SongBook Android 6.5 Your lyrics and chords on Android smartphones and tablets

Get it on Google Play

Installation And Upgrade

SongBook runs on all devices with Android 4.4 or later. It is optimized for the current Android versions and for tablets. See demo video on Youtube.

Please download SongBook from the Google Play Store. Buying via the Play Store will ensure you get all updates automatically. Alternatively, if the Play Store is not available for you, you can also purchase and install/update directly from our web site. SongBook is also available on the Amazon Appstore. Get it at Amazon Appstore

SongBook requires the following Android permissions: Internet (for Dropbox/Google Drive sync), Read and Write external storage (for reading/writing song files), Wake Lock (for keeping the screen on while showing a song), Access WiFi State (for Chromecast support), Check License and Get Accounts (for license checking and cloud sync).

Your songs are stored in directory /Android/data/com.linkesoft.songbook/files on the (built-in) external storage which you can access via USB connection. Note: The song directory will be deleted with all songs and playlists when you uninstall the SongBook app. Please back up your songs via USB or cloud sync.

Note for updates: Android has changed the rules where apps are allowed to store files. When you update from a previous version of SongBook, your files will automatically be moved to the new default location.

See the bottom of this page for the full version history.

Where To Find Songs For SongBook

SongBook uses the chordpro format, a plain text file format where chords are written in square brackets within the lyrics. It can also work with tab files. Unfortunately, we cannot provide songs on this site due to copyright restrictions. However, the Internet has huge archives of songs in chordpro format: simply type the song name and file extension pro or chordpro into your favorite search engine, e.g. "song title" chordpro. Or use the built-in Internet search.

You can also easily create your own chordpro songs. Just write the lyrics as usual and insert the chord names in square brackets at the appropriate positions as in the following example:

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

SongBook will render this as:

Alas, my love, you do me wrong,

A detailed explanation of the chordpro format as supported by SongBook is available here.

Note: Our desktop applications SongBook Windows and SongBook Mac make it easier to edit or convert chordpro and tab songs on a bigger screen.

How To Get Songs Into SongBook

SongBook stores all songs in a directory called /SongBook on your device built-in externally available storage. This is a directory that can be shared via USB (select Media Transfer Protocol MTP). A sample song is automatically put into that directory when you first start SongBook. You can change the SongBook directory in Settings. You can also store songs on an SD card (if available) in directory /Android/data/com.linkesoft.songbook/files.

The following file extensions are understood by SongBook:

*.pro, *.chordpro, *.chopro, *.cho, *.txt (chordpro files)
*.tab *.crd (tab files, chords on separate lines)
*.pdf (PDF files)
*.lst (playlist files)
*.chords.txt (user defined chords)

SongBook can also open files with supported extensions from e.g. mail attachments or other sharing apps and copy them into the SongBook directory. Select menu Add Song - File to add files stored locally on your device.

Note: SongBook does not work with DOC files, because these cannot be easily reformatted, transposed, searched etc. You need to save your songs in plain text format (*.txt) to use them with SongBook.

Cloud Sync

You can synchronize your song collection with Dropbox, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive (consumer only), or Nextcloud. Simply link with with your cloud account in Settings, and copy your song files to the /SongBook folder (uppercase S and B) and its subdirectories in the main Dropbox/My Drive/OneDrive/Nextcloud folder. Use the Synchronize menu entry of the song list to start the synchronization. Press the Back button to stop the sync at any time.

If your files do not show up in SongBook, check whether they have one of the supported file extensions (see above).

Synchronization is two-way and (except for the first sync) includes deletions and modifications on both sides. For technical reasons, subdirectories of the SongBook directory (categories) can only be renamed/removed on the device. To overwrite all songs on the device, unlink SongBook from Dropbox/Google Drive/OneDrive/Nextcloud in Settings, then delete all songs/categories, then link the app again.

Google Drive sync requires Google Services to be installed on your Android device (will not work on e.g. a Kindle Fire). The Dropbox or Nextcloud app is not required to sync.

To synchronize SongBook Windows or SongBook Mac with SongBook Android, just select the Dropbox/Google Drive/OneDrive/Nextcloud SongBook folder on the PC/Mac as your song folder (with the "..." button next to the category dropdown). Then link and sync SongBook Android as described above. See this video for details.

Song List

Song List

Songs are structured in categories. Categories are somewhat similar to folders on your computer. You can group songs in categories to help you organize them e.g. by genre or difficulty. Just like folders on your computer, deleting a category will delete all songs in it. In addition, songs can also be organized in playlists and filtered by tags.

Use Edit Categories on the Categories dropdown at the top to add, rename or remove categories. Removing a category will also remove all songs in that category. Songs that are not assigned to a specific category will appear in category - Unfiled -. To put a single song in a different category, tap-and-hold (long tap) the song in the song list and select Change Category from the popup menu.

You can fast scroll in long lists by starting to scroll normally, then swiping on the right hand side.

The song list displays title/subtitle and key of all songs in the selected category. SongBook determines the key by looking at the first chord in the song, or the value of the {key: ...} directive.

You can search for a song by title or full text.

Long tap on a song to delete it, add it to a playlist or perform some other actions on it.

Song ViewSong ViewSong View

The song view displays the current song with lyrics and chords. Tap on a chord to look up the chord definitions.

Chord, lyrics, comment, and tab font and text/background color can be changed by selecting Settings from the song list menu.

Tap anywhere on the screen to show/hide the action toolbar at the top (full screen mode).

You can also change the font sizes for the current song with the familiar "pinch" gesture. Use the Save Zoom menu button to save the current zoom level with the song (as a {zoom-android: } directive) so that this particular song will always display in the selected size.

You can optionally show a chord band at the bottom of the screen. This chord list shows the easiest variant for each chord currently visible on the screen.

Unlike zooming of pictures, zooming of songs in SongBook will trigger a re-layout of the song, so you will never have to scroll horizontally. Use menu Auto-Zoom to set the current zoom factor so the song will fit on the screen without scrolling. SongBook will automatically switch to multi-column mode if the song is narrow enough and would fit without scrolling on the screen.

If you have a Google Chromecast device in your network and select it from the Chromecast button , SongBook will display the current song in landscape auto-zoom mode on the connected Chromecast TV/projector. Note: this feature does not work on devices that don't have the Google play services installed.

Swipe left/right or double-tap in the middle part of the screen left/right to move to the next/previous song in the currently selected category/playlist. Double tap in the lower or upper third to scroll one page down or up.

Note: SongBook will automatically increase the auto power-off (idle) timeout while a song is displayed.


You can use AirTurn or similar bluetooth or USB pedals to scroll page-wise up/down and switch to the next/previous song in the current category or playlist. The latter can be switched off in Settings. There you can also configure to start auto-scrolling with a pedal down. The page percentage to scroll can also be configured.

The pedals should be set to send Page Up/Down or Arrow Up/Down keys. In addition, the following keys are supported:

MIDI pedals can be used on Android 6 or later.

Concert ModeConcert Mode

You can select a special concert mode for simplified usage in live situations in the menu. When this mode is active, the song will be displayed full-screen, with a few bigger buttons at the bottom to go back to song list, start/stop auto-scroll, start/stop music, start/stop the metronome and exit concert mode. In concert mode, you cannot tap on a chord, instead, you can single tap in the upper/lower part of the screen to scroll up/down, and swipe left/right for the next/previous song.

Long-tap on the metronome or auto-scroll button to bring up a toolbar with more controls.


You can transpose the song into a different key by tapping on the Transpose menu button. Tap on the buttons to change the tuning in half-tone steps. Use the "All b" and "All #" buttons to convert all # chords to their b equivalent or vice versa. Tap on the Save button to permanently save the changed chords in the song.

You can use Set Capo to define a fret for a capo. This works just like a transpose down the same number of steps, but will show a Capo: ... indicator at the beginning of the song. The other transpose functions are not available while a capo is set.

The transpose menu at the right-hand side lets you convert song chords into the Nashville Numbering System which will convert all chord names into numbers 1,2,3... This only works if a key is set in the song (with Set Key from the menu). If a song is already in Nashville Number format, you can convert it back into regular chords (again based on the defined key). Chord lookup will also work for Nashville numbers.


The play button on the Auto-Scroll menu will start auto-scrolling the song. You can adjust the total playing time mm:ss of the song (including the last page) with the slider or the +/- buttons. Tap Save to save the playing time in the song (as a {time: } directive). To temporarily pause the current scrolling, double-tap anywhere on the screen.

You can insert optionally insert {pause: x} directives somewhere in a song, where x denotes a pause in seconds (e.g. {pause: 20} to pause 20 seconds). When the line with this pause statement reaches the top of the screen, auto-scrolling will pause for this amount of time. You can also put that directive at the top of the song to delay the auto-scroll start. The total playing time set above includes all pauses.

Link with Music

If you want to play along with a song stored in your Android Music library, you can link a SongBook song to music via the menu Link With Music. Once the song is linked, select the Notes icon Play button next to auto-scroll button in action barin the action bar, or the Play Linked Music menu item to play the music. You can start/pause the song, and rewind/fast forward in 10sec intervals.

Another way to link music with a song is to copy an MP3 file into the SongBook folder, then insert a {musicpath: file.mp3} statement in the song. This works across devices and platforms. Note: for PDFs, there is an automatic link to a music file with the same name in the same folder, e.g. Song.pdf -> Song.mp3

Play together

You can link multiple Android devices running SongBook (Android 10 or higher) together, so they will always show the same song and scroll to the same line. Enable Bluetooth or WiFi on all devices (no Internet connection required), then select Play together from the song list menu to start the search for other devices. When you first activate this option, you will be asked to grant some location-related permission. These are only used by the underlying technology to find nearby devices. SongBook does not track or record your location. To avoid circular or double connections, you must specify a unique name on each device

If a song is not found on one of the connected devices or has a different content it can be copied automatically. When you transpose a song, the transpose step will also be sent to the other devices. The connection is peer-to-peer: every device can control all other devices. When a device switches off or shows the lock screen, the connection will be dropped. SongBook will automatically try to re-connect once it is back in the foreground.



SongBook features a simple metronome. You can save the selected metronome tempo in the song. Select Metronome- Flash in Settings to switch to a silent metronome which will flash a color bar at the top of the song. Select Metronome - Tick/Flash Count In in Settings to auto-stop the metronome after two bars.

If the song contains a {time: 3/4} directive or similar, the metronome will sound with an up-time beat, and the number will also be used for count-in.

Song Edit ScreenInternet Search

SongBook has a simple Internet search for chordpro files built-in which you can start from the song list menu. You can use one of the two main search providers, or type a URL of your own. Once the page is loaded an Import button will appear in the lower right and open the song editor with the currently selected page. Sometimes the imported page will contain other text at the top or bottom which you need to manually delete. If the song is in tab format you can use a menu entry in the editor to convert it to chordpro format.

You can then save the song in the currently selected song category (with the back button) or cancel the edit and get back to the search view.

Note: By it's very nature, Internet search can be hit-or-miss, results may vary. We do not have any influence on what the search will find or how the imported pages look. You are responsible for obeying the respective copyrights of material found on the Internet.



SongBook supports MIDI from Android version 6.x. When MIDI is activated in menu Settings, SongBook will connect to all input and output sources on the MIDI bus.

You can select a song with a MIDI command by inserting a directive {midi-index: <command>, <command>, ...} in the song. You can also send certain MIDI commands when opening a song by inserting {midi: <command> <command> ...} in the song. You can also use a MIDI pedal to scroll up/down in a song, by entering the respective command in Settings.

The general MIDI command syntax is <Command><MSB>.<LSB>:<subvalue>@<channel> (see table below). However, in most cases it is easier to just select the MIDI command from the list of last received commands (via menu in song editor, or for up/down pedal in Settings).

NNote (On/Off)N60
PCProgram ChangePC6
CCControl Change/Bank SelectCC100.10
SSSong SelectSS99
PAUSEPause milliseconds before sending next command PAUSE10
XX.XX.XX...Arbitrary bytes (e.g. System Exclusive)F0.

For testing, write {midi: N60} anywhere in the song. This will play a C1 note on a connected keyboard whenever you display this song. Alternatively, if you have {midi-index: N60} anywhere in the song, this song will be displayed whenever you play a C1 on the keyboard.

Note: MIDI is a very complex topic. Unfortunately we're not able to help with specific questions about MIDI setup or MIDI commands.


To further organize your song collection, you can assign arbitrary tags to any song. Select Tags on the main song list screen to filter songs by tags. When you remove a tag, the song is not deleted. However, if you delete all songs that contain a certain tag, that tag will disappear from the list of tags. Unlike with categories, songs can have several tags assigned. In the song, tags are stored with a {tag: xx} directive.

In the tags menu, you can filter songs by multiple tags, and choose whether you want to see songs that match any tag, or all tags.

Tab files

Songs that are not in chordpro format, i.e. don't have a {title: } or {t: } directive are considered tab files. Unlike chordpro files, tab files have separate lines for the chords, like

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

To have fixed chord positions regardless of font preferences, SongBook renders tab files with a fixed font (also in the editor). SongBook will automatically recognize chords within the tab file, render them in chord color, transpose them or let you look up the chord fingering. You can switch off tab support in Settings. The song editor has a menu entry that can convert songs in tab format to chordpro format by inlining chords with lyrics.

PDF documents

On Android 5.0 or higher, SongBook can display PDF documents. It will always show a single page at a time, or two pages in landscape mode. You can scroll to the next/previous page with swipe down/up, or a double tap or a pedal. You can reference PDFs in playlists. However, PDFs cannot be edited, tagged, transposed etc.

To import PDFs, use "Open In/Share with" SongBook, or copy them with an USB connection or Dropbox sync.

By default, the full PDF page is displayed. Use menu Zoom to Content to crop the page borders.

Song Editor

You can edit songs or add new songs. Use menu Font Larger or Font Smaller to change the font size in the editor. The Preview menu shows you a preview of the currently edited song without saving it. In landscape mode, the preview will only take up half of the screen so you can edit and see your changes in realtime.

The Insert Chordpro menu lets you easily enter the most common chordpro control statements. The Insert Chord menu lets you easily insert chords which are already contained in the currently edited song.

If a song is not yet in chordpro format (e.g. does not have a {title: ...} line), the menu will contain an entry Convert Tab, which will inline the chords in square brackets in the lyrics lines.


Playlist ScreenPlaylists (Set Lists)

Playlists (aka sets) are collections of songs for a special purpose, e.g. a concert, or training. Removing a song from a playlist does not delete the song from either the device (it remains in its category), nor any other playlist the song might be in. Songs can be in multiple playlists, and in fact, can occur multiple times in a single playlist.

Select Edit Playlists from the playlist dropdown to add, remove, rename or duplicate playlists. Use the Add Songs menu to add multiple songs to a playlist.

To change the order of songs in a playlist, check the Order menu entry and drag-and drop songs.

You can optionally number the songs in a playlist with the menu Number Songs so you can easier navigate to a certain song in a playlist.

Playlists can automatically transpose songs to different keys. To store a different key for a song in a playlist, open the song from the playlist (not from the song list), then transpose it as usual, but do not save the transposed song. If a playlist song has a different key then the original, the key will be shown in italics.

Note: Playlists contain only references (title and subtitle) to the real song. If you delete the song, it is not automatically removed from the playlists but can no longer be viewed.

You can add notes to playlists, e.g. "Break" or a short story to tell between songs. These notes are displayed and edited just like normal songs, but are only stored in the playlist.

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Chord List ScreenChord List ScreenChords and Instruments

SongBook comes with comprehensive chord libraries for guitar, ukulele (C, D tuning, Bariton), mandolin, banjo, and piano. You can view and change the tuning of the selected instrument in Settings.

Chords are sorted by base pitch. Each chord can have several variations. SongBook knows about identical pitches (e.g. C# = Db).

By default, SongBook displays the most simple variation (lowest base fret, least number of fingers) in the chord band. If you always prefer a certain variation, you can mark it as favorite. If you want a different variation for a certain song, you can define the chord variation in the song.

To change the currently used instrument, select Settings - Instrument. This instrument is used for all chord lookups.

You can search in the chord list by chord name or fingering. Enter e.g. 2 2 1 to find Am (and other chords with these fingers).
Chord Edit Screen

You can extend the string chord libraries with your own chords. SongBook comes with a chord editor that lets you define fingerings, base fret and muted strings. The search button on the right will look up the currently defined chord in the chord library.

User defined chords will always show up in the last position in the chord view. Note: if you need a special chord only for a certain song, you'd better define the chord in the song with {define: G 1 3 2 0 0 0 3} rather than in the chord library.

Own and favorite chords are saved in a file <instrument>.chords.txt in the documents folder. You can edit it with a text editor. If you want your extra chords appear in the built-in SongBook chord libraries, please send us this file.


Do you have a song that is not rendered correctly? Is an important chord missing in the chord database? Please let us know.

Version History

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Last Update: 2024-05-27