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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


Just my two cents,

Lyrics would be great. Again easy enough to get everywhere for free. So not sure if this is a good use of your time or money.

Now I didn't select Chord pro in voting, because while it could be useful, our singer is a female and we do 50-50 male and female songs. The male ones usually require us to change keys. So not sure if this can import with modified keys or just stuck to the original key. Also we have discovered problems with multiple versions of songs. Kiss - Detroit Rock City is the most severe example. We set off to learn it met for practice and everyone was playing different versions. Every single album version is slightly different in different spots. Extra bars here and there. Every video seems to be a different version as well.

Right now we do not import the chord charts into band helper, but they would be handy, just none of want to go through and modify all of them to match what key we are in.  If we still had to do that, I wouldn't find it much use, Lyrics are fine though would help cut a step or two out. But again not a huge thing.


Thanks for the feedback so far! Here are responses to some questions and requests:

Quote from: JerryK on April 07, 2022, 03:02:57 AM
I then paste this into   song formatter, which converts chords-over to Chordpro format, and paste the result into BH Lyrics.

FYI, you can do this within BandHelper using the ChordPro Tools button ("[C]" icon) above the Lyrics field.

Quote from: JerryK on April 07, 2022, 03:02:57 AM
How about at least an optional YouTube link to the version being covered?

You can paste a YouTube (or any) link into the Notes field or a custom field and it will be clickable when you view it in a layout.

Quote from: Zionplayer on April 07, 2022, 04:02:19 AM
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.

I'm not sure what you mean -- Pro accounts already have a Stage Plots module.

Quote from: danray0424 on April 07, 2022, 04:37:49 AM
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.

Ultimate Guitar licenses their lyrics, and I expect their license agreements don't support sharing the lyrics with other services. As far as I can tell, the existing online lyrics sites either fall into that category, or are unlicensed and I don't want to mess with those.

Quote from: JeffsRealm on April 07, 2022, 02:30:39 PM
Now I didn't select Chord pro in voting, because while it could be useful, our singer is a female and we do 50-50 male and female songs. The male ones usually require us to change keys.

Anything I implemented would be transposable, and preferably customizable/correctable.


Good idea to make lyrics/chords more accessible, as it's always a clunky process to reformat the spacing/correct chord placing....
How about creating a database of songs that BandHelper users have already created...? Apart from changing key etc, it should be much easier to import... should be relatively easy to have an option to "upload to database" for songs you're willing to share.. (would also be insurance in case the song is accidentally deleted from your own database)
I am gigging duo muso with about 500 songs formatted for BH that I'd be happy to share...only problem I can see would be that you'd get hundreds of slightly different versions of the popular songs..!


Quote from: davelson on April 07, 2022, 03:29:50 PM
How about creating a database of songs that BandHelper users have already created...?

This would still require licensing the lyrics. Obtaining the lyrics is not the main problem -- having the rights to publish or distribute them to users is.


I spent also some time to think about how to provide lyrics to the band with their different demands. Sometimes only the correct lyrics without further formatting will do nicely (e. g. for our singers), but coming to bars or odd time signatures may become more important for rhythmn guitars and bass, while having an idea of the melody is also of good usability when the solo guitarist want to follow along the lyric melody. All three demands or usecases need a different information density. So, finally I decided to write a Word document formatted with a big table with subdivisions of fours (where applicable) or diviations (where necessary).

Only "important" parts of the lyrics get tabs with the melody, which on the other hand can pump the doc up to several pages easily, which is not what I originally wanted to have: a max. 2 pager that contain all the necessary information for that song. Key, tempo, bars, lyrics and chords. Not all information (e. g., all transcibed stems), but all necessary information to be able to recall the missing information to play the song on the fly and good enough for the audience to enjoy. This is definitely a task that need to take account of what musical knowledge the individual band members have, which instrument they play, how they individually "learn" structures, and what they need to be able to remember the song (in case it got forgotten).

In this respect we're all different. I myself like to know when a lyric need to be sung (by the vocalists) and what pitch it should then has (because I cannot sing and also cannot hear very well, nor can I quickly read music. I need to prepare in advance with information on the sheet that enables me to move through the song (until I can play it by heart, of course).

Hm, maybe not exactly the most demanded usecase for your lyrics database :-)


I love the band helper APP because it does things I cant do - I can copy lyrics myself and so please just carry own doing the things we cant do and dont worry about this kind of add on. Like others we personalise the lyrics in terms of harmonies and roles etc and so a direct link wouldn't work for us and Im sure others too.

Happy to pay more for the APP if theres a revenue stream impact for you.


I'm not sure how much I'd use this.

My band's lead singer does some significant edits for lyrics. For many songs, she doesn't need the full lyrics, often just the first line of each verse. After that she's good. Lyrics from sites often have the full chorus repeated for each time it's sung.

By trimming down what's on her screen, she scrolls less frequently.

Similarly, for chords, I usually have enough to remind me, e.g. verse, chorus, bridge, without repeating for each verse


I assume a lot of folks will derive great benefit from the addition of licensed lyrics, but I have found virtually every lyric/chord site out there to be far less than reliable, i.e. with near-100% correct texts and near-100% correct (true-to-song) chords. For me, such sites are only a (very helpful) starting point for self-edited lyrics and chord sheets. I normally just copy lyrics and/or chords from whatever site seems to be offering the most reliable versions (I usually cross-check across about 3 different sites before deciding) and paste them into Word or Pages for close listening and fine-tuning. Lyrics sites often get phrases, repeated lines, ad-libs and even the ordering of verses wrong, and often don't parse the lines in a truly song-serving way. Chord sites often use totally wrong chord shapes (as in basic chords, when actually a song calls for a capo or maybe alternate chord shapes). I may be declassified as ,,picky", but when I want to learn a new song, I try to first get as close as possible to the truth, and then vary as necessary (due to limitations of my own skills, for example). So having built-in lyrics wouldn't give me any added value - but then again, I only have a Basic account (as a solo musician), so might not be the prime target audience for this feature.


Why not have a database of songs?

==> Import the whole thing <==

...Name, songwriters, artists, key, tempo, time signature, lyrics, chords.

Talk about a time saver! Band wants to do a cover? Look up the song, add it to the repertoire and even a set list. Tag it as an import. Assign it a color. Limiting this to just lyrics or just chords when you could do the whole thing would change the game completely.

Feature suggestions:
1. Scan library for missing lyrics, chords, etc., and make it easy to select which songs to update and which elements to update
2. When editing a song, flag fields that can be retrieved from the song database and enable 1-click updates to these fields


I think its a good idea, because now I have to get the lyrics, convert them into Word and then into Sans Serif, then convert again into PDF. Then you have to do the downloading of the backing track and move that into mp3 in most cases. And before you down load that you have to put the backing into the key you need. Wow if those could be done automatically in Bandhelper what a great help it would be. Kudos Arlo for thinking of this as an add on. I would certainly use it.


At least from my end, I use BandHelper almost exclusively for managing original songs.  The handful of covers in our sets wouldn't justify the development.  And jumping quick to a website to grab chords/lyrics for a quick one-off cover is pretty trivial.  I wouldn't use this functionality much at all.


Quote from: arlo on April 07, 2022, 02:47:35 PM
I'm not sure what you mean -- Pro accounts already have a Stage Plots module.

Yea, I missed it - I have a Plus Account, not Pro...


I rely on Utimate Guitar which is not always accurate with lyrics/chords, chord placement. I have about 1400+ songs that I have imported across. I bought a lifetime membership about 10 years ago.