Must-Have Songwriting Tools

There are certain songwriting tools that are must-haves for any songwriter. They not only make the ritual of writing songs easier, but some of them have been known to save a newborn song from premature extinction!

There are also some that might not be absolutely necessary, but are valuable tools none the less.

Here is a list of some of my most important tools:

1. Notebook
The notebook has to be the first on the list. I keep mine close by at all times. On the nightstand, in the car, one is always with me. I write down everything that comes to mind, and tend to fill them up rather quickly. I never throw them away! When I fill one up I store it with all the other filled-up ones for future use.

2. Thesaurus
This is one of those songwriting tools I simply could not do without. It has helped me out of a tight spot more times than I can remember. Sometimes I even look through it just to get a basic idea of what I want to write about!

3. Dictionary
If you're not completely sure what a word means, look it up! It's an awful feeling to learn the true meaning of a word you thought you knew after you've written it into a song. Especially a song you wrote a couple of years ago!

4. Rhyming Dictionary
This is a tool I don't tend to use as much as some of the other songwriting tools. But it has helped me out from time to time. I know a lot of writers who use one of these religiously.

5. Hand-Held Recorder
This tool has one clear advantage over the notebook: It can record not only lyrics, but music. So many melodies I would have lost had I not hummed them into my trusty little portable.

6. Computer/Internet
Obviously, the computer is an invaluable tool. Using a word processor makes writing songs much easier - as soon as I have a few lines, I transfer my new song there.

Also, researching the Internet is easier than ever. You can find an answer for practically anything you want to know. It might not be the right answer, but you'll almost certainly get an answer!

7. Drum Machine
I've been using one of these babies for years! Not for recording any more, but for writing. Sometimes a groove is the thing I need most to get the creative juices flowing.

Useful songwriting tools are by no means limited to the examples above. A certain guitar, for example, will give me a completely different feeling or point of view.

Sometimes I like to write on the keyboard. When I do that it's a sure bet my song will turn out differently than if I had written it on the guitar.

After the essentials, try out some not-so-obvious ones for yourself.

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