Introducing Hookpad: A Musical Sketchpad With Music Theory Built In

You can use Hookpad for free right in the browser (there is nothing to install). Go here to try Hookpad or click the getting started link at the bottom of the page.

Why Hookpad? The Problem With Music Composition Software

In existing software for writing music, beginners often don’t know where to start. It can be really intimidating. Even for experts, existing tools lack awareness of how music is structured.

Hookpad solves these issues by building in concepts from music theory to create a tool for writing songs that is more approachable for beginners and more useful for experienced songwriters.

Hookpad (by default) shows only the notes and chords in the song’s key, coloring each note to denote its musical function.

Hookpad also knows about chords and shows which ones are likely to work in your song. Based on the other chords in your progression, Hookpad can suggest where to go next and can provide a guide for what notes might sound good in the melody above each chord.

How Hookpad Makes Creating Music Easy

Here’s a short video showing how easy it is to write a basic melody and chord progression with Hookpad:

For someone who’s never written music before, Hookpad can be a revelation. We’ve been told “it’s like Legos for music”. With Hookpad, literally anyone can write a song. Hookpad is used in 100s of schools around the world and by serious musicians and composers of all genres from classical to EDM, pop, and rock.

Here’s a live demo walking through what Hookpad can do when you combine the more complex harmonies it is capable of with its new advanced sound engine.

What’s New In Hookpad 2

Hookpad’s new capabilities are:

  • Key Changes, Tempo Changes, Meter Changes, and Band Changes Within a Project You can now change the key, tempo, meter, or band as many times as you want within a project.
  • Expanded Library of Sounds And Instruments Hookpad 2 has all of the Hookpad 1 sounds plus 42 guitar presets, 108 drums, 72 leads, and 61 basses.
  • Measure-Level Exporting Hookpad 2 lets you export sections of your song with measure granularity.
  • Chord Bass Collections Hookpad 2 lets you choose from a palette of chords that share a common bass note.
  • Expanded Support for Simple and Compound Meters Hookpad 2 supports standard time signatures for simple and compound meters. Drum, guitar, and harmony instrument rhythms adjust automatically based on the meter.
  • More Intuitive Entry and Editing The familiar text-like entry mode is still supported, but a new entry mode allows lets you edit without affecting music ahead of the edit point.
  • Improved Performance Hookpad 2 is more performant and no longer requires the Adobe Flash Plugin.

Try Hookpad Yourself


Type 1-7 in the chord and melody regions to get started.

If you want to play with fully editable advanced examples (from Metal and Rock, to Bach) you can also load in a demo song from the File menu –> Open a Demo Song:



3 responses to “Introducing Hookpad: A Musical Sketchpad With Music Theory Built In”

  1. Murry Lancashire Avatar
    Murry Lancashire

    All round a kickass update so far!

  2. C.J. Smith Avatar
    C.J. Smith

    Most exciting part of the update to me that was not mentioned – alterations such as b5, finally allowing me to correctly indicate the chord used in Love On Top 😛

  3. Leonardo Prabhu Avatar
    Leonardo Prabhu

    Does is support youtube import again, or has this feature been dropped altogether?

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