The BEST Songwriting Tools 2024

Feb 05, 2024

As a singer songwriter who's written thousands of songs, I thought I’d share my top 5 favorite songwriting tools I use in my writing process, as well as 5 tried and true songwriting secrets. Call it 10 tips for top 10 songwriting.

If you haven't met me yet, I'm a former writer for Sony ATV, and I came up writing with and learning from some true geniuses like Stargate, Rodney Jerkins, Louis Bell, August Rigo, DQ of The Writing Camp, Taj Jackson, and many more. So I’ve definitely picked up some gems along the way! 

1. Song Starters

I don’t know about you but sometimes I wanna sit down and write a song but don’t have an instrumental or don’t have the right instrumental for my vibe so first tip is how to get some great song starters. These will likely be temporary instrumentals or chord progressions just so you can get the song written and recorded, then bring in a producer to make a new track around your vocals.

  • is a great place to start, especially if I know I have a producer who will come in and finish the song - you can buy a license to use these instrumentals BUT you won’t be the only one with access to the instrumental, hence the super affordable price tag. They also have a lot of beats for free download, basically to get you on that producers email list. While they do have all genres, I find the biggest bulk of instrumentals to be hip hop.
  • is our next option if you have an account or a friend with one, you can search for chord progressions. This is helpful cuz then your producer might even be able to incorporate the sample in the song. Go to sounds, type in some keywords and start hunting!
  • recently launched their Ghost Tracks feature and you can buy licenses there, and these definitely lean more EDM and pop.  

2. Pages: Insert Record Audio function

If you have a Mac, it comes with a program called Pages. This is basically the Mac version of Microsoft word, but there is a feature that literally changed the whole game for my songwriting. We write lyrics and melody, so why not have a feature that supports both needs? Pages does. For melody, if you go to the dropdown menu on the top of your screen and click Insert —> Record Audio, boom! You can sing right into your laptop to voice memo your idea out. You can even drag the player button around to place it next to the lyrics it belongs to. If you change the melody you can also edit your recording by clicking on the audio icon, and hit edit recording. You can add as many separate audio inserts as you want, so I usually make a new one for each section of the song, and I can just play it real quick to remind myself when I’m actually in the vocal booth recording. 

3. has been my go to tool for when I get stuck and can’t think of a rhyme. It even will help you find almost rhymes, which usually works just fine in songwriting. 

3. is super helpful when you are trying to find the perfect word for what you’re trying to say. Maybe a word you want to use just doesn’t sound right, so check the thesaurus for some extra help finding synonyms.

4. ChatGPT I use mainly for researching ideas ahead of time. I like to have an “ideas” note or google doc I can refer to when I’m not sure yet what I wanna write about. I find that it’s not the best to use it during a writing session because things can start to move away from inspiration and become more cerebral real quick, and that’s never the vibe for writing great songs. ChatGPT is an Ai chatbot that you can type a prompt and it will answer you based on what it has learned from the internet and machine learning. I ask it to do things like make lists of lyrical themes that are popular in Top 40 radio, or if Beyonce were to make a new album, come up with a list of hypothetical song titles. 

One word to the wise though, don’t rely so much on ChatGPTs ideas per say, but let them be starting points you can expand on. A lot of the results you get will be super cheesy, but maybe you'll know a cooler way to say something it gave you, and you may be really inspired!

Alright so those are the tools I use, now here are 5 more big tips, including my biggest secret melody hack for always writing a catchy hit melody. 

      1. Vibes are everything. Color changing lights in the studio, candles, and incense are all great. Another pro tip is if you’re writing with a certain artist in mind, while you’re writing, why not play their music videos on your monitor on mute while you write the song. Visuals are always helpful for inspiration.
      2. Maybe you need a complete change of scenery. Lately I’ve actually been writing songs in my car overlooking the ocean or some cool nature spot. Of course it’s always cool to take a trip somewhere out of town and stay in a cute airbnb and write songs there. I’ve written lots of songs in Joshua Tree. If you don't have the luxury to travel, consider re-arranging the furniture in the studio to refresh your space and mind.
      3. Listen to some references. Simply listening to a famous song that’s already released might get you into the right zone or trying something new. You might listen to a reference and like how they go back and forth between a long melodic line and staccato repetitions, or you might hear a super clever metaphor and try to come up with a similar clever metaphor.
      4. Reference the rhythms. We are creatures of habit, and we often resort to the same writing styles over and over. So as you’re working on your song, you might realize the verse actually sounds a lot like the chorus, and you need to add some more drastic variety. Quickly taking your ears out of the song and listening to something random, (maybe something on the billboard hot 100) listen to the rhythm, and then jump back into your song and try to sing something with a similar rhythm but in notes that fit your instrumental. This will give you a fresh idea and you might find what the song is missing. 
      5. Here is my biggest secret tip for hit song melody writing. I do this in almost every song I write, my clients love it without fail so I'd even call this a songwriting hack. Start with the first line and literally write anything, any melody at all, and it’s what you do next that’s the big secret that will make it super catchy and hooky. Write the next line or even the next several lines in the same melodic shape, but starting on a different note, probably a third higher or lower, maybe a 5th, it depends on where the chord progression takes you. To hear an example, check out the video version of this article in the youtube vid linked above so I can sing it to you. You can apply this concept to one section or you can sprinkle it all over the place. Repetition really does work all the time, and I still definitely do it, but that is kind of manufactured catchiness. Straight repetition is like forcing something to stay in your head, while this melodic shape technique is a bit more organic. It’s stuck in your head and you might not even know why.

Those are my best songwriting tips after years and years of writing with the best of the best. Try these out and see if you come up with a new songwriting routine!

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