OK so you’ve written a catchy little tune or riff and now you want to turn that into a great song right? You’ve maybe even come up with a melody for a singing line for the verse or chorus and it’s coming together nicely:) So, you grab your pen and a pad, snap open a beer or glass of wine (coz that always helps) and you’re ready to knock out some great lyrics and you’re thinking to yourself, THIS IS THE EASY PART. All I need is something to write about and I’ll be underway. A little bit of pen chewing follows with a little bit of staring blankly into space…how long can this take? 10 mins, half hour…come on, an hour at tops!
And another beer starts to slip down, a bit more pen chewing, a bit more zombie staring and you’ve still got a blank sheet of paper and 3 beers later you decide it might be a good idea to have a fresh start tomorrow.
We’ve all been there. In fact when I first started songwriting I remember spending a whole weeks vacation one year sitting on a sunbed every day trying to write a good song lyric and it just never came. (the beer was good n cold though!)
I do honestly believe that, just as some of us are visual and artistic, others do have a God given talent for writing lyrics and it will always come easy for some people. In fact a fellow songwriting friend of mine does actually make me sick at how easily he can write lyrics but what I also believe is that like anything we turn our minds to…practice makes perfect and the more you practice lyric writing the more understanding you get and the easier it becomes. Trust me on that!
So here are just a few simple tips that should get you scribbling in no time:
- Keep The message simple and try to write words that connect with people
- Try to avoid cliches but don’t get too hung up about this. A good song can have both similies and cliches
- Don’t think that everything has to rhyme (all the time ). Making the lyrics singable is more important than rhyming
- Tell a story in the past tense. Writing about something that has already happened is much easier to tell a story about.
- Write about something that is happening right now. Maybe that is happening to you, a friend or a family member.
- Write about something that might happen in the future. What would you do if you came into money, or if your partner cheats on you. Write about the outcome of a situation.
Hopefully there’s an enough ideas there to give you at least a starting point.