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Lesson 1: Focusing Your Lyrics

Lesson 2: Writing Creative Lyrics

Lesson 3: Writing "Familiar" Lyrics

Lesson 4: Writing Melodies That Work

Lesson 5: Structuring Melodies

Lesson 6: Integrating Lyrics, Melodies


Lesson 7: Choosing the Right Chord

Lesson 8: Strong, Fragile Progressions

Lesson 9: Considering Form



It's a fact: If writing good songs consistently isn't happening for you, the music industry isn't much interested in what you're writing.


Get the whole picture! “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting,” updated for 2017, is part of a 10- eBook Bundle that will clear up the mystery behind chords, melodies, lyrics, hooks, motifs... everything to take your songwriting to a new level of excellence! 10 songwriting ebooks, and right now at a discount price.


by Gary Ewer
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"Use Your Words" helps you get a handle on lyrics. It's a partner text to “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting", showing you how to start songs by working out the lyric first. Songwriters that aspire to establishing a legacy need to place lyrics front and centre. "Use Your Words" suggests three easy ways to start with lyrics, and once you've practiced those methods, the possibilities are endless!

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All too often, songwriters consider themselves to be either writers of music or writers of lyrics. If you find lyrics difficult to write, this lesson, as well as the next two, will offer you techniques for honing your skills and improving your lyrical craft. In this lesson, you'll learn what it means to write creatively. You'll discover methods for increasing your lyrical vocabulary, and learn how to connect to your audience.




Guitar and staff paperWriting a good text does not necessarily mean writing a good poem. In fact, when looking at the various components of a good song, it's not so much that each individual component is great; it's how those components work together.

A good analogy is to think of a friendship between three people. Those three people can have the kind of personalities that bring out the best in each other. On their own, you may not notice their own individual excellent qualities, and they could be wholly unremarkable people. But together, those three people form a unit of "buddies" that reveals qualities and characteristics not noticeable separately.

For lyric, then, it's not crucial to be able to come up with stunning poetry, even though some songwriters are very successful poets, and this shines forth in their songs. It is important to note that text that works well as poetry may often feel stilted and inflexible as a song lyric. What's more important is being focused, being creative, and being familiar. Let's look at each of those characteristics one by one. This lesson focusses on... focus.



Guitar bandIn a songwriter's course, it's not possible to say, "Here's how concise your lyrics need to be..." It differs from song to song. But in general, concise means that you say what needs to be said without giving a lot of extra text. Too much extra text that is not on topic results in a lyric that feels unfocused.

As a lyricist, you need to look at the lyrics of good songs and discover if possible what part the lyrics had in making that a great song. You might wonder what sort of consensus you can arrive at when there are so many songs, and so many approaches. Though it's impossible to say, "Here's how to write a good lyric," you will hopefully notice the songwriter's ability to keep the listener focused and on topic.

Ensuring that you keep the listener focused requires several things:

  1. Make certain that even though the text may meander through various emotions, it all points to one overlying universal theme. Attempting to gather in too many basic emotions or topics kills the focus of the song.
  2. Understand when descriptive text becomes too much text. Of course, you need to be creative. But text needs to flow in ways that often differ from basic poetry.
  3. Be sure that the text has an underlying form. There are many different kinds of text, free verse being one of them. But free verse is difficult to set to music because it implies melodies of varying phrase lengths, something you don't often see in popular styles of music. So while not necessarily advocating a strict four-beat / four measure / four phrase structure, there should be a sense of innate rhythm and organization to your lyric.



1. Write five or more words or phrases that might cause a listener to think of the following given words. NOTE: The words you come up with are not necessarily synonyms. Think of them rather as words that conjur up the same sort of "feeling," words that might exist in the same line in the lyric:

HEART: 1. feeling 2. warm 3. the door to my soul 4. my being 5. touch my life 6. You're all I need [etc...]

PAIN: ________, ________, ________, ________, ________

HELP ME: ________, ________, ________, ________, ________

MY DECISION: ________, ________, ________, ________, ________

THE ROAD: ________, ________, ________, ________, ________

MYSTERY: ________, ________, ________, ________, ________

TOUCH: ________, ________, ________, ________, ________


2. In this exercise, you're given a line hypothetical line from a song. Write a rhyming line that could answer the given line. NOTE: Most of these lines are two-phrase lines, so feel free to either rhyme the ends of both phrases, or just the final phrase. Also, extend the exercise by suggesting non-rhyming phrases.

Example (from "Hungry Heart" by Bruce Springsteen):
"Like a river that don't know where it's flowing"
"Answer": "I took a wrong turn and I just kept going."

i) "With everything you do, what matters most to me,"

Answering line: _________________________________________

ii) "It came out of a stormy sky,"

Answering line: _________________________________________

iii) "Nothing ventured, nothing gained,"

Answering line: _________________________________________

iv) "This country that I love, the people that I meet,"

Answering line: _________________________________________

v) "You know I love you, but I'm afraid,"

Answering line: _________________________________________



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Contact: info@pantomimemusic.com | Contact Gary Ewer: gary@pantomimemusic.com