The spacebar in Ableton is most likely the first hotkey you found and started using all the time to toggle between play and stop.

However, sometimes this function can get highjacked and you’re left scratching your head why it’s not working.

If you have found that hitting the space bar takes you to another part of your track, starts at the beginning of the song, or is not playing your selected clip, this might be why.

You might have turned on the Set Song Start Time Here function. 


This can be turned on or off by Right-Clicking in the Loop Bar.

You will know if Set Song Start Time Here is on if there is a little green play icon in the arrangement view.

See the image below.

A little green play icon called Song Start Indicator will appear at the top of your arrangement view if Set Song Start Time Here is on.

You can toggle this on and off by Right-Clicking in the Loop Bar



When the Set Song Start Time Here is off the box next to it will Not have a checkmark beside it.

When Set Song Start Time Here is on there will be a checkmark next to it.

Keep an eye out for the Song Start Indicator. A little green arrow icon near the start of the Loop Bar.

The Song Start Indicator icon can be hard to spot if you are not sure where to look for it.

It is at the start of where the Loop bar is. 

Now you should be able to start and stop the track with the space bar again from where you clicked or at the start of a selected clip.

For those of you who like the track starting from a selected point (like the start of a loop or beginning of the track) while the Song Start Indicator is on, there is another hotkey option.

Ctrl+Spacebar on PC or Command+Spacebar on a Mac. 

This Hotkey will play from a selected spot.

One other Spacebar hotkey is to have it play from where you stopped the track.

This is Shift+Spacebar.

This hotkey will continue playing from your last stop position. 

I hope this helps with your workflows and that you are able to create some great music. 

If you need help troubleshooting a specific issue in Ableton, use our Contact Us form and send us a message!