Author Archives: Gijs Bekenkamp

Chordify Backstage: Tom Strandberg

Becoming a musician is full of highs and lows. There are times when you’re nailing it, and there are other, frustrating times when you feel like giving up altogether. To give you a bit of inspiration, Chordify has gone to the pros for tips on how to persevere, conquer – and rock! 

Tom Strandberg interview – music transcriber and composer 

Our chord recognizing algorithm gets ever more accurate with your help. And as a way of thanking all you great chord editors for your hard work and dedication, we wanted to give some of you some time in the spotlight. So here goes!

Chordify_TomStrandberg_160601Tom Strandberg

Meet Tom Strandberg from Stockholm, Sweden. Tom is one of those awesome folk who has been quietly working away in the background, helping us improve the quality of the chords for all your favorite songs. He’s actually a professional music transcriber, working for Arobas Music/Guitar Pro and Sheet Happens Publishing.

If he’s not editing chords or transcribing music with surgical precision, he’s busy rocking the stage with his band Fall of Emotions, playing melodic and symphonic metalcore, with influences from classical music, prog and folk. Also, Tom composes music for films en games and for the non-profit organization Songs for Nature & Wildlife. So without further ado, Tom, please take the state and tell us about your passion for music! 

ep_coverFallOfEmotion

How did you get into the chord transcription business?
When I was younger, I was a huge fan of Dragonforce, so I started transcribing their songs just for fun and posted the tabs on the Dragonforce forum. The response was huge.

I remember the two biggest transcribing stars in the forum were “Knightrider Of Doom” and “Samurai Sweetie” and I was third. After a couple of years, when I got better, I finally emailed Arobas Music, the company behind Guitar Pro, asking if they wanted to set up some sort of a tab store to sell highly accurate tabs. Eventually they launched MySongbook and I got in to the business professionally. It’s not just chord transcription per se though, I mostly transcribe guitars, bass and vocals.

Which song inspired you to pick up an instrument?
Metallica’s “To Live Is To Die”. I think I was around 12 years old when my older brother played the beautiful, clean guitar part in that song and I was blown away. At that moment, I decided to become a guitar player. After a few months of practicing, I was already better than my brother.

Play along with Metallica’s “To Live Is To Die”

What was the first song that made your fingers bleed?
Definitely “Stratosphere” by Stratovarius. Really difficult to master.

What was your biggest fail?
I honestly don’t know. I don’t dwell on failure, I just keep focused on making progress. I’ve never actually thought about giving up. Any obstacles I encountered just made me practice harder to eventually beat those obstacles. As I say, hard work beats talent.

What’s your favorite chord and why?
Add9 chords because I believe they have a really wondrous feel to them.

When did you start to write your own songs?
Ever since I started playing, I’ve always tried to come up with my own riffs and melodies. But the more serious songs came to life in around 2005 or something.

The process is different from time to time though. Sometimes I come up with a melody first and build chords around that, and sometimes it’s the other way around. But once I have the chords and melody in place, I begin to build up the song with other elements. I’m proud of all my compositions, simply because I’m the one who made them.

What was your first time playing with others like?
Of course it was fun but I decided rather quickly that I wanted to be behind the music and the stage.

Do you still play songs by other artists? And what did you take away from playing other people’s songs?
Sadly, no. Nowadays when I’m playing, I’m only focused on my own material. Of course it’s easy and great to find inspiration in other people’s songs, but I try to be as unique as possible when I write my own music.

Have you ever tried to tackle a song and failed miserably?
Definitely! If you’ve never heard of Jakub Zytecki, go listen to his album Wishful Lotus Proof, pick any of those songs and you’ll have my answer.

Any advice for aspiring rock stars to inspire them to keep on playing?
As I’ve said before, hard work beats talent. Keep shredding!

If you need extra inspiration, check out Tom’s Chordify profile.

Chordify Relics: My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields

From crazy custom instruments to obscure musicians, Chordify Relics is the place to discover fun facts, music myths and other top-notch trivia!

My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields: a tale of creative hell, insanity and chinchillas

What do unhealthy perfectionism, a house filled with barbed wire and chinchillas, a record label on the brink of bankruptcy and one of the most influential albums of the ‘90s have in common? The answer to that head scratching riddle: Kevin Shields, producer, guitarist and mad genius extraordinaire, responsible for My Bloody Valentine’s critical success, financial disasters and a series of meltdowns.

KevinShieldsKevin Shields – My Bloody Valentine

The Irish indie rock band My Bloody Valentine never achieved mainstream success, yet they were highly influential. Their sound inspired bands like The Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, U2 and Nine Inch Nails. In 2003 the band contributed five songs to the soundtrack of Lost in Translation by Sofia Coppola. But their most famous album Loveless dates from 1991. It was a critical success, but the band were dropped soon after its release, even though they were the biggest band on small indie label Creation’s roster.

A brief history of disaster

Why would any label want to get rid of their biggest band, you ask? To quote the head of the label, Alan McGee: “It was either Kevin or me.” The album, despite its critical acclaim, almost bankrupted the label. Not because of disappointing sales but because the production cost was astronomically high – in fact one of the highest of all time.

Creation had to cough up half a million bucks for production alone. McGee had to mortgage his own house and his partner’s hair literally turned grey overnight. When the Irish band signed in 1988, they were supposed to record their album in five days, in one studio.

Play along with Kevin Shields – My Bloody Valentine

However, Shields decided to produce the album and that’s where the trouble started. Proving almost impossible to work with, it took three years, 18 studios and 16 sound engineers – most of whom were only allowed to make tea and watch as Shields worked his magic. Shields  became obsessed with sound structures and backwards reverb effects, played all the instruments himself and got severe tinnitus in the process. Careful suggestions to hurry the hell up were met with passive aggression of epic proportions, like Shields locking himself in the studio for three days and focusing on one activity: meticulously scratching off the top layer of his guitar scratchplate with a razor.

To give you an idea of the sounds other than passive aggressive scratching coming out of the studio:


The Joy of the Guitar Riff – My Bloody Valentine / Kevin Shields – YouTube

The hermit’s life, with barbed wire and chinchillas

When the album Loveless was finally done, so was the label’s patience. Losses were cut, goodbyes were said and My Bloody Valentine had to look for a new label. Island Records was willing to sign them and the band got a handsome advance, which they spent on building their own studio. Five years down the road and a million bucks down the drain, two songs were released and the band broke up altogether. Then came a personal meltdown for Shields and the hermit’s life followed. For a few years, he locked himself in one room of his house, filled with barbed wire and rows and rows of cages filled with chinchillas.

That was in 1998. In 2003 Shields joined society again, contributing a couple of songs to the Lost in Translation movie soundtrack and went on tour with his old mates from Primal Scream. In 2007, My Bloody Valentine got back together, they started touring again and promised they were “100% going to make another record, unless we die or something.” Nobody died, but the album took another 5 years and was finally released in 2013.

After that, things once more went silent. Perhaps Shields went back to collecting chinchillas or maybe he’s working on another masterpiece, who knows? Let’s just hope there’s a new album before flying cars are introduced and that My Bloody Valentine will inspire a truckload of upcoming artists with their brilliant, yet money slurping shoegaze sound.

The Top 5 most intensely practiced songs in February

Once again, we’ve been busy compiling a list of the songs you’ve all been playing, and created the Chordify Continental Top 5 of most intensely practiced songs.

Want to know who’s the new number one on your side of the pond? The scores are on the doors…. Check it out!

Europe
1. Ofenbach – Be Mine (Official Audio)
2. Scott Hendrie-Sex Face
3. Charlie Fink, Luke Treadaway – Satellite Moments (Light Up the Sky)
4. Van Morrison – Brown Eyed Girls
5. Lady Gaga – Bad Romance

lady gaga bad romance chordify chordsLady Gaga – Bad Romance

North America
1. Tauren Wells – Hills and Valleys 
2. Charlotte Cardin – Faufile
3. NEEDTOBREATHE – Testify
4. The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony
5. Fleetwood Mac – Dreams

Tauren Wells Hills and Valleys chordify chordsTauren Wells – Hills and Valleys 

Asia
1. Reality Club – Is It The Answer
2. Aalayal Thara Venam – Masala Coffee
3. Zhalia – PAGSURE UY!
4. Moira & Nieman – Planes
5. ToNick – Looks together together (“save stiff scavenger” theme song)

Reality Club Is It The Answer Chordify chordsReality Club – Is It The Answer

South America
1. Claridad – Muerdo
2. El Reja – Soltero Hasta La Tumba
3. Manuel Medrano – El Swing de la Propuesta
4. Bubaseta – Una Ocasión
5. Usted Señalemelo – Plastilina

Claridad Muerdo chordify chordsClaridad – Muerdo

Oceania
1. Sons of the East – Into the Sun
2. Vera Blue – Hold
3. Amy Shark – Adore
4. Daniel Caesar – Japanese Denim
5. Troy Kingi – True Love

Sons of the East Into the Sun chords chordifySons of the East – Into the Sun

Africa
1. Jérémy Sourdril – Chant Officiel du Livre
2. Dr. Tumi – You Are Here
3. Khaya – Never Settle for Less
4. Ricus Nel, Adam Tas, Bok van Blerk, Refentse – Hardekole
5. Nathaniel Bassey – Casting Crowns

Jeremy Sourdril Chant Officiel du Livre chordify chordsJérémy Sourdril – Chant Officiel du Livre

A final note for those who are worried about privacy or possibly somewhat ashamed of their guilty pleasures: it’s all big data, not individual results. If you secretly want to learn to play the entire Frozen soundtrack, don’t worry, we can’t trace it back to you!

The Top 5 most intensely practiced songs in January

Once again, we’ve been busy compiling a list of the songs you’ve all been playing, and created the Chordify Continental Top 5 of most intensely practiced songs.

Want to know who’s the new number one on your side of the pond? The scores are on the doors…. Check it out!

Europe
1. Leon – Liar
2. Charlie Fink, Luke Treadaway – Satellite moments
3. Giorgio Poi – Niente di Strano
4. Dua Lipa – Thinking ‘bout You
5. Nonono – Down Under

Dua Lipa Chordify chordsDua Lipa – Thinking ’bout You

North America
1. NEEDTOBREATHE – Testify
2. Daniel Caesar – Japanese Denim
3. Charlotte Cardin – Faufile
4. Marshmello – Alone
5. Khalid – Saved

Charlotte Cardin Chordify chordsCharlotte Cardin – Faufile

South America
1. Los Fantabulosikos – No Importa Igual me Rio
2. Santa Feria – Sakate Uno
3. Ernesto Suaro – Te Ando Buscando
4. Miss Bolivia & Leo Garcia – Tomate El Palo
5. Manuel Medrano – El Swing de la Propuesta

Los Fantabulosikos chordify chordsLos Fantabulosikos – No Importa Igual me Rio

Asia
1. Paul Ewing – Love Eternally
2. Idol Master Million Live! – Meteor shower
3. BARASUARA – SENDU MELAGU
4. Bandung Inikami Orcheska – Cerah
5. Fattah Amin – Wanita Terakhir

Paul Ewing chords chordifyPaul Ewing – Love Eternally

Africa
1. Jo LAURET – Après tant d’années
2. Sinach – Awesome God
3. Ricus Nel, Adam Tas, Bok van Blerk, Refentse – Hardekole
4. Sinach – Way Maker
5. Nathaniel Bassey – Casting Crowns

Jo Lauret Chordify chordsJo Lauret – Après Tant d’Années

Oceania
1. Amy Shark – Adore
2. Ziggy Alberts- Runaway
3. Vera Blue – Hold
4. Mura Masa – Lovesick
5. Karla Davis – Tennessee Whiskey

Amy Shark chordify chordsAmy Shark – Adore

A final note for those who are worried about privacy or possibly somewhat ashamed of their guilty pleasures: it’s all big data, not individual results. If you secretly want to learn to play the entire Frozen soundtrack, don’t worry, we can’t trace it back to you!

Coming soon…

We’ve got some big plans for 2017! First off, hats off and a big thank you for your overwhelming support for our crowdfunding campaign in December of last year. Without you, the big plans we have in store for this year would not have been possible. All you wonderful folks have made sure we got more than we bargained for, 125% of our goal to be exact!

Because of this, we’re able to take Chordify into a new phase, meaning 2017 is going to be a big year with a lot of cool things to look forward to. That also means it’s high time for us to roll up our sleeves, get cracking and put all that money to good use. So without further ado, here’s what you can look forward to:

Super duper mobile
We already released our iOS app late last year, but in the course of 2017, all you Android users can also use the Chordify app in all its mobile and radiant glory. Additionally, we plan to bring a lot more of our premium features–like transposing chords, capo hints, slowdown, and MIDI downloads–to iOS and Android, as well as an offline mode, so you can really use Chordify anywhere, anytime.

chordify android iOS app

But there’s more! For all three platforms, we’ll also be adding the lyrics to all of your favorite songs, so stay tuned for more on that…

Turning Chordify into a shared experience
Music is something you make together, whether it’s with friends or your music teacher. This is why we want to be as social as possible, with an emphasis on encouraging interaction between you guys and gals, like sharing your progress and taste in music with other users on the platform.

Photo Credit: Little Kids Rock

Soon you’ll be able to follow your friends and other people with the same taste in music, but also create and share your own setlists of favorite songs. We’re not stopping there, however, because we’ll also give you the option to easily find and connect with other users to start your own band!

A new way for artists to reach out to their fans
Isn’t playing the songs of your favorite musicians the ultimate form of fandom? We think it is, which is why we also plan to further develop our Chordify Embedded Player. With our embedded player, musicians, festivals, music teachers, blogs, and frankly everyone who is interested, will be able to use the Chordify player on their own website. This will make it very easy for everyone involved in music making to reach out and connect with their fans, music students, or audience.

Embedded Player on website Orange Skyline

Share your thoughts!
We’re very open to your ideas and suggestions. If you think we should add other features too, be sure to let us know! After all, Chordify is made for and by music enthusiasts, so any thoughts and feedback you have are more than welcome.

The Top 5 most intensely practiced songs in December

Once again, we’ve been busy compiling a list of the songs you’ve all been playing and created the Chordify Continental Top 5 of most intensely practiced songs.

Want to know who’s the new number one on your side of the pond? The scores are on the doors…. Also, guess who rick-rolled his way into the European top 5? Check it out!

Europe
1. KASE and WRETHOV – One Life
2. Rick Astley – God Says
3. Shawn James – Through the Valley
4. Daft Punk – Blue Horizon
5. Starley – Call on Me

Rick Astley Chordify chords top5

North America
1. Big Baby D.R.A.M. – Broccoli feat. Lil Yachty
2. Seth Ennis – Woke Up in Nashville
3. Daniel Caesar – Japanese Denim
4. NEEDTOBREATHE – Testify
5. Charlotte Cardin – Fauville

Seth Ennis Chordify chords top5

South America
1. Manuel Medrano – El Swing de la Propuesta
2. John Elefante – Not Just Any Other Day
3. Mustafunk – En tu mirada
4. Miss Bolivia & Leo Garcia – Tomate El Palo
5. Santa Feria – Sakate Uno

Manuel Medrano Chordify chords top5

Asia
1. Anupam Roy – Ghawrbaari
2. I Miss It – Wo Huai Nian Se
3. The Parakit – Save me ft. Alden Jacob
4. Memes – Pesawatku
5. Danilla – Terpaut Oleh Waktu

Ghawrbraari Anupam Roy Chordify

Africa
1. Nathaniel Bassey feat. Enitan Adaba Imela – Thank You

2. Ricus Nel, Adam Tas, Bok van Blerk, Refentse – Hardekole
3. Sinach – Way Maker
4. Paranoia-1- Khalas Hasaytar
5. Nathaniel Bassey – Casting Crowns

Nathaniel Basseyf Chordify chords top5

Oceania
1. Massive Attack – The Spoils
2. Shawn James – Through the Valley
3. Amy Shark – Adore
4. The Eagles – Hotel California
5.
Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah

Massive Attack Chordify chords top5

A final note for those who are worried about privacy or possibly somewhat ashamed of their guilty pleasures: it’s all big data, not individual results. If you secretly want to learn to play the entire Frozen soundtrack, don’t worry, we can’t trace it back to you!

 

Check out the big brain on our new algorithm

We’ve just given birth to our new, high-powered bad boy of an algorithm! By harnessing the awesome power of Artificial Intelligence, we’ve unleashed a new chord extraction algorithm upon the world of music. It’s even more accurate and, best of all, it learns from our data and your chord edits, meaning it becomes even more accurate as time passes!

It’s alive! Almost, kinda
Artificial Intelligence you say? Yes! But it doesn’t mean our new algorithm will contemplate its own existence, complain about Mondays or says ominous things like: “I’m afraid I can’t let you do that…”, while locking down the Chordify office.

Hal9000 Chordify Deep Learning

Our new and improved algorithm uses something called Deep Learning or Machine Learning, an AI technique where it learns from large data sets. Based on this data the algorithm becomes smarter than our own programmers!

Try playing along with: Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here

Even more accurate awesomeness with A.I.
But that’s not all. Our smart bad boy will also look at all the chord edits you’ve made. So if our chord recognition algorithm hasn’t quite yet nailed your new favorite songs, it will learn from your corrections. So your edits don’t improve just the songs, they also improve the algorithm. It’s human teaching machine and vice versa.

Chordify algorithm edits deep learning

Other than increasingly awesome accuracy, you won’t notice a thing. It’s still just as fast, and it’s still just as easy to play along with your favorite songs. The only difference is that every time you chordify a song that isn’t in our database yet, or when you make corrections, you’re also helping Chordify become better and better!

Introducing: Chordify on iOS version 1.2

Good news for all you Apple fanboys and gals! We’ve just released version 1.2 of our Chordify iOS app last week. It’s sleek & slick, 10 times prettier, and we’ve completely redesigned the Discover Page. Go see for yourself and check it out.

Chordify iOS App Update

Sleek and strapping
The new version still has all the features you know and love. Both the web version and mobile version communicate with each other as if they were supernatural twins with psychic powers. You chordify or favorite a song in one, it shows up in the other, and vice versa. Search the YouTube and SoundCloud catalogues, as well as the 4.7 million songs already chordified by good people just like you. And of course we’ve given her a little makeover, so she’s pretty as a picture!

Chordify iOS App

Curated content and more to come
Looks ain’t everything, though. We’ve also completely redesigned the Discovery Page in the app. That means you can discover new and curated songs to your heart’s content on your iPhone or iPad, based on your own musical taste, and some featured songs we think you’ll also love.

While you enjoy this version, we’ll be burning the midnight oil behind the scenes to bring more and more of the advanced and premium features of our web app to the iOS app.

Enjoy it! Rate it!
You don’t have to take our word for it, just go ahead and check out this beauty for yourself. And don’t forget to rate the app and tell us what you love about it, or if you’d like to see some improvements. We really appreciate your feedback, because we want you to love the iOS app just as much as our web app.

Become a co-owner of Chordify!

Just over a week ago, we launched our Chordify crowdfunding campaign and so far, things are going great. We’ve already reached 65% of our €180,000 funding goal in a matter of days. Join us as we grow! Our campaign runs from November 30 to December 30, and by investing as little as €20, you can effectively become a co-owner of Chordify in a matter of minutes. It’s easier than ordering a pizza, so what are you waiting for? Suit up, invest and become a shareholder of the world’s numero uno platform for chords!

Chordify crowdfunding symbid

Co-owner you say? Yes indeed. In return for your investment, you get shares in Chordify. Because thanks to all of you, we were able to grow into the worldwide music platform we are today, where people spend over 4000 hours playing their favorite music every day. We want to grow even bigger in the next few years, by making Chordify more social, mobile, and of course even more accurate. Not just for you, but together with you.

crowdfunding symbid Chordify

 

Social and mobile
We’ve got the WebApp you know and love, along with our recently launched iOS app. But we’re not stopping there, because we want to be as mobile as we can. That means we’ll use part of the funds for developing an Android app. We also plan to bring the Premium features to both mobile apps.

Chordify iOS App Mobile

Music is something you make together, with friends or your music teacher. This is why part of the investments will be used to transform Chordify into a social platform, for example by letting you promote your band, feature the songs you’ve edited, share your music preferences, and collect practising statistics. Think of it as a Last.fm for music practising.

Isn’t playing the songs of your favorite musicians the ultimate form of fandom? We think it is, which is why we also plan to further develop our Chordify Embedded Player. With the Embedded Player, musicians, festivals, music teachers, blogs and frankly everyone who is interested, will be able to use the Chordify player on their own website. This will make it very easy for everyone involved in music making to reach out and connect with their fans, music students or audience.

An added bonus for all you users
We’ve got a detailed description on our campaign page, describing our plans and projections and everything you need to know about becoming a shareholder.

As an added bonus, besides becoming a shareholder, investors will also receive a gift voucher for a Chordify Premium account. For yourself, or for a friend or family member. Or even random strangers if you’re truly in the Holiday spirit of giving!

Join us as we grow. Invest in Chordify!
Warm regards, y
our friends at Chordify.

chordify team lex vesseurcredits: Lex Vesseur
Please note: Investing is not possible if you are based in the US. We’re sorry about that.

The Top 5 most intensely practiced songs in October

Once again, we’ve been busy compiling a list of the songs you’ve all been playing and created the Chordify Continental Top 5 of most intensely practiced songs.

Want to know who’s the new number one on your side of the pond? The scores are on the doors…. Check it out!

Europe
1. Organek – Głupi ja
2. Jérémy Sourdril – L’amour injuste
3. Stephen – Fly Down
4. Ghali – Dende
5. Chet Faker – I’m into You

chat faker chords chordify
Chet Faker

North America
1. Wrabel – 11 Blocks
2. Whitney – No Matter Where We Go
3. Citizens & Saints – Relent
4. Miike Snow – My Trigger
5. Jessica Domingo – Kendrick Lamar Medley

miike snow fin chords chordify
Miike Snow

South America
1. Green Valley feat. Saritah – Somos Iguales
2. Jose Lizardo – A Ti Pastor
3. La Máquina Camaleön feat Paola Navarrete – Los Zanqueros
4. Dulce y Agraz – Me Reparto en Ti
5. Santa Feria – Sakate Uno

green valley feat saritah chords chordify
Green Valley feat. Saritah

Oceania
1. VERUA – Honoipo
2. Alex Lahey – You don’t think you like people like me
3. Troy Kingi – True Love
4. Big Scary – The Opposite of Us
5. Vera Blue – Hold

vera blue chords chordify
Vera Blue

Asia
1. Traveling – 近藤房之助 x 大村憲司 x 西慎嗣
2. Sheila Majid – Antara Anyer Dan Jakarta
3. A. R. Rahman – Malargale Malargale
4. Namak Halaal – Jawani Janeman Haseen Dilruba – Asha Bhosle
5. Glenn Fredly & The Bakuucakar – Rame-Rame/Timur

ar rahman malargale malargale chordify chords
A.R. Rahman

Africa
1. Ricus Nel, Adam Tas, Bok van Blerk, Refentse – Hardekole
2. Bouwer Bosch – Sy Klink Soos Lente
3. Nathaniel Bassey – Casting Crowns
4. Herman Kleinhans – Ek Sweer
5. Sinach – Way Maker

bouwer bosch sy klink soos lente chords chordify
Bouwer Bosch

A final note for those who are worried about privacy or possibly somewhat ashamed of their guilty pleasures: it’s all big data, not individual results. If you secretly want to learn to play the entire Frozen soundtrack, don’t worry, we can’t trace it back to you!