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 […]

Music Theory - Songwriting

An Idea For Practicing Lyric Writing: Creating Second Lines

If you find yourself fixated on improving your lyrics, you’re right to be. Over the long term, the quality of your lyrics is probably going to take you further than the quality of almost everything else you write. If you find everything else about songwriting relatively easy (the melodies and chords), but struggle with lyrics, […]

Neil Young

Are Preachy Lyrics a Problem?

I remember reading an interview with Bob Dylan once, during which he was asked his opinion on the state of the world. I don’t remember his specific words, but the gist of what he replied was, “Why are you asking me? I’m just a musician. I have opinions, but they’re no more informed than anyone […]

Songwriter - lyricist

The Conversational Nature of Good Song Lyrics

I’m really pleased to notice (or at least I think I notice) that the quality of lyrics has been becoming an important sought-after aspect of good mainstream songwriting. It seems only a few years back that everyone was talking about chord progressions. The term “killer chord progression” was one I’d hear in many musical conversations. Trying […]

Love songs

Good Lyrics Create (Rather Than Describe) Emotions

I read an interview with Paul McCartney once where he talked about the choice of words in “She Loves You.” In particular, he and Lennon considered it a bit risky to be singing a song about “he” and “you”, since most love songs put the singer front and centre. In other words, musical logic dictates […]

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 […]