Nothing is quite so frustrating as having a song you can’t remember the name of stuck in your head. If you only know a couple of lyrics or can hum a brief song bar, all is not lost. Utilize search engines or music recognition websites to find your lost song. If you heard the song on a radio station, check music charts for a possible match.

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Running Online Searches

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    1 – Search any lyrics you can remember. Close your eyes, and concentrate on any words you can remember from the song. Maybe you remember the phrase “destiny is calling me” or “wish we could turn back time.” Use quotation marks around specific phrases to narrow your search. Remembering more lyric phrases increases your likelihood of finding the song.
    • Avoid excessively searching common words like “the,” “and,” “or,” “but,” and so on. These can clog up your search with unrelated results.
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    2 – Add context to your search terms. Perhaps you heard this song on a specific TV show or movie. Search for “song playing during the credits of Grey’s Anatomy, season six” or “song featured on The Voice in February 2017.” Check movie soundtracks or scores for instrumental music.
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    3 – Try alternate spellings. The song you’re looking for might repeat a specific name. If the way you’re spelling it isn’t bringing up results, retry your search with less common spellings. You might try “Kjiersten” instead of “Kiersten,” or “Zach” rather than “Zack.”
    • Make sure none of your searched words are misspelled.
    • Sometimes pop songs intentionally misspell/abbreviate words like “tonite” instead of “tonight” or “2” instead of “to.”
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    Use advanced search options. Most search engines offer advanced settings, if general searches aren’t offering any results. You can limit your search to pages released within a certain year, or find pages containing all of the words included. You can also eliminate certain words or lyric phrases, if the popular results aren’t what you’re looking for.

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Using Apps and Websites

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    1 – Ask around on music forums. Enlist the help of music enthusiasts to find the song. Look in music forums for specific genres, like metal or instrumental. Make a post including as many details about the song you can remember. Include lyric phrases, any relevant context, and anything else you remember.
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    2 – Download music recognition apps. If the song is currently playing while you’re in a restaurant or book store, some apps allow you to record the song and upload it. The app will then match the recording to songs in their database and offer the most likely match. Some well-known music recording apps include Shazam and MusicID.
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    3 – Enter the melody into a searchable music site. Music recognition apps might not aid your search if the song’s already ended. If you have a microphone, some music websites allow you to sing the melody or tap the rhythm of the song and upload the recording online. Try singing or tapping the melody into your microphone. The website will then compare your recording to their song database and return with possible matches.
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    4 – Visit artist websites. You might know the song’s artist but not the specific song. Check out their official website and scroll through their album lists. Input every song title into a music website like Spotify or iTunes until you find what you’re looking for.

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Browsing Music Charts

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    1 – Look up the most recent music charts for new songs. If you’ve heard this song on a “Top 40” or “Greatest Hits” channel, you might have luck checking top music charts. Check music charts from your city or country for the best results. Popular charts include Billboard, Official Charts, and BBC Radio 1.
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    2 – Check genre-specific charts. Some songs are popular within a specific subculture but otherwise unknown. If you’re not having luck with “Top 100” sites, try charts focused on a certain genre. Music charts for country, rap, Latin, and other genres.
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    3 – Find music charts from past decades. You might have heard an “oldies” song popular ten or more years ago that newer charts won’t list. If you know the approximate time period it might have been released, search for music charts from earlier generations.
    • Billboard allows users to view the Top 100 list from 1953 and onward. Other sites have cataloged Top 100 lists from as early as 1940.
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    4 –Contact your local radio station. Call or email the radio station you heard the song on, and ask whether they know which songs they played on a certain date or time. Include any relevant information you can remember. Some radio stations also post their schedules online, which you can peruse on your own.
    • When traveling, you can use a radio locator to find info about a specific station.