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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Songwriter with guitar

Giving Chorus Lyrics the Emotional Boost They Need

Sometimes you’ll hear a songwriter criticize their lyrics, saying that the chorus “falls flat.” That kind of criticism usually means that the chorus lyrics aren’t generating the kind of emotional response from the listener they were hoping for. You’ll notice that I say “generating”, because that’s exactly what a good chorus lyric does. It doesn’t […]

Dan Hill

Working Downward Melodic Leaps Into Your Song Melodies

With song melodies, big melodic leaps can do a lot to inject some emotional energy into the lyric of the moment. The upward leap is common, probably more common than the downward leap. I’m not sure why that is, but downward leaps seem to require a bit more work to make them successful. There’s something […]