Songwriting Resources 1 – Essentials

On these pages will appear the things I use and like. Maybe some of them will work for you. I don’t get anything for recommending them! Send me your favorites and I’ll look into adding them here.

“Ideas Notebook” / “Ideas Journal”

Not optional. My mind is not large or fast enough to remember all of the ideas that come to me. Also, you can’t predict when or where inspiration will strike. And you need it to be digital i.e. searchable. We are incredibly lucky these days to have smartphones, tablets etc. etc. that do this. My favorite is Evernote. You can add text notes, record sounds, pictures (e.g. photos of handwritten notation or tabs), webpages (it has a sister widget called Clearly that cuts out most of the junk from web pages just leaving the bits you want to read), emails and almost anything else. The first drafts of this post were written in Evernote. (Yes, you can use a paper notebook – but: Is it really portable? And do you promise to: (i) write legibly; (ii) be disciplined about writing in different sections for different categories of things; and (iii) remember where things were or even copy out on a regular basis to ensure you can find them? I am old school for some things, but I am not good at any of that. And I refuse.). There are others (e.g. OneNote). Doesn’t matter which one, but you need to find one, get one, and use it.

Thesaurus/synonyms dictionary

Compulsory (see what I did there). The “I’m sure there’s a better word for that” book. I have always used Roget’s Thesaurus (though never quite worked out why the part you need to look at first is at the back). But I also have an Oxford Thesaurus which goes from A-Z. For now I use paper ones. No good reason for that.

Rhyming dictionary

Also not optional. I have a Penguin Rhyming dictionary (also have to look in the back first – what?) – and probably would like to get a bigger one. There are some good smartphone apps out there: I used to really like “RhymeNow”, but it seems now to have stopped working on later versions of iThings. “Prime Rhyme” is OK though words appear apparently in random order and mixed syllable lengths. It also has definitions which might be interesting sometimes. “Rhyme” is the best pick out there for me at the moment – it’s not the most beautiful but it has free version and a paid version with more settings and no ads.


Do you use any of these or any other ones? Recommendations (but not spam) always welcome and I will review the worthwhile ones here.


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