How to Slow Down Music For Guitar (Plus Loop and Change Pitch)

Slow Down Songs For Guitar

How to Slow Down Music For Guitar (Plus Loop and Change Pitch)


One of the best ways to learn and practice music on guitar is to play along with songs that have been slowed down. It’s also helpful to change the pitch of a song and loop particular song sections for repetitive playback. 

Being able to slow down, loop, and change the pitch of songs has many benefits, including:

  1. You can hear what’s happening in a song more clearly
  2. You can play along with a song and stay in time with the music more easily
  3. You can improve your technique by playing along with looped song segments
  4. You can change the pitch of songs that do not match your guitar tuning

Slow Down Music to Hear What’s Happening in a Song

Sometimes a song goes by too quickly for you to understand what’s happening, especially if you’re an inexperienced player. Listening carefully to a song you have slowed down helps you identify the notes in chords, riffs, and solos more easily. For example, not sure which note a player has put in the bass position on a particular chord? Slow it down and listen. Is a riff or solo going by too quickly for you to recognize the notes? Slow it down to the point where you can hear each note clearly.

Play Along with Slowed-Down Songs and Stay in Time with the Music

Knowing how a song is played is one thing. Being able to play it up to tempo correctly is another. You don’t need to give up on songs that go by too quickly for you. Your playing doesn’t need to sound rushed and sloppy either. Slow songs down to more comfortable tempos so you can play along with the music more easily. Work toward increasing your speed and improving your skills gradually over time.

Improve Your Technique by Playing Along with Loops

Looping is a great way to zero in on a particular section of a song and rehearse it over and over. For example, you might repeat the guitar solo in a song by setting a loop that returns to the beginning of the guitar solo on each repeat. Or maybe you need to practice only a particular section of a solo, so you loop the part over and over until you play it right. 

Some loop functions provide you with a speed training feature. Speed trainer settings give you the option of increasing the tempo of a loop on each repeat. For example, if you’re struggling to play the guitar solo in a song recorded at 100 BPM (beats per minute), set a loop that begins at 80 BPM and automatically increases the tempo by 1 BPM with each pass. You can improve your playing skills slowly as the pace increases incrementally. 

Change the Pitch of Songs

The same programs that enable you to slow down music also allow you to change the pitch. There are many uses for changing the pitch of a song. For example, it’s not uncommon for music to be recorded with the guitars tuned a half-step down in what is known as “E♭ tuning.” Rather than fuss with completely retuning your guitar to play along with songs in E♭ tuning, you can simply raise the pitch of the recording by a half step. If a song is in standard tuning, but your band intends to perform the song in a key that is different from the recording, transpose the song so you can rehearse your parts in the performance key. Finally, changing the pitch of a song makes it possible for you to sing songs in keys that fit your vocal range. 

As you can see, there are many benefits to being able to slow down songs, loop song segments, and change the pitch of the music. You make the guitar learning process much easier when you take advantage of a program that provides you with these features. You have a lot more fun, too, when practicing isn’t so much of a struggle. 

Best Slow Down Music App

My favorite software program for slowing down music is Song Surgeon. Song Surgeon is a professional-grade application loaded with several features including pitch changing, speed training, looper, BPM detector, chord detector, and more. Song Surgeon makes everything I do as a guitarist easier whether I’m preparing lessons for my students, rehearsing upcoming performances, or just trying to master a favorite song of mine.  

Jumpstart your guitar playing by 614% by using what the pros use. Visit the link below to see why should you begin using Song Surgeon today.

Go to Song Surgeon


How to Slow Down Protected mp3 Files

One issue you’ll face using a song editing app like Song Surgeon is the inability to use protected audio files. Unfortunately, you can’t import songs from streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music because the songs are protected even when the songs are purchased. So you’ll need to have unprotected song files on hand to work with. 

Perhaps you have a library of unprotected songs you have ripped from CDs. If not, there’s an easy way to get the files you need.

You can find just about every song in existence on YouTube. And you can easily convert any YouTube video to an mp3 file without needing any special software.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Find the song you want to edit on YouTube and copy the URL
  2. Go to Google and search for “convert youtube to mp3”
  3. Click on any one of the free online converters in the search results
  4. Paste in the YouTube URL and click convert
  5. Download and save the mp3 file to your computer (and be sure to ignore any other prompts you might receive such as “Show notifications” or “Update your Flash” and so on)

After you have downloaded your mp3, drag or import it into your song editing app.

This process works best on a computer which is what I prefer to work on when I’m doing music editing. And I prefer to use the program Song Surgeon.

After I make changes to the mp3 in Song Surgeon, I can save the project for future use, or I can export my edited mp3 and play it back in other applications. I like to keep edited songs in online storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox, so I can access them from any device and share them with others. 

So that’s how I get songs into Song Surgeon, so I can slow them down, change the pitch, and create loops. If you would like to see how Song Surgeon makes it easy for you to learn and practice songs, visit the link below.

Go to Song Surgeon


Listen to the Slow Down Music For Guitar Podcast Episode

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