Singer - Songwriter

The Best Song Lyrics Have Emotions That Arrive in Waves

Even if a song is about something emotional (love, deep friendship, death of a loved one, etc.), it doesn’t work so well to have that lyric be deeply emotional all the time. If all the audience hears is heart-wrenching feelings from beginning to end, it starts to dull its own effect. It’s far better to have […]

paper & pencil - songwriter

Reading a Lyric as Part of Your Songwriting Process

Have you ever tried just reading your lyric out loud, without thinking about the melody you’ve written to go along with it? Reading a lyric can give you a lot of musical ideas, and can also serve as a good tool for diagnosing songwriting problems. Time to fix what’s ailing your songs. Read “Fix Your […]

guitar, pencil and notepad

Honing Your Lyric-Writing Skills

If you find lyrics are the hardest part of songwriting, the best way forward is to try to emulate the greats. Whenever I hear songwriters describing the difficulties they have with lyrics, it’s almost always that they feel that they’re “lame.” In other words, it’s not so much that they don’t know what to write […]

Singer in a recording studio

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. But there is another benefit that you may not be thinking […]

Guitarist - Songwriter - Lyricist

How Much of a Lyric Needs to be Understood?

Some lyrics are stories, and so there’s a simple answer to the question of how much of a lyric needs to be understood: darn near all of it. The beauty of story lyrics is in the way you say things, and the imagery you use. There’s more to a song hook than meets the ear… a […]

Paul Simon

If You Aren’t Creating Images…

A good lyric might use clever rhymes. And it might use no rhymes. You might write a lyric that’s long and involved, or you might write one that uses very few words. Your lyric might be a story. Or the story might be only vaguely implied. You may write about love, or you might write […]