Tips for Using an iPad

As with any device, there are always tips for using it efficiently and with a minimum of problems. The iPad is no different.

  • Always shut down other programs, especially when the foot pedal is attached. Running other apps in the background can REALLY slow down page turns.
  • Know how to access your Bluetooth settings if your wireless foot pedal appears not to be working.
  • Be aware that playing in direct sunlight may cause the iPad to overheat and it WILL shut itself down in the middle of a gig. Play in the shade when you can and bring an insulated cover for your iPad to use when you have breaks in performing.
  • A plastic bag the size of the iPad works well to protect it in the rain and you can even turn pages through the plastic.
  • Horizontal view makes for bigger music, but half-page turns sometimes repeat lines of music unexpectedly.
  • If you crop your music when you scan it into a PDF or use the "Cropping" feature in forScore, you can cut off the white margins on your music and make the staves and notes larger on your screen.
  • If you want to make a note using the online keyboard in another program (to note someone’s phone number, for instance, for a future gig), make sure you know how to force-start the keyboard when using a Bluetooth foot pedal. 
  • Alice uses a Peterson TP-3 Clip-On Tuner Pickup ( with her harps because the iPad internal microphone is really good at picking up the tones from air conditioning and other “hums” in the room in addition to harp strings.
  • If you want to use a Clip-On Tuner Pickup with your iPad and your harp, you will need to buy a cable adapter (one with a 1/8th-inch male plug and a 1/4-inch female plug) – check with music stores that sell amplification equipment).
  • The Airturn BT-105 Hands Free Page Turner with Foot Pedals is a good wireless page turner (
  • The Peak Music Stands ( work well with iPads.