Are there websites similar to Chordify?
Guitar Chords: The best apps for musicians and aspiring songwriters
For most songwriters, writing music begins with chords and progressions. Thanks to a wealth of apps and online tools, you don't have to be a trained musician to write a great chord progression these days. These are the best chord apps for Android, iOS, and iPad.
Guitar chord apps in particular fall into two different camps these days. There are applications for deciphering the chord progressions of favorite hits, and there are applications designed to help budding musicians create original chord progressions for their songs. The reason I'm going into both of these in this leaderboard is because the line between the two is very blurry here.
Because you cannot copyright a chord progression. Indeed, the popular music world is littered with examples of hits with exactly the same chord progression. Changing the key, playing the chords in a different position on the fingerboard, or even on a different instrument, can dramatically change the sound and feel of a set of chords. If you are new to music writing, you can ideally start by playing something familiar - for pure inspiration without theft.
The different types of chord apps
The market is full of different chord apps for smartphones, but there are different styles that have become popular and are most useful for aspiring musicians. Apps that just display simple chord tables can be useful if you don't know anything about music theory and just want to know the fingerings for guitar chords, for example. Some apps go a step further and have a library of different versions that can be played across the entire fretboard. A chord is essentially only three notes, so these tables are not complete, but some of them provide more than enough to help you play and write interesting chord progressions.
There are also guitar chord ear training applications that you can use to practice hearing different chords - usually by picking out the root note. This skill is not easy to learn and can take years of practice to master. Being able to recognize chords by ear is an extremely useful skill to have as a musician, but it is by no means essential. Many famous bands and artists have made their way through the years without having this skill.
AI can recognize chords
In recent years, chord recognition applications have emerged that often use AI to automatically identify the chords and chord progressions of your favorite songs. This essentially means that a computer does the hard work for you, and is useful for niche titles or songs that you can't find the chords or fingerings for online.
Then there are the song libraries. These are essentially platforms where users can work out and transcribe a song's chords to share with the community. While incredibly useful and often the quickest way to learn a new song on guitar, for example, they rely on the accuracy and skill of the people who use them. There is also no really true answer or solution to transcribing a song. Even the artists who wrote the song could play it in a different key live.
The best chord apps for iPad and iOS
My favorite chord app for iPhone or iPad is without a doubt Chord! by Thomas Grapperon. The unique thing about Chord! is that the app does not rely on a database of charts. You can still search for a chord by name, but you can also use the smart keyboard to enter the chord by selecting the exact fingering of the notes on a guitar. After all, music is not an exact science, and the most creative songwriters break the rules.
Hundreds of tunings are shipped with the app, and you can also import your existing songs into the app to create print-ready PDFs for bandmates or guitar students. The user interface is clear, well structured and intuitive to use. Chord! costs 5.49 euros in the Apple App Store.
The best chord apps for Android
All Chords Guitar
All Chords Guitar is a fantastic free app that can cover most of your chord needs on Android. It's not as flexible as chords! on iOS and iPad, but All Chords Guitar provides a quick and easy way to look up chords from a library of 5,000 variations. You can either search for chords by name or look up favorite chords to quickly remember how to play them later.
I use All Chords Guitar to find interesting chord variations in different places on the guitar fretboard. This comes in handy in situations like this: I know I want a C major chord, for example, but the open position sounds too difficult, so I open the app and look for a C major chord variant somewhere higher up on the fretboard . When I play an E major scale chord on the 8th fret, I have a nice light version of my C major chord.
You can download All Chords Guitar for free from the Google Play Store.
Chordify: guitar, ukulele and piano chords
One of the most innovative chord apps in recent years is Chordify. The app is ideal for acoustic players and musicians who want to cover famous songs. The app uses AI to identify the chords and chord progression of each song. Just enter the song or artist you'd like to cover or play along and the app will demonstrate the chord changes in real time as you play along.
The application uses YouTube as a source, so any song posted on Google's video platform will be available as 'accorded'. Songs that have already been edited by other users are immediately available. The developer says Chordify has more than 16,000,000 songs in the catalog.
Chordify is free to use, but there is also a premium version with which you can, for example, change chords if you want to play in a different key or download chords as a MIDI file for audio editing.
You can download Chordify for Android from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store here.
How to use your Chordify for free
The basic version of Chordify can be used free of charge. However, you have to create an account to get started right away. Fortunately, the guitar, piano, and ukulele animated views are included in the free version, and I haven't really seen much of a need to upgrade to premium yet. You also get cross-platform library integration on the free version. With it you can log in on the desktop or mobile and have access to your library everywhere. I prefer to use Chordify on either my tablet or laptop as I find the larger display makes it easier to follow the chord progression along with the piece.
Some chord alternatives
Ultimate Guitar: Chords and Tablatures
Ultimate Guitar is by far the largest database of chords and lyrics on the web. It all started as a website and online community where people could submit and share their own guitar tabs - a simplified method of transcribing music for guitar - for famous songs. For all guitarists who are just starting out, the best way to develop sound and playing style is to re-enact familiar music. Ultimate Guitar is a great way to quickly and easily find tabs for the most popular and iconic guitar tracks of all time.
However, there are a couple of caveats I would like to add. First, you need to learn how to read tabs in order to use the app. Second, tabs are submitted by users and therefore can vary widely in terms of accuracy and quality. Having 20 versions of a song can be intimidating for a beginner who just wants to know how to play a song. Those who are already advanced can find the best pieces here and let their creativity run free in their own style. Finally, there's a premium version of the app, and recommending upgrading can be a bit annoying at times.
Ultimate Guitar can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.
Yamaha chord tracker
A good alternative to Chordify for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch is the Yamaha Chord Tracker(Directly available for download for iOS). With such a big name in musical instruments behind you, you can be confident that the Japanese have done something right here.
The Yamaha Chord Tracker works similarly to Chordify, but instead of using YouTube as a source, it can extract the chord progression from an audio track. For those of us who still have old school iTunes collections and gigabyte upon gigabyte of gigabyte of mp3 files, this app is a great way to decode the music behind your library of songs and play it on either guitar, piano, or ukelele .
What chord app or tools do you use to play or write music? Feel free to share your recommendations with us in the comments.
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