MP3 to Chords: Get a Chord Chart from an Audio Recording

For most popular music styles, a chord chart is essential for performing music. Guitarists, bassists, and keyboard players often prefer to use a chord chart. Most sheet music will come with chord symbols on it, so if you have that, you are set.

Sometimes, however, either you can't access sheet music, or you need to play the song in a different key. What can you do that?

MP3 to Chords Capable Software

If you have an audio recording, you may think that it is hard or impossible to turn that into a chord chart. When computer music was still young, you would need a MIDI file to accomplish that. Converting from audio to MIDI, and then creating chords, was a real pain in the neck.

But audio editing in the digital world has come a long way. High-end digital audio workstations can identify chords and tempos easily. The problem with those is that they do so many other things. Most of those audio workstations are geared towards studio technicians were focused on processing the sound, not rehearsing the band.

The Perfect Solution

If all you are interested in doing is going from MP3 to chords, Song Surgeon is an ideal software for you. You can download a demo here. This software is made for practicing and performing musicians. When you load an audio file or an MP3 file, the program automatically detects the chords and the tempo. The chords will be displayed at the bottom of the waveform, so you can follow them as the song progresses.

You can then open the attached music pad function, and a list of the chords will be generated. They can also be downloaded as a spreadsheet (CSV) which lets you format them as you wish. Then you print them and give them to the other musicians in your group.

But Wait, We Still Have a Problem

What if the recorded version is also in the wrong key? What use is it to convert from MP3 to chords when it's in the wrong scale? Not useful at all. Here is where Song Surgeon comes to the rescue: it can transpose the audio of the song together with the chords. In fact, it's easier to do it this way than it is to scan music and run it through a scoring program.

But should you wish to scan the music, or create a proper musical score, Song Surgeon can work together with the popular musical scoring program, Musescore.

I have thoroughly tested this program, and I'm very impressed with its ease-of-use and quality of sound. It transposes, it speeds up and slows down without changing the pitch, and it has great MP3 to chords capability. You can get a download demo here, and use it unlimited for four hours. After that, you will know how useful this program is.



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