Paul Simon

Weaving Lyrics Together With a Simple Metaphor: Paul Simon’s “Kathy’s Song”

The best lyrics are the ones that sound conversational when you read them. By sounding conversational, the ideas you’re conveying are going to have the best chance for touching the heart of the listener. Conversational lyrics touch the heart because they’re more likely to use simple, everyday words, the kind that are usually the most […]

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 […]

MIck Jagger / Keith Richards

Songwriting: Separating the Writing of Lyrics From the Writing of Music

The power and strength of your lyrics is an important part of how future audiences will rate you as a songwriter. It’s true that some fantastic songs have had pretty mundane lyrics. “I Love Rock ‘n Roll”, written by Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker, and made most famous by Joan Jett’s 1982 recording, is in […]

Songwriting and writer's block

5 Ways to Cure “Lame Lyric” Syndrome

The best lyrics are the ones that create an emotional response in the listener. That means that the words you choose, and the way you put those words together, becomes extremely important. Songwriters are very familiar with the chorus hook, but there are other kinds to experiment with, and you will want to discover the […]

Guitar, Pencil & Paper

Getting Ideas When a Line of Lyric is Missing

One bad line of lyric can make an entire verse or chorus sound lame. So what do you do when you’ve got a verse that you really like, except that there’s that one line that just seems to be elusive: you just can’t come up with anything. It might be that the line in question […]

Guitar and paper for songwriting

Got Great Lyric Ideas, But No Story?

Let’s say you find yourself in a situation where some catchy lines of lyric, or some great word combinations, have been rolling about your mind, but you don’t have a story or song topic that helps knit those lines or words together. “Use Your Words! Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process” shows you several ways to […]