Mail of the month - December - Transposable music, iReal-compatibility and set lists

Posted by . on Sunday, January 07, 2018
I do have iReal Pro on my mac (chords). What I miss is to also see the melody, together with the chords, both in a transposable fashion (which iReal Pro provides, but its without the melody). Does your Fakebook Pro app provide that or do you have another offer or hint where to buy something like that?
The quick and simple answer to your question in "no, the Fakebok Pro app doesn't transpose melody notes, only chords".

But to answer your other question (about other possible app options) and to explain why Fakebook Pro can't do this, I'd like to elaborate a little on music formats.

Most music available on-line (free and for purchase) is in PDF format, most often in the form of a scanned page (i.e. an image). Other PDF files may have embedded music fonts or be in vector format, but these can still not be transposed because they contain no explicit musical information.

To do that you need to use some of the specialized music file format, which in many cases are proprietary (e.g. the major Mac/Windows notation and DAW applications). There are open formats as well, most importantly MusicXML, but Fakebook Pro does not yet support that (although that is on the to-do list).

I’m researching apps for my 89 year old dad who has been a jazz piano player for many years. Now that he is getting older he is not gigging as much and finds himself playing old folks homes on his own. He would like to have some back up instrumentation – primarily bass and drums. iReal Pro looks great for this… but… he also wants a lead line. I have seen that iReal Pro is compatible with Fakebook Pro but I haven’t really seen HOW it is compatible. Is it possible to use the back up band capabilities with Fakebook charts?
Thanks for this wonderful mail; I'm so glad that your father continues to enjoy music and can still entertain others with his playing.

So, I'm sorry to say that the Fakebook app will not help in this case. It is compatible with the iReal chord charts, in that these can be imported, but there is no playalong feature in Fakebook Pro.

To be honest, I'm not sure what would be the best alternative in this case. Have you had a look at Band-in-a-box? It is definitely more expensive and cannot handle some of the most common music book formats, but last time I had at look the backing tracks sounded really great. As far as I know it runs only on Mac and PC, but maybe a small Windows tablet/convertible could be an alternative?

I recently purchased an Android tablet and I'm looking at charting applications for playing music.  I'm a working bassist/vocalist, and am trying to find a good reliable app that will allow me to store/edit song charts, lyrics, etc.  I'm really impressed with how your app looks and I'm wondering if it'll serve my needs. I don't really need the Real Book charts, but I would consider them a great bonus to have. I'm ideally wondering about importing my own charts. Would this be something I'd do through a PDF, document of some type, etc?  I believe I read that the app supports a "set list" feature for gigs. Is this correct?  Ideally, I'd like to be able to put together a collection of all the charts and lyrics I would need, and have them in a set list order at a gig for a moments notice. Would this be something the app does?
Yes, yes and yes. Regarding adding charts, PDF imports is probably a good choice. Most music you'll find (commercial or free) on the web will be in PDF format, and that is also easy to export from a notation program, word processor or similar.

Regarding your collection and set lists: absolutely. Fakebook Pro allows you to make a combined set lists, mixing transposable chord charts, PDF files, photos (e.g. of handwritten music), lyrics...

There is more info on this site (, but the best is probably to just download the app and try it out. If it, for any reason, does not satisfy your needs just drop me a mail and we'll refund the purchase immediately.

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