There are lots of software programs which can help you transcribe music and practice playing music by ear. Some are desktop software packages (Mac/PC) and others are apps for mobile devices (iPhone, Android, etc.)
The main features they offer which help with transcription are:
- Slow down music (so you can play along or more easily hear what’s going on)
- Change the key (transpose up or down)
- Automatically identify notes and chords (helpful if you’re struggling)
Transcription Software for PC
For PC, our top recommendation is Transcribe!.
It’s a fantastic software program for Mac and PC which lets you do all the essential things noted above, while maintaining high sound quality, and it’s really easy to use.
It also has some great other features like:
- Karaoke Effect (removes vocals from most songs)
- Loop sections of the track (e.g. for focused listening and improvisation practice)
- Built-in piano keyboard (so you can easily check the notes you’re hearing)
Transcription Software for iOS and Mac
On Mac and iOS (iPhone/iPad) we love the Anytune App.
(click here for iOS, click here for Mac)
If you’re learning to transcribe guitar, taking a music transcribing course, or you want to play melodies by ear, getting a good music transcription app can accelerate your progress and make things much easier!
See also: Why transcribe music?