April 17th, 2015 | by

app review: Chordec


What it Does

It shows you the chords to any song from your library while it plays.

The Bottom Line

To figure out the chords perfectly, you will still need some musical elbow grease, but this app will get you pretty close and will actually help you rehearse.

Ease (5)
Intelligence (3)
Extras (4)
Gossip (5)



There is only one thing you can do when you open the app, which is tap “load song.” From there everything is easy to figure out.



This app is very good, but you must realize, it won’t get all the chords right. It will often give you a close relative of the chord, which will sound OK, but not exactly right.



The slowdown feature is killer. It preserves the pitch, but slows everything down. A simple piano graphic will show you how to play basic voicings. Beyond these, there are not a lot of extras with this app.



People rave about how accurate it is.

Musician's Note

To put the accuracy of this app to the test, I loaded a song into it that I already knew. The song was “Always on Your Side” by Sheryl Crow/Sting. When I cover a song, I want to know exactly what is going on in the original recording, even if I plan to deviate from it. I play keyboard and often create chord sheets for the whole band, so I kinda need to know what is going on. Even when I am performing without my keyboard, I make it my mission to always know the chord progressions inside out. Call me a keener, but you find me one instrumentalist that’s not impressed by a singer who can call chords.

This app doesn’t take into consideration any bass notes, so you have to figure out your own bass lines or leave them up to your bass player. The app gave me a plain old G chord, when the recording actually had a G chord with a B in the bass. It did not detect the pedal tone (F) that continues under the Bb and F chords at the beginning either.

Often, the chords are close but not perfect. It thought a Dm7 with a C bass was an Fmaj7. The Fmaj7 is pretty close – all you need to do is change the e to a d and you’ve got your Dm7. It detects major, minor and dominant 7 chords, but is not so great at sus chords.

The slow-down feature is a lifesaver, and could stand alone as a useful app in its own right. I can use it to learn a vocal lick or any other part of the song that is a bit too fast to figure out.
I like that I can see the chords and the waveform scrolling by as the song plays. I can stop and start the audio plus view the chords of a song all in one place. The only thing missing is a lyric sheet!

I can’t use this app on a song from Spotify or YouTube – the song must be in my music library. This is fine with me, because I usually save songs that I am trying to learn into my library anyway.

In a nut shell, this app works well enough to help you learn your song, but it sometimes gives you a close relative of a chord instead of the exact right one. I think of it like one of those free chord sheet websites: Are those chord sheets perfect? Never! Do I still use them to save time learning a new song? Absolutely.



  • Michael McBride

    This app is not free. It costs $2.99 in the iTunes Store. It’s also only for iPhone. No iPad version.