Being able to adjust the speed of a song can be super handy for learning how to play a part – especially when you can SLOW DOWN the track.
A fast song with many notes is pretty daunting to dissect at performance tempo. Here are a couple of free ways to slow things down for detailed study.
The mobile version has a free option, but the desktop one is $30. To me, it’s totally worth it and I use it as a home base for much of my playback-based practice.
All you do is import a song into the active window (I’m screenshot-ing from my computer, but the mobile app is almost the same).
Then click the “+” or “-” buttons next to the “1.00x” to adjust the speed of the playback.
It’s super easy and integrates well with your default music library.
(Instructions written in 2010. A newer version of Audacity might need a different slow down procedure.)
First step is the Download Audacity if you don’t already have it. It’s free and works on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Open the program and start a new project.
In Audacity, click Project>Import Audio, then find a .wav file and open it. (If you came from itunes, it’s usually located in the same album folder as the normal MP3) The track now appears in Audacity.
Select (click and drag) the area you’d like to slow down. You can also go Edit>Select All if you want to select the entire track.
Click Effect>Change Tempo. Then drag the slider to the left however much you want to slow the track down (you can also speed it up by dragging right) and click “OK”. Keep in mind that the slower you go the more the effect seems to bog down the computer while it is generating.
If you’d like you can export the file back to MP3 by going “File>Export As MP3”.
You can also transpose a song using Garageband