How to Find a Song You Know Nothing About

Two Methods:Using Your PhoneSearching for Songs Effectively

If you've got an earworm and it's driving you crazy, there's help. Software is available on your phone and computer to help analyze the melody of the song and identify a list of options for you to choose from. It's also possible to effectively search the web for the song and come up with a narrower list of options to choose from. Don't let it drive you crazy any longer. Read after the jump for specific instructions to find a song you know nothing about.

Method 1
Using Your Phone

  1. Image titled Find a Song You Know Nothing About Step 1
    Use Shazam or MusicID. These are popular apps that analyze sounds and identify songs from their database of recordings. If you've got Shazam on your phone and hear a song you can't identify and don't know anything about, activate the app and hold it toward the audio source and wait for a result.
    • Shazam can be used on iPhone, Blackberry, Android and most other mobile devices. It can also be used on iPads and iPod touches. MusicID costs a few dollars to put on your iPhone and can also be used on other devices.
    • These apps typically don't work as well with live performances. If you're watching a band doing a cover, but you can't quite place it, you'll probably need to use another method to identify the song.
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    Record the song with your phone. Even if you can only record a brief clip of the song you like and want to identify, you can upload it to AudioTag to identify the song from its own database when you're back at your computer.
    • At the very least, you've got a recording of the song that you can use to play for friends or music aficionados and see if they recognize the tune.
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    Hum it. On your phone, you can hum the melody into SoundHound, which is available for free. The app will analyze the melody you sing and give you a list of possible options. On your computer, Midomi serves the same function.
    • Both of these apps are typically a lot more effective and contemporary songs. Trying to remember the name of the song your grandfather used to sing while he worked tends to be more difficult on these apps, and may require other methods.
    • NameMyTune and WatZatSong are also crowd-sourced options that work basically the same way. On these websites, you can upload your clip (or yourself trying to sing and describe the song) and other people will get back to you with options.
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    Play the song on a virtual keyboard. If you've got an ear for the melody and an elementary knowledge of the keyboard, you can enter the melody into Musipedia or MelodyCatcher to search for the melody.[1]
    • These sites tend to work better for classical wordless music and other types of non-pop music, because they have a slightly different sort of database of material to analyze.

Method 2
Searching for Songs Effectively

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    Google any lyrics you remember in quotes. Type any lyrics you remember into Google, making sure to add quotation marks around the lyrics. This limits the search to those words in that order, so even if all you can remember is "she said you would be mine," it'll be easier to find if you group them in quotes.
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    Search for the context of the song to help narrow it down. If you're looking for a song you heard during the credits of a TV show, do a quick search for "Song playing at the end of Sopranos Episode Six, Season Five" or "Song in Mazda commercial."
    • If you think you're getting close, use iTunes. If you heard the song on a TV show or movie, try searching for the soundtrack on iTunes. If you find it, play free samples of each song on the album by hovering your mouse over the track number and pressing the blue play button that appears.
    • You can also try searching on YouTube when you've narrowed your search down some.
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    Search the artist by describing them. Describe whether its sung by a male, female or group, and any other kinds of descriptions of the song you might remember. Ask yourself if the song sounds familiar. Is the voice distinct? Could it be somebody you already listen to or like? If you think it sounds a lot like a singer or group you have heard, check that band's website or their fan sites to see if they have any new releases and listen to them
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    Listen for the radio DJ. If you're hearing the song on the radio, try to stick around for a moment and listen. The DJ may go over the songs he or she just played. Call the station or visit the station's website to see if they post a playlist of the songs played that day.


  • Try to make the lyrics you type in distinct, and avoid common words such as "the," "and," "or," "but," etc.
  • If you know the name of the radio station you can search up the schedule and look through the songs that were around the time you heard the song you're looking for. Hope this can help someone :).

Article Info

Categories: Songs and Song Writing