Whether you’re a well-established wordsmith or someone who’s never written a song before, inspiration can strike at any moment. Could that phrase fit into the perfect chorus for a new song? Could that melody you’ve had stuck in your head be the next “Despacito”? Use these five apps to jot down your ideas, melodies, and lyrics to turn those seeds of inspiration into actual songs. Not only do these apps give you tools to organize your lyrics and recordings, they also provide song-writing and rhyme-inducing tricks for when the inspiration’s not quite there.
Ever mess around with the word magnets on your friend’s refrigerator and step back to find you’ve created a masterpiece? Word Palette is basically your friend’s refrigerator, but on your phone. Open the app and you’ll find “sheets.” From here, click the top right icon to start writing. You can type with your phone’s keyboard, or click the palette icon to see four sliding lanes of intelligently scrambled words. Build poetry from the sliding lanes, or simply use it as a space get your creative writing flowing again. You can even import words from your favorite books, articles, or songs to create your own palette. Take that, writer’s block. Free, iOS only.
You’ve got the perfect lyrics, but you can’t get them to rhyme. Rhymer’s Block gives you basic rhymes as well as near rhymes and slant rhymes. Use the Rhymer’s Book function to start writing your lyrics with immediate rhyming inspiration. Could you use a standard rhyming dictionary instead? Sure. But a rhyming dictionary won’t give you those weird slant rhymes (like “science” and “horizons”) and it can’t track your rhyming patterns. Rhymer’s Block, on the other hand, highlights and color-codes your rhymes as you go!.There’s also a social feature, called The Block, where you can share what you’ve been working on with other users, comment on their projects, and show “respect”—the rhymer’s version of the Facebook “like” button. Free, iOS only.
Sometimes two song-writing heads are better than one. SongSpace lets you easily shares access to your songs with bandmates and musical friends. Click on the folder icon to begin drafting your lyrics and recording audio. From there, SongSpace allows you to add members to your song, granting permission to view and/or edit it. This is excellent for when you’re working on a song with a partner or when you could simply use a fresh pair of eyes (and ears). Free, iOS and Android.
Song-Writer Lite: Write Lyrics
This app helps you to organize all your songs, like a digital filing cabinet. The app comes with two premade folders (“Complete” and “In Progress”) with the option to add your own folders (like “Songs About My Cat”). The app helps with song structure, too. Title your song and label your sections with verse, chorus, bridge, and so on. For songwriters who also play music, there are over 1,000 chord diagrams for guitar, bass, ukulele, and banjo. Use the edit mode to write in chords. When you switch to view mode you’ll see them displayed right above your lyrics as you might on Guitar Tabs. Free, iOS only.
That humming inside your throat may be the thread to your sweetest melody yet. Hum helps you observe and categorize your songs’ melodies, as well as compile your lyrics and recordings in the same place. Tap the plus icon in the top right of your library to record your song and write lyrics. Tap on the smiley face icon to choose your song’s key, and note if it’s major or minor. The app is especially useful for songwriters who are somewhat music adept. For songwriters who are not, there’s an option to rate how happy or sad your melody seems to you. You can sort your songs based on their qualities, so you can begin to notice if you’re particularly fond of F major, or what end of the happy-sad spectrum your songs tend to fall in lately. It’s a sneaky way to reflect on your creative process and emotional state of mind at the same time. Free, iOS only.