Every music artist understands the importance of having the right tools. At Hooktheory, we believe in equipping our community with a wide range of free resources that enhance your musical understanding and appreciation.
Today, we’re breaking down Hooktheory’s free resources:
One of our most popular free resources at Hooktheory is the TheoryTab database. The TheoryTab database is a vast library with over 40,000 chord and melody analyses of popular songs.
A TheoryTab is like a guitar tab, but instead of just showing you the chords of a song, it also shows the music theory behind it.
These analyses build your music theory knowledge so you can create better music.
Let’s take a deeper look into what each TheoryTab provides:
- Chords and melodies: Utilizing a color-coded method, a song’s chords and melodies become easier to understand. Each color corresponds to a particular degree in the major scale, allowing you to make comparisons across songs and keys.
- Scale degrees: Guides within the tabs highlight the scale degrees of each chord. This helps you visualize which parts of the melody are stable and dissonant and can help you with your own compositions.
- An integrated piano: Visualize how to play chords and melodies from your favorite songs.
- Metrics: Each song gets a breakdown of how complex its chords and melodies are. This offers an analytical perspective that you can use to understand how an individual song compares to the database as a whole.
There are many ways to explore the TheoryTab database. You can search for analyses by:
The Trends tool is another free Hooktheory resource that is powered by the TheoryTab database.
The Trends tool allows you to build a chord progression manually in a specific key or relative notation.
As you add chords, you will see which chords come next in our database. Additionally, each chord is sized and labeled to reflect its probability of occurring next.
This allows you to understand:
- Common chord progressions
- Unique chord progressions
- Which chord is most likely to come next in a specific chord progression
As you build a chord progression, you’ll also see TheoryTab analyses that contain the progression. Click on each song to preview its analysis and hear how it sounds in the context of real music.
The Trends tool is a favorite among music producers and songwriters to spark creativity and build new connections.
Key Cheat Sheets
Hooktheory’s Key Cheat Sheets are comprehensive guides for different musical keys. These key cheat sheets are indispensable tools for anybody working in a specific key or looking to expand their musical knowledge.
Each key cheat sheet has a wealth of information:
- Key Information: Every cheat sheet has detailed information about the specific key you’re studying. This includes the key signature, relative keys, and the notes of the scale of that key.
- Top Chords: Every cheat sheet lists the top 20 most frequently used chords for that key, according to the TheoryTab database. Preview each chord to hear and see how it’s played on a virtual piano.
- Popular Songs: Each cheat sheet includes popular songs composed in the specific key. The songs lead to in-depth chord and melody analyses.
- Common Chord Progressions: The cheat sheets highlight common chord progressions used in the specific key. Preview chord progressions on a virtual piano, then import them into Hookpad, or download free MIDI files. This is a great way to seamlessly integrate popular chord progressions into your songwriting or producing process.
At Hooktheory, we are passionate about exploring patterns within TheoryTab data. However, trying to make sense of it all can be like trying to solve a fascinating puzzle.
That’s why we have a dedicated section on our site to feature our infographics.
Here’s an in-depth look at the kinds of insights our infographics provide:
- Chords in Major Keys: Get a quick overview of the most popular chords in a major key. Our C Major chart was the first of our infographics, spurring a songwriting challenge with some of our favorite producers.
- Popular Keys by Scale: Easily see which major, minor, Mixolydian, and Dorian keys are most commonly used in popular music with colorful bar charts.
- Decades Trends: Ever wondered how chord progressions change over time? These infographics allow you to visualize the chord progressions from the top songs of each decade, from the ’60s to the 2010s. This helps reveal musical evolution over time and what has remained popular throughout the years.
- Chord Analysis of Albums: We also have chord progression analyses for all the tracks of popular albums. These analyses can help you visualize popular trends amongst successful artists and gain inspiration for your own tracks.
Inspired by Wordle, Chordle is an engaging game that tests your music theory knowledge with a new puzzle every day.
The objective is to guess a specific chord in six tries. Chordles have 3 notes and come from a list of the most common chords in a given key. This information is based on our database of over 40,000 song analyses.
Chordle is a fun and interactive way to refine your ear and deepen your knowledge of chord structures.
At Hooktheory, we’re proud to offer a variety of free resources that aim to simplify and demystify music theory.
We hope that these resources will be a valuable addition to your musical journey!