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 […]

Guitar, Pencil & Paper

Summarizing as a Technique for Improving Lyrics

One of the most common problems songwriters mention with regard to lyrics is that they can sound muddled and aimless. And that can be a tough problem to solve. When you write lyrics, you’re usually trying to be at least somewhat poetic. And things can sound confusing and disorganized pretty quickly when you’re trying to […]

paper & pencil - songwriter

Finding Bad Lines In Your Lyric

As a songwriter you likely think sectionally. All that means is that you’re always aware of what part of the song you’re in. The downside of this kind of sectional thinking is that if something is going wrong with, let’s say, your verse lyric, the tendency might be to fault the entire section of lyric, when the […]

Joni Mitchell

Imagery: A Big Picture From Few Words

The concept of imagery in lyric writing is a simple one: using words to create images or ideas in the mind of the listener. You could argue that practically all lyrics will do this, even if they’re not specifically thought of as being a good example of imagery. Are you trying to make your lyrics […]

Creating Musical Ideas

What To Do When Lyrics Sound Forced

The best lyrics, whether they’re straight-forward (“Somebody That I Used to Know” (Gotye), for example), or complex (“Roundabout” – Jon Anderson/Steve Howe), share an important feature: they typically use words that you’d find in casual conversation. Take some time to look at the lyric sheets of your favourite songs, and no matter what genre you […]