Songwriting Tools - Making the creative process easier!
Updated: Mar 9, 2020
Let's start with the most obvious: documenting your lyrics. This is not the same as documenting your music, so let's pause on that. Before I get into the goods, I want to quickly mention that the tools I've chosen to use, while not "fancy," help me streamline the creative process by maximizing the limited time I have throughout the week.
Personally, I'm a fan of pen & paper -- I have journals specifically for lyric writing. Here's a favorite I recently purchased & love love love! When choosing a journal, I prefer unlined pages & I want it to lay completely flat, so I generally avoid hardcovers, but it's all about preference. Ultimately, there is just something special that happens when you're physically connecting to a page versus typing into a computer.
With that said, rifling through journals isn't always the most efficient, so eventually I do convert small ideas, one-liners, random words or starts to songs I never got around to finishing into a digital format.
Evernote is my favorite way to organize digitally across my cell & desktop computer because it allows you to:
Attach audio files to your text notes. (Using voice memos on your cell & dropping into Evernote is gold!)
Sync across all of your devices
Organize notes into notebooks
Tag your notes
Offers a free account option
Google Docs is another option, but I don't believe it allows you to embed audio files unless you are copying & pasting a link. If anyone knows different, please let me know.
Topline made by Abbey Road Studios, allows you to record 3 tracks at the same time. This is not by any means a replacement for your DAW, but it can be helpful if you've already laid down a chord progression & want to record lyrics separately in the same file.
Let's say you've got a complete song & want to transcribe your voice notes into sheet music. Scorecloud offers 3 pricing plans; unfortunately, the free version doesn't offer importing/exporting from MIDI, but they do offer a 10 day trial for the Plus & Pro versions, so it's worth trying out.
Last but certainly not least, I have a rhyming dictionary handy for times when the right word is just not coming to me. You can purchase a physical copy (this is what I use) OR opt for an online version.