Being creative is all about…well… creating! And when that moment of inspiration strikes you it’s important to take full advantage of it! In this article I will share with you 5 free tools that can improve a rappers work flow so that you can focus on getting your ideas down as quickly and efficiently as possible. So without further ado let’s get straight to it!
Top 5 Free Tools To Improve A Rappers Workflow
When that moment of inspiration hits you to start jotting down your rhymes but you don’t even have a beat to write to instead of fumbling through dozens of beats and risking your moment of inspiration just load up Metronomer.
Metronomer is a very simple but powerful tool. Basically it’s just a metronome that you can access via a website. You simply put your desired tempo (BPM) in, click start and now you have a click track to write to which will ensure you’re writing on beat. This will eliminate you having to fit your lyrics to an instrumental later on once you find the perfect beat to match your lyrics. What’s also cool is that later when you’re shopping for beats online you can actually search for beats based on their tempo aka BPM (beats per minute).
Also keep in mind that picking the right tempo that matches your style is very important as it can dramatically influence the way you flow to the song. Make sure you jot down the tempo you are writing to in Metronomer and take advantage of their download feature which allows you to download a mp3 file of your click track to the tempo that you select! Pretty cool huh?
You will want to keep the time set to 4/4 which is the standard time signature for pretty much all the music we listen to. It basically just means that there are 4 beats per measure. Also you select through a few variations of sounds that are played for your click track in case you find the default sound annoying. And the amount of beats that you select at the bottom of Metronomer will determine how long the click track will be that you download. The fewer beats the shorter the click track will be.
If you’re wondering what the big TAP button is it’s basically a button you can click to the beat of another instrumental if you’re unsure of what it’s tempo is. To learn more about tempo and why it’s so important check out my lesson on Detecting Tempo.
Let’s face it, as rappers we’ve all gotten stuck on lines before when we’re trying to come up with our next line to complete our complex rhyme scheme. Instead of killing unnecessary time why not utilize a rhyming dictionary to get your wheels turning quickly again? If you are unfamiliar with how a rhyming dictionary works you simply input the word or words you’re trying to rhyme with and it will provide you with a list of words that rhyme with it.
Here’s a few free online Rhyming Dictionaries worth checking out.
If you prefer purchasing a physical book here’s a few highly recommended Rhyming Dictionaries you can find on Amazon.
- The Complete Rhyming Dictionary: Including The Poet’s Craft Book
- Merriam-Webster’s Rhyming Dictionary 2nd ed. Edition
- Essential Songwriter’s Rhyming Dictionary: Pocket Size Book
Bar Sheets are basically a specially formatted document that I created to help rappers structure their lyrics better. It helps rappers keep count of their bars, accurately document how they’re flowing to the track by lining up their syllables within the beats of each bar, as well as keep track of their placement of rhyme schemes. I like to think of Bar Sheets as an organization tool for rap lyrics. This will prevent you from coming back to your lyrics later on and forgetting how your lyrics fit to the beat.
If you would like to see these bar sheets in use check out my lesson on Structuring Lyrics and if you would like your own copy of the bar sheets you will receive them immediately after signing up to my newsletter which is also free!
Audio Sauna is a cloud based DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and it’s a BEAST! I’m sure you’ve heard of Pro Tools, FL Studio or Logic and Audio Sauna basically does what those programs do except you don’t have to download Audio Sauna to your computer unless you want to. You literally can just go to their website and start working on your music. Whether you’re importing an instrumental, your click track your created from Metronomer to write to or wanting to make a beat from scratch Audio Sauana has you covered.
Perhaps you just want to quickly get your ideas recorded so you can have them archived. Well Audio Sauna allows you to record as many vocal takes as your heart desires!
Another feature I love about this DAW is you have the ability to loop a certain section of your song. This is great for working on your song in sections. For example if you’re trying to come up with a catchy hook instead of having to manually keep rewinding the beat you can just have it loop the hook section over and over again. Pretty cool huh?
One more cool feature about this program is that you can save your project file to your device or cloud storage provider such as DropBox (which is another awesome tool!). This means you don’t have to worry about loosing your projects information after your done working on your session.
And since this is a cloud based DAW you could be anywhere on any device that has flash installed and you could easily just go to the website and important your projects session files from your storage device and Wahlah! You’re all set! This means your project could easily travel with you and you could also share your project file with artists you are collaborating with. And the most crazy thing about this software is that it’s FREE!!
In short Evernote is a cloud based word processor which is perfect for rappers writing rhymes along with any other creative ideas one may have. If you’re at the grocery store and out of nowhere an awesome hook drops into your brain you can quickly record your vocals within Evernote.
If you’re going to the studio you can rest assured that all of your lyrics are safely on file within Evernote in case you need them. And with Evernote being cloud based it will synchronize with all the devices you have it installed on so you can jump from one device to another and not miss a “beat”!
You can also collaborate on song writing with other rappers by sharing your Evernote documents and even chat live with them via a messenger built into the program.
This is really just scratching the service with all that Evernote is capable of doing. If you would like to learn more on why I consider Evernote to be a songwriters best friend check out my article about it here.
How Did I Do?
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