The Who - My Generation

Your Song and Its Message

Songwriters like to talk about a song’s message — the backstory we pick up from the lyrics. There’s a common belief that the best songs are the ones that present a cogent, powerful (even if subtle) message. But message is a tricky concept, because in fact, history shows that the best songs — the ones, for […]

Ed Sheeran

The Proper Progression of Song Lyrics: A Checklist

Take a look at pop song lyrics, and you’ll see everything from straight-ahead, easy-to-follow, to something more abstract. The easy-to-follow lyrics might be something like “Thinking Out Loud” (Ed Sheeran, Amy Wadge, Julian Williams): When your legs don’t work like they used to before And I can’t sweep you off of your feet Will your […]

Songwriter - lyrics

Why Lyrics-First Songwriting Processes Are a Good Idea

A song is good if it makes an emotional impact on the listener. So whether you start the songwriting process by coming up with lyrics, chords or melodies, the end result needs to be the same: a piece of music that causes the audience to feel something. It’s why you’re more likely to find that […]

Tom Petty

Comparing Lyrics From Different Song Genres

Get the eBook bundle that thousands of songwriters are using to improve their songwriting technique. No matter what genre of songwriting you examine, you’ll find a few commonalities when it comes to lyric writing: Good lyrics usually use common, everyday words. Good lyrics usually use a conversational style. Good lyrics exhibit an ebb and flow […]

Creating a Lyrical Hook

In songwriting, a hook is a short, catchy element within a song that gets repeated often, particularly in the chorus. There are many kinds of hooks, however, and if you’d like to read about those, try this article: “Exploring a Deeper Definition of a Song Hook.” One hook type that that article doesn’t directly address […]

Songwriting with guitar

Song Lyrics: Having Two Favourite Processes

Do you find that you constantly get stuck at the lyric-stage of songwriting? When everything you write sounds wrong, it can leave you with practically no new direction to try. Compare that problem to a similar problem with writing melodies. If your melodies aren’t working, more improvisation should get you finally moving in the right […]