Writing lyrics

A New (Old?) Way of Writing Lyrics

I’m fond of pointing out the similarities between all the different genres of music, because it reminds me that no matter what style of music we call our own, we’re all trying to do the same thing: touch the emotional soul of the audience. For most musical genres, the main differences with songs lie in […]

Songwriter-Lyricist

Fixing Common Problems With Song Lyrics

It’s not hard to find songwriters who find the writing of the lyrics to be the most difficult part of the process. You know what you want to write about, but every time you try to put it in the form of a lyric, your words sound confused, disorganized, or just plain corny. It’s time to […]

Gordon Lightfoot - The Last Time I Saw Her

Song Lyrics: To Rhyme or Not To Rhyme

There’s an automatic assumption by many that song lyrics must rhyme. In actuality they don’t. Whether to rhyme or not is often dictated by the genre. Country and pop lyrics are more likely to feature rhyming, while other genres (progressive rock, for example) may not make any attempt to rhyme. To Rhyme So let’s look […]

Lukas Graham

Brainstorming Titles as Your Songwriting Process

Of the many ways you can start the songwriting process, brainstorming titles is one of the best. There are several reasons: A title is the first thing a listener encounters when they’re about to click to listen. Titles provide an important point of focus for your song’s lyric. Titles imply a storyline. Titles can be […]

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 […]