Ultimate List Of Songwriting Shortcut Apps

Ultimate List Of Song Writing Shortcut Apps

We recently created a series on the channel where we reviewed apps that help producers create songs faster and help deal with beat block and writer's block.

These apps can help you create nearly everything you need with little to no music theory and musical experience including chords, melodies, basslines, arpeggios, drums and even help you pick out scales.

Whether you're a novice or a veteran these apps can certainly help provide inspiration for that next great hit while at the same time educating you on music production.

Chords & Chord Progressions

  • Odesi by Mixed In Key for FREE (Offers IAP) 
    Odesi is a sonic sketch pad for making great 4-bar compositions. Explore different rhythms and create the perfect chord progressions, basslines, and drum beats. As quick as a flash, lay down the foundation for your next big hit. When you're done with your session, your chords, basslines and drums will be 100% finished. Export to the desktop version of Odesi, or any of your other favorite music production software.

  • Chord Progression Generator by Michael Krautsieder for FREE (Offers IAP)
    Chord Progression Generator is a simple chord progression generator for you to help find and play chords, melodies and music of any kind and later incorporate them into your music projects. This app is super easy to use, works for all genres and is perfect for producers of any skill level and allows you to export everything to your favorite DAW.

  • Autochords by Astrocode Pty Ltd for FREE (Offers IAP)
    Autochords is the ultimate songwriting cheat sheet and inspiration machine. Learn how to play chords on guitar, piano, and ukulele. Just pick a progression style and a key that you're comfortable playing in, and Autochords will show you what to play for your Main Progression. You can preview the entire progression in the selected tempo with the tap of a button. It also suggests "Alternative progressions" that you can use for other sections of the song, like a bridge or backing for a solo.

  • Chordbot by Contrasonic AB for $4.99 US
    Chordbot is a songwriting tool / electronic backup band that lets you create and play complex chord progressions in different arrangements easily. Just add some chords, select a comping style and hit play. Use it for songwriting experiments, to create backing tracks for practicing solos, or just for fun. Easily create arrangements and mixes by selecting from hundreds of piano, guitar, synth, bass and drum tracks.

  • ChordPolyPad by Laurent Colson for $14.99 US
    ChordPolyPad is a MIDI chords player that allows you to create chord sets from a large internal library, from any combination of notes, or from chords generated randomly. Each set consists of 8 groups of 16 pads, or 2 groups of 64 pads. In addition to play chords, each pad can generate customizable MIDI controls on its horizontal and vertical axis.

  • ChordUp by Dmitry Klochkov for $5.99 US
    ChordUp is a musical instrument and MIDI controller that allows you to play almost any common chord instantly. No need to configure presets for each song. ChordUp features a number of useful capabilities in addition to just playing chords such as strumming and playing arpeggios. Use this app with any iOS instrument on the same device or a separate device via your wireless network.

  • KB-1 Keyboard Suite by Kai Aras for $9.99 US
    KB-1 Keyboard Suite is a suite of expressive virtual keyboards and controllers designed for a multitude of scenarios. Play multiple instruments simultaneously, complete with MIDI Polyphonic Expression, scales, chords, strumming and more. Use this in AUv3 format inside your favorite DAW.

  • Chordjam by AUDIOMODERN for $7.99 US
    Chordjam is an innovative MIDI plugin that builds chords and progression patterns through intuitive user-guided randomization. Choose from a variety of scale types, Chord types, voicing parameters, rhythms and progressions or have its powerful sequencer conjure up unlimited progression patterns for you.

  • Suggester by Mathieu Routhier for FREE (Offers IAP)
    Suggester is a tool to assist in the creation of songs and chord progressions. This app will help you find chords that work together. It is efficient and fun; use it to build musical phrases that will carry emotion through tension and release.

  • QuantiChord by Laurent Colson for $7.99 US
    QuantiChord is a MIDI effect that generates chords from incoming notes and quantizes the results to a pre-defined scale. It can be used as a standalone application or as an Audio Unit MIDI effect plug-in. The chord is generated by adding up to 8 transposed notes to the original note played. Once the chord is generated, it is quantized to limit it to the selected output scale.

  • Tonaly by Christian Hengst for $7.99 US
    Tonaly is for musicians of all kinds, songwriters, and producers. Beginners and advanced. No matter if it's your intention to get better on your instrument or playfully find chords and inspiration for your songs or productions. Write songs, find chords, and learn scales based on the circle of fifths!

  • Navichord by Denis Kutuzov for $7.99 US
    Navichord is a musical instrument and a songwriting tool making music theory a breeze. Get inspired and start writing chords like a pro and create lush chord progressions that can sync with other apps.

  • ChordFlow by Dmitry Klochkov for $9.99 US
    ChordFlow is a songwriting sketchpad that will help you create amazing chord progressions and melodies for your songs fast and easily. Create complete chord progressions and arpeggios for your tracks.

  • Klimper by POLYDIGM Software for $8.99 US
    Klimper is a mobile music studio with built-in music theory to spark your creativity and speed up your workflow. In the chord palette your can explore chords that are available in your selected scale. While a chord is played, related chords are highlighted so you can easily find chord sequences that progress smoothly.

  • Audanika by Grace Cloud GmbH for $4.99 US
    Audanika is a new digital musical instrument and MIDI controller. It is the official successor to the SoundPrism music app. Audanika features a new, innovative, and significantly improved sound system. With it, you can develop super intuitive emotional melodies and chord sequences that touch people and stay in their memories for a long time.


  • Groovebox: Beat & Synth Studio by Ampify Music for FREE (Offers IAP) 
    Groovebox is a free, beautifully designed music studio app packed with inspiring synths and drum machines. In minutes you’ll be making beats, melodies, and playing with world-class instruments. Expand your own collection with more sounds and instruments available in the store.

  • Riffer by AUDIOMODERN for $7.99 US 
    Riffer is a creative MIDI sequencer that generates random patterns and melodies for you. Designed to feed any Synth, Sampler, Drum Machine and anything that accepts MIDI signal both software and hardware. You can choose scales, complexity, steps, start and end points, playback motion, set pitch, transpose, measures and many more.

  • Riffler - Instant guitar riffs by Jonathan Bell for $9.99 US 
    Riffler allows you to instantly create unlimited, copyright-free guitar riffs. Just tap "Create" and listen to your new riff. Riffler comes with a ton of presets with a ride range of musical styles. For advanced users wanting to harness the full power of Riffler's advanced artificial intelligence, there is a huge range of customizable settings allowing you to fine tune your own unique sound.

  • Autony by Pagefall limited for $3.99 US
    Autony is an AUv3 Midi sequence generator which generates musical evolving sequences that you can further automate or modulate via midi. A clever algorithm creates a musical sequence which is output as a midi signal which can be used to drive a software synthesiser or a hardware device. Various settings allow the sequence to be constrained to scales and chords, transposed on the fly and also allowed to gently mutate giving an evolving sequence.

  • Cykle by Corne Driesprong for $7.99 US
    Cykle is an innovative, semi-generative melodic step sequencer for iOS that is based around the idea of sequencing individual musical parameters (such as pitch, velocity, length, transposition, etc.) independently, by way of decoupled sequencer lanes. thus, the interplay between simple elements can yield complex and musically interesting results.

  • Piano Motifs by Fernando Morales for $3.99 US
    Piano Motifs allows you to create original, catchy and inspiring MIDI loops at the touch of a button. No musical knowledge or skill is necessary to create completely new and original music. Piano Motifs is the simplest way to generate your own music.


  • Blocs Wave by Ampify Music for FREE (Offers IAP)
    Blocs Wave is a fun and beautifully designed music app for making and recording new music quickly. For songwriters and electronic music makers alike, it is an on-the-move powerful portable music studio. Blocs Wave is also great for live looping, thanks to its real-time stretch and pitch engine.

  • Perforator by Bram Bos for $3.99 US
    Perforator is a rhythmic gating audio effect: it will creatively snip, cut, gap and filter incoming audio to create rhythmic patterns out of sustained sounds.

  • Pure Acid by Dmitrij Pavlov for $14.99 US
    Pure Acid is a top quality bassline synthesizer and drum machine in one app! Inspired by classic hardware bassline synthesizers and rhythm machines, which changed musical world back in 80's, like the legendary TB-303 synthesizer, TR-808 / 707 / 909 rhythm boxes and their numerous replicas, Pure Acid is designed to bring back the feeling of retro analog gear in every detail in terms of sound, as well as to provide new functions previously unavailable in the original devices to make your music creation workflow fast and fun!


  • Rozeta Sequencer Suite by Bram Bos for $9.99 US
    Rozeta is a suite of MIDI sequencers and controllers that lets you explore a new, freeform approach to sequencing and controlling mobile music apps. The app contains 10 MIDI Audio Units in a single package, which can be loaded in compatible MIDI AU hosts. These apps help you easily create Basslines, Rhythms, Arpeggios and will even help keep you in scale with the Scaler app.
  • Ioniarics by Pagefall limited for $6.99 US
    Ioniarics makes it really easy to set up complex rhythmic patterns and use them to generate interesting sequences because polyrythms are an essential part of music the world over but can be quite tricky to learn to play and are annoying to program on a traditional grid.

  • StepPolyArp by Laurent Colson for $15.99 US
    StepPolyArp is a real-time polyphonic and polyrhythmic MIDI step arpeggiator and step sequencer. It can be used as a standalone application or an Audio Unit MIDI effect plug-in and can operate as a step arpeggiator by automatically generating melodic patterns from played notes or chords, or as a step sequencer that doesn't require MIDI input to play.

  • ArpBud 2 by Cem Olcay for $4.99 US
    ArpBud 2 is a MIDI Arpeggiator app where you can create unique arp patterns and be able to arpeggiate your favorite software or hardware synthesizers. Unlike the traditional up/down style arpeggiators, you can design your unique patterns with unlimited number of steps. For each step, you can set the note interval, velocity, octave, ratchet, gate, and probability.


  • Tonality by Bryce Hostetler for $6.99 US
    Tonality is the ultimate chord, scale, and general music theory reference tool for musicians of all skill levels. It allows you to explore a large database of chords and scales and includes tons of MIDI functionality, including 4 bundled Audio Unit (AUv3) plugins.

  • ScaleBud by Cem Olcay for $4.99 US
    ScaleBud is a music theory tool for composers, artists and learners. It has more than 40 most popular scales and counting. AUv3 Plugin, Audiobus MIDI Sending/ Filtering and Standalone app included. It also has several presets but you can save your custom presets with the supported hosts. So, you can quickly jump between keys, scales and chords you want to work with.

  • Cality by Pagefall limited for $6.99 US
    Cality is a creative midi processor allowing subtle rhythmic enhancement, controlled chaos and everything in between. Add swing or accents, quantise the pitch of notes, use a probability gate or use the cloud module to add addition notes all under midi control.


  • DrumComputer by Sugar Bytes for FREE (Offers IAP)
    DrumComputer is the new specialist for synthetic drums, combining classic and modern synthesis with flexible modulations and luxurious sequencing. Intelligent randomizers, elegant pattern editing and import of your own samples are just a few of the mind blowing possibilities. Enjoy new drums everyday and get inspired by all the creativity that DrumComputer sets free.

  • Playbeat 3 by AUDIOMODERN for $9.99 US
    Playbeat 3 is a creative groove randomizer plugin that generates beats and patterns for you. Unlike an ordinary step sequencer, Playbeat creates patterns using algorithmic and random procedures for generating grooves by combining Steps, Pitch, Density, Flam, Volume, Pan and more.

  • SONGEN by Vibin Oy for FREE (Offers IAP)
    SONGEN is an AI-powered beat making app. Generate unique and royalty free tracks and songs. With Songen you generate unique songs including chords, lead melodies, bass and drums. Perfect addition to a music producer's toolkit. Every generated song is your own, royalty-free and can be used instantly.

  • Beatly Pro by Antonin Charvat for $3.99 US
    Beatly Pro is a unique rap/chiptune/cinematic loops generator. Ghost producer at your fingertips. With Beatly Pro you can generate unlimited amount of 100% original looped music in rap/trap/lo-fi/chiptune/cinematic genre.

  • X Drummer by Positive Grid Inc for $9.99 US
    X Drummer is the ultimate drum production tool for guitarists, songwriters and mobile musicians. Start your musical journey by playing a simple riff on your guitar - X Drummer listens in real-time, searching for a matching drum performance based on the tempo and feel of your riff.

  • Drum Session by Ngo Minh Ngoc for $9.99 US
    Drum Session features a library of 3600 editable patterns, loops, and fills. Drum Session is a very fast, simple way to put together a complete drum track. Simply select a pattern, drag it onto the timeline and press play.

  • Lumbeat Apps by Luis Martinez
    Lumbeat Apps support pretty much any genre and instantly turn your iPhone or iPad into a professional drummer playing top quality and powerful drum sounds with lots of rhythms to get virtually any kind of drum grooves easily in a flash.

  • Different Drummer by Techné Media for $3.99 US
    Different Drummer is a powerful rhythmic MUSIC generator for ANY instruments or samples (with harmonies) that happens to work Very Well for drums too. It's also an amazing Midi Controller and MIDI file creator.

  • Polybeat by Corne Driesprong for $7.99 US
    Polybeat is an advanced and extremely flexible drum and percussion sequencer able to generate complex polyrhythmic and polymetric rhythmic patterns.


It's an incredible time to be alive to have an app that can help you with virtually every part of the song creation process. There's no excuse left not to at least give making music a try even if you have absolutely no prior experience.

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