+ Rhyme + Rhythm.
Lyrics connect you with people.
TYPES OF LYRICSStory People listen to hear how it ends.
Pop songs avoid confusing the listener.
Keep your focus clear.
Pick a category and stick to the topic.
Rock songs thrive on confusing the
Be cryptic and mysteriouse.
America, The land of the free....
Has the most people in prison,
Creates 10,000 new laws a year.
Write with a collaborator.
inspire you and add to your song.
When a group of people improvise sections, it makes the song stronger.
It gives the song a natural, flowing quality.
Jamming for Instrument collaboration
A good lyric blends with melody.
Sing the song as you write it.
What matters to you right now?
A title might suggest a
An idea or concept might suggest a title.
Any life experiences?
Any cause you believe in?
A storyline you’ve imagined or lived?
A catchy phrase?
A melody that suggests a lyric?
Write and read poetry
Be like Jim Morrison. Listen to The Doors
Find a unique way to use the title.
PIck a subject that's meaningfull.
If you haven't wrote any music...
Write the melody as you write the lyrics.
Make the melody sound good without the music.
If you have written music...
Sing the lyrics over the music.
Improvise a melody.
If any lyrics feel wrong, sing dummy lyrics that feel right.
Move the title to different places in the song. Sing it.
Start or end of the verse. Start or end of the chorus.
Put it as many places as you can.
“Let it be” by The Beatles The title appears 42 times.
A good title can be used sparingly
What's the motivation for the song?
Is this my experience or someone elses?
Why is the concept important to me?
Create a character.
What's the character thinking?
What are they feeling?
What's their problem, love or situation?
Is it present, past or future tense?
Write a lyric hook line.
Write several and pick the best.
Develop the lyrics strategies LINK
Create a musical hook.
Improvise on your instrument.
Find a riff or tone that feels right.
The 1st verse tells us what the
song is about.
The next verses reveal more information.
with a general idea and get specific in later
Or move from specific to general.
Stick to the concept.
verses set up the chorus.
Each line should move the verse along.
Use descriptive words and visual images
the chorus after you write the 1st verse..
It will suggest ideas for the next verse.
Try flipping the order of your verses.
The second verse might sound better first.
The pre-chorus sets up the
It makes a smooth transition between verse and chorus.
Use non-specific lyrics if the verse is specific. or vice versa.
It's often 2 - 4 measures long. 4 is average.
can unbalance the song by adding extra measures.
This creates tension that is resolved by the chorus.
This is the lyric people remember and buy.
The title line needs to sum up the
It can be a few words, a deep thought or phrase.
The choruses don’t have to be all the same.
If you have several choruses lyrics, use them.
Keep the title in the same spot.
Don’t change the title too much.
the title is long, use a simple melody
If it’s short use an advanced melody.
the verse melody is simple, make a good chorus melody.
or vice versa
The chorus notes are often the highest in the song.
The chorus is often written first.
It’s the most important part of the song.
The title line often suggests chorus lyrics and melody.
The bridge can:
Sum up the meaning of the song.
Expand on the meaning of the lyrics.
Provide something different (an instrumental, etc.)
You can change the key.
You can reflect on the verse or look ahead to a plot twist.
The bridge often occurs after the second chorus.
are often 8 measures or less.
They average two lyric lines.
They provide fresh chord changes.
of the words is as important as the rhymes.
biggest hits have a great word rhythm.
The words need to flow smoothly without music.
If the words don’t flow, change them.
You want to be able to sing it fluidly.
lyrics with a metronome or drum machine.
You'll hear when it stops flowing.
You may have new
ideas as you sing.
Record them and work with them.
Word rhythm can be accelerated.
This adds excitement (rhythmic acceleration).
Words can be stretched over measures.
This is a romantic effect.
Vowel sounds are easiest to extend.
Rhythm makes the melody more interesting.
Change rhythm patterns to make a
lyric fit in a different section.
But keep them similar.
Each music genre has different rules.
Country and pop use the same word rhythms across sections.
It's easier for the audience to sing along.
Rap changes the word rhythms, the music depends on it.
Rock songs change the word rhythm and maintain the
rhythms, but keep the chords and song rhythm.
The listener won't get lost.
Words shouldn't sound awkward.
it easy for the
listener to sing along.
Use lyrical and poetic devices. See Poetic devices
Write as if you're talking.
To baby or not to baby, yeah yeah yeah.
1st person is the
most personal, and popular. (I, we, my)
Change 1st person lyrics to 3rd person, and see what the effect is.
(his, her, they're)
You can address tough topics that are difficult in first person.
An advice song.
3rd person helps you avoid being preachy.
Present tense: It's here, now
Past tense: It's reflective, it looks back on a situation.
can change viewpoints if you're careful.
This adds movement to a story and moves the song along
Formal vs. Informal
If you're using simple words, don’t start using big words (unless it's a gimmick)
Music style affects the lyrics.
Country: no swearing, crude lyrics or words like lust, sex, etc..
Metal: You can sing about murder, but not fluffy kitties.