I know many of the readers here also like writing songs, so this one is for you.
For years I was looking for a songwriting software / app that would let me do a couple of simple things that I knew could make my life easier:
- Store my lyrics, and have a great rhyming dictionary built-in for those times I was feeling stuck.
- Sync between my phone and my computer, so that I could keep working fluently on my songs, no matter what device I had next to me at the time.
- Record my voice memo ideas and song drafts and store them together with the lyrics. (And also easily sync those to the computer as well)
There were a couple of apps that came close in the past, which I have recommended before, but all of them were pretty basic and also lacked the most important feature – which is the sync between the phone and the computer.
Luckily, it all changed in late 2020 when I found Songcraft on a random internet surf session.
Here's a little demo of how it looks like on the computer.
Personally, I don't use a lot of the features (such as the tabs for example) so usually when I write, things look more simple:
My experience with the app
So basically, for the last 18 months, Songcraft has been the only songwriting app I needed and used, and I came back to it almost daily. It's very convenient to work across several songs at a time, and you can get down to work easily every time.
There are several key benefits here that literally made my entire songwriting process much more fluent since I started using it. Some examples are below.
The benefits I find the most useful:
- It helps you stay organized by having all of your songs in one app that syncs across your devices.
- All of your lyrics fit neatly in the app, and you can write the different song parts in brackets and they automatically become bold. That makes your songwriting work very clear to navigate. For example, when you type [Verse 1], it automatically becomes [Verse 1]
- Features like the rhyming dictionary and the “related words” tool are always there for you when you are stuck and can't think of a rhyme, or sometimes a more “artsy” way to say something simple. These features are what make the app a helpful companion not only to store your songs but also to improve the level of your songwriting.
- You can store all of your voice memo ideas of a specific song in one place inside the app, instead of all over the place in your phone's voice memos app.
- You can easily add comments. (For example, of lyrics that you want to revisit later, etc.)
- You can add chords and tabs in a convenient way that feels very organic. (The chords show up in blue instead of black which is convenient to look at)
- You can collaborate with other people on the same song project, have them add comments, edit, etc.
Disadvantages & things I'd be happy to see being improved
- Songcraft doesn't have a native app yet, so you can still use it as an app and add it to your phone / desktop home screen with a cool icon, but it takes a few extra seconds by using a workaround. (Click the relevant platform to see how to do use this workaround iPhone/Android/PC/Mac)
- The voice recording quality isn't as good as when recording directly through the phone app, probably because it is being compressed to allow easy sync on the cloud.
- I'd be happy to see an option to choose more fonts, since the default font feels pretty basic and uninspiring.
- This one is very specific, but as an Israeli and as an Hebrew speaker, I cannot use the app to write songs in Hebrew because there is no right to left language support and everything is flipped. So while it's not an issue for most people, it's a problem that applies to around 10% of the world's population, who speak and write in right-to-left languages.
You can use Songcraft as a free-forever as long as you have up to five songs in the app. If you want to have more, you need to opt in to their paid plan which is 5$/8$ a month (charged annually/monthly).
At almost 100$/year it's not the cheapest, but as someone who uses this app almost every day and am very happy with it – to me it's a no brainer. I've tested pretty much all the other songwriting apps and none of them came close to how much I enjoy using this one.
The bottom line
If you are just writing every once in a while, maybe you can just keep on working with your phone's notes app and voice recording app. However, I think that getting more organized and having those helpful features in hand is a huge step towards writing better songs and being more consistent about your songwriting, whether you have high aspirations with it, or whether you're doing it just a hobby.
So the bottom line is that I highly recommend at least giving it a try, especially since the basic version is free.
I hope that helps, and let me know below if you have any questions. Enjoy.