Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Meet the OnSong Team

In 2010 Jason created a simple iPad app to help organize his chord charts and OnSong was born.  OnSong was one of the first 2000 apps in the itunes app store and as it grew to over 100,000 downloads globally, Jason needed help!  His wife Jaime started answering support questions and pretty soon they both quit their day jobs and in 2012 OnSong LLC was official formed.  OnSong continued to grow and Kendra was added to help Jaime with support.  Giving back was built into the heart of OnSong and so 10% of all sales (gross) go to The OnSong Project which funds charitable missions from spreading music and food through the Philipines to building a place for community near our hometown.  In February of 2013 Jason met Joel at the Startup Weekend Lancaster event and they hit it off immediately.  Jason asked Joel to help OnSong grow and that's just what they did.  OnSong is now six strong, and growing.  Let's meet the team:

Founder, CTO
Jason is the creator and president of OnSong, an app that enables musicians to use digital chord sheets on stage. His passionate is to help worship teams and musicians become more effective in their abilities through the use of appropriate and easy-to-use technology. He believes this technology promises to foster a spirit of creative collaboration around the world.
Since graduating from Messiah College in 1999, Jason has been on the forefront of technology leadership. He has successfully started three companies over the past 13 years and continues to evolve the state-of-the art in music technology in the mobile computing space.

Co-Founder, VP Customer Support
Jaime graduated from Messiah College in 1999 with a Certified Athletic Training degree.  Her training gives her excellent skills when working closely with people and developing risk assessment plans.  When OnSong became popular in early 2012 she took on the VP of Customer Support role and also leads product testing.

Customer Support
Kendra is a 21 year old Customer Technical Support specialist with a heart for missions since the age of 12. She has been to Mexico three times and the Philippines once.  When she's not traveling or working, she's also creating her own art.

VP Business Development, Marketing
Joel has been an Entrepreneur his entire life, from fabricating and selling wooden towel holders at 8 yrs old, to starting a SCUBA salvage company at 13.  He's always loved trying new things and innovation.  After earning a doctorate in Optometry and practicing as an Optometrist since 2004, Joel got the startup bug and began applying innovation to triathlon, obstacle racing, and technology.  Jumping into the startup scene, he attended Startup Weekend Pittsburgh in Sept. 2012 where he helped Team GLDLX (Goldilox) take 2nd place, and hasn't looked back since!

Video Tutorials, Artist Relations
Brandon has been a touring musician for many years and a worship leader. He has made a name on Youtube and won several singing competitions throughout Pennsylvania. His dream is to be a musician full time. He studied Mass Comm in College with a music minor.

Junior Developer
Chris graduated from Duquesne University in 2011, and worked as a web developer from graduation until 2012.  When he's not training and caring for his dogs, he's out playing Disc Golf (Frisbee Golf).  Chris is one of the top ranked amateur Disc Golfers for the state of Pennsylvania.

Monday, December 30, 2013

How to Change Display Settings and Transpose in OnSong

Changing the look of your songs or changing the key (transposing) is easy with OnSong and we've got a fresh tutorial by Brandon to show you how.  We often refer to this as formatting or display settings, but whatever you call it, OnSong can change the key and adjust the fonts of titles, lyrics, and/or chords on-the-fly.  Plus, OnSong let's you choose what to display by turning parts of your music on and off easily so you can concentrate on playing the music you love.  Brandon will even discuss how to apply a capo without having to transpose in your mind.

Don't have the App?  Download OnSong Now

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The GigEasy Review

TheGigEasy is an iPad stand / holder transforming the way musicians work and play music by providing an easy way to view your iPad hands free.  It is essential equipment for anyone using OnSong on an iPad, especially when playing live.  In this video Brandon will talk about the key features of TheGigEasy, review the product, and show you how to set it up.  TheGigEasy is available now in the OnSong Store.

Key features of TheGigEasy:

  • 4 Spring-loaded arms - Hold your iPad firmly
  • 360 Degree Rotation - Allows for Portrait or Landscape viewing
  • Smooth One-handed adjustment - When you're playing live, it's got to be easy
  • 12 Different Color Combinations - To Match your look
  • Easy Tilt Mechanism - For getting the viewing angle just right
  • Made in the USA

Don't have the app? Download OnSong Now

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Interact with other musicians by joining the OnSong Community Group

How to Transfer Your OnSong Library

Transferring your OnSong Library by creating a DropBox backup takes all your songs, sets, styles, and everything you've already customized in OnSong and transfers it easily to your new iPad.  Whether you got a new iPad for Christmas or just need to restore a backup, this quick tutorial by Jason will teach you how to transfer your OnSong library.

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Join the OnSong Community!

The OnSong Community on Facebook is a place for OnSong users to connect with each other.   Do you have a question about using OnSong?  Ask the community.  Do you have a new favorite song, a hack, or unique way to use OnSong that we've never even thought of?  Share it with the community.  We'll be there to kick out the spammers, inappropriate posts, or personal attacks, but the rest is up to you.  It's your page!  Join now - OnSong Facebook Community

Used Under Creative Commons License
Photo Courtesy Grzegorz Chorus http://www.flickr.com/photos/gchorus/

Monday, December 9, 2013

Breaking News! OnSong 1.972 Released

Tons of new fixes and features!  Check out all the details of the OnSong 1.972 update on our release page Click Here

Updated OnSong Release 1.972

Saturday, December 7, 2013

How to Convert Your Content, Sync with DropBox, and Use Meta Tags in OnSong

Some of the most useful features in OnSong can also be the most confusing to anyone who just Downloaded it and might be using it for the first time.  In our latest video, Brandon tackles some features that regularly keep our tech support busy with questions from our community.  Converting your song files (content) on your computer from a Word file (.doc or .docx) to a text file (.txt) can be pretty easy once you get the hang of it.  Then after you've converted your content, we'll teach you how to move it from your computer to your mobile device using DropBox.  A DropBox account is free for up to 2GB of storage, which is plenty of space for text files.  If you need more space for things like Backups, Photos, Videos, and more, upgrading DropBox is easy and inexpensive, and that's why we chose to integrate DropBox with OnSong.  Once your songs are in your DropBox folder, they can easily be imported into your OnSong Library using the steps in the video.  Finally, we'll cover how to use Meta Tags in OnSong.  Meta Tags are instructions that OnSong can follow when they are added to a song text file.  You'll learn which tags are important for use in OnSong, and how to use them.  When you're done, you'll feel like a super smart computer hacker, even if using Meta Tags is not that complicated.  Take it away Brandon!

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Saturday, November 30, 2013

OnSong Overview - Updated

We recently added Brandon to the OnSong Team to help musicians make the most of our App and he created a new overview tutorial to get you started with using OnSong.  Brandon is a bandleader, worship leader, and touring musician who recently started using OnSong just like you!  This gives him a fresh look at how to begin using OnSong effectively and will teach you which features will quickly get you up and running.

Onsong is an app that turns your iOS device into an interactive mobile music library that lets you take your chord charts anywhere you practice or perform.  Use it to import or edit your songs then organize them into set lists (books).  Pull chord charts from your library and share them with your band without the hassle of paper or bulky binders.  You can interact with your music by transposing keys, applying capos, or adjusting how the song is displayed, all with the swipe of your finger.  OnSong replaces the paper binder with a simple, compact, mobile solution.

The full video is 11 minutes long and if you're new to OnSong it is highly recommended that you watch the whole thing and follow along to get the most out of the OnSong App.  Watch the full video here, or scroll down to get jump links for specific topics.

How to Add Songs in OnSong

How to Make a Set List in OnSong

How to Search for Songs in your OnSong Library

How to Change the Look of your Chord Chart in OnSong

How to Make Notes in OnSong

How to AutoScroll your Music in OnSong

How to Setup Foot Pedals in OnSong

We hope this helps you learn how to use OnSong for the first time, or gets you started on some features that you haven't used yet in the OnSong App.  Enjoy!

AirTurn BT-105 Pedal Review

The AirTurn BT-105 Pedals are Wireless BlueTooth Pedalboards that allow you to control OnSong hands-free.  Jason and Brandon teamed up to review the AirTurn pedals and give you a quick tutorial on how to use them with OnSong.  Watch the video review and read the highlights below:

  • On/Off/Reset switch on the back
  • Status indicator light for connection and charging
  • (2) 1/8" audio stereo jacks 
  • Internal 430mAh lithium polymer battery
  • 1 meter USB charging cable
  • AirTurn BT-105 2-Pedal $119, lower cost, great for basic page turning and scrolling
  • AirTurn BT-105 4-Pedal $159, allows for more functions to be controlled in OnSong
  1. Sleek and Stylish: Compact design is well constructed and durable.
  2. Hidden Cords:  Electronics are molded into the plastic to protect them and keep them out of the way.
  3. Silent on Stage:  Built for being quiet, including while recording.
  4. Durable:  Made of military grade plastic polymers that you can drive a truck over!
  5. Built in 100 hour rechargeable lithium battery.
  1. Indicator Light: Blinking sequence is complicated to learn at first.
  2. Size: The 4-Pedal is big and doesn't fit into a typical laptop bag.
  3. Accessing the Keyboard:  AirTurn Pedals take the place of your onscreen keyboard when connected, which can make using the OnSong editor impossible until the red button on the back is depressed.
  4. Price:  Not as affordable as other wireless pedals available.
  5. Charging:  The battery lasts so long that charging takes time and forgetting to charge the pedals regularly is an easy mistake, leaving you flat just before a gig.
Overall Grade: A

Order the Pedals from our Store Now!

iRig BlueBoard Review - Another BlueTooth Wireless Pedal Option

iRig BlueBoard Review

The iRig BlueBoard is a Wireless Bluetooth MIDI Pedal Board that works well with OnSong to allow musicians to perform multiple hands-free operations.  OnSong team member Brandon is a band leader, worship leader, and gigging musician who regularly performs live.  Here's a video of his iRig BlueBoard Review, and you can read below for his highlights.

  • 4 backlit assignable foot switches
  • (2) 1/4" inputs for assignable expression pedals or switches
  • Bank, MIDI Program, and MIDI Control Changes
  • BlueBoard iOS App runs in the background, translating Bluetooth messages into MIDI instructions
  • Runs on AAA batteries (Standard or AAA NiMH Rechargeble batteries)
  1. Size: Small enough to fit into standard laptop bags.  Helpful for gigging musicians who travel.
  2. Store up to 32 Presets
  3. MIDI on-screen keyboard allows continued control even during disconnect
  4. Price: Under $100 (Airturn 4-Pedal is $159)
  5. Ability to add two extra foot pedals or switches
  1. Construction:  Low quality plastic, may not last as long as competitors in live gig settings.
  2. Foot Switch Sliding:  Prone to moving around on stage.
  3. Unstable Connection:  Bluetooth disconnected a few times during a long set.
  4. Confusing App:  User interface on provided app was not intuitive and took a while to figure out.
  5. Foot Switch Response:  Sometimes the buttons where hard to press or slow to respond.
Brandon found this pedal to be a useful, low cost tool for gigging musicians who want to keep their hands free while using OnSong.  The price and expansion ability make this a great choice for those on a budget.  However, with a few more bucks in your wallet, you may want to hold out for the more expensive competitors that are better built and more durable.

Overall Rating: B

AirTurn BT-105 Pedal Review - Another Wireless BlueTooth FootPedal

Friday, November 8, 2013

Learn To Play Guitar With OnSong

I'll admit, I used to hate those guys in college that would pick up a guitar and start strumming, just to steal the attention of every girl in the room.  I'd be carrying on a nice conversation with a cute brunette and suddenly "Name" by the Goo Goo Dolls would start drifting across the student union.  It was frustrating and I'd lose my chance at a phone number, but I never got mad enough to just go learn guitar for myself.  I tried learning to play the guitar growing up and in 6th grade music class I even mastered "Ode to Joy," but I was an active guy (soccer, camping, martial arts), so guitar lessons just didn't fit into my schedule.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a musical guy:  I can read music, sing, and played a number of instruments during my school years including drums, saxophone, sousaphone (a round tuba), and the equivalent of a french horn (mellophone); but the guitar just wasn't for me.  I'd pick it up, play an open chord, or just pluck a few strings while I made up lame blues songs about an unsuccessful day of hunting or not getting a job I applied for.  The truth is, I was jealous of those long haired, goateed, narcissists.  Please don't send me hate-mail about how you've never had a goatee, I realize that's just a stereotype, and that guitar players come in all shapes, sizes, hair lengths, and genders, but the desire to learn to play the guitar has never left me.

When I met Jason, the founder and genius developer behind OnSong, at a February 2013 Startup Weekend  event in Lancaster, PA we clicked immediately and he asked me to help him in growing OnSong.  At the time I didn't know anything about the app and didn't even own an iPad (I want the Android version just as badly as everyone else!), but I immediately saw how amazing and useful the app was.  One of the first, and coolest OnSong features I noticed was that tapping on a chord would reveal the fingerings for multiple instruments like ukulele, bass, piano, but especially guitar.  That was my Eureka moment..... I realized that I could learn to play guitar using OnSong!
My strategy is pretty simple:

  1. Find the easiest songs to play on a guitar with a simple internet search.
  2. Import them into OnSong.
  3. Check YouTube or Spotify if unsure of what the song is supposed to sound like.
  4. Once the song is open in OnSong, click on the chords above the lyrics to display the finger placement chart for guitar.
  5. Strum the chord over and over again until happy with how it sounds.
  6. Move on to the next chord in the song and tap it. (Many simple songs are only 2 or 3 chords!)
  7. Once a feel for the chords needed to play is attained, try to put them together switching back and forth.
  8. Now put it all together and actually try to play the song.
  9. Rinse and Repeat with different songs, exploring different chords.

Keep in mind that this method of learning to play guitar will not turn you into Yngwie Malmsteen, but it might get you playing around campfires and in coffee shops with your friends, so you no longer have to sit on the sidelines when some one busts out an impromptu jam session.  Are there better or faster ways to learn guitar?  Maybe, but if you're reading this blog, you probably already have OnSong and if you're a singer, drummer, or pianists that wants to add guitar to their musician's toolbox, this might just be the easiest way.  If you don't have OnSong and you randomly found this blog looking for information on how to play the guitar, you can download it here.  It might also be the cheapest way to learn guitar.  Check back often, since I'll be posting my "Learn to Play Guitar" journey to this blog, and on youtube.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Drake Dyban - OnSong Featured Musician


Drake Dyban is a St. Louis, MO based multi-musician who plays not only his own material, but performs regularly with his original rock act "Silent Hollow" or his solo-acoustic act "Cover up! with Drake Dyban." When he is not performing, he teaches guitar, bass, piano, and vocal lessons in the St. Louis area. Drake is a unique and versatile musician that will definitely keep you entertained!

My OnSong Story:

I had originally found OnSong when I was performing regularly with my church. Once I had become familiar with it's interface, I was then able to not only put in cover songs but also my own material! From there, I have used it regularly while teaching and doing my solo-acoustic gigs. It's great to be able to make sets of similar music or even be able to bring up songs on the fly. When someone requests a song, I no longer have to flip through a book or try to look it up on-line. It's been so awesome, I have even converted a couple of other guitar players!

What kind of music are you playing right now? Listening to?

I started using OnSong to play worship songs, but now I use it for oldies, rock, alternative, hip-hop, etc. I have an eclectic taste and that reflects in my OnSong setlists!

Do you write your own music? If so, what inspires your writing?

I do write my own material. I write mostly acoustic and piano style songs and I am inspired by singer-songwriters like Paul Simon, Andrew Bird, City & Colour, and Ray Lamontagne.

Are you a professional musician/artist or play for fun/non-profit?

I was originally playing for fun with my church when I started using OnSong, but now I play professionally with Silent Hollow and my own Drake Dyban project.

What does your typical day look like?

Well, I have a day job, so that keeps me pretty busy. Luckily, my job is to work with musicians, so I get to talk gear almost everyday. Before work, I'm usually practicing or promoting, and after work, I am rehearsing or performing. It's a pretty sweet deal.

How do you bring music to life?

I've been a performing musician for over 10 years, and I use the not only the written music but also the audience to help feed my performance. I am a firm believer in using the mood in that moment in time, and this allows a song you have performed a million times to be special because you are using that moment to feed your message.

What’s one trend in music that really excites you?

I am really excited at how well live music is being layered by using samplers on multiple instruments. I use a Boss Loopstation to sample my parts and I am able to solo over it with the push of a button. I also think that being a multi-instrumentalist will start to become much more common, if not the standard, for doing solo work.

What instruments do you play?

I currently play guitar, bass, piano, and sing. I am currently learning violin, mandolin, banjo, and variety of other folk instruments.

What instrument is your favorite?

I started my musical career on guitar, so I will always have an affinity for the instrument, but I absolutely love the sound of a piano.

As an musician/artist, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I recommend always trying to break things down into smaller, understandable pieces. It'll make the whole song that much better if you can take a bunch of small, great sounding sections and turn them into a masterpiece. It works on every style of music, trust me.

What is one failure you had as a musician, and how did you overcome it?

When I first started, I had very poor technique. I didn't understand metronomes, sections, theory, and especially not the full-purpose of a guitar! The key is to never stop learning, keep practicing, and never let the nay-sayers keep you from doing what you love!

What is some advice you’re willing to give to budding musician?

Break things down and try to play them cleanly. Everyone wants to be the next virtuoso, but nobody is born with intimate knowledge of any instrument. We all have to learn, so you might as well get the hard stuff out of the way early. Break it down, understand it, and when you come back to dealing with something similar to that problem, it will not seem as hard.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?

Well, I'm no world-traveler, but I would like to change a lot of peoples' mindsets of what they feel they can and cannot do. I've met too many people that feel limited by their own abilities, and if they could only take that step to meet their potential or with others who can help, we would be living in a completely different world. I believe technology is the best way to make this positive change happen.

Tell us something about you that very few people know?

Even thought I may not act like it, I am very thankful to be able to create music. I sometimes worry that the "creativity well" may dry up, but I always seem to create something new, thankfully!

What are your three favorite online tools or resources?

OnSong, Anytune, and Evernote. Between those three apps/tools, I've created a musical empire! I use OnSong as my performance reference, Anytune to break down songs and learn them properly, and Evernote to keep my new song ideas flowing!

What is the one book/blog channel that you recommend our community should follow and why?

I believe anyone who is semi-serious should read the "Indie Rock Survival Guide" blog/book. It is a grassroots way of getting the things you want done without wishing for someone with a million dollars to invest in you. It has a lot of great resources listed, as well.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

You should follow Steve Martin (@stevemartingtogo), KDHX (@kdhx), and Greek Fire (@greekfireband). Steve Martin is hilarious, KDHX spotlights a lot of my favorite music, and Greek Fire is an awesome St. Louis band that takes amazing pictures and always have amazing stories.

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

I try to laugh everyday at the small stuff, but the movie "This is the End" is the loudest I've laughed in a long time.

Who is your musical hero/influence?

I would have to say Andrew Bird is one of my biggest influences. I saw him live a while back and he has beautiful songs that are wonderfully layered. WORTH SEEING LIVE!!

What is one thing most musicians overlook?

Keep a good group around you. Artists have to support artists! Also, keep a good repair tech handy. As long as he actually fixes things, his service will be invaluable to you!

What do you do when you are not performing/practicing/promoting?

I try to make it a point to see or do something I have never done that is positive for me. Right now, I like to go hiking through state parks. It brings me closer to nature and the people that are in my life. You can find me on almost anything! I am based out of St. Louis, Missouri but I am all over the web!



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Upgrade Conundrum

OnSong 2.0 is an exciting upgrade filled with new features.
Our goal is to get OnSong available to all of our current users for free.
Yes, that's right. Free.

However, we've realized something over the past few months as we work on the new version. It's different. Really different. Okay, maybe it's not apples and oranges different. It's still the best chord chart management app on the planet. But when we got really honest with ourselves, it's a completely new app and we humans don't take change too well. Given what we know about OnSong 1.96, one small change can have huge implications for musicians.

Herein lies our conundrum. We've been trapped by our own success. Hundreds of thousands of users around the world depend on OnSong everyday, or at least every week. It's the lifeblood of studio artists, on-stage performers and teachers in the classroom. For us to upgrade you to a completely new app would be like pulling the rug out from under you. We don't think that's right and we haven't found a way to avoid that. To be honest, we don't want to make promotional tissue boxes.

Today we are announcing that OnSong 2.0 will be made available as a brand new app. That means you will be able to run OnSong 1.96 for as long as you need in order to transition to the new version. OnSong 2.0 will be the same low price of $9.99 and have all the same great features, and then some, only different. It's going to have a brand new design to make it more powerful and yet, simpler to use.

Remember that promise of a free upgrade? Oh, it's still on. Here's where you come in. We need your help to make OnSong 2.0 the very best it can be. We will have a limited release of OnSong 2.0 to our biggest fans - our customers - for free. We will announce when it will become available. Over the course of a week, you'll be able to get OnSong 2.0 for the price of a breath of air. Kick the tires and take it for a test drive. Tell us everything we've done wrong. Tell us everything we've done right (we like that). All this while having the piece of mind that comes with OnSong 1.96. Our plan is to continue our free, limited release schedule until OnSong 2.0 is as awesome as we can make it. We appreciate each and every one of our customers who have helped us get OnSong where it is today.

Be sure to register with us so we can let you know when OnSong 2.0 will be available for free. We do not yet have a timeline on the OnSong 2.0. We are working hard to make it awesome right now.

Please comment on this below. Our DNA is to listen and come up with the best solution to meet the needs to our customers. Let us know if you feel there isa better way and let's discuss this. You know, as civil as possible.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Saul Delgado "El Guitarro" - OnSong Featured Musician

Saul Delgado "El Guitarro"

Saúl Delgado "El Guitarro" was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he still resides.  Saúl has worked as a producer/composer/multi instrumentalist & arranger with several projects dabbling in multiple genres and styles (Rock, Pop, Electronica, Reggae, Jazz, Hip Hop, among others ...)  He has collaborated with international artists and currently works for Warner Music Latino as a guitarist for artist Sie7e (Latin Grammy 2011: Best New Artist Award recipient) and as a sideman for multiple other artists.  His musical career has taken him to many renowned events, newspapers, websites and TV shows around the world.  Currently, some of his compositions are in regular rotation on the popular music website Pandora Music Genome Project. Saul is also working on his debut solo album which is planned to be released on 2014. He proudly endorses Cusack Effects and Eventide Stompboxes.


"As a sideman on stage and in the studio I've been using charts, music stands, and lots of sheet music for years.  A friend of mine introduced me to OnSong as soon as I got my first iPad and I was blown away. I put all my sheet music on the iPad and clip it to my mic stand instead of dragging a music stand and a bulky folder. Since I play with a few Pop Artists I just need the chord charts as a guide in most gigs and that's when OnSong comes into play. Usually we rehearse the songs and when it comes the time to hit the stage I bring my iPad with the OnSong app and make sure I never miss a chord or a lyric! It's awesome, and very practical."

What kind of music are you playing right now? Listening to?

I'm playing a good variety of music. Mostly Pop/Rock on stage and in the studio but also working on my solo album (Instrumental) as well as recording for other artists in multiple genres. I listen to all sorts of music (from Classical to Jazz, Rock, Reggae, Electronica, Gypsy Jazz, Country, Metal, you name it). I think every genre has it's own beauty and always something to teach you as a musician.

Do you write your own music? If so, what inspires your writing?

Yes I do. I mostly write Pop tunes for my clients but also work on some Instrumental stuff for myself (Rock/R&B/Contemporary Jazz, that sort of thing). I get inspired by a couple of things: soundwise I like to mess around with a lot of effects pedals and amps until I come up with sounds or ideas that inspire me. Also I watch movies because the themes, characters and feelings presented in them usually get the creative juices flowing.

Are you a professional musician/artist or play for fun/non-profit?

I've been playing professionally for the past decade or so. I think that it's a blessing to be able to make a living doing what you love the most.

What does your typical day look like?

Well, when I'm home I wakeup around noon (lol, my internal clock is a little messed up... I go to bed around 5am everyday) have some breakfast and usually hit the shed for some guitar practicing or hit the studio to track some ideas or work on some client's project. At night, usually play a show in or out of town. Musicians = nocturnal creatures huh?

How do you bring music to life?

I don't force it. Usually grab my instrument (whether it is guitar, piano, bass or ukulele) and let it do the talking. Sometimes I just noodle around until I hit something I like and sometimes I come in with a specific idea, melody or groove. I always carry an audio recorder with me in case creativity strikes. Also most of the time I don't sit down and give birth to a whole musical piece, instead I record or write what I like to call "creative seeds" (which can be a riff or melody or groove) and just "plant them" there for an indefinite amount of time until I find some place to put them on a song or specific part of an arrangement. I never throw away those ideas because you might not like it today but tomorrow it's just what you needed to finish that piece!

What’s one trend in music that really excites you?

Well music is a business but what always has appealed to me the most is the artistic aspect of the musical expression. When I started playing an instrument I did it because I love music and nothing else. I didn't care about money or fame (and I still don't) or didn't even think of music as a way to make a living. To me, music is just a sublime expression that lifts me off this earth and lets me (hopefully) express feelings and ideas that I can't seem to explain with words. One of the trends that excite me is that even though music is a huge business and a lot of people profit from it, there are still artists, bands, composers that do it for the love of music period. Sure, music helps pay the bills but that love you feel for it cannot be replaced and certainly not by material things. As long as the music comes from the heart in an honest package it has my respect and admiration.

What instruments do you play?

I play the guitar, bass, piano, ukulele, and a little percussion.

What instrument is your favorite?

Guitar (although I'm a frustrated drummer lol)

As an musician/artist, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Keep learning and expanding your horizons. If you prefer a musical genre/artist or instrument that's completely normal but don't limit yourself to what you like or know. Lots of growing experiences will come once you step out of your "comfort zone". There is a lot to learn from other musicians, artists, genres, instruments, etc. Open your eyes (but specially your ears) to everything around you and try to absorb the most you can: books, albums, live performances, jam sessions with friends. Keep learning music!

What is one failure you had as a musician, and how did you overcome it?

Not necessarily a failure but kind of a "limitation"... I've always had big dreams when it comes to music and coming from a small Caribbean Island (Puerto Rico) most people live with that "island" mentality. At first I was told many times to let my "fantastic dreams" go and stick to a regular 8 to 5 job/life but I refused. I never dreamed for money and fame but to be able to make a living playing music. I had many jobs (mostly in order to pay for my music gear hehe) but I always come back to music. My persistence and focus was (and has always been) set on following my dreams no matter what people said and although I have accomplished some stuff I still have a LOT to learn and achieve. I am lucky enough to have a family that supports me and as a musician I believe you cannot "fail"; you will stumble a million times but the failure will only come if you quit following your dreams. Everything is possible and no dream is bigger than what you can accomplish if you set your mind, body, and soul to it.

What is some advice you’re willing to give to budding musician?

Open your eyes and ears. Learn all you can but also be selective of what you learn (not everything out there will be of good use to you but it can benefit you on knowing the do's and don'ts of the music industry). Don't look at other musicians as competition but rather as a musical brother who loves music as much as you do and try to jam with them, exchange ideas, trade licks, etc.  There is a lot to learn from other musicians, use those resources! Be professional but humble! Music is a networking career and you MUST leave a good impression with your musical, personal, and social skills.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?

Give more importance to the arts, specially art education. In Puerto Rico the art education programs get shut down all the time because they are looked at as "entertainment"  ignoring how vital they are to the development of a person. I am also a music teacher myself and have been laid-off from my job because the Department won't fund the Music Programs anymore. It is sad. I still give out Private Lessons in an effort to keep the music education flowing but it bothers me how little importance society gives to art education and how they underestimate the job of an artist.

Tell us something about you that very few people know?

I still watch cartoons! Especially during breakfast. LOL!

What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?

  1. YouTube: wonderful tool! You can learn basically anything there! Unfortunately it also has a lot of misleading stuff so you've got to be careful.
  2. Pandora Music Genome Project: Excellent for discovering new music, exposing your own music or just chilling out to some random tunes. (c) Social Networks: a great way of promoting your music (especially independent artists!) and connecting with your fans.

What is the one book/blog/youtube channel that you recommend our community should follow and why?

I don't have a specific source but mostly I recommended reading/watching stuff that will help you become not only a better professional but a better person. Inspirational books/blogs/channels and other forums that teach you the value of being a good-balanced-educated-well mannered human being.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

  1. Newspaper or News: If you're like me you barely have time to read the news or watch TV so the Twitter timeline at least keeps me updated on what's going on in the world.
  2. Your favorite artist/band/actor/etc because chances are that you are influenced by him and you can see what this person it up to or how he manages his social networks and interacts with his fans.
  3. Something of great interest to you: could be a social cause, music gear, etc Something that you will like to contribute to the subject and also get some info back.

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

I have a kind of sarcastic-dark humor so it probably was some joke off a TV show like Tosh.O, Family Guy or American Dad lol.

Who is your musical hero/influence?

I really like Joe Satriani. His musical style, his ability to "paint images" with music is just phenomenal but as a musician (don't matter how famous or unknown you are) you just have to be honest about your product and play from the heart and you will earn my respect/admiration.

If you weren't a musician what would you do for a living?

Probably a chef! I love cooking & coming up with stuff in the kitchen. Guess I just like the creative aspects of life hehe.

What is your favorite food?

Mexican food is probably one of the best but I also love Sushi & of course Spicy Latin Food ;)




San Juan, Puerto Rico

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Featured OnSong Musician - Joanna Fruhauf Singer/Songwriter of Gracious Vine

Joanna Fruhauf and Gracious Vine
Gracious Vine is a six (6) member worship band whose passionate vocals, earthy tones and lyrical theology have captivated the hearts of audiences, and pointed them toward a dynamic and majestic Savior.  They have traveled extensively to coffee houses, churches, festivals and conferences bringing their message of strength and hope to all who hear.
"Music ministers deep because it engages our spirits. It voices our heart cries, it whispers our desires, it shouts our devotion all while encouraging and equipping us for the walk ahead." ~ Joanna Fruhauf, Singer/Songwriter of Gracious Vine.

[OnSong] What is your OnSong story? 

[Joanna]  OnSong, has been the MOST incredible INSTRUMENT we have purchased as a band.  Prior to OnSong we had books and books of looseleaf lead sheets and chord charts, transposing charts, EVEN Wheels that helped us figure out things…Song Sheets often had several different chord progressions depending on who might lead the song, who was able to play/sing in a key or if a guitarist needed a capo, what that did to the chords etc.  It was a mess.  Sheets had several chords scratched over the words of a song, some circled, some highlighted in Pink or Yellow or blue, some pen, some marker just to differentiate…and Often the question from the band members was, 'OK, so are we in blue or pink, marker or pen for this song?'  It was a mess!
The frustration levels rose when ever we played a poorly lit location or an outside venue like a church or town festival.  Here comes the wind…there go the pages…AWKWARD!!!  It was horrible sometimes!  BUT THEN We found OnSong!  It was the most transformative change we have made.  It has enabled and equipped us to be ever ready, at the drop of a hat, even showing up at a location without the intention of playing and being able to step into a situation, confident!
Being a minister and stepping into different settings with the ability to trust the instrument is Key!  It has helped us to step up to the next level.
When people see us walk into a location cold, they are always curious where our music is, when we show them, or they see it as we do sound checks they are always asking about it, and we are ALWAYS willing to share, in fact at one event  I was sharing about the awesomeness of Onsong with the technicians that we were ALL so caught up we started our 2nd set several minutes late…When people see it in action, they are blown away!  We certainly were. With all of the different features, the potential, the scope of what it does, holds, changes, and personalizes, We were THRILLED to throw away our books!  We were so thrilled with the App of OnSong that we saved up enough money for everyone in the band to have an iPad or iPhone to use it on…'Its the reason I got the iPad, and though I know the iPad is personally underutilized, the ONSONG app made that purchase worth every penny!'
Gracious Vine uses OnSong like a Boss

[What kind of music are you playing right now?]  We play Christian Worship & Praise.
[Listening to?] David Crowder/Chris Tomlin

[Do you write your own music?] Yes Constantly!
[What inspires your writing?] The hearts of individuals I speak with, as a street missionary on the streets of impoverished neighborhoods I hear the longings, see the tears, and pray with hopeless people constantly.  Their heart influences and Christ's hope inspires me!

[What does your typical day look like?] A ypical day for me (Joanna the Lead of Gracious Vine) is spending hours at a Street Mission, Feeding the Hungry while distributing HOPE, then there's some time I come home tend to kids and family, try to grab some time at the keys, worshiping, playing, singing, maybe writing a new piece…and organizing our teams events.

[How do you bring music to life?] I think the only way to truly bring the music to life, is to live it…cliche? maybe, but reality!  I can best sing and lead others in a compelling musical heart moment, IF I have experienced what I sing of. If I know the pain it speaks about, the Hope it offers.  It there's no disconnect between my heart and head, then there won't be any between me and the audience!

[What’s one trend in music that really excites you?] I am continually excited by the new applications that technology has to offer.  Too often technology is 'I' centric - and unfortunately makes us more and more isolated, we use it to help people connect better to each other, with musical venues.  We love the technology that helps us get the word out about where we'll be, what we're doing, and then apps like OnSong that help us do it all with precision!

[What instruments do you play?] Keyboard, and I'm having fun learning the djembe. (gotta love drums!)

[As an musician, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?]  Spend time with the song I'm writing, practicing, understanding, and learning from it, hearing it's voice to be able to share it appropriately.

[What is one failure you had as a musician, and how did you overcome it?] I would say not trusting myself enough, not believing that there was something valuable to share from my experience.  That others being more proficient, having greater talent, better exposure, relegated me to the back of the room.  I would say my own insecurities and inferiority issues have caused me to wait so long before stepping out.  Within the last few years, I've come to realize that we each have a fabulous story to tell, and if we would be willing to step out of the boat on to a surface we hear a call to, then we could find ourselves supported by it, miraculously!  That willingness to DARE, inspire of the surrounding or internal shouts have helped me to put to death some of the fears that for so long held me captive and ineffective.

[What is some advice you’re willing to give to budding musician?] Be willing to try things New!  Forgetting what may not have worked before, and looking at things from a new angle and approaching it from there. Listening to what others you can trust, not just those that love you..but that will be honest with you…to move you forward!

[If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?] Wow, only one thing….there's a pie in the sky dream of peace through mutual respect.  But with the human condition being so 'self' oriented I don't see any utopia happening unless it's forced…and that would be the antithesis of what I'd hope for.  So I think the best thing to change would be myself!  I need to change, the way my eyes perceive others, the way my ears hear others, and the way my actions and attitudes respond to those around me.  Then maybe others would do the same…hey now there's a revolution!

[Tell us something about you that very few people know?]  I'm LOVIN' that I'm 50!  Yes I said it, I'm 50, and feel more free and liberated today than ever!

[What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?]  I would have to say, Rockin' with the Cross, Worshiptogether.com, and Musician's Friend.   All of them help me to be equipped for what I do on one level or another.

[What is the one book/blog/youtube channel that you recommend our community should follow and why?] My source of inspiration is continually the best seller.  With all of its scenarios, drama, dysfunctional people, interventions of Hope and more the Bible still ranks best as a source of light, revelation, inspiration, and reckoning of my daily battles.

[When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?] I like to laugh a lot…and one of my FAVORITE comedians is BRIAN REGAN -  nearly everything he says on stage will cause you to bust out hysterical!  But just around the house, the way my cat and dog chase each other around, in their love hate relationship!

[Who is your musical hero/influence?] There are so many - I would say, Casting Crowns, Mercy Me, Rita Springer, Jesus Culture, Jeremy Riddle, Matt Maher, David Crowder, Chris Tomlin.

[How did you get started in Music?] I had been on a worship team as the …far…'background' singer…and when at a new church about 15 years ago, it was made known and their current group had dissolved, I was asked to take on the position of worship leader.  I quickly turned it down, and was approached two more times months apart.  I refused because I had NO experience in music, no talent, no ability.  If you had told me a song was in the key of Z, I would have believed you.  After being approached repeatedly, I agreed, feeling compelled to Try. All I did was orchestrate from the microphone where the team was going to flow through a song during a worship service.  After a year and a half, my team, a family - announced they were moving in 6 weeks.  Shocked I burst out, 'Who's going to play piano?" and they said 'YOU ARE!' - my response - 'What the heck do you do with all those keys?' - - - well within 6 weeks, I learned and I was leading the congregation vocally from the piano.  It was truly miraculous.  So the journey began...

[Where does your love of music come from?] I have always been in a home where there was music…no not that my parents knew how to play anything, but always listening to music.  My mother had Christian music from the 70 & 80 playing all the time and when my dad got home, doowoop motown and early rock was on throughout the evening.  Singing Melodies and harmonies were always happening in the house.

[Thanks for being our very first featured musician Joanna!  It was great getting to know you, and hearing your story.  To learn more about Gracious Vine visit them on the web GraciousVine.com, on GraciousVine Facebook Page, on the Gracious Vine YouTube Channel, or follow them on twitter.  Gracious Vine is based out of Port Jefferson, NY.]

If you would like to be featured on the OnSong Blog click the link below and follow the instructions:

Be An OnSong Featured Musician

Gracious Vine

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Be An OnSong Featured Musician

Thanos Kalliris using OnSong in Greece!
Everyday at OnSong we hear your amazing stories and now we want to share them with others.  Sometimes we hear how OnSong has simply made your life as a musician easier, ditching the paper binder for something more interactive and less cluttered.  Other times we hear stories of how OnSong has actually transformed lives, bands, teams, and yes, even kitchens.  Either way, your OnSong stories are always welcome, compelling, and fun.  So here's your chance to be featured on our blog, tell your story, and reach all of our thousands of followers.  Cut and paste the following interview questions, then email your answers and pictures to

Here's what you need to send:


Please send two (2) pictures (should be large, at least 1000 pixels in width and 500 pixels in height) One profile picture clearly showing your face, and one of you in action with your music (Bonus if you are using OnSong in the picture, but not required)


Please tell us about yourself or band/team in 200 words in third person


300 - 500 words about your OnSong story. (How did you find it? How do you use it? Do you have a band that uses it? etc.)


Answer the questions below so we get to know you!

  1. What kind of music are you playing right now? Listening to?
  2. Do you write your own music? If so, what inspires your writing?
  3. Are you a professional musician/artist or play for fun/non-profit?
  4. What does your typical day look like?
  5. How do you bring music to life?
  6. What’s one trend in music that really excites you?
  7. What instruments do you play?
  8. What instrument is your favorite?
  9. As an musician/artist, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
  10. What is one failure you had as a musician, and how did you overcome it?
  11. What is some advice you’re willing to give to budding musician?
  12. If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
  13. Tell us something about you that very few people know?
  14. What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them? (You don't have to say OnSong here ;)
  15. What is the one book/blog/youtube channel that you recommend our community should follow and why?
  16. Three people we should follow on Twitter and why? (please don’t include yourself)
  17. When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
  18. Who is your musical hero/influence?
  19. Write a professional question of your choice and answer it
  20. Write a personal question of your choice and answer it


How can people connect with you via a link to your site, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.


Where are you located? City + state (if in U.S.) or city + country (if not in the U.S.)

Thanos rocking two iPads on stage!
Thanos Kalliris plays to a huge crowd in Greece!

Monday, July 29, 2013

AirTurn Controls Kitchen Cook Book

by James Kloepper

As an amateur musician (Dulcimer and Harmonica) I enjoy using the AirTurn Bluetooth Remote and Pedals with OnSong App on my iPad to organize and view my chord charts and sheet music.

In addition to music, cooking is a passion for me. I discovered I could simplify my life in the kitchen and be more productive by applying the same method used to organize and display sheet music or chord charts to recipes in the kitchen.

Using the AirTurn with the iPad and OnSong for my cook book has many advantages, which are listed below:

  • Allows hands free scrolling, turning of the recipe pages and moving back and forth between different recipes. (Four pedals required for the most features) 
  • Eliminates the cookbook and stand from the counter top. 
  • Places the recipes at eye level so they are easier to read. 
  • Allows zooming in on the recipe section which makes it easier to see small print for older eyes. 
  • Recipes may be organized into sets, with all the recipes for a dinner or meal grouped together. (The recipe book may be further organized into groups like Vegetables, Poultry, Fish and Sea Food, Deserts, etc) 
  • Allows making notes on the recipes of any changes made while cooking. 
  • Protects expensive cookbooks from stains, finger prints, and wear and tear. 
  • Minimizes clutter when using recipes from more than one cookbook at a time. 

Like many home cooks I have a collection PDF files of my favorite recipes on my computer. PDF files are compatible with OnSong an iPad app for musicians. The PDF recipes are uploaded to OnSong through iTunes. In OnSong I created a Recipes "Book" folder to keep all the recipes separate from my music. When I have a dinner to prepare I create a Menu "Set List" which contains all the recipes included in the dinner menu. This is especially helpful for holiday meals which often require a large number of recipes.

Once I have the set list made there are settings in OnSong which easily allow you to pair the AirTurn and pedals to connect to the ipad for turning the pages of the Dinner Menu Set List.

If I make a change in a recipe while cooking I can add a note to the recipe indicating the changes for future reference. Only AirTurn allows you to toggle between the keyboard function and bluetooth pedal page control seamlessly. Keep a towel handy to wipe your hands if you need to actually touch the ipad to make entries while you are cooking.

If you have a flatbed scanner you can digitize pages to PDF files from you favorite cookbooks and then import them to OnSong to use in your Recipe Book.

Here's what you need:

  • iPad – Apple Store
  • OnSong App – Download from the iTunes App Store
  • AirTurn BT-105 or DIGIT and 2 or 4 foot pedals - I recommend the 4-pedal model so you can turn and scroll pages independently
  • Cabinet Mount for iPadI recommend the Tournez Wall/Cabinet Mount from The Joy Factory

Thursday, June 27, 2013

OnSong for Android is One Step Closer

Update from January 2014 - While our Android Developer didn't work out, we are still plugging away at Android in-house.  Check out the latest Android Version Update here.  You can still use the form below to join the newsletter mailing list.

Original Post from 6/27/13:

You've asked for it, our facebook fans are begging for it, and our Indiegogo backers even helped pay for it!  OnSong for Android is now one step closer to reality with the addition of our Android developer Eddie.  He's  been working on it part-time for a while now and soon he'll be working on the Android version of OnSong full-time. That means we're tentatively aiming toward a launch of OnSong for Android sometime this fall!  The best part is, we've heard your cries and we're going to make it worth your while.  If you are interested in the Android version of OnSong please fill in the form below and you'll be updated on the project status with our OnSong Android Newsletter, specific to our loyal Android followers.  You'll not only receive status updates, but also chances to win prizes, be the first to demo the Android version, and get exclusive behind the scenes looks at our development process including videos, podcasts, photos, and more.  We promise not to spam you, but we'll keep you in the loop and let you know when OnSong for Android is ready.  Sign up below!

Friday, January 4, 2013

OnSong review from a Teacher's standpoint

Happy New Year from the OnSong team!  We have been very busy in the previous year getting the new company started and making OnSong even more robust.  We are very sorry we have neglected our blog, but want to  change that this year.  We are going to do our best to blog more about how OnSong is being used, new features, and How To's for the 2013 year.  If there is something in particular you would like us to blog about, for example how to backup your library, please let us know and we will do our best.

To kick 2013 off, we are going to share a review of OnSong from a teacher's standpoint.  Steve Lai  @sly111 was kind enough to do a review and share his experience and perspective of OnSong.  Steve has some other very interesting reviews for the teaching minded, so feel free to also check out some of his other reviews.