Paul Roub

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How Songwriting Made Me an Evernote Fanboy

I know I’m at least a year late on the “babbling about Evernote” train, but here I am anyway. I knew it was a nice app, heard all sorts of rave reviews… but having it on my phone kinda changes things.

In particular, I think this piece of software is going to let me write more songs. Leaving aside the question of whether this is a good or bad outcome for the world at large — as someone who (a) is a songwriter and (b) find himeself blocked more often than not — it’s certainly a win for me.

I had the germ of an idea a couple of weeks ago. A lyric, in this case. Sometimes it’s a fragment of melody, a chord progression, a theme… in any case, usually quickly forgotten. In this, I grabbed my phone, added a new note, titled it “Lyrics”, and added one line:

He’s been anything but kind

Had an inherent rhythm, suggested a lot of ways to continue. A good start. And now, I wouldn’t forget it.

Fast forward a couple of days, I have some ideas for more lyrics, as well as some of the tune. New Audio Note time, and I warble this little bit of ridiculousness:

humming and la-ing like an idiot

and then some chords:

barely audible chords

Not done, maybe not good, but not forgotten. A few days after that, stuck for progress, I headed out to see Kayla Brown play. Well, not see; I sat at the counter, out of site, and just listened. Kayla’s fantastic, I got inspired, and started free-associating lyric ideas, discussion of lyric ideas, arguments-with-myself, etc. Later, I scanned the scribblings in. Not forgotten:

scribble scribble

Started to actually type out the lyrics into Evernote on my laptop (everything synchs everywhere, so all of my reference points were present).

Had most of the verse/chorus figured out, and recorded those to the laptop for future reference:

almost there

Finished it up, took it out and played it, and earlier this week recorded an actual demo. Here it is:

Paul Roub - A Little Bit Wiser

What I liked about the whole process was how unobtrusive and immediate it was. Evernote was my pocket notepad that can handle sound and pictures. The whole thing just came together so much easier than it has in the past.

Now watch me not write anything new for nine months.

Update: The song in question, “A Little Bit Wiser”, is the third track on my new CD, “Acrophobe”. Seemed silly not to include the final version in this post - you can find it right here.