Frequently Asked Questions
What’s A TuneLing?
Technically, a TuneLing is a digital file containing detailed information about the musical content of a specific recording.
The TuneLings App uses the recording, and its TuneLing, to teach you how to play a song. You do not need to read music!
The App creates, in real time, an animated visual presentation, perfectly synchronized to the recording, showing you correct chords, notes, lyrics, annotations, and more. You can customize both the content and the layout of what you see. To facilitate learning by playing along, you can change the speed and/or pitch of the song, use loops (pre-made, or your own), and much more.
A TuneLing’s visual content is not “carved in stone”, like a video, because it’s created as you see it. That means that you can change it – even while it’s playing!
TuneLings are always made by skilled musicians, not error-prone algorithms or “artificial intelligence”, so they they make musical sense, and they’re accurate.
How Do I Use TUNELINGS?
You need three things to use TuneLings:
- The (free!) TuneLings App, from this site (click “Get The App!” on the main menu). It’s currently available for MacOS computers. (If you’re not a Mac user, we have great playalong videos, incorporating TuneLings’ content, which play anywhere.)
- The TuneLing for a song. You get that from the TuneLings Store, which is built into the App.
- A recording of the song (an audio file). Usually, that will be included with the TuneLing, other times you may provide it yourself.
The App is very powerful, but very easy to use, and there’s plenty of Help information built into it.
What music can I find TuneLings for? (And what’s a BYOA TuneLing?)
TuneLings can be made for almost ANY recorded music, by anyone with adequate musical knowledge and skill.
For music from artists who participate directly in The TuneLings Project, TuneLings always include required audio files, and are full-featured. For the rest of the world’s music, we have BYOA (Bring Your Own Audio) TuneLings.
It’s important to understand that TuneLings are designed to respect musical copyrights. Our participating artists control their copyrights, and they allow us to do two important things: provide you with a copy of the recording (a permanent downloaded audio file), and to create TuneLings with full features, including graphic representation of melody, and synchronized (Karaoke-style) lyrics. This provides the richest user experience.
A BYOA TuneLing is one for which you Bring Your Own Audio file (we make it easy), because we cannot legally provide it for you. This means that we can offer TuneLings for literally almost any recording ever made.
Due to copyright, BYOA TuneLings have some minor constraints, which are explained in the Help section of the App, but all TuneLings offer the same excellent playalong experience.
Skilled musicians: you can make and sell TuneLings for anyone’s music. Contact us so we can help you get started!
What instruments are supported?
TuneLings can be made for literally almost any stringed, fretted instrument, in any tuning – including ones that don’t yet exist, or custom-built oddities. Capos are supported too!
All currently available TuneLings are made for guitar, and many support ukulele and mandolin as well.
Parts for new instruments can be added to existing TuneLings, and we take requests!
(And yes, we do plan to support keyboards and percussion, as soon as we’re able.)
Do TuneLings work for beginners?
Sure! If you know how to hold the instrument, and you understand a chord diagram, you’re good to go.
It’s all about developing “muscle memory”. That is, the ability to quickly move your fingers to the correct positions (or “shapes”) to form a chord, and to switch between chord shapes quickly.
A beginner makes rapid progress with a TuneLing, because they’re playing real music, so gratification is immediate. They just slow the recording way down to start, then speed it up, bit by bit, as they develop muscle memory.
Looping (repeating specific sections of a song) helps a lot too. TuneLings usually come with musically useful pre-made loops, and making your own is really easy.
(And yes, TuneLings teach much more than just chords, for more advanced players!)
Do TuneLings replace music teachers?
No – we love music teachers, and we expect they’ll love TuneLings too, because we increase their income opportunities.
TuneLings can be created by anyone with the knowledge and skill to teach about music, and making a TuneLing is not difficult.
So if you have those skills, please consider becoming a TuneLing author. And remember, the people who make TuneLings get PAID.
Private music teachers can use TuneLings as a learning tool for students they meet with regularly. But of course, many musicians never study with a teacher at all. TuneLings provide a way for those learners to benefit from a teacher’s skill, anywhere, anytime. And those teachers get to connect with students who they otherwise would not reach.
Can I use the audio features without a TuneLing?
YES — this is a very cool BONUS!!!
The TuneLings App can play audio files in all of the common formats, like MP3, AAC (that’s the iTunes flavor), AIFF, and WAV – even if there’s no TuneLing available for that recording!
Of course, there’s no visual component to the experience when you do that, but the play-along features, like independent speed and pitch controls, and looping, will all work. You can even save your loops!
So anyone can use the App as a powerful play-along tool, for free, for any instrument, in any style.
You’re welcome! Please tell your friends!
What if I don’t have a Mac?
Currently, you need a MacOS computer (version 10.12 Sierra or newer) to run the TuneLings App, but we still have something great for non-Mac-users: “Lyric and Chords” videos, hosted on Youtube. These are either screen-captures of playing TuneLings, or even video mashups – when we combine an artist’s existing video with animated chords and lyrics from a TuneLing, blending them into one.
Videos aren’t interactive, so they’re not as powerful as the App, but you can play along, they work on any device, they’re free, and some of them are visually stunning!
(Artists, if you’re interested in adding Lyrics & Chords to your existing videos, contact us!)
What are some of the more powerful features?
The TuneLings App is uniquely capable. A few of its advanced features are:
- Independent speed and pitch controls, metronome functions, and looping, for any recording, with or without a TuneLing
- Unlimited number of completely customizable visual display layouts
- Display of chords, notes, lyrics, scales (diatonic and pentatonic), arpeggios, annotations, and artists’ comments
- Easy support for multiple ways to play any song
- Arbitrary combinations of simultaneous instruments
But rather than list everything a TuneLing can do, we suggest you look at the information under the “Capabilities” menu at the top of this page, or better yet, get the App now!