SongBook Songs and Chords

Chordpro Format

SongBook stores songs in the chordpro format, a simple format for notation of lyrics together with chords. Using your Internet search engine you can find huge collections of songs in chordpro format in the Word Wide Web.

In the chordpro format chords are denoted in square brackets [] in the text, e.g.

[Em]Alas, my [G]love, you [D]do me [Bm]wrong,

SongBook will render this as

SongBook will render this as:

Alas, my love, you do me wrong,

In addition to the chords in square brackets, the chordpro format defines several commands in curly brackets {}. Songbook understands the following control statements:

{title: ...} or {t: ...}

Song title

{t: Greensleeves}
{subtitle: ...} or {st: ...}Song subtitle, typically the artist or composer{st: Traditional}
{comment: ...} or {c: ...}A comment, e.g. "Repeat 2x" or "Chorus". Comments are rendered inverse by default.{c:Chorus}

Start and end of chorus. Depending on settings, the chorus is marked with line to the left or indented or shaded.

Halleluja, halleluja...
Start and end of a tab. A tab (tablature) section is rendered in a fixed width font. Often used for intros, bridges, solos...{sot}

Start and end of a highlight marker. Can span multiple lines.

For colored highlighting (web colors), use {soh #rrggbb}


{soh #00FF00}Green{eoh}

{define ...}Used to define a special chord diagram for this song only. The chord format is
<chord name>: <base fret> <string 6> ...<string 1>
Base fret is usually 0.
To force a certain chord variation to show up in the songs chords window/bar, define it in the song.
{define: D 0 X 0 0 2 3 2}
#Lines starting with # will be ignored and are not displayed.# (C) Author, 2016
SongBook specific controls
{time: mm:ss}

Total playing time of song (including last page), used for auto-scrolling independent of zoom-factor.

{time: 2:30}
{pause: ...}

If this line reaches the top of the screen, auto-scrolling will pause for the specified number of seconds (also works on beginning of song)

{pause: 2.5}
{metronome: ...}

(iOS/Android only)

Defines the metronome tempo for this song (beats per minute)

{metronome: 90}
{key: ...}Key of the current song, used e.g. for transposition or NNS conversion. If not set, SongBook uses the first [chord] in the song as key.{key: Am}
{capo: ...}Indicates usage of a capo. All song chords are transposed down by the given capo value.{capo: 2}
{zoom: ...}

Zoom size for current song. Device-specific as zoom-iphone, zoom-ipad, zoom-android. 1 is original size (depending on font preferences).

Use Save Zoom to save the currently used zoom factor in the song.

{zoom: 1.5}
{tag: ...}

An arbitrary tag for a song (e.g. *** for favorites, or In Progress). A song can be marked with several tags.

Songs can be filtered by tags.

{tag: ***}
{tag: Sample}
{instrument: ...}

(iOS/Android/Mac only)

Use the specified instrument only for this song. For chord look up and chord bar display. SongBook will switch back to the default instrument when you change to another song.

{instrument: Ukulele_C}
{tuning: ...}

(iOS/Android only)

Song-specific tuning (use together with {instrument: ...})

{c:Drop D tuning}
{instrument: Guitar}
{tuning: D A D G B E}

{musicpath: ...}

Path to a music (MP3) file which can be played with the song. SongBook will search for the given file name in the main song folder.

{musicpath: Greensleeves.mp3}

(Mac only)

Insert a page break when printing the song.


(iOS/Android/Mac only)

User specific comment. This comment will only be displayed if the given user matches the user set in settings or the currently set instrument.

Note: This also works for capo, instrument and tuning.

{c-Lead:Play 2x}

(iOS/Android/Mac only)

Instrument-specific chord definition. You can have several definitions for the same chord but different instruments in a song. SongBook automatically displays the first matching one.

{define-Guitar: D 0 X 0 0 2 3 2}
{define-Ukulele_C: D 0 2 2 2 0}

SongBook will also recognize links in the song text, e.g.,, file://path/to/file etc.

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