Is there a way to display chord symbols in music players (software apps) ? Like .srt files for movie subtitles or .lrc for music lyrics, isn't there a format or alternative for chords ?

Details & Usage:

Lyrics / subtitles support is now common in media players (.srt and .lrc file formats). Knowing this, for a pop song I know well, I could make my own lyrics file with say just Chord Symbols and the first few lyrics of verses + chorus and notes so I can play along / sing / rehearse with the song playing.

But is there a better (ideally standard + well supported) way to do this, to display both the lyrics and chords ? Even better, an existing format / resource to get these for free / less work ? A lot of players already have a download lyrics function built-in, so it's almost seamless.

So, does it exist already, or I'm day-dreaming ?

This is more of a question of memory helping tools rather than finding the chords & structure (which are easy once you know the key and song a bit).

Related Info:

  • It's not clear to me just what this has to do with either music practice or music theory Commented Mar 8, 2021 at 17:44
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    The question is off-topic because it's asking for a software recommendation. See What topics can I ask about here?. Also, I suggest music.stackexchange.com/conduct: "Avoid sarcasm and be careful with jokes — tone is hard to decipher online." (It's best not to anger the gods: "Updated to attempt to please the evil "off-topic" police / gods.")
    – Aaron
    Commented Mar 14, 2021 at 14:56
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    I think your edits helped. No guarantees, because the question is an uneasy fit overall for the site, but at least IMO it meets the "good enough" standard. BTW, the Wikipedia page you found is just about using ASCII files to display chord/lyrics charts. It's not the kind of file format standard you're looking for.
    – Aaron
    Commented Mar 15, 2021 at 1:18
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    I still feel that this question is too much of an edge case, so I'll let the community decide if it should be reopened. In the meantime, have you considered other computer, software, or audio engineering Stack Exchange communities?
    – Richard
    Commented Mar 18, 2021 at 2:33
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    @deryb Music practice and theory is our main topic, but we do have a scope we follow. Both external resources requests and software recommendations are off-topic here and the question seems to have a bit of both I.E. "Even better, an existing format / resource to get these for free / less work ?". The edits I do not feel like have resolved them yet. I will also point out while the other linked question leans into software recs a bit, the core question is terminology of a notation which is very much on topic.
    – Dom
    Commented Mar 18, 2021 at 15:15

1 Answer 1


I hope I read the original question correctly. If not, my answer will make no sense and I apologize. It seems to ask how simple lead sheets can include chords (graphics? or must names?)

Not having specialized programs to display lead sheets, I make my own standard.

I ripped lyrics to favorite songs from the internet and imported them into Notepad. (Other word processors would also work but Notepad and Wordpad come free with Windows. Any text processor would do as well.)

I then inserted chord names (enclosed in brackets to distinguish them from the lyrics) into the text.

Presto! Sheets of lyrics and chords (and playing advice) I can page through as I play and sing.

for example:

{G} Lyric lyric lyric lyric lyric {Am} lyric lyric lyric {C} lyric lyric lyric {D} lyric lyric lyric {C} lyric lyric lyric lyric lyric {slow the rhythm} lyric lyric

No specialized software needed and extremely small file size.

  • Thanks! That's what I imagined as well. I'm just wondering if there isn't a standard (file format / document type) to have both lyrics and chords separate so for example, I could make the font size real big for chords and perhaps to avoid displacing lyrics too much.
    – deryb
    Commented Mar 12, 2021 at 21:50

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