Song Writing Tools & Resources

This section is a continuation of the main article titled “How to record an entire album in Apple Logic Pro

Approaches to Songwriting:

  1. Lyrics First: Start by writing lyrics that express a particular emotion, story, or idea. Once you have the lyrics, you can then compose music to fit the mood and flow of the words.
  2. Melody First: Begin with a melody or chord progression that resonates with you. From there, build the lyrics around the melody, focusing on the rhythm and cadence of the words.
  3. Collaborative Approach: Work with other musicians, lyricists, or songwriters to bounce ideas off each other and co-create songs. Collaboration can bring fresh perspectives and ideas to the table.
  4. Conceptual Approach: Develop a concept or theme for your song before diving into the lyrics or music. This could involve creating a narrative arc or exploring a specific topic or emotion throughout the song.

Free Tools for Songwriting:

  1. Evernote: A note-taking app that allows you to jot down lyric ideas, song concepts, and musical sketches on the go. It syncs across devices, making it easy to access your notes from anywhere.
  2. Trello: A project management tool that can be used to organize songwriting ideas, track progress on different songs, and collaborate with others. Create boards for each song and use cards to capture lyrics, melodies, and other song elements.
  3. Audacity: A free, open-source audio editing software that allows you to record, edit, and mix your songs. Use Audacity to record demos, experiment with different arrangements, and refine your sound.
  4. Hookpad: An online songwriting tool that helps you create chord progressions, melodies, and basslines. It provides music theory guidance and allows you to export your compositions as MIDI files.

Generating Song Ideas:

  1. Personal Experience: Draw inspiration from your own life experiences, emotions, and observations. Write about moments of joy, heartbreak, triumph, or struggle that resonate with you personally.
  2. Observation: Pay attention to the world around you and find inspiration in everyday moments, people, and events. Keep a journal to jot down interesting observations, conversations, or anecdotes that could be turned into song lyrics.
  3. Imagery and Metaphor: Use imagery, metaphor, and symbolism to convey abstract concepts and emotions in your songs. Experiment with vivid language and descriptive imagery to evoke powerful emotions in your listeners.
  4. Song Prompts: Use writing prompts or exercises to jumpstart your creativity and overcome writer’s block. There are many websites and books that provide songwriting prompts and exercises to help you generate ideas.

Basic Mechanics of a Song:

  1. Verse-Chorus Structure: Most songs follow a verse-chorus structure, where the verse presents the narrative or story of the song, and the chorus contains the main hook or message.
  2. Rhyme Scheme: Experiment with different rhyme schemes (e.g., AABB, ABAB) to give your lyrics a sense of flow and cohesion. Rhyme words at the end of each line or within the lines for added emphasis.
  3. Chord Progressions: Learn basic chord progressions (e.g., I-IV-V, I-V-VI-IV) to create a harmonic framework for your songs. Experiment with different chord voicings and inversions to add variety and depth to your music.
  4. Melody and Harmony: Craft memorable melodies that complement the mood and lyrics of your song. Experiment with intervals, scales, and rhythmic patterns to create interesting melodies that stick in the listener’s mind.

Resources for Inspiration:

  1. Songwriting Books: Explore books on songwriting theory, technique, and creativity. Some popular titles include “The Songwriter’s Workshop” by Jimmy Kachulis, “Writing Better Lyrics” by Pat Pattison, and “Tunesmith: Inside the Art of Songwriting” by Jimmy Webb.
  2. Songwriting Workshops and Courses: Attend songwriting workshops, seminars, or online courses to learn new techniques, get feedback on your songs, and connect with other songwriters.
  3. Songwriting Communities: Join online songwriting communities and forums to share your music, collaborate with other songwriters, and get feedback on your work. Websites like Songwriting Reddit, Songwriter’s Guild of America, and Songwriting Scene offer valuable resources and support for aspiring songwriters.
  4. Live Performances and Concerts: Attend live performances and concerts to discover new music, observe different songwriting styles, and draw inspiration from other artists’ performances.
  5. Nature and Travel: Spend time in nature, travel to new places, and immerse yourself in different cultures to gain fresh perspectives and experiences that can fuel your creativity.

By incorporating these approaches, tools, techniques, and resources into your songwriting process, you can develop your skills, unleash your creativity, and write compelling songs that resonate with listeners. Remember to experiment, take risks, and stay true to your unique voice as a songwriter.