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Taking Your Lyric-Writing to the Next Level

I’ve made the point many times on this blog that the one aspect of your songwriting that will contribute most to the power and longevity of your songs is your ability to write great lyrics.

It’s not easy to be unique in songwriting, and it’s definitely hard to come up with unique chord progressions. What’s more, the genre that you write in will often determine the instruments you use as well.

But melody and lyrics are the two elements within songs that offer you the best shot at making your songs powerful and unique.

A good lyric has a way of stimulating the imagination and helping listeners feel something powerful. But many songwriters struggle with lyrics. What can you do to make lyrics a more effective part of your songwriting abilities?

Over the years I’ve written many articles on this topic, and so I’ve put a few in the list below. You may find that the way forward to writing better lyrics is simply to put the spotlight on that element, starting your songs by working out at least part of the lyric as a starting point.

In any case, I hope you find something in this list that will help:

  1. Seven Ways to Become a Better Lyrics-First Songwriter. If you’ve been working on trying to become a better lyricist, I congratulate you. Great lyrics will be a crucial part of your eventual songwriting legacy. If you look at lists of the world’s best songwriters, you’ll notice that for most of those writers the quality of their lyrics has played an important role in their songwriting output.
  2. With Good Lyrics, Subtlety Can Be Important. All the basic components of a song — especially the chords, melodies, lyrics — act as partners. Nothing happens in isolation. A good melody will sound even better if the chords support it. Lyrics sound better if the melody they’re delivered with matches the rhythm and basic contour of the words.
  3. What Word Lists Can Do For Your Lyrics. If you write your own lyrics, I hope you know the value of creating word lists. One benefit is obvious: once you have a general topic, lists of pertinent words will give you the basic vocabulary from which you can pull together a lyric.
  4. Creating an Emotional Response With Song Lyrics. It’s an observation about lyrics that I’ve become aware of only recently: I tend to think of good lyricists as people who either a) make me think, or b) make me feel.
  5. A Solution For Aimless Lyrics: The One-Sentence Summary. An aimless lyric, as the term implies, is one that keeps changing its direction, so it’s hard for an audience to get a handle on what the song is actually about.

Gary EwerWritten by Gary Ewer. Follow Gary on Twitter.

“The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 10-eBook Bundle“The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” eBook bundle includes“Writing a Song From a Chord Progression.” Discover the secrets of making the chords-first songwriting process work for you.

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