How to get real-time song lyrics and sing along with Apple Music and Shazam

Getting lyrics to a song you love is easy with dedicated apps or even searching on Google. The problem is, if you’re already listening to the song, you need to search through the lyrics to find the part of the song that’s currently playing. Not always helpful, is it?

With the Apple Music app or the Shazam app, you can see the lyrics for most songs in real-time and sing along, karaoke style. This means that with a tap, you can be taken directly to the lyrics at that exact part of the song. In addition, the lyrics auto-scroll as the song plays so that you can sing along easier than ever!

Lyrics in Apple Music and Shazam on iPhone

See real-time lyrics in the Music app on iPhone or iPad

The steps below require you to have an Apple Music subscription. If you don’t have one, please go to the next heading to see lyrics using the Shazam app. Here’s how to see the song lyrics in real-time on Apple Music:

  1. Open the Music app and play a song.
  2. From the Now Playing screen, tap the lyrics button.
  3. You’ll see the lyrics scroll automatically in real-time. And the icing on the cake is that if you manually scroll the lyrics and tap a sentence, the song will re-start playing from that point.
Real-time lyrics in Apple Music on iPhone
Tap the same lyrics button to stop seeing the song lyrics on the screen.

Get real-time song lyrics in Shazam on iPhone

I don’t always pay for an Apple Music subscription. But I have my favorite old songs synced to my iPhone Music app from my Mac. These song files that I downloaded over the years from various sources don’t have lyrics in them. But I can use the Shazam app to identify the currently playing song and see its lyrics.

Here’s how to use Shazam to see the song lyrics in real-time on iPhone:

  1. Play the song in Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, or any other app of your choice.
  2. Open the Shazam app and tap the big Shazam button.
  3. Once the song is shazamed (identified), tap the lyrics button from the top.
  4. You’ll see the full song lyrics. It’ll even auto-scroll in real-time. Though, unlike the Music app, if you tap a sentence, it won’t automatically start playing the song from that point.
See real-time lyrics in Shazam on iPhone

Song lyrics in Apple Music and Shazam

Here are some related facts you must know:

1) Not all songs in Apple Music or Shazam have lyrics support. I have found that most new songs or famous old songs have lyrics.

2) For some songs, like my favorite, Dancing with a Stranger by Sam Smith, you can see the lyrics in Apple Music but not in Shazam.

No song lyrics in Shazam
On the left, you can see the song lyrics in Apple Music. But the lyrics button for the same song is missing in Shazam.

3) In some songs, you can see the lyrics inside Shazam, but it won’t highlight in real-time or auto-scroll. However, I have noticed that all lyrics auto-scroll and highlight in Apple Music.

Highlighted lyrics in Apple Music and Shazam apps
The lyrics of the same song is highlighted in Apple Music (left) but not in Shazam (right).

Besides Apple Music and Shazam, many leading music apps like Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube Music also let you see the lyrics on their Now Playing screen.

Lyrics in Spotify and YouTube Music
Lyrics in Spotify (left) and YouTube Music (right).

Having the lyrics to a song not only lets you sing along (with the correct words) like you’re at a karaoke bar, but it also lets you get more value out of the song. You know the message that the artist is sending with their music.

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