If ya wanna get serious about writing lyrics, here are a couple of tips and hints for ya. You know, in case you are eager to start, just not quite sure how to do it.
Feeling like a n00b?
- If you are good with telling stories effortlessly, you can write exactly that: a story. There are some great storytellers out there, maybe you’re one of them.
- Maybe you’re not a natural storyteller. That’s not a problem. You might be one of those talented writers who can paint colorful images in people’s minds. Think Neil Finn for example.
- It’s ok to write a love song, even though the vast majority of pop songs are love songs. Who cares. Write one more, and call it a day.
- Be rhythmical. It’s a joy to listen to lyrics that have their own peculiar rhythmic pattern. It helps if the music doesn’t suck either.
- You don’t have to make perfect sense. It’s art, not a legal textbook. Okay, they don’t make perfect sense either. Oh well.
- Leave it as open as you can. Don’t give everything to the listener. Let their minds fill in the missing or vague spots. It’s often better to imply than to tell stuff directly.
- When music and lyrics come out together, it usually results in great songs. When music comes first, it’s good: you have set out your limits. You can use those limits as guidelines, within you can create your lyrics. When lyrics come first, well… you have to be pretty good. And you have to have a pretty good composer. It works for Bernie Taupin and Elton John. It might not work for you, and you end up with having to sing what sounds like a dry, boring textbook.
- Don’t write too much, unless you have a really good and interesting story. It’s often better to repeat stuff, than to have to listen to some long winded, boring shite.
- Forget rules; there are no rules. If you want to write about Santa Claus, write about him. If you want to write about colors, do it. If you want to write about the neighbor’s cat, write about the neighbor’s cat. Without ever having to mention the word “neighbor”. Or “cat”. Or both. Why the dirty grin? Or you can write about lyrics writing tips. Please don’t.
Now you may think our above guidelines turned you into a pro, but wait. There’s some more:
- What separates the amateur lyrics from the pro ones are not some hard written rules. It’s the ugly smell of lack of confidence. The amateur ones stink from it.
- It’s not using simple or complex words that make your lyrics sound lame. It’s the way you put those words together. If the listener can sense that you wanted to use those exact words the exact way you used them, you’re golden.
- You don’t have to write about yourself or your life. If you’re good, whatever you decide to write about will sound like it’s about yourself. And it will be.
- Don’t default on writing sad songs. A sad song isn’t necessarily beautiful. And a happy song isn’t necessarily shallow.
- Metaphors are your friends. Just like the lack of them. See, we come to your help. Hehe.
- Forget about the need to create drama, or having to conjure enormous emotions. You better just get lost in the creative process, than to force yourself to create something you’re not even part of for real.
- You don’t have to take our lyrics writing suggestions seriously. Wisdom is not in the words. It’s a thought of yours.