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 […]

Bob Dylan

Your Songs: Do You Have Anything Interesting To Say?

If you’ve got the gift of gab, you’ve an an ability to engage others in conversation and to keep them interested. If you think about the people in your life that you love having a conversation with, the following statements are probably true: They find interesting things to talk about. They can speak eloquently. They […]

Singer - Songwriter

Locking Lyrics Into the Basic Beat of Your Song

When lyrics sound stiff or rhythmically awkward, it’s usually the case that the basic pulse and accents of the words and phrases aren’t being honoured by the pulse and feel of the music. One easy way to deal with this is to read your lyric aloud, getting a sense of the natural pulse of the […]

Guitar - songwriting

Songwriting, and Knowing What to Write About

How do you choose a song’s topic? For some, figuring out what to write about is one of the toughest parts of the process. There are lots of ways to approach it, and you might have several methods that you use interchangeably. Song Topics That Lead to Conversational Lyrics In one way, choosing a song’s topic […]

Songwriting tools for lyricists

Songwriting and Finding the Story

One of the biggest differences between writing a song and writing a book is the number of words you’ll use. A novel might use 80,000 or more words to describe a story, but with a song lyric you really only get a tiny fraction of that; maybe 100 words or so. So with novels, the […]

Guitarist - songwriter on stage

Songwriting and Other One-Sided Conversations

If you ask songwriters to describe the most difficult part of starting any songwriting process, I’m sure many — perhaps most — would say, “Deciding what to write about.” A song is a kind of social interaction. There are vague similarities between singing a song you’ve written, and having a conversation with someone, but with the […]