Below are some great, or at least handy, tools for musicians. The first is Free Open Source Software, next is smartphone app and well worth the money ($15).
MuseScore is a free cross-platform WYSIWYG music notation program that offers a cost-effective alternative to commercial programs such as Sibelius and Finale.
You can print beautifully engraved sheet music or save it as PDF or MIDI file.
Here is a link to it’s New Jazz / Lead Sheet Features in MuseScore 1.1
iRealb is a sheet music app with music accompaniment. (it’s like a ‘Real book and play along’ all in one.). Create, edit, print, share and collect chord charts or your favorite songs for reference while practicing or performing.
Practice with realistic sounding piano, bass and drums accompaniments for any chord chart.
NOTE: iRealb used to come bundled with the ‘Real Book’ in chord charts but ‘the man’ shut that down, so now it comes with no included charts. However you can get those charts, and more through their forums. Also, it’s very quick and easy to create charts via their online editor. Additionally, there is a MuseScore plugin iRealb – A plugin to convert a MusicXML file into a iRealb chart, which works with varying degrees of success depending on the complexity of your chart.
3. Audacity® is free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds.
A really nice, free DAW for recording music via your computer!
Online Music Collaboration
Once you have your DAW set up, go collaborate online with other musicians at kompoz!
For electronics that have corrosion or noisy pots, like a ‘scratchy’ sound when turning, try this stuff: DeoxIT
I bought a tiny tube from Amazon, DeoxIT® Liquid, squeeze tube 100% solution 2 mL (This one is very affordable and lasts longer in tube, a little goes a long way,… really! – This stuff is like liquid gold, and almost as expensive)
NOTE: This stuff really is ‘magic’, I have fixed 3 stomp box pedals (2 over 25 years old) and one Ernie Ball volume pedal, all of which I thought were candidates for new pots or even headed for the “useless bin”.
You just need a tiny amount of liquid, try to get the liquid inside the pot shaft, or as close to inside as possible, then ‘work’ the nob back and forth for a bit, then plug the pedal in and check it out, if you got the liquid inside the pot, the pot should be silent now, try again with closer application of liquid to the pot if it didn’t work)
Looking for a (affordable) Jazz Guitar? Check out Guitar For Jazz, it may help you sort out the different makes and models.