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  • Writer's picture Krystal @ The Vinyl Life

Songwriting Tools - Making the creative process easier!

Updated: Mar 9, 2020

My hat guitar and music notes.

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.

To make sure what you're recording is in tune, I'd highly recommend downloading a guitar tuner app. My two favorites are: Guitar Tuna & Fender Tune.

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.

I hope you've found something new that will help in your songwriting process. Until next time, crank that amp to 11 & add more cowbell.

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