I don’t use many apps when I write songs but I use the Voice Memos app very consistently. It is a bit of a dream for the young songwriter in me who had to transcribe every song just to remember them! If you’re just starting out and want some ideas of how you can use the Voice Memos app while you’re writing songs, keep reading.
Record Each Song Section
Like I mentioned, I make a conscious effort to record each section of my song as I write them. I don’t usually hit record and leave the voice memo on because I know I will never listen back to the whole thing. If you can relate, just record each section as you go and record the whole thing when the song is done.
Record Stuff You Might Forget
A riff? A melody? I know I’ll forget how I played it and regret it later – unless, of course, I record it.
Listen to Ideas
My writing process is sitting down for a little time every day and running through the songs I’m working on. If you have ideas previously recorded in your Voice Memos app, listen through them at this time! Don’t let them go to waste after you’ve recorded them.
This is more for the producer-songwriters, but if you write better using a DAW like Logic Pro or Pro Tools, try sampling something using a Voice Memo. Some people sample a guitar or piano riff and set it on loop in the DAW. This can be a useful, quick tool to start writing and you can always record it properly later if it sounds terrible.
A great way to write harmonies as you write is to listen over your recorded melodies and sing along with them. Afterwards you can record them so you remember everything.
Recording Different Melody Options
It can be tough to listen back to a song and decide exactly which melody is the one that serves the song. Try recording a few different melody options and coming back to them later.
Hear Your Song Later
On a day when you need a break (maybe even writing without actually writing), it can be nice to go for a walk and listen to your song back without having done the entire recording in a DAW. Record your first draft of a song as a voice memo and listen back to your song with fresh ears.
The Voice Memos app is extremely useful… until you have hundreds of unlabeled memos and you can’t be bothered to go through and find what you need. Label every one of those memos, even short form, and this app will be helpful even in the most basic ways.