There are many ways to write a song. Sometimes you wake up this morning with a melody buzzing in your ears, sometimes you work with a songwriting friend to inspire creativity, and sometimes you sit down with a guitar and notebook to force out some magic. There’s no wrong way to go about it. All that matters is that the process starts from within.
In today’s digital age, we have access to amazing songwriting software to help musicians at all levels. There are many options out there, and each one helps you stay creative and push through writer’s block to find your next sound. We’ve listed the best ones below.
One key component of writing a great song is writing great lyrics. In fact, some would say that without strong lyrics even the best melody or hook in the world won’t matter. If you’ve ever struggled with your search for words when writing songs, MasterWriter may be the solution for you. This amazing piece of software is all about words, phrases, and rhymes to help you out of a rut.
MasterWriter has several built-in dictionaries to help with the songwriting process. My favorite is the rhyming dictionary, which gives you over 100,000 rhyming words along with thousands of rhyming phrases. However, the features of this software extend beyond simple rhymes. They also include figures of speech, synonyms, and word families. All of that gives you the tools you need to take your songwriting to the next level.
MasterWriter is subscription-based software, which means you’ll have to either sign up for a monthly, yearly, or 2-year subscription to get started. It’s cheaper the longer the subscription you buy, but if you just want to try it out for a one-month term it’s still affordable and will give you time to explore everything the program has to offer.
Lyrics aren’t the only piece to the songwriting puzzle. You also need melodies, chords, and hooks. That’s where Hookpad comes in. This software is designed to help you write and compose catchy chord progression and melodies that you can easily turn into an entire song. It’s a great tool to explore that melody you’ve been humming or that chorus you almost have finished but can’t quite figure out.
Hookpad works by expanding on music theory principles in real-time. You can enter your ideas into the interface and the program will spit out some suggestions to help you along the way. Is this cheating? I don’t think so. Consider it more as a tool like spell-checking or something that simply points you back in the right direction. You’ll also learn a thing or two about music theory along the way, which is a nice bonus.
This software has an initial cost, but if you’re looking for a tool to help you break through to the next level of songwriting while also providing a way to better understand music theory, it’s more than worth it. You can sample a preview version on the website to get a feel for how the software works if you want to explore it before purchasing.
One of my personal favorite songwriting software is GarageBand. While this program varies by design from the first two mentioned above in the fact that it’s more of a recording software than strictly for songwriting, I find that it’s the best option for document ideas when they occur. It’s like a mini recording studio right at your fingertips and works well to support my personal songwriting process.
GarageBand is specific to Apple and Mac devices, but it works across all of their computers, iPhones, and iPads. For me, that’s awesome because it allows you to use the program on your phone while you’re on the road. If inspiration strikes, it’s easy to document the idea for future use. You can also access a range of MIDI instruments and samples that you can work into a song if you so need.
If you multitask as a musician, and I know many of us do, GarageBand can give you some basic production skills in addition to the songwriting tools it provides. That increases your overall musicality and helps you transition to more involved DAW software when the time comes. For anyone used to Mac devices, it’s very easy and intuitive to get started and the software also gives you many songwriting tools for free.
If you’re the type of songwriter who writes out sheet music or studies and works on composition, Noteflight is a great software option. This is strictly a music notation software, which means it’s not for music producers and musicians who are unable to read sheet music. That may exclude a lot of songwriters, but if you’re a classical musician or simply enjoy notating music, it’s a great piece of software.
Within the platform, you can create an endless amount of sheet music once you sign up for the subscription-based service. You can try out a trial period for free, but you will need to pay monthly to unlock all of the features. It’s not a digital audio workstation type of software, but it does give you access to 85-different MIDI instruments as well as some basic mixing tools.
Noteflight is a great songwriting tool for classical musicians and music teachers. The software also provides a way to sell the sheet music you create, which is an added bonus that can result in a little bit of extra cash. It’s a niche songwriting software, but if you have the need for creating sheet music it’s the best around.
Songwriting isn’t always easy, but it can be with the right tools. In my experience, there’s no one right way to go about creating amazing songs. You just need to write. By utilizing any number of tools available to you, including the software mentioned here, you open up more doors to your creativity and should be making awesome songs in no time.
Do you have any specific songwriting tips or strategies to share? Let us know in the comments below!
Jessica is the co-founder and content manager here at AnySoftwareTools. She has been fascinated by the startup culture in Silicon Valley and she loves building things from zero to one. When she is not writing, she loves getting close to nature and shoot photos with her iPhone and Canon EOS 80D.