When I first started writing songs, I thought using anything besides my brain was cheating. At some point I got stumped with lyrics and started to branch out from my melon. Here are my current favorite song writing tools:
The first: The Thesaurus
Or, more accurately, Thesaurus.com. Sometimes I come up with a phrase, and I find it too common/boring/sucktastic....so I take the most common words and get the synonyms. This doesn't always help change a specific word, sometimes the whole phrase gets changed around depending on what I read.
The second: Rhyming Dictionary
I used to think going to a rhyming dictionary was way worse than the thesaurus. It was major cheating. Then I learned to give myself a break.....one cannot possibly come up with all ryhming words on ones own. The thing I really love about the online rhyming dictionary RyhmeZone is this: not ONLY will it spit out rhyming words, but it will spit out rhyming words of MULTIPLE SYLLABLES!
There are certain songs where the number of syllables in a particular line is actually more important than the rhyme, so looking at multiple syllable rhyming words gives me options to add or decrease the syllables when I need to.
That's it! That's all I wanted to say this evening :)
(Listen to my music and find upcoming shows here)