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Built-in lyrics database

Started by arlo, March 30, 2022, 12:32:45 PM

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What would be useful with a lyrics import function?

I would import lyrics only.
270 (28.9%)
I would import lyrics with a chord chart in the Chords field.
348 (37.3%)
I would import lyrics with ChordPro chords in the Lyrics field.
301 (32.2%)
I have a Basic account, but would upgrade to Plus or Pro to have this functionality.
59 (6.3%)
I already have a Plus or Pro account.
317 (33.9%)
I would pay a separate fee to add this to my account.
102 (10.9%)
I wouldn't bother with this because it's easy enough to get lyrics already.
367 (39.3%)

Total Members Voted: 934


The BandHelper user base has grown large enough that I can afford to license a lyrics database to create a built-in lyrics import function. However, this database would only include lyrics, and I'd have to build up my own database of chords to go with them. I'm wondering how many people would use this, with or without chords?

UPDATE April 12

After 900+ votes and some additional comments, it seems clear that while there is some interest in using this feature, there is little interest in helping pay for it, so I'm putting the idea on the shelf for now. But I've posted a new poll about a built-in chords database, which wouldn't require licensing fees like the lyrics would. Please weigh in on that here:,2734.0.html


By the way, while looking over the current data to estimate the scale of this project, I queried the "BandHelper Top 10" -- these are the songs that appear most often in BandHelper accounts:

Proud Mary
Sweet Home Alabama
Brown Eyed Girl
Mustang Sally
Stand By Me
Take It Easy
Hard to Handle
Play That Funky Music
Uptown Funk

I checked and these are all in the lyrics database I'm considering licensing, with different versions for different artists -- for example, the CCR or Ike & Tina version of Proud Mary -- etc.


This could be a nice add-on to use, depending on the quality of the database. As you mentioned it is easy enough to find lyrics on the web nowadays but in most cases you have to correct at least a few misheard words. Sometimes the quality of online lyrics is abysmal  ;-)

OTOH I am used to this process now and have acquired and collected lyrics for several hundreds of songs over the years. So yes, I would welcome this as a convenient feature if it were to be added to plus and pro accounts but would not want to pay an extra fee for it (I already have a plus account). And the database would need to have both good quality and a broad selection of lyrics.


Personally, I include lyrics (accessed from simply because the field exists in BandHelper & I appreciate the thoroughness of what "adding a song" brings ...
My Pro(?) account is still only available/referenced by me - various bandmates have commented (favorably) when noticing my tablet, but no one really asks me, "what's the lyric there?" ...
It's a great app already for my purposes - I would hope that BandHelper is making you money, not sucking the Life out of you by getting you involved with "outside services" ...
Thanks, Arlo ...
       Big Love ...


So far, I mostly get chords & lyrics from Ultimate Guitar.  This is in chords-over format.

Annoyingly, the chords are frequently not correctly positioned over the start of the word or syllable they belong to.  This is fixed using Notepad.
The song sections (verse, chorus etc labels) are often/usually in square brackets which have to be replaced with regular brackets.  This is also fixed with Notepad.

I then paste this into   song formatter, which converts chords-over to Chordpro format, and paste the result into BH Lyrics.  Chordpro format allows the users to show chordpro or chords-over as they like.
After that, I grey the section names and any performance instructions added by the author or me.  Also frequently needing to adjust space between verse/chorus etc sections because I often get an unexpected extra line-space.
I often also colour vocal replies (blue) or ensemble backing vocals (orange) for best clarity to all band members.

It's a bit of a process, sometimes made worse by some wrong words or chords of course.
Another issue is sometimes that the version of the song does not agree with the expected "single" or whatever popular version.  It is rarely made clear which version is being covered.
How about at least an optional YouTube link to the version being covered?

I still wish I could choose a preferred 'normal' text size but with exceptions for some songs.  It's about making a good fit for line length and wrapping.  I always shrink from the normal size.


I probably wouldn't use this feature much - it's so easy to find lyrics anyway. Plus I don't usually have all the lyrics for most songs, usually just a few "reminder words" to nudge my memory.


I do have a fairly easy process for obtaining lyrics and do find that most lyric sites in the web have multiple mistakes per song, so I also review each song closely to finalize.

However - I would personally much rather have access in my Pro Account to something I need from time to time but don't easily have - that is Stage Plot.  Only need it a few times a year so I don't intend to pay extra and can use the free clunky web versions, but you already have the program developed.  Would be one way to give back to the community and add functionality to Pro account. But maybe I'm the only one with that need...


I wouldn't use it if it's just lyrics. If it's a chord chart, that would simplify my current workflow somewhat. And, if it's really comprehensive, it would enable me to satisfy more requests on the fly than I currently can.

I think rather than licensing lyrics, maybe you could explore a partnership with Ultimate Guitar or somebody like that to have access to their charts. We all know that their crowdsourced charts are far from perfect, but if I know the song by ear I can usually make it work. Having those be one tap away within BandHelper would be kind of amazing.

I'd contribute some of my cleaned-up charts, but bear in mind they're nearly all derived from something I found online, nearly all of which are from UG. Not sure about the licensing implications of that.


I generally copy and paste lyrics and arrange then to my needs. I voted I would use them but, without seeing the format I can't say it would be useable for me.


I currently copy and paste from Ultimate Guitar.  It's not "terribly' difficult to do, and I usually end up cleaning up the layout after import so that the chords match up correctly, or so that they wrap better when I'm reading off the ipad to practice or perform.   I often also transpose up or down to fit my vocal range.  So, while I would use your database, I'm guessing I'll still have to do a lot of work to format it the way I like it.   I would not pay extra for it.  You currently have links to search for chords and lyrics... it might be easier (and more useful) to have an import feature instead.  Currently, I just copy and paste and it works well.  If you wanted to remove 3 or 4 extra clicks, that'd be great, but is it worth the effort?  I dunno.


Sounds great.  Would be a big time-saver and would probably be a big selling point to someone trying to convert from a notebook system to digital.


I play mainly music from the '40s through the '60s. Most online lyrics are wrong, sometimes because the person transcribing isn't a native English speaker, or because they don't get the cultural references (The Video's "Trickle Trickle" is always transcribed wrong for example because of the slang).

So if it's free, it's cool, but otherwise the current functionality is fine.


I play in a tribute band so I don't think I wil use the database but I can imagine that there are a lot op people who like to have an easy way to get their lyrics and chords into Bandhelper. 


Whilst I'm sure some of the duos and trios may use this, as a 6 piece doing some complicated stuff, we have a Pages template and lyrics are colour coded. Lead female vocals in purple, lead male in blue or, green and backing in red. For me it's easier to carry on as is. It works well for us.


It's an awesome idea, but I find that the lyrics are never accurate, and we have to edit them anyway.