Songwriter - lyrics

Forced Rhymes: the Ever-Present Danger of Rhyming Dictionaries

Apparently Bruce Springsteen used a rhyming dictionary to come up with the lyrics to “Blinded By the Light.” That cleared up a long-held puzzlement for me: I was finding it hard to understand how in the world his musical mind was coming up with those lyrical images: Madman drummers bummers and indians in the summer […]

Joni Mitchell

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. Trying to get a […]

Paul Simon

Weaving Lyrics Together With a Simple Metaphor: Paul Simon’s “Kathy’s Song”

The best lyrics are the ones that sound conversational when you read them. By sounding conversational, the ideas you’re conveying are going to have the best chance for touching the heart of the listener. Conversational lyrics touch the heart because they’re more likely to use simple, everyday words, the kind that are usually the most […]

Lyricist - Songwriter

Five Ways to Know Your Lyric is Good One

If you really want to improve your songwriting, the best thing you can be doing is to listen to other great songs, both from within your genre and from other genres. That’s where the best lessons can be found. Trying to get a handle on writing song lyrics? Discover the benefits of making a lyrics-first method […]

Guitarist - Songwriter - Lyricist

A Lyric/Melody Checklist for Songwriters

All elements of a song need to support each other in order for it to be successful. There is no one aspect of a song that doesn’t need the others to reinforce what they’re trying to do. Lyrics and melodies represent an especially vital pairing. The notes a songwriter chooses for the melody can reinforce […]

Songwriter writing lyrics

Fixing Lyrics Two or Three Lines at a Time

As a songwriter, getting the lyrics sounding the way you like is possibly the trickiest part of writing a song. What do you do when what you’ve written sounds lame, corny, or just plain lousy? Your intuition probably tells you that you should go line by line, consider the rhythm and flow of the line […]