Using Chord Recognition Software

Do you need to learn the chords for a particular song? Working it out by ear is not something everybody can do, and using Guitar Tabs sites can be very spammy. This leaves many people with the option of using chord recognition software, however does it really work?

The answer is yes and no?

I say yes because if the chords are clearly identifiable e.g. just a piano or guitar with drums, then it may find the chords for you, I would say at around a 70% – 80% accuracy rate which will do for most people.

However I also say no because most tracks are more complex then two to three instruments, meaning that there is too much going on at the same time for the software to be able to recognize what chords are being played. In this case the accuracy may be around 20-40% or even less.

For chord recognition software, a good place to start would be the intro where the instruments are less. However the intro chords may differ to the verse and chorus chords in some tracks.

Even if this software does work out the chords for you, it may only give you the basic chords e.g. Major, Minor and Dominant. It probably won’t recognize extended chords e.g. 7ths, 9ths or even 11ths, or altered chords such as Aug / Dim.

Examples of popular online chords recognition sites are below.


I would rather try and learn the chords by ear though if I am not able to find them anywhere on the net.

3 thoughts on “Using Chord Recognition Software”

  1. HeyHezekiah, is there a list of the chords name being played of the free and purchased midi files.Or do you know of a way for them to be displayed in a DAW Logic/Garageband.Can’t wait for guitar stuff …if the chord names are given.Thanks!

  2. I find software like this garbage. I have never seen one accurate one. Like you said, they only seem to be able to recognize the chords if it is just the one instrument. I try playing some simple guitar tunes myself, recorded them and put them through the software. It recognized only around 70% and the chords it showed me were shortened versions of what I was playing e.g. Cmaj whene I played Cmaj 9th.

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