Karaoke-like software that will show chords and lyrics in time that I can follow along to?
December 8, 2008 7:11 AM   Subscribe

I'm a beginner on acoustic guitar. Is there any karaoke-like software that will show chords and lyrics in time that I can follow along to?

I have a DVD called "Fender Presents: Getting Started on Acoustic Guitar" that has a couple of practice tracks, where on screen there's notes that light up on the beats, and some really basic drum and bass accompaniment. You strum E four times on the beats, switch to A, etc. It's more fun than playing with just a metronome.

It seems like there's plenty of software that will let you write out your own backing tracks, or there are backing tracks that you can jam along with if you really know what you're doing. But is there something where I could plug in the chords and lyrics for 'Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard' and play along with the chord changes and lyrics keeping time on the screen?
posted by andrewzipp to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Try Guitarpro. It lists tabs and music, and you play along with the song. You can select the instrument you want to play along with in the song, and you can set the speed of the playback to match your ability. I use it for learning bass lines all the time.

To find guitarpro tabs, check sites like 911tabs.com, which is a massive aggregator of all the tab sites out there. That means you get a lot of redundant links, but it will be the best first stop, I think.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:20 AM on December 8, 2008

Fretlight has some interesting looking gear, but I have never personally played with it.
posted by Silvertree at 7:24 AM on December 8, 2008

Best answer: While it's not software etc, Gunther Anderson has tons of very simple tabs/chords etc on his site. All the crazy songs you probably know in your head, but don't have your head wrapped around the guitar well enough to pick out on your own.

I've been playing for almost 40 years, and I still use it. Good luck!
posted by timsteil at 8:03 AM on December 8, 2008 [2 favorites]

http://www.songsterr.com is decent, although it doesn't have lyrics. I like their version of Everlong.
posted by valadil at 8:24 AM on December 8, 2008

Similar to Ghidorah's suggestion, Powertab does a similar job of displaying chords/leads/bass (but not drums, although there is a metronome) in an easy to change way. A lot of tab sites also have links for downloadable Powertab files which you can then load in the software.
posted by jhighmore at 8:41 AM on December 8, 2008

Be careful when surfing tab sites btw. A lot of them require downloads to view the content that are filled with spyware. Or at least they used to be.
posted by Silvertree at 10:25 AM on December 8, 2008

Response by poster: GuitarPro is pretty neat. A lot of the downloadable tabs for it seems overly detailed for what I'm trying to do at this point, but I might be able to make my own dumbed down versions of the Gunther Anderson songs to practice along to.
posted by andrewzipp at 12:05 PM on December 8, 2008

It's pretty basic, but if you pull up a chords or tabs file at Ultimate-Guitar.com, you can click on the little auto-scrolly thing and the page will scroll for you (at a configurable speed). I usually use the songs that are labelled "tab" or "chords" (i.e. plain text files), because I don't feel like downloading software to view specialized tab formats (or the software doesn't readily exist for linux).
posted by knave at 1:02 PM on December 8, 2008

Band in a Box (don't know if it does lyrics; but great for backing tracks)

For the Ukulele... Click "Play Along Songs Go!" it's just too neat to not post.
posted by yoHighness at 1:04 PM on December 8, 2008

Justin Sandercoe on Youtube:


And David Taub: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tgLIyDOU00
posted by jara1953 at 3:14 PM on December 8, 2008

GuitarPro. You can slow it down or play it at a normal speed.

And youtube has a LOT of good instructional videos, although I'm sure you've thought of that already.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 6:35 PM on December 8, 2008

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