Welcome back to my complete guide to song writing series. If you missed the first post you can go back and check it out here. My first song was inspired by some intense events that happened at our Connect group (bible study). I had a specific mood I wanted to write to and a few different ideas/phrases written down to base the lyrics off of. I also read any bible verses I could find that had a similar theme and subject. After playing around with different combinations over a few days and writing down anything that came into my head at any time of the day, I finally had a first verse. Thus the lyrics came first for me this time.
Here are a couple of YouTube clips that particularly inspired me when it comes to writing lyrics. This first one talks about using a mind map to develop song ideas.
This one is Marie Digby in the process of writing a new song about her grandma in hospital. The song she comes up with is very powerful and beautiful.
There are a lot of apps and websites out there that help with the song writing process. It’s hard to know which ones to try. Lucky I’m here to help.
My personal favourites are:
B-Rhymes is a rhyming dictionary that’s not stuck up about what does and doesn’t rhyme. It gives you words that sound good together even if they don’t technically rhyme. It’s better than all the other rhyming apps and websites because it gives an extensive list of words which include almost or part rhymes. This is handy as it gives you more options and I find full rhymes are unnecessary for song writing.
Songwriter Lite allows you to write out your lyrics for each section of your song (ie. verse, chorus) then use the ‘Chord Picker’ to easily insert chords. Chords display above the lyrics when in display mode. You can add guitar tablature and view chord diagrams for over 1000 chords included for guitar, bass, ukulele and banjo, plus you can add your own.
Songtive allows you to experiment with arrangements and chord progressions. You can write out your melody and add basic drums and chords. It is also social media based so it allows you to hear what others are writing and for them to hear yours and give you comments, encouragement and advice. If you don’t want to share your creations with everyone else you can pay for the full version, so you can hide your songs. While I do know how to read sheet music, I struggle a little knowing which length notes I am singing. Songtive is particularly helpful as you can plug in what you think and play it back and change it if it isn’t quite right. I find this easier than writing out the melody onto sheet music again and again because I get it wrong the first few times.
You can get the Garage band app for your phone and/or use the Garage band software on your computer. I much prefer using it on my computer. You can do a lot more with it. You can record any instrument/your voice into the program or you can use their software instruments and play it on your keyboard. Garage band will write out the sheet music for you.
With the phone app you can play with smart drums, guitar and piano just with finger taps. This can give you inspiration and help you et the rhythms/tune you have in your head out in the open. You can record it all and put it all together but its not quite as seamless as on the computer. I guess my finger taps aren’t accurate enough as I find it difficult to get the sounds I want.
Find My Song
Find My Song is a website which helps you to collaborate with fellow musicians from all around the world with all kinds of expertise. You can upload projects and advertise for the style and type of musicians you would like to work with. It also helps you organise copyright. I have put The Battle for My Heart on this website. If you’re interested in helping me develop this song, feel free to look me up.
I discovered Kompoz after writing this post so I’m just adding it in now. I have found it much more useful than Find My Song although it is very similar. It has the same premise of uploading projects to the website and collaborating with other musicians to write songs. I just happened to get more interaction on this website than on Find My Song. Everyone on here is so helpful in the song writing process. I’ve basically got two finished versions of The Battle for My Heart and have many other projects on the go. I’ve worked on a few collaborations for other people as well. It is seriously easy to spend all your time on this site though so I’m warning you in advance how addictive it is.
Do you have any favourite apps and websites that you use for song writing? Feel free to share with me 🙂 Happy song writing til next time. Here’s Part 3.