Taking existing published Chords & Transcribing to Hookpad+

Been basking in the greatness of HookTheory and the equally awesome Hookpad. Been trying to crack this problem I have been having and hoping some of the experts can help out. In the pursuit of learning and my attempt in getting better at understanding music theory, I’ve been digging up chord structures of my favorite songs online, and trying to transcribe it in Hookpad, so I can then midi-export it into my DAW. (I guess finding a midi file is easier, but it doesn’t teach me anything)

The problem I have been encountering is that 90% of the time, no one states what key the song was originally written in, and the chords they list just sound wrong when I drop them in Hookpad (I guess not knowing the key doesn’t help with the transcribing one bit!).

What are the best strategies and techniques in doing this? How do you figure out the key of the song? I may be biting too much than I can chew, but I wanted to challenge myself a bit. Appreciate any wisdom you can bestow on this new student of music :smile:

I do it by ear.

I’m a good whistler and can hold a note for a long time, so I simply replicate the notes, and transcribe and adjust the notes in Hookpad until they’re correct, then I switch the key signature so that there are as many “natural” notes (no multi-colored notes) as possible.

Chords are a little bit harder, so I base the key signature off of the melody. It works most of the time.

Great tip. Thank you. Will have to practice that.

Yeah I do it the same way! My ear training is still lacking so it is mostly trial and error on my keyboard while looping a small phrase of the source material. It takes a bit longer, but it has worked nicely for me so far.

Sometimes I drop a MIDI into my DAW to compare my results afterwards.

Just documenting ‘How to transcribe a song to Hooktheory’ here, for other’s benefit.

If you’re looking to add a Youtube video to Hooktheory and figure out how to stop and start it so you can transcribe the song, little by little, here are the instructions.

Hooktheory put together this video showing you how to dictate a song: Loading and synchronizing a YouTube video in the Hooktheory Music Editor - YouTube

There is a trick, however, to getting the Youtube video to sync on Hooktheory, without endlessly queuing. You need to right-click over the video thumbnail on Youtube and copy that link. That’s different, for some reason, than copying the URL or the ‘share’ link. Don’t know why, it just works.

Then, once you’ve got the Youtube video added to Hooktheory, you need to add the correct number of bars to the composition, to sync up the timing.

This is tricky. But I figured out a good way to do it.

Let’s say I was transcribing the alphabet song, and it was 20 measures, just to make things easy.

If I added 30 measures in Hookpad, then, when I click on the 20th measure in my composition and hit ‘P’, to play the sync’ed video, I won’t be on the letter Z. My tempo would be 50% faster, because the play-head needs to travel more distance in the time between the video start and stop, so I would be somewhere on R, S, T.

[Note: BPM doesn’t work until you hit the space bar and play your composition]

So what you do to sync things up is keep deleting measures until, when you click on the 20th measure and hit ‘P’, you hear the letter Z.

Then, last of all, you use the ‘fine tuning’ on the start of the video, like it shows you how to do in the instructional video. This helps you get the timing on your notes to really line up.

This post isn’t really in response to the questions above, just bringing together what I’ve found in other’s posts that really helped me out.