My New Lyrics On Stage System Using an IPhone

iPhone Lyrics SystemFor a while I’ve been trying to find a good solution for keeping lots and lots of song lyrics on-stage for sudden performances. It takes a lot of time and effort to memorize hundreds of songs. Wish I had more time to do it, but sometimes you just don’t have time. Also, memory is fragile, you need to re-memorize the songs over and over.

Last night I found an unused first-generation iPhone in our house, my other son stopped using it as a game system. So I took it into my studio. I got a GorillaMobile stand that I purchased from Amazon some weeks’ ago, for generic camera/video camera use. By using duct tape I could get it hooked in a solid fashion to the back plate of the iPhone.

As for the lyrics. By using Apple Mail you could create notes and sync these as notes over to the iPhone.

I’m still experimenting with the right sized fonts, capital letters only or not. You need to be restrictive about what fonts you use inside Apple Mail, some of them are not available on the iPhone. Arial seems to work, Helvetica not. I’m using Arial 14 point bold for the time being. I’m also colorizing important parts such as Chorus sections to isolate these from the rest of the text.

The title is the name of the artist/band and the song including the key, style: WHO – The Seeker {A} .

As for how it works. I tried it out last night at a jam, started to learn 9 Cream songs 5pm and was done 8pm, then up on stage with this system 11:30pm. Worked fine. It takes a while to securely fasten the GorillaMobile to various mic stands, but I think this will improve over time. I also need to learn to scroll smoothly over sections — again this is something that needs to be learned over time.

I do think this is a very nice solution. It is small, not noticeable. You could update it all the time. With back-lighting the texts are very visible even on a dark stage, don’t know yet how this will work in open sun-light, though.

I will update this post if I find more interesting issues with this solution. Anyway, now I could just take any song I want and get up to stage, even the same day. Which is nice. And I could concentrate more on singing than remembering each and every line, having more things to worry about on-stage.

Now, you could also use an iPod touch for this same purpose, no need to have an iPhone.