Author Topic: How do I write lyrics?  (Read 2150 times)

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Offline 182SecondsOfPanic

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How do I write lyrics?
« on: February 08, 2015, 09:03:35 am »
Hello there! So I have lots of ideas and little phrases and lines of lyrics but none of them go together. How do I write an entire song?

Offline digger72

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Re: How do I write lyrics?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2015, 10:30:24 am »
Hi,

In some ways it depends what style of music you are writing. For some songs abstract lyrics work, for others it is just relatively simple rhymes.
First i'd think about structure - intro, verse, etc - where you want to put lyrics. Then write one bit for each of these places - so try to write a full verse. Some folks recommend starting with the second verse first - that way it prompts you to write what came before and what comes after. Once you have one verse you can follow the same word/syllable count, and or the rhyming scheme (if you are using rhyme).
Are you telling stories, just trying to create a general feel which folks can attach their own ideas to, or something simple for folks to sing along to? Ask yourself what you want to write about - get in to that mind set and then perhaps brainstorm your thoughts on that subject, writing down any words and phrases that come in to your mind. Then just piece them together in some fashion or other.
Or just sing la la la or ooh when you can't think of words - seems to work for mega pop stars!

Cheers,

Digger

Offline SunBurstUK

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Re: How do I write lyrics?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2015, 04:48:34 pm »


 I don't do it in the conventional way. I dream them, so I am of little help.
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Offline mike42

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Re: How do I write lyrics?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2015, 07:02:41 pm »
Good advice from digger.

I'll also add that it's helpful to study other songs and see what makes them work so well. Take a few of your favorite songs, write down (or print out) the lyrics, and study them in detail. Look at how they structure the different sections, rhyme schemes, use of similes/metaphors, etc. Then take these concepts and try to apply them as you write your own songs.

Offline Dr Winterbourne

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Re: How do I write lyrics?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2015, 04:14:38 pm »
A book I found useful was The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry. It is a practical textbook for understanding and writing English poetry. It is quite fun to do the exercises, and it really helped.

When writing, the method that works for me is to drum the rhythm into my head solidly. Often, I will record it or just play the rhythm over and over, and then go for a walk (or visit some other Safe Space where I can feel alone and create.) I 'la la la' the melody and the meter of the lyrics, adding in and jotting down words as they occur to me. Once I have the hook for the chorus, it usually suggests the theme and title of the song.

For me, when it is easy it is easy and when it's not, it is impossible, or the results come off as bad teen poetry. So, I rely on inpiration, but I also manipulate my setting so as to invite inspiration.

Sometimes, if I have a theme in mind, I will look at my notes/ diary etc for ideas that correspond. This can work, but trying to shoehorn in a clever turn of phrase, when it doesn't scan with the rhythm of the meter is never a good idea. If you have your notes and ideas, ruthlessly choose which ones fit and ignore the ones that don't. Or, create the lyrics around your perfect phrase. Match its meter and present it to its best advantage.

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Offline tobyjenner

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Re: How do I write lyrics?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2015, 11:03:07 pm »
Good advice so far ..............

Early days for me but I started thinking in verse, just sentences that rhymed. Over the last month or so I've started to record them on my phone and then write them down. I've got two subjects running concurrently and there's a bit of overlap, so I'll need to look at what I've got and apply it to at least two songs (mainly coz more stuff going on upstairs at the moment). This means I've a fair amount of content and a definite chorus for one song and an idea for another. How and if this will ever come together to music I'm not sure as I've created a progression template that sounds ok but the challenge will be shaping the words to the music or perhaps working in the other direction and changing the music to fit the words. Hey but its lots of fun  8)
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Offline SunBurstUK

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Re: How do I write lyrics?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2015, 11:47:23 pm »


  why not try just writing see what happens or comes to you, just pen to paper, you could start with a brainstorm technique? throw a word down and add things round it. Yet, my advice is hard to give, I dream mine, I am walking along also and all of a sudden the words are there from nowhere....somewhere inside me the words melody just turns up. Very hard to explain.
  You need to throw life's experiences into it, throw your feelings down and just write your day down something should be in it you can use. Can't hurt to give it a go.Don't fear writing just pen to paper and do it! what you waiting for  :)
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Offline sandboy01

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Re: How do I write lyrics?
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2015, 09:55:05 pm »
There are some great apps on apple


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Offline TheAJSound

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Re: How do I write lyrics?
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2016, 10:57:56 pm »
While I've been doing covers for a couple of years now - I am fairly new to writing lyrics / songs so I'll share the method that seems to work well for me:

- I carry a notepad type app on my phone with me all the time (iPhone has a built in notes app which syncs with Gmail, etc.)
- Any time something around me inspires me, or I feel like I've come up with a clever little rhyme or lyric or words that go well together which mean something to me I'll write it into notes
- I seem to think of some really creative lyrics on planes (which is great because I travel a lot for work)

Now admittedly I've only finished writing a couple of songs in full (one of which came to me very easily after a drunk night with some friends at a bach) - BUT this way you've always got lyrics and you just need to put them together or find a way to stick em' in places in a song when you're stuck for lyrics!

Let me know if this works for you :)

Cheers,
A

Offline SpacemanL2

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Re: How do I write lyrics?
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2017, 03:18:49 am »
An exercise I like to do is similar to an artist drawing or painting fruit or objects to practice their techniques. Write as descriptively as possible about any object in front of you. Leave no detail out. When someone else reads it they need to see exactly what you saw through your words. Try to incorporate lots of adjectives (descriptive words), similes (like words), antonyms (opposite words), hyperbole (descriptive exaggerations), and metaphors. Using multiple methods instead of repeatedly using the same type will keep your writing interesting, and more well rounded. Similar to mixing scale runs with arpeggios, and mixing up bends,slides hammer one and pull offs as ways of moving between notes keeps your lead guitar playing interesting.

 

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