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6 Ways to Identify the Tune Stuck in Your Head

Ben Stegner Updated 23-09-2019

Ever had a song playing in your mind for days and can’t figure out what it is? This can drive you crazy as you try to remember where you know that track from.


With a little help from the internet, you should be able to name any tune you hear or get stuck in your head. Let’s look at some resources for identifying songs.

1. Use a Music ID App

You’re almost certainly familiar with music identification apps like Shazam and SoundHound. When you fire up these apps with music playing near you, they’ll do their best to identify the track and provide you with additional info on the song. Curious which music ID app is best? Check out our comparison of Shazam, SoundHound, and Musixmatch The 3 Best Music Recognition Apps to Find Songs by Their Tune Shazam is the best-known music recognition app, but how does the competition compare? We put three song finder apps to the test. Read More .

Shazam is only made for identifying recorded music, and of course, it must be playing audibly. If it’s a track that you heard on the radio or similar, you can break out the app next time you hear it.

SoundHound is a little more interesting for this purpose. In addition to recorded music, it identifies singing or humming. Give it a try with the part of the song you remember, and it might help you name the tune.


Failing this, if you’re trying to name a tune stuck in your head, you might have to try another method that doesn’t rely on having the song playing nearby.

2. Try a Quick Google Search

Google Lyrics

When you’ve got a song on the tip of your tongue, turning to Google can often shed some light on the situation. If you know even one line of lyrics from the song, you can usually name that tune with Google.

Simply type the lyrics you heard into Google and see what it finds. Of course, you’ll have better results with more specific lyrics, so try to avoid generic statements like “I want to be with you.”


In case your initial search doesn’t turn anything up, you should try placing the lyrics in quotation marks. This tells Google to only search for that exact string, instead of trying to match the individual words.

If you can’t find anything on Google, it might be worth searching the lyrics on a dedicated lyric site like Genius. This probably won’t be successful if Google was a dead end, but it’s worth a try.

3. Ask a Virtual Assistant

As an alternative to searching on your own, you can rely on Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri to identify a tune for you. These voice assistants can run a song search for you. Say something to the effect of “What’s the song that goes [lyrics]?” and see what it comes up with.

Assistants also have the functionality built-in to identify songs as Shazam does. If you hear a song playing nearby and wonder what it is, you can ask your voice assistant “What song is this?”


4. Visit Dedicated Music ID Websites

WatZatSong Site

If you can’t figure out a song based on existing info online, you’ll need to turn to some apps and services that are built around identifying music. We’ve looked at several services you can use to identify music 5 Apps to Identify a Song by Humming, Tapping on Keyboard, or Asking Others Do you have a song stuck in your head? These sites will help you find that elusive song in a flash. Read More in the past. Here we highlight the best options, but check out the full list for more info.

WatZatSong is one of the best resources for figuring out music. Anyone can sign up and post a sample of a song, either by singing it themselves or uploading a clip of the track. If someone knows it, they can click Answer to solve the mystery.

Find Music By Lyrics is also worth a try. It essentially runs a custom Google search on lyric sites with certain operators already applied. Check it out if you didn’t get anything from Google.


Midomi is a website run by SoundHound. It features similar functionality to the app, as you can sing or hum a song in order to name your tune.

Finally, if you remember the music more than the lyrics, Musipedia offers a few tools to identify and name songs in this way. You can play the notes with a virtual piano or tap to define the rhythm.

5. Consult Reddit

Reddit Name That Song

As you might expect, there are also Reddit communities dedicated to helping people with phantom songs like this. NameThatSong has around 35,000 people who are happy to help you figure out the song stuck in your head. Just be sure to read the rules of the subreddit before you start asking, “Name my tune, please!”

For a much larger alternative, have a look at TipOfMyTongue. This subreddit boasts over 872,000 subscribers, helping people identify movies, video games, and other bits of media that they can’t remember the exact name of.

Like NameThatSong, you should take a look at the guidelines before posting. Otherwise, your request might get removed or won’t receive an answer.

6. Ask People Offline

If all else fails, you might have to sing a sample of the song for friends offline and see if anyone knows it. While this is a low-tech solution, it might be the only way to figure out the track on the tip of your tongue.

When you put your heads together, especially with someone who has different musical knowledge than you, someone might be able to make a breakthrough.

Have You Named That Tune Yet?

Trying to extrapolate an entire song from a few notes or lyrics in your head can sound impossible. But with these resources, you have a fighting chance at identifying the song that’s been stuck in your head for so long.

For more on music identification, learn how to recognize the music used in YouTube videos How to Identify Music and Songs in YouTube Videos Wondering how to identify a song from a YouTube video? Here's a YouTube song finder walkthrough to identify music from videos. Read More .

Related topics: Music Discovery, Music Management, Shazam, Song Lyrics, Web Search.

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  1. Davin Peterson
    September 23, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    Android Users can use Google's Sound Search Widget to identify the song that is playing

  2. Assie
    November 21, 2018 at 11:40 am