Are you frustrated with having to purchase sheet music every time you sing a new song? Sheet music for one song costs around $5.00 US for each and every copy you buy. If you are singing a new song every week, it adds up.
Luckily, there are some helpful tools and websites that can make your life easier. I found a website with free sheet music. Let me introduce you to Chromatik.
What is Chromatik?
Chromatik is a website created by people who describe themselves as “a small team of music-loving techies, dedicated to helping you practice, perform, and share the tunes you love”. And that is exactly what they do – they offer a catalog of free sheet music.
It is a neat service with some great features.
Free Sheet Music
First of all, the website offers free sheet music for a good selection of musical instruments including voice. The displayed notation will differ based on a selected instrument. The sheet music for voice will display notes for lead vocals, the sheet music for piano will show notes for both hands plus the lead vocals.
There is one fantastic feature, especially useful for singers for practicing their songs. Chromatik combines the free sheet music with free music videos from YouTube. This is what it looks like in practice:
A tiny YouTube screen is displayed in the right hand side corner beside the sheet music. At the bottom of the screen, there is a player with the play/stop, volume and rewind/forward buttons. When you hit the play button, the YouTube video will start playing the music that you can follow along on the sheet. The pages turn automatically according to the video and the part of the song currently playing. You can choose to skip some song parts; you can go back or rewind to practice a certain part of a song. There is even a tool for marking the place in the song that you want to play over and over for practicing.
The catalog has a great selection of songs, including some old classics and the latest hits. Chromatik offers the best selection of free sheet music by far. You can search songs alphabetically by artist or select your favourite song category. Some examples of song categories are: Chart Toppers, Soundtracks, Pop Ballads, Hip Hop, Radio Rock, Jazz and many more.
Is It True?
Of course there are some limitations to this service as it is free. You can view the sheet music on your electronic device but you cannot download it or print it out. The selection of songs is not endless but the selection is still excellent. I believe that everyone can find their favourites there.
The YouTube videos are selected automatically so some songs will not play if you are not in a country that supports that particular artist or a song (but this is very rare and it happened to me only once).
Another disadvantage is that you are not able to change the key of the music (like it is possible on some karaoke sites) so you have to make sure that the original song is suitable for your voice. (To read about criteria to consider when choosing an appropriate song for your voice, go to my previous blog post called “How to Choose the Right Song to Sing”.) The song selection is very good so it should not be a problem to find a good song for your voice.
Also, the songs cannot be played without the lead vocals (like karaoke songs), therefore it is not possible to practice the song just with an accompaniment.
Because it is a website based service, you need to be connected to the Internet to use it. When you first visit the site, you will be asked to sign up but the process takes less than a minute.
If you are an owner of a mobile device such as an iPhone or iPad, you can also download a free app with the same name. There are some extra tools that the app allows you to use, such as marking time with a free metronome, notating the sheet music, recording yourself to track your progress as well as sharing 15 second of your recording with friends.
Unfortunately to download the app, you need to have an Apple ID associated with the US store. It will not work for the Canadian store. Let’s just hope that this app will be soon available in Canada. Until then, the website will do the trick.
I found it extremely helpful and I love this site.
The creators of Chromatik say on their website: “Learning music is hard. Getting digital access to your tunes and tools shouldn’t be. With reference tracks, annotation tools, and recording features, we’ve got you covered.” They promise and they deliver.
I fully recommend that you check out the site or the app.
How Do I Get Free Sheet Music?
Check out the Chromatic website by clicking this link: Chromatik
You can also download the Chromatik app from the App Store for your mobile device by clicking on this link:
The motto of the Chromatik website is “You focus on playing music. We’ll focus on everything else.”
Let me re-phrase: “Focus on singing. Let Chromatic focus on the sheet music.”
Enjoy! And let me know what you think. Thank you.