Writing Lyrics Help

Writing Lyrics Help-12
Instead of saying “a woman gives a man at the bar a cold look,” you could say “his beer was warmer than the look in her eye.” On the other extreme, be careful not to overdo it in your verses with the kind of minutia that makes a song seem too long or confuses your listener. One of the traps we fall into as songwriters is inadvertently coming up with different ways to say the same thing.

Instead of saying “a woman gives a man at the bar a cold look,” you could say “his beer was warmer than the look in her eye.” On the other extreme, be careful not to overdo it in your verses with the kind of minutia that makes a song seem too long or confuses your listener. One of the traps we fall into as songwriters is inadvertently coming up with different ways to say the same thing.

It’s often the last thing your listener hears before you go back into telling more of the story or the song ends.

For this reason, it’s a perfect place to put your hook. One thing I say to songwriters who are just starting is what I refer to as the hippocratic oath of lyric writing.

Given the truly limited amount of time you’ve got to make your point in a lyric, it pays to make sure each line serves the message of your hook so that the song’s point is developed and driven home at every opportunity.

Lines that just sound or feel good are, unfortunately, a waste of valuable space.

At its best, lyric writing is a magical mixture of creativity and storytelling that can bring your listener into a world you’ve created and hold them there for the length of your song.

However, in order to create the perfect, tightly-scripted narrative that great lyrics possess, countless hours of writing and re-writing are often necessary.

Sometimes the best solution is to see how many of those little words can be removed entirely.

It’s amazing to see how little you have to say to tell your story if you say it properly. A successful lyric performs a delicate balancing act between substance and style.

The key is to have the last line of your chorus go out with a satisfying - if metaphorical - bang. First and foremost your words should “do no harm.” What I mean by this is that if a lyric doesn’t sound good - and natural - being sung, it doesn’t matter what you’re saying, things won’t go well.

Lyric writing may be related to poetry but a lyric still has to answer to a singer. The easier and more comfortable a lyric is to sing the more fun it will be for people to listen to.

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