Finding the right key for a song

Written sheet music is often published in the key signature the song was originally recorded or written in.
It is common practice to transpose songs to a comfortable key when singing jazz standards and popular music but not in classical music or musicals.

The first thing to do is to find the lowest and highest notes you can sing comfortably.
Remember that depending on the time of day and your health it might change so give yourself some leeway.
You should also think about the range in which your voice sounds the best.

Find the lowest and highest notes of the song and see if they fit in your vocal range.
If they don’t, count how many semitones you need to move up or down so that the song fits comfortably within your range.
This will point you towards the best key.

Now, try singing the song in the keys that fit your range comfortably and choose the one that sounds and feels the best. This is where iReal Pro can be helpful with its transposition feature.

Some songs span very wide ranges and also, some singers don’t have a very wide vocal range (like for example Billy Holiday) so it is sometimes necessary to change octave of parts of a melody.
This can be practiced by singing songs where some parts of the melody is above or below your range.

When you get to these parts choose a musical place to switch the octave of the melody so it moves into a comfortable range for you.

This will come very handy during jam sessions or other situations where changing the key of the song is not possible.

Use the practice feature in iReal Pro to experience singing a song in all 12 keys.

Happy practicing!

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How to change the chord fonts and show the chord diagrams

Tap the Visual Settings button (to the left of the edit button on the top of the screen)

Tap on Fonts and choose between Guitar/Piano/Ukulele to see the tabs/chords under the chords in your chart.
You find the Font settings above the chart on the left.
Examples of different fonts:
Hand Writing                                            Number Notation
Guitar tabs                                                Ukulele tabs
Piano – one hand                                    Piano – two hands
In case you would like to use a different fingering/inversion of the chord, make sure that the chord diagrams are turned ON.
Tap on the chart to bring up the Player control, then the bottom right icon to turn on the Piano/Guitar/Ukulele chords and Chord Scales. After you selected the Chord diagram type, tap the bottom right icon again to hide it.


Tap and hold the chord to bring up the fingering/voicing.
Tap on the chord diagram you want to change and swipe it to the left to select the inversion you want.
click on Chords at the bottom right to turn on the Piano/Guitar/Ukulele chords or Chord Scales.
In the chord chart, click on the chord to change the inversion. In the Chord diagram window you will see the available inversions/fingerings.
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How to use iReal Pro on Windows PC

We will not make a Windows version of iReal Pro, but there is an easy way to run the Android version on a PC using a third-party Android emulator. There are many alternatives like Leapdroid, MEmuAndYAMIDuOS just to name a few.

Here you find the basic steps how to install iReal Pro with an emulator using BlueStacks*.                                                            (this process is very similar when you use any other emulator)


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How to add an intro to a song

There are two easy ways to add an intro to your song.

Option 1: The ending of the song works as an intro.

Tap and hold for example 4 or 8 measures from the end of the song and play from there. Remember to add one chorus to the total count as the first chorus will be the one that serves as an intro.

Intro 2

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iReal Pro 6.1

Today we are releasing version 6.1 of iReal Pro for iPhone, iPad, Mac OS X and Android.

You can get this free update now on the iOS App StoreMac App Store and Google Play.
Here is a shortlist of the changes:

  • New Hand Writing font for the chord charts
  • New option to highlight rehearsal symbols in red
  • New visual Count-In
  • Added a second option for Rhodes sound
  • Added option to sort playlists in random order (OS X)
  • Added option to set the background color of the song (OS X, Android)
  • Added option to search for a song on the web (Android)
  • Stability improvements and bug fixes

The last big update was iReal Pro 6.0 in November last year, which was a very stable build, so for the winter we decided to focus our coding efforts not only on new features, but also on squashing a number of long standing small bugs and on cleaning up old code. For the more curious, find a complete list of changes on our website (iOSOS XAndroid). With all these ‘behind the scene’ improvements we are now ready to dive into development of some new exciting features coming this year.

Tips and Tricks

We regularly publish short Tips & Tricks on Facebook and Twitter that will help you get the most out of iReal Pro. Follow us to stay up to date.

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Input a complete song in under 3 minutes

One of the most interesting features of iReal Pro is that you can edit an existing chord chart or create a new one from scratch and it will play as written.
Besides chords and bar lines, a chart can contain many other symbols (rehearsal letters, time signatures, endings, codas…) so when you first open the editor it might be a bit overwhelming to be presented with all the various buttons and options.
Nevertheless, it’s quite straight forward to input a simple chord chart.
I recorded a video (actually three videos: for iOS, OS X and Android) showing how to quickly input a complete 32 measure song. Here you can get a basic understanding of how things work and then you can explore further options available in the editor on your own.

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Advanced Practicing Techniques

The beauty of iReal Pro is that you can download the app, import 1000s of chord charts from the forums with a couple of clicks, select one of the songs, press the Play button, and you’re ready to start practicing.

Once you’ve learned these first basic steps and the options to change tempo, repeats, playback style and transposition, you will have an amazing practice tool that can take you very far on your learning journey – but you don’t have to stop there. We have added a number of features to improve and personalize your practice experience.

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Exporting to MIDI and MusicXML

A song can be exported in MIDI format (Share -> Audio MIDI). The resulting MIDI file will be a rendition of the song as you would have heard it if you pressed play – the same number of repeats, the same tempo, the same key, the same style…
The MIDI file can be opened in your favorite audio editing software like for example Logic or Garageband. From there you can for example choose snippets of tracks to edit and add to your own MIDI compositions.

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How the Coda symbol works in iReal Pro

The Coda symbol Coda symbol can be used in two different ways in iReal Pro to define how the form of a song is to be played.

Coda as outro

One way is to use the Coda as what is sometimes referred to as outro or tag.
As seen in 500 Miles High, the Coda will be played only once at the very end.

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iReal Pro 6 release

Hello again iReal Pro gang!

It was nearly one year ago, that we announced with much excitement (and fancy, techy, blue & black sleekness) the arrival of iReal Pro into the world.  Today, I reflect back on the 6 years since I started the fledgling iReal Book and its growth and transformation into iReal b and now, the iReal Pro, dear user that you are hopefully enjoying and expanding your musical life with.

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