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 workflow 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 – 2020 UPDATE
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 an 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 bar. 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 number 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 to 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.
RhymeWave is by far the best Rhyming Dictionary ever created for rappers and as I write this, it’s totally free! You can start using it right now via their website. Be sure to bookmark it because you will likely be using it a lot! If you wish to learn more about RhymeWave be sure to check out my tutorial on RhymeWave which also includes a really awesome conversation that I had with its creator Jon Clark.
3. Bar Sheets
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 the beat.
If you would like to see these bar sheets in action check out my lesson on How To Use Bar Sheets 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!
4. Studio One Prime
Studio One by PreSonus is a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) that has become an industry standard and it’s a BEAST! And they offer a free version of Studio One called “prime” which is easily the best free DAW you can get your hands on!
I recommend every rapper to use a DAW for songwriting to be as productive and creative as possible. If you wish to see some live examples of how a DAW can help you be sure to watch my lesson on the 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Using A DAW To Write Your Songs.
I recommend PreSonus Prime because it does everything you will need! Plus it’s beautiful, free, and it will work on both Mac and Windows!
In short, Evernote is a cloud-based word processor that 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 songwriting 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 about why I consider Evernote to be a songwriter’s best friend check out my article about it here.
6. Audio Keychain
Another tool I’ve been using a lot as of recent is called “Audio Keychain“. In short Audio Keychain is a website that allows you to upload a song or instrumental and it will tell you the tempo as well as the key that the song is in!
This is a big deal if you’re struggling to figure out the tempo of a song so that you can properly align it to the grid of your DAW. But in addition to this, if you’re wanting to do any type of singing, I recommend using some type of AutoTune plugin because it will help you dial in your melodies faster and help you train the pitch of your voice. But in order for AutoTune to work, you have to tell it the key that the song is in, and that’s where Audio Keychain saves the day!
If you’re looking for a free AutoTune that is compatible for both Mac and Windows then be sure to check out Graillon 2 by Auburn Sounds.
How Did I Do?
Did you find this article helpful? Have a question or comment? I’d love to hear from you so make sure you drop your 2 cents in the comments section below!