case study

Spotify Chords

Spotify has been the name in music streaming for years now. It's ubiquitousness allows it to permeate our lives in every way, so that I no longer need to think about how I want to play music, just what I want to play. Similarly, Ultimate Guitar has been my go to for chords ever since I picked up guitar and started teaching myself how to play. I have them up together constantly and so I wondered to myself what it would look like to just be able to pull up chords in Spotify.

Playing For Fun

A lot of changes have come to Ultimate Guitar in recent years. What used to just be a searchable collection of .txt files pasted nicely on a webpage have made way to a community of guitar players sharing chords and strumming patterns, and rich features like UltimateGuitarPro which provides play along sheet music, metronome, autoscroll and more.

Spotify has also grown up during this time. There’s a lot more discoverable content and they’ve even partnered up with Musixmatch and Genius to provide useful integrations. But the one thing I find myself doing most often with Spotify apart from passively listening while I work is having my guitar out and looking up chords.

I’m not a serious guitar player so I usually just click around until I find a song I like that sounds like something I can play and then I go searching for it on Ultimate Guitar. Sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s not. What if there was a section in Spotify, like workouts, where I could pick the instrument, and then have a bunch of playlists that have songs with chords? I could have an extra button appear to pop up the chords, similar to how Musixmatch worked on phones. And what if it could follow along, highlighting where I was in the song, so I wasn’t jumping around looking for what verse I was on? Good thing I’m a designer.