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Musician’s app strikes a chord with would-be songwriters
Published 31/12/12

A MUSIC app created by a Henley man went towards the top of the Apple charts in its first week of release.

SessionBand reached the top 10 in the UK and top spot in Singapore after thousands of music fans downloaded the iPhone and iPad app.

Created by musician and songwriter Paul Sissons, of Meadow Road, it is the first smartphone software to use a chord-based loop.

Users can create their own music by selecting from 80,000 loops and editing it within the app.

Mr Sissons, the founder of UK Music Apps, said: “Fundamentally, what it does is allow you to create your own piece of music without any experience.

“You can write any song with it because it’s chord-based, just like every song.

“It’s all about trial and error and you definitely don’t need any music ability to do it. It helps if you’ve got a basic understanding that songs are made up of chords but it’s for everyone.”

Users select chords and put them in a timeline. They can then edit the speed and length of chords and change the style of music. There are 71 styles, including variations of acoustic, blues, country, rock, dance, electro, trance, R & B and dubstep.

Mr Sissons, who is married to Cassie, a director of a graduate recruitment company, and has three children, said he spent tens of thousands of pounds on creating the app and it took six months to record all the chords. The musicians involved had played with the likes of Van Morrison, Kylie Minogue and Cheryl Cole.

Mr Sissons said: “The great thing about this is it’s all session music recorded by top musicians.

“There is a massive number of chords as we’ve recorded everything in every single key. It’s limitless and there are infinite possibilities. It gives you a really professional sound and takes literally minutes to put together. Usually to get that sound you have to go into a recording studio. It’s inspirational for people who want to write a piece of music.”

SessionBand was officially launched in the Apple app store in 156 countries on December 10 and was the best-selling new music app in the UK, Germany, Japan and the United States.

Mr Sissons, who plays drums, percussion, keyboard and guitar and used to be chief executive of a publishing company, said: “I wanted my app to be unique in some respect and while there are plenty of loop apps, I couldn’t believe there wasn’t actually a chord-based one.

“We’ve had some great reviews from people who have said they can’t believe how quickly they can write their own music that sounds so good. It takes 30 seconds to create a sequence wherever you are and that’s the real essence of a mobile application.”

Mr Sissons, who will be releasing updates in the New Year as well as new apps in the future, added: “There are about 22,000 music apps and we’ve been hovering about the top 10, which is amazing. It’s about staying there now.”

To download the app, visit www.sessionbandapp.com or buy it from the online Apple app store.

Published 31/12/12

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