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What's the best program you've found for writing things down?


ChrisAlgoo

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I usually write my lyrics in a rich text editor. (I just use Window's not-so-beloved WordPad. I suppose I ought to go look for a better editor one of these days. But I hate the 'bulk' of full word processors like Word or Open Office Write.)

 

I then typically add chord annotations when the music starts gelling. At some place in there, I'll typically record or shoot a quick, informal vid of the song. (The latter if there's anything I think will be tricky to remember.)

 

Sometimes I use the MIDI arrangement-generator program Band-in-a-Box as a structure/editing tool. I like the fast way you can rough out an arrangement in less time than it takes to play the song.

 

And, for me, it's particularly valuable in that it forces me to decide on and formalize a structure -- which later can get changed, to be sure. I like the fact that I can quickly reorganize the structure and hear how it'll sound. Sometimes when I'm just playing my acoustic guitar, the arrangement can slip around -- and I can be intellectually unclear on how many bars of what are where. Heck, I'm the kind of guy who has to count out the beats in order to make sure he really just played 2 bars of Em and 2 bars of G.

 

Seriously, I have to force structure onto music by conscious effort. Otherwise it'll be one way this time and some other way the next. Just ask any of my long-suffering fomer bandmates or jamming partners. They'd ask me to write something down, I would. Then I'd play it and they'd say, You're not playing anything close to what you just wrote down, you know that, right?

 

;)

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pen and paper does it for me ... i write all my scraps of lyrics and melody ideas down

 

the ones that make it to the top of my list get a quick recording with just one mike for voice and guitar

 

i usually have a full song by this point, and can either pursue it or put it aside for another day

 

i've noticed that the ones i put aside rarely get recorded in full

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Lyrics: I carry around a Moleskine to capture ideas, but often work out drafts in Google Docs.

 

Music: staff paper for drafts, Sibelius G7 for legible presentations. It's rare that I need to write out music in standard notation.

 

Zoom H4n: I try to record everything. It's a great way to capture the lyrics, the music, and the vibe in one readily accessible format. I can always transcribe later if needed.

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There is a little program I LOVE - Lightning by WordPerfect.

 

It's a free download. Or it comes with WP X4 (which I bought).

 

It opens fast. No need to save. Type your idea in and close it.

I bought WordPerfect X4. But I liked Lightning so much, that I

downloaded the free version and installed it on all my computers.

 

It's the most artist-friendly word processor I've ever used.

OPEN -- TYPE -- and then CLOSE.

 

That's all there is to it.

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