Cantabo

(Latin) Verb - "Will sing"


Cantabo is a web based app, designed to bring lyrics or content to people attending gigs and events. Users simply visit the home page, find a gig, and join in. No sign up required!


I have been playing piano since 1993, and guitar since 1996.

From an early age I started learning how to listen to play songs on piano by listening to the song instead of reading music. I picked this up while playing in traditional Irish Music groups and in a local choir. As a kid I also spent a lot of time listening to Beatles tracks over and over again, trying to replicate note-for-note any piano melodies they had.

Over the decades, I have been involved in many great music 'gigs'. However, I have two weaknesses that kept dampening my gigs:

1. I could never pick out a song list to play, I was always reliant on others to make the song suggestions.
2. I am terrible at retaining most song lyrics in my head.

So throughout 2015 and 2016, I started to get my own song-list together, something that would help me become a better performer. I began hosting regular Meetups, better known as 'Piano Nights' at the Corkman Irish bar in Carlton.

The format is: I play piano (and squawk along too), while everybody else is encouraged to park their inhibitions and sing to their hearts content. These nights have been a great success largely because of my song-list. Using Trello, I painstakingly inserted many of my favourite songs and lyrics into an organised fashion, categorised into headings such as:

However, something was still missing...

The Problem

People would often remark that they found it hard to follow the lyrics themselves. Typically, they would make a scramble to popular lyrics websites so they could load up the lyrics on their screen to sing along. In many cases they would not find the lyrics until the song was almost over, meaning they were feeling a little left behind and not fully engaged in the song. Perhaps I'm not the only person who has trouble knowing the lyrics of all the songs in the world...

The lightbulb moment!

The thought occurred to me: What if I could build an app that my Piano Night followers could use to follow along with the lyrics?


Welcome to Cantabo!

The idea is simple: I log in to the app and select from a pre-built list of songs to play. Members attending the gig can simply visit that gig page and they will automatically be presented with the lyrics of the song currently playing.

No more scrambling through Google to find lyrics, now the lyrics come to you!

-Niall, March 2017