Since you lovelies see me posting a lot of pictures with some kind of devices around (smartphone, laptop, tablet) I get asked a lot, what kind of apps and websites I use which are supporting me in my ukulele journey. So I want to share some of my favorite little helpers with you.
Ultimate Guitar comes as a website and as an app for Android and IOS. It offers tabs (mostly for guitar) and chords (for guitar and ukulele) for almost any song you can imagine. I think in the last 2,5 years that I’ve been using it, there were only 2-3 songs that I wanted to play but couldn’t find on their platform.
Quickly after I discovered this gem I switched to a paid account. If you ask me, it’s totally worth it. As I said, you can find almost any song. It also lets you transpose all of the songs, which can be quite handy. In the app you can also change the fontsize and – my absolute favorite feature – it has a automatic scroll/telepromter feature. You can set the scrolling speed yourself and just have to press the start button. This is the feature I use for all of my covers. My Ipad isn’t always visible, but it’s usually there and scrolling for me.
If you’re not 100% happy with the chords that are transcribed in the app, you can also change them and save your own version of the song – this can be handy if certain chords sound a little off for you.
It also offers a feature to simplify chords. So if you’re a little overwhelmed with all those 7th and dims and sus4 chords you can push one button and get a more simple version that will fit your skill level.
It doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes I want to play a song and there are no chords for it anywhere on the internet. I know what you’re thinking. Why don’t I just figure them out myself? Simple answer, I can’t. Longer answer: I probably could, if I’d finally start doing it (this is on my to do list). But with me not having any musical background prior to learning ukulele and not even being able to read standard notation, figuring out chords and notes by myself is really really tough. It takes so much time, that it takes all the fun out of it.
So, figuring out chords by yourself is of course a great option. But if, for whatever reason, you can’t or don’t want to do that, Chordify is a great option. Again, they offer a website and apps for your mobile devices. You can use YouTube links or upload music and it will give you the chords for the song. If you ask me, it works quite well. I’m sure those with a trained musical ear, will hear lots of flaws, but then again – I’m doing this for fun and for me it works alright.
The Ukulele App
The Ukulele App is the official app by the Ukulele Teacher. To be honest, I was a bit sceptical when it came out, but I’ve come to really love this app and it comes in handy a lot of times. I have not tried all the features it offers (like videos and lessons), but I love the tools “chord library” and “chord finder”. In the chord library you can select a certain chord and it will show you all the possible ways to play it on the ukulele. Again, I know that I could probably figure it out myself – but I don’t always have the time to do so (and don’t know enough music theory to just know what f.e. a sus4 chord requires).
When it comes to songwriting I love the chord finder feature. It shows you a fret board and you can try any possible fingering and it will tell you what chord that is (or if it isn’t one at all). In the last months I started to really just go bold in some of my songs and just try different fingerings on my ukulele and see if they sound good to me. To write it down though, I need to know what chord that is – and this tool makes it possible. And in the process I’m getting to know my fretboard a lot better. So it’s really a win/win situation.
Google Drive and Google Documents
This might sound odd, but Google Drive has been such a big help in my ukulele and social media journey so far. I use it to plan my instagram but also for songwriting. What I do is, I have two documents – one for planning my instagram and one for my original songs. With google drive and docs I can open them from all of my devices and add notes, write down a song idea or even write a whole song, add a check mark to a social media post, write down blog ideas, etc. etc.
It’s such an easy way to organise things without having to carry around two separate notebooks all the time. I can access it from my phone, my notebook, my tablet – and I can access it at home, during my commute, during my travels or anywhere else in the world (where I have an internet connection). So if you’re tired of having your notes scattered at many different places, this might me a good option for you.
I really hope I could shed some light on my favorite helpers. What are your favorite apps and websites that you use for your ukulele journey? Tell me in the comments.