There are a lot of songwriting resources on the web, below is a list of some of my favorites that I use regularly. By no means is this a complete list, use Google to find more. If you have a resource that works for you, feel free to contribute in the comments.

Object Oriented Writing

I first read about Object Oriented Writing in the book, "Writing Better Lyrics" by Pat Pattison. Basically, this is a 10 min a day exercise to help your writing.

Summary: Generate Ideas Through “Object Writing”

Word of the Day, plus user forums:

Dictionaires is one of the most comprehensive online tool to discover rhymes, synonyms, definitions, descriptive words, antonyms,

The Online Slang Dictionary - American, English, and Urban slang


To be honest, I've tried Songwriter's Companion, but find that a notepad, Pages or Word along with GarageBand works better for me.

Songwriter's Companion - For Mac, one time fee.

MasterWriter - All platforms, monthly subscription.

NoteWorthy Composer™ - Music notation software for Windows. Try/Buy.



Chord Progression Generators

It's easy to get into a musical rut. These sources help you explore different keys and moods to put some life into your typical I IV V.

AutoChords, although they have apps for iOS and Android, their best work is on the web. Guitar/Piano.

ProgressionGenerator. Similar to AutoChords. Also, check out the Scale generator and read their About page, which is music theory 101.

Chord Finders

Need to identify what chord you're playing? Or look up a chord in an alternate tuning?? - In addition to reverse chord look up, there's a great chord library that has alternate tunings, mandolin, bass and even an area to enter your own tuning. This is awesome.

JamPlay - Chord Finder / Chord Namer. Additional tools seem to be premium, but this is a great site.

Alternate Tunings - Information/essays on alternate tunings.



The old Jim Carlson Music site was severely dated. Based on HTML templates, the site was not only a pain to update, but lacked the features of a modern website (streaming music, a shop, responsive design, etc.). This replacement was long, long overdue.

This new site was a collaboration with Tanner Carlson, as part of a university project. Many thanks to Tanner for partnering with me on a site that will meet my needs for the foreseeable future.

No one wants a lengthy list of “what’s to come”. That said, this update allows me to broadcast my upcoming gigs, share videos, journal my musical adventures and release new music with ease.

Thanks for supporting singer songwriters and indie folk. Great things are coming. – Jim