5 Stars Out Of 5
Excellent Accompaniment Hymn Book
April 21, 2016
For starters, I want to say that I don't have a clue why the title for this says "CD-ROM w/PDF files". The shipping weight and item dimensions alone are a good clue that it's not a CD-ROM. In fact, what I received didn't include a CD-ROM -- just the printed hymnal, which is what I was wanting, as I didn't want to have to actually do all of that printing.
It would have been nice if it had come with the CD too, for reprinting pieces to carry with you separately or to reprint in case you accidentally rip a page out, but it didn't.
The hymnal is very heavy, and I think more than a ream of paper, which makes it very difficult to carry around with you. And unfortunately, because of it's weight, you can't just put it on a cheap music stand you either need something really sturdy like a heavy-duty conductors stand or use it on a piano, or take out the pages you wish to use, which you can do beacuse it comes as a 3-ring binder and a plastic wrapped stack of pages.
I'm a little concerned that long term the 3-ring pages will tear and have to be patched to keep them from falling out and getting lost. But on the other hand, I don't think a comb-binder large enough to fit this actually exists or at least I haven't seen one that large. And a 3-ring binder, as it is, is much preferred over a glue binding.
The hymnal contains most all of the traditional favorite hymns that you'd be looking for, and from what I've seen so far in the pieces I've played from it, the songs are in the same keys that you'll find in other sources.
The chords written with each is in the key of the song -- for those that play guitar, this means that it doesn't have capo chord variations. In other words, if the song is in Ab and you'd normally want to play it in "G" with capo on 1, you'll either have to transpose in your head or take a few minutes to pencil in the alternate chord names.
I've used it for playing both piano and guitar, and for piano, it's nearly perfect for those who play "fake book style" (as I do) where you take the chords and the melody line and make up the rest. However, for guitar, I find myself writing in many of the chord names for a capo variation. So I wish it would have come with both already. Though to only have one or the other, I much prefer it the way it is.
Only other downside is in finding/indexing songs. The front only has the section listings. All of the individual song indexes are in the back. With the way the 3-ring binder is designed, this makes it really combersome to look up page numbers, as you have to flip all of the pages to get to the back, which is impossible to do with a single hand, and all of that turning will only increase the chances of tearing out a page.
It would have been better had they put the index of songs at the front of the book -- but then again, it's 3-ring bound, so you can just move it there. So it's mostly a minor inconvenience.
Overall, I'm well pleased with it and would definitely recommend it to others -- though I hope the website maintainers will read this review and fix the title and remove the "CD-ROM w/PDF files" part.