What is Songistic? A digital Real Book with thousands of jazz/pop/latin charts, a play-along app with all the trimmings, such as play-anything in any groove/tempo/instrumentation. There is also much more.. There is a mission. We do not just copy the decades-old real book concept when it comes to presenting and playing block charts. Block charts have been around since the 30’s, used by millions of musicians over the past decades, still, there is no known standard when it comes to the use of music and chord symbols. The confusion is especially big when it comes to the use of navigation symbols, such as DS/DC, coda, dalSegno and alikes. These symbols are used in many ways, some of whom do not make any sense and very confusing to the user. Chord symbols have their own problems, as their “contents”, as it were, are not immediately obvious for some. For instance, what notes are in a C-b6 or a C11 ? Songistic does error checking when you edit the chart and enforces certain standards, therefore tries to help the community to further the use of standard practices when it comes to the use of navigation symbols and chord-type. That is the mission.. By helping to establish a standard way to use navigation and chord symbols, we will help the future generations of musicians who will not have to suffer from the ambiguity of the block charts they use.
One more thing… a play-along app that helps musicians develop their skills by way of being a practice tool, has another main criteria: it must be FUN! To that end we spared no effort to make Songistic very easy to use, intuitive to edit, and fun to listen to. Change grooves or tempo or instruments without stopping the song, mix the music for your own needs and taste, these are all in the mix here.
Songistic is a simple app, nevertheless it has many ways of use, powerful options that allow you to customize the appearance of the charts, both in colors and use of symbols. Any chart can be turned into a live performance accompaniment, where between the Intro and the Outro the form (or head or theme) is repeated a predescribed number of times. If you simply use the charts to read, the built-in search facility will allow you to find all versions you have on the device in any playlist. It is very easy to make playlists for gigs, where you can customize copies of any song for use in a concert for instance. There are lots of options that will allow you to view the charts in different ways, like how many bars you want on a single line, also to compress the chart such as it will fit the screen of your device.
Songistic is a very useful tool for both beginners, music students, hobbyists, and professional musicians, for both skill development and as a live performance accompaniment.
The four main user groups of Songistic:
1. The Playersthis is probably the largest group. The players will simply use the charts, in chart mode, will probably do little or no editing at all. Assemble some playlists for gigs/practice and simply read the charts on their device. So what does Songistic offers to these guys over the competition? Consistency and Options, as it is explained below:
Consistency: in other apps the charts are in bad shape. All musicians complain about this, one chart is written one way, the next is another way. The use of navigation and its symbols is wrong in many cases or at least is very inconsistent how the coda symbol, for instance, is used. Chord symbols are also inconsistent, there is no unified look of the charts. In Songistic we enforce correct use of the symbols for both chord and navigation, and we give the end user (the player) the control over how the charts will look on his particular device. The charts we supply with Songistic are all audited to be correct in both form and harmonic content.
Options: How the charts will look on your particular device, will depend on your individual settings. The symbols for “minor” or “major” chords will be what you set, how many bars will display in a single line, and many chart layout options will determine how the chart will look on your device. These options will give you deep control on the chart layout regardless of how they looked on the author’s machine. The reason for this is very simple: the same chart wants to look very different on a small iPhone screen from what it will look like on an iPad Professional. Our view options and features (including auto-navigation) are far more advanced than anything you would find in the other apps.
2. The practicing musiciansMusic students of all ages/levels, even professional musicians can use Songistic for practicing. Songistic has many sounds and grooves built in you can choose from. All grooves/groove options can be audited while the song is playing. For instance you can select “Shuffle” for your song then pick the appropriate drum and bass grooves while the song is playing. Songistic is a full featured play-along app, has great sounding grooves, the songs can be played in any key and tempo.
3. The Song Writes/EditorsThese are the musicians who will write/customize existing songs for their own purposes. They will use the editing function a lot. Songistic has a first class bar editor that is very powerful, has many features to speed your work in either editing existing music or entering a new song from scratch. Our quick-bar-insert bar lets you enter a new song in a matter of minutes. The logical breakdown of harmonies will ensure that you do not have to dig through a hundred obscure chord types to find a minor7. After analyzing thousands of songs we know what the most used chord combinations are, and these are quickly at your fingertips as you edit. Once you are ready to save, another Songistic feature kicks in: error checking. In order to maintain consistency of the charts we enforce many rules in how repeat signs, repeat bars, codas etc.. are used. When you save a song Songistic will warn you if the chart have errors that were detected during the error check. Once you fix these errors and save without warnings, your song is ready to be played or presented as a chart.
4. PerformanceSongistic is more than a practicing tool. In the practice mode, the chart is being repeated in midi-play infinitely. However, there is a performance mode, where you can just play the song from top to bottom, once. Or, repeat the song a predetermined number of times. Even better, using the solo-section feature (which identifies the middle section, the “meat”of the song between the intro and the outro), a performance can be set up easily where the intro is played, then the middle section is repeated a number of times, then the outro is played, possibly with a fermata (birdseye) at the end. This can be used for performances where a singer or a soloist play along the Songistic backing.
Why would Songistic be better than other play-along apps?
Because of our design principles:
For the users:
– it is easy to use
– it is fun to play with
– all grooves and sounds are good and pleasing to listen to
– lots of options for the user to set up/customize how the songs look on a particular device
– lots of options for the user to set customize how the songs will play, a lot of grooves and groove options to choose from/combine
– a consistent look for your songs. Our view options will let you customize how certain chords will appear on your device, and this setup will be consistent across all songs on Songistic, regardless who the author is.
– a lot of space-saving view options (like auto-navigation) will help you fit the chart on your device
For the authors:
– detailed error checking will help you avoid the typical mistakes which are common in other apps, such as misuse of navigation symbols, unbalanced repeat signs, non-existent chords, inconsistent repeat bars, etc…
– 93 different chords types cover the entire chordal spectrum of jazz/pop music
– fast insert menu will speed up entering a new bars anywhere in the song or a brand new chart
– logical groups of chord types will help you get to the desired chord very quickly without having to scroll through lots of seldom used chord types.
– easy editing with innovative copy/paste/delete/replace capability on the bar level
– all common time signatures are covered. Time signatures are displayed automatically where they are needed, there are no “hidden” time signature changes.
SEE YOU IN SONGISTIC!