While songwriting apps for the iPhone® are fine, it’s a small screen, and you may be like me – you have an Android® phone and an iPad® to take advantage of everything!
There are quite a few songwriting apps for iPad that give you more flexibility for song creation, storage and your overall songwriting workflow than a mobile device, with the benefit of writing capability and 6X the screen size!
Free iPad® Apps
SHARING & STORAGE
1 SoundCloud – just open an account, upload your music and you’re set. The free account allows you to stream, set up a private list, share songs with others via email and more.
2 ReverbNation – the app is primarily for managing your account, but, it’s much better as a tool to do this on the go now than it was when it originally launched. And, with song storage it’s a simple way to keep your catalogue of finished songs handy if you just need to hit the play button.
3 Dropbox – storage for all your files, audio of various file formats, lyrics, excel sheet for your catalog, etc. This is my office on the go! My file structure here matches my MacBook Pro and automatically backs up using the DropBox app on my computer. It’s added to my system preferences and overall file structure for easy transfer of files between my laptop and iPad.
4 Google Drive – I use this as backup to my Dropbox and as my sharing platform for co-writing. I also dump files from my recording apps to Google Drive for easy transfer to file converter apps and other devices.
5 Voice Recorder – this is bare bones and carries ads, but you can pay $0.99 to make them go away. If you love the nostalgia of an old cassette player, this one’s for you!
- Basics here record, stop, play and save!
- Connects to Dropbox, Google Drive and a few others
Paid iPad® Apps
1 Songwriter’s Pad ($4.99)
- There’s a free version – good place to start
- Everything is in blocks (intro, verse, chorus, bridge, outtro) so you drag a block to create the structure then start typing
- Idea generator based on words like “sad” which will give you similes like “melancholy”
- Rhyming dictionary as well as a phrase storage area for ideas as you go
- Chord dictionary also allows you to add chords in-line as you go
2 Guitar Toolkit ($10.49)
- Handy for chord shapes and searching for something you accidentally come across on the guitar neck – lets you put the fingers on the string and fret and will tell you the chord
- Also has a metronome, tuner and covers mandolin, bass, six string guitar
3 Ultimate Guitar Tabs HD ($5.99 annual subscription)
- Tablature for thousands of songs – submitted, but rated by users. Most very close.
- Subscription based but cheap for the volume of content
- Can save songs to favorites and lists and access from multiple devices via the web
- Tabbed and often transcribed for guitar solos and finger picking (travis)
- Can scroll automatically w/speed adjust if you want lyrics to scroll while you play for live performances
- ALTERNATIVE – TabToolkit may be a better option for you if you play another instrument and want full scores with lyrics and music notation ($4.49)
4 Notability ($1.99)
- Primarily a productivity app I use for business, but I often use it to type – OR WRITE – out lyrics, record a rough and email to myself
- Love the fact that I can use a stylus and just write
- Organizes into folders as notes for easy retrieval by category
- Auto-saves to Dropbox, Google Drive plus others for easy retrieval from your tablet or smartphone
- Email and social sharing features as well