These days, most songwriters I know are busier than ever managing lives, families, jobs, social media, writing, performing – the list goes on and on. Our time is precious and valuable! Here’s a list of 5 free songwriter tools I use to streamline and organize my writing process so that I have more time to be productive and creative.
This is one of my favorite tools for co-writing. Not only does it save changes as you make them, but also, all of your co-writer’s changes, whether they are in the room or Skype-writing 1,000 miles away. All of the writers can see changes in the document while you type, and you can see their contributions in real-time, too. Everyone works in one document simultaneously! I really love this when I’m writing with a lyric writer. The less my hands are typing on my computer screen, the more my hands can be on my guitar tweaking the melody. Another great benefit is that you can access these docs from any smart device. I can work on my lyrics whether I’m in an airport or late night in a recording studio.
I’m often asked how I keep up with all my work tapes, demos, and melody ideas. It’s very simple. I create different playlists in iTunes for organization. I add extra columns, in addition to “Song Title,” to include my cowriters, the demo singer, and the creation date.
Box.com Storing all of your songs (mp3s) in Box is a handy way to give other people access to your music. I’m constantly pitching my songs to artists, producers, etc., and Box allows me to send links from any device to anyone. Very handy! It’s also a great back-up if you keep all of your songs on your computer hard-drive. Box offers a sizable free account.
Songwriters must protect their songs. Your song’s copyright goes into effect the moment you write it, however, you need to prove that you wrote it. So, as soon as I finish a song, I make a simple recording with my phone voice recorder. Then, I email the recording and song lyric to myself. That time stamps it and proves when I wrote the song.
iPhone Voice Memos App is my most used free songwriter tool.
I use this ALOT! Voice Memos record great sounding audio through the built-in mic in your iPhone. After I finish each writing session I make a quick recording for my records. It dates each recording and lets me title it to find it easily later. Voice memos also lets you email songs to yourself which is handy for proving the date of creation for copyright purposes. Read more about Poor Man’s Copyright here. Finally, voice memos allow you to upload your songs to cloud formats like SongSpace, Soundcloud, and such.
I hope you find these free songwriter tools useful and let me know if you have any questions below.
Write on! ~CM