Writing Lyrics Help

On a related note, if you’re building your lyric around an overall metaphor such as the ocean, for example, stay away from expressions or images that don’t relate.

The key is to have the last line of your chorus go out with a satisfying - if metaphorical - bang. First and foremost your words should “do no harm.” What I mean by this is that if a lyric doesn’t sound good - and natural - being sung, it doesn’t matter what you’re saying, things won’t go well.

Lyric writing may be related to poetry but a lyric still has to answer to a singer. The easier and more comfortable a lyric is to sing the more fun it will be for people to listen to.

Given the truly limited amount of time you’ve got to make your point in a lyric, it pays to make sure each line serves the message of your hook so that the song’s point is developed and driven home at every opportunity.

Lines that just sound or feel good are, unfortunately, a waste of valuable space.

If you stumble, so will the singer, so look for physically easier ways to say the same things. Are the little words like “and,” “but” & “’cause” used properly, or can they be removed altogether?

One of the final tests I use when refining my lyrics is to make sure that there are no speed bumps in my story. If they’re used improperly they can be distracting to the listener.

Each image and detail should relate to the overall metaphor in order for the lyric to be at its most powerful.

Be careful, though, not to use so many metaphors that your song sounds contrived. Verses are the place to tell the story and stories are best told with interesting details.

Being conversational and not “too clever” is an important step in keeping your song believable. The expression “A picture is worth a thousand words” is never truer than in your verses.

To that end, really focus on the kind of imagery that will bring the listener into your song.


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