buttons.
Some advanced automatic page turners and tablets also allow users more freedom over the way they display and view their sheet music. Faster access, improved wireless connections and better display resolution has made new tablets highly competitive, while resilience, reliability and portability are the main highlights associated with automatic page turners.
The Best Tablet for Reading Sheet Music
Apple iPad Air 2
The Apple iPad Air 2 is one of the most highly recommended devices for musicians who want to travel light yet experience the best of what a reliable tablet with an automatic page turner can do.
This iPad is much lighter and more convenient than its predecessors, and it’s also one of the cheaper Apple models you can buy. Its extremely high resolution screen makes viewing sheet music a total breeze, and unlike some of the other Apple products you might find on the market, this one doesn’t bend.
It’s important to note that if you are intending to use ForScore, which is a popular sheet music reading app, it is only available on Apple devices such as the Ipad Air 2
Top spec-models give you access to 128 Gb of storage along with Wi-Fi and 4G access. The design allows the tablet to be held easily for hours or adapted to virtually any kind of stand. Finally, the impressive structural integrity, ease of use and reliability that Apple offers with most of their products is also present here.
Whilst playing an instrument in front of a large crowd can be stressful enough, the apple IOS and popular sheet reading apps make it simple and hassle free to read your music.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2
If you prefer Android, but you still want the best that’s out there, you can’t pass up the chance to get to know the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2. This tablet is also much lighter and thinner than its preceding counterparts from Samsung, and its brand new 4:3 display has already turned a few heads with its ability to rival the display clarity and resolution offered by most iPad models.
The Galaxy Tab S2 has been compared many times with the iPad Air 2 as well as the iPad Mini 4. Similar prices, Samsung’s superiority when it comes to entry-level storage and an impressively pleasant exterior and display design have set apart the new S2 among the best quality tablets on the market today.
What does all this mean for musicians? Basically, if you own a Samsung Galaxy Tab S2, you’ll have excellent visibility and portability, as well as easy compatibility with any page turning technology. Also, the greater degree of options offered by the Google Play Store will put you in touch with a lot of high quality music apps.
One of the advantages over the apple is the expandable memory via an SD card slot. Typically it comes with 32GB of storage but this can be upgraded to 128GB with an SD card. Whilst 32GB should be more than enough for most musicians it’s nice to have the option to expand.
It has 3GB of RAM which is more than capable of running all the sheet music apps currently on the market.
As with all the Tablets we feature in out list it also has built in Bluetooth to allow you to connect to a wireless page turner.
Amazon Fire HD 10
Amazon’s new Fire HD has a similar design as Apple’s best iPad models, yet can be bought at half the price. Despite any other shortcomings, the Fire HD 10 has an outstanding display screen, a manageable design and a great price range, which makes it one of the top most popular choices for musicians everywhere.
If you want a cheaper tablet that still features excellent processing speed, an upgraded display and faster 2Gb memory, the Amazon Fire HD 10 is the way to go. Its impressive 1920 x 1200 pixel display makes it the best low-cost tablet for viewing your sheet music crystal clear, and everything from navigation to connectivity and switching between apps occurs seamlessly.
Fewer advanced apps and a focus on Amazon’s own apps might be a drawback for some musicians, but the tablet makes up for all that with cutting edge Alexa voice commands and a safe and convenient interface that both adults and kids will find extremely easy to use.
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Although the Sony Xperia is a slightly more expensive choice when compared to some of the tablets on this list, it’s also a great tablet to use as a reader. The new design, high quality 2560 x 1600 display and outstanding battery life of the tablet definitely work in its favor. Also, many consider it to be one of the very best Android tablets available, and have even compared it to the Apple iPad Pro 9.7.
Sony has made significant progress since the first time they’ve launched a 10-inch tablet, and the Xperia Z4 is their latest in a line of high quality products that have rivaled the iPad. The device features a sleek and practical design – weighing only 392 grams – that’s excellent when you’re touring with the band or traveling light. Also, its thickness is about the same as that of the iPad Air 2, although most users could swear that it’s actually much lighter and less cumbersome.
Finally, in terms of resilience, Sony receives very high marks for the improvements they’ve integrated with this tablet. The Z4 has a more refined design for its flaps and a completely waterproof construction which comes in handy when your doing gigs in the open air.
Why Convert to a Tablet
Initially developed to offer people with disabilities the chance to read more easily, tablet page turners have also become extremely popular in the music industry. Artists and musicians wishing to use a more technological approach to practicing their favorite compositions can use a tablet to read sheet music and have pages turn automatically while they play.
The following are just some of the benefits of converting to a tablet page turner:
- Unlike human page turners, tablet page turners are mostly very consistent. They will ensure a streamlined experience even under adverse conditions, during concerts and when you can’t find someone to practice with at short notice.
- A tablet is highly portable. It can be transported with ease and used in virtually any environment.
- Wireless technology eliminates the need to use bulky cables, and provides you with an added sense of comfort and convenience when using these devices.
- There are also features like automatic shut-off functions, so that the page turners turn off when there’s no activity.