The best page-turning Bluetooth pedals for classical musicians
Which Bluetooth pedals has the best battery life? Which is the most user-friendly and intuitive? Concert pianist Lucy Parham tested a tranche of score-reading apps and picked out her favourite page-turning pedal
Unless you want to be endlessly touching the screen to turn pages, you’ll need a Bluetooth pedal. There are several excellent pedals available but I chose the iRig Blue Turn from IK Multimedia. Adding a pedal to an app enables you to turn pages and scroll through your score with your feet. Although I performed all my concerts during the trial from memory (so I didn’t use scores), I know many friends and colleagues who swear by the Bluetooth pedal in live performance.
The kit is portable and lightweight but I initially felt confused with my foot sometimes needing to be in two places at once – on the sustain pedal and the iRig. I also found it slightly complicated to set up, but once I’d got going progress was swift. Although the coloured lights on the up and down arrows wouldn’t look great on stage they could always be covered up with a piece of sticky tape. And its design means that it’s almost impossible to turn two pages by accident.
Anyone that might worry about charge levels will also be pleased to hear that the iRig Blue Turn informs the user when its batteries are running low – several hours in advance. That alone would calm the nerves of anyone who might not use it for fear of an unresponsive pedal.