In light of a few recent posts by David Westphal and others I thought it would be worth getting a list of phone apps that benefit people learning trad music. I will kick the ball off with what is I consider an indispensable app

Developed by fellow Dubliner Bryan Duggan who I have the pleasure of playing with from time to time Tunepal is the result of years of work. Ever sat in a trad session and wondered what was the name of that great tune someone just played? Well now you can search a database of over 17,000 tunes from your iPhone/iPod BY PLAYING! 

Just hold your device up to a melody instrument such as the tin-whistle, flute, concertina, uilleann pipes, accordion or banjo, hit record and the melody will be extracted and submitted to the search engine for matching. 

Matching tunes are downloaded to your device, where you can view and edit the notation or the stave, email the tune, post it to facebook or play it back. Check it out  Tunepal

Also great if you have forget the first few notes of a tune you want to play. Simply type in the name of the tune and it will find it and play it back to you on your phone.

So, what other apps are people using. Post below

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No bad, but a little slow. As a professional musician, I prefer to use a specialized Korg tuner ... And there is no jack entry on my HTC Desire !

One excellent resource is Spotify.   However there is no way to slow down any tunes you find there and would like to learn.

If you have an Apple Mac then there is a neat little app called "Wavtap" that "listens" in on the sound data being sent to your Mac's speakers, and saves it as a .wav file to your desktop folder.  

Process is:

  1. tell wavtap to start recording
  2. start Spotify playing the tune
  3. stop wavtap when finished
  4. load the .wav file into Audacity
  5. edit start and end as necessary
  6. effects -> normalize (so the volume is consistent)
  7. export as an mp3
  8. load mp3 into itunes so its available to your slow down software


Is there an app to help select chords?

Yes, there is a relatively recent Windows/Mac program called Riffstation:

I think its written by those clever Dublin Uni people who developed Tunepal.


Thanks Ian. I was asking on behalf of a guitar playing friend who is a singer of trad songs, but is newish to accompanying me on our dance tunes. I've introduced him to the joys of ABC, and tunepal, but he'd like a bit of help with the chord selection. I found Harmony Assistant which comes close enough to get him what he wants. Any further should probably start its own discussion and not cause this thread to wander.


Another vote for AmazingSlowDowner. Can change the pitch of the playback up or down in half or whole steps too; invaluable for those of us with flat pipes or other non-concert-pitch instruments.

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