School bands are incredibly popular both in the USA and around the world.  School bands range from elementary groups, often a youngster’s first introduction to playing with other people, to very sophisticated concert bands that travel to competitions all over the country.

School bands play every sort of music from pop songs and jazz to Beethoven overtures.  The school band is the training ground for musicians of every kind, from brass and woodwind players to bass guitar and drums.

If you play in a band you have the chance to play some of the greatest music by the word’s great composers.  Of course each individual instrument just one part of the music.  Even a single part played on its own can sound good if played well, but when everyone comes together in full band rehearsal the whole effect can be quite thrilling.

But before that can happen each player must be able to play their part, and keep in step with the others.  When you are practicing at home, especially if you are an imperfect sight reader, it can be difficult to be sure how your part should sound.  This is especially true when the rhythms are complicated.  You can always look up a note.  But no textbook can tell you what a tricky written rhythm sounds like; at least until PlayScore 2 came along.

Download PlayScore 2

PlayScore for Windows

The App That Sight Reads Sheet Music.

Knowing how your part should sound

That is where PlayScore can be so useful.  PlayScore can read your part right off the page and play it correctly, even when the timing is hard.

Not only that, PlayScore 2 reads all the details so vital to music such as dynamics and articulation.  PlayScore 2 comes with a library of instruments so it will even sound like your instrument.  Using PlayScore to check your playing can give you confidence that you have learnt your part correctly, making it so much easier when it comes to fitting all the parts together in full band rehearsal.

PlayScore 2 gives you some extra tools to make learning your part really easy:  You can tap on any measure to play from there.  You can play difficult passages slowly.  You can even drag your finger over a few bars to create a loop that will go on playing a tricky passage over and over again.

Playing with a band backing track

But PlayScore 2’s usefulness doesn’t stop there:  Wouldn’t it be great to be able to play your part at home, but will the full band to back you up?  Having a backing track makes playing so much more fun, but just as important in means you can learn all those signposts in the music, know where the cues are and what to expect from the other parts and when.  It teaches you to blend and to balance, almost as if the band was there with you.

PlayScore 2 can do this straight from the full score.  You can play the music back minus one instrument, or play just your instrument, or two together, or in any other combination.

Setting up the backing tracks

With PlayScore 2 there is no need to create a separate backing track for each instrument.  You can import the score once and share it with everyone.  This is usually done by the band leader.  It is easy to do because you can export a whole PDF score to PlayScore 2 straight from Safari.

The result is an interactive playing score you can share where you can adjust the volume of every staff separately.

I PlayScore documents have many functions and settings that let you customise the score.   The band leader can do this once and let the players set their own staves, or it can be done individually for every part.