Some of the questions will be ones that you want to explore, others will be questions that listeners have. Let me give you a few examples…. Take a look to see how these questions were answered.
You might be surprised by the answer! It draws the listener in with questions, then answers them in a fresh way. Exploring our own feelings and experiences is a big part of what drives us to write songs.
So, here are a few questions you might want to answer. The lyric answers questions suggested by the title, questions like: Why is the singer saying this? What is the singer feeling? Why is it important to him? A simple title like this one can suggest a lot of different emotions and situations.
Ed and I wrote about the feelings we wanted to express, but another songwriter could go in an entirely different direction with the same title. You can choose the questions you want to answer and the way you want to answer them. What questions does it suggest to you?
What would you like to say about it? Then add any questions you think listeners might have. Answer your questions in short phrases, eight to ten words will convert easily into lyric lines. Check out my books at Amazon. Now is a good time to get familiar with one very important aspect of songwriting: An easy-to-follow structure acts like a path leading your listener through your song from beginning to end. The most common contemporary hit song structure looks something like this: Listeners like this song form because it provides enough repetition to feel familiar and enough variety to keep them interested.
It also gives you, the songwriter, the chance to add emotional dynamics to your song. Once you get familiar with this basic song structure, there are plenty of add-ons and variations to play with. Some songs have a pre-chorus or extra post-chorus hook. But try using this one to get started. Here are some useful definitions for understanding song structure: The verses in a song all have the same melody but different lyrics. The verse lyrics give us information about the situation, emotions, or people in the song.
We may hear the chorus of a song three, four or more times. The lyric and melody remain the same each time it recurs. The chorus lyric sums up the heart of the song. The title of the song almost always appears in the chorus section and may be repeated two or more times. The bridge has a different melody, lyrics, and chord progression from the verse or chorus. It provides a break from the repetition of verse and chorus. The lyric often provides an insight or revealing moment.
Look at the questions you wrote down in the previous section and choose a question to answer in each section of your song. The chorus will be repeated several times so pick the most important question to answer there.
Be sure to use your title in your chorus! Fill in a few lines around your title answering some of the questions you think listeners might have. Make sure your listeners understand your song by having the singer come right out and say what he or she really feels at least once in the chorus. When you have a rough idea of your chorus lyric, move on to a verse. Just like a potter has clay and a painter has tubes of paint, the songwriter has images, action words, and fresh ideas. These are your raw materials.
What are a few things that are fun, things that make people smile? Parties, dancing, weekends, and vacations. The sound of laughter and music. Favorite foods and a day at the park with friends. A trip to the beach, a night on the town. Bright lights and crowds and carnival rides. These are just rough ideas. Just write down everything that comes to you. Flowers make me think of colors — gold, red, purple — and bees buzzing around.
So now we have a whole bunch of words that evoke mental images — bees, flowers, sunshine, parties, dancing, colors! They all have to do with smiling and feeling good. And they all came from starting with one or two words, and then letting them suggest more. Notice how many words are similar to the ones we came up with. You make me dance like a fool Forget how to breathe Shine like gold Buzz like a bee Just the thought of you can drive me wild Oh, you make me smile.
Now the listener is able to picture how the singer is feeling instead of just having to take her word for it. This is one of the most important tools a songwriter has. After you have a list of related words, make a list of contrasting words and images, ones that suggest the opposite. Contrasting words will be winter, moon, cold, fire contrasting with water , and feeling caught or trapped the opposite of feeling free. Write down single words or short phrases.
And try not to be critical of your ideas — just write down what comes to you. Then, make a list of contrasting words, images, and phrases. Write as many words as you can think of in each column.
Let one idea suggest another and follow the trail wherever it takes you. This is a great exercise for stretching your creativity. When you have a good list of words, try plugging some of them into your verse and chorus lyrics. Replace a statement with an image or action that helps to express the emotion in your song and makes the listener feel what you feel or see what you see.
Every time you open your mouth to speak, you start singing! Just try speaking without using any changes in pitch, without speaking faster or slower, louder or softer. You end up sounding like a robot. Although we usually think of singing as something quite different from talking, we actually use a lot of melody when we talk.
When we talk we use pitch, volume, phrasing, and rhythm — all the elements of a song melody. So if you have a few lyric lines, all you need to do is speak them to get a raw melody started. In fact, just by changing the melody you can give the same words an entirely different emotional meaning. Notice the difference in the melody?
In the question, the melody goes up at the end. In the frightened version, the pitch starts higher and then the melody moves downward. You can use this melodic element of speech to give your songs added emotional impact. Keep the pauses that occur naturally and exaggerate the little ups and downs in your speaking voice.
Remember, this is your raw material, not the finished melody. Speak the chorus lyric with as much emotion as you can put into it. Now, exaggerate the pitches, keeping the rhythm of the words and any pauses that occur naturally. This will get you started on your chorus. Of course, there are other ways to write a song melody but this one will give you a great place to start. Work on the melody and chords using the verse and chorus lyric you have, gradually smoothing and changing until you have something you like.
Then write the rest of the lyric to the final melody. Songs for musical theater are different — they usually do require perfect rhymes. Check out a web site like Rhymedesk. Read my post To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme on my blog site. Know when to take a break Work on your lyric for short periods of time. Take a walk and let things settle for awhile. Keep the hit song melody in your head. Play with it until it feels comfortable. Begin to add chords to your chorus melody.
Try a simple, repeated chord pattern. Play with the melody and chords until you find something you like. Just scroll down to the section on Chord Progressions. Choose a question to answer in your first verse. Make it one that will draw the listener into the situation. Go through Steps 4 — 6 with you verse lyric and melody. Connect your verse and chorus. After you have a verse and chorus create a transition between them.
You may need to raise or lower your verse melody or change the last line to get to your chorus smoothly. Chorus melodies are usually in a higher note range than verses. When we get emotional our voices tend to rise. Build your second verse and bridge. Choose another of your questions to answer in Verse 2. Proceed through Steps 4 — 6.
Your second chorus will have the same melody and lyric as your first chorus. You are now almost finished with your song. You just need to add a bridge. Try two or three lyric lines that give the listener the best insight you can, or sum up what you hope will be the outcome. The melody should be different from both verse and chorus.
The less you have to focus on playing or singing, the more you can focus on the emotion in the song. Try singing it as if you are speaking it to someone. Record for short periods then take a break.
Keep the song and the emotion fresh! Now that you know how to write a song in ten steps, here are some Song Starters — titles, themes, chord progressions, and more — to get you going. Menu Skip to primary content.
If you wish to write song lyrics for a living, you’re sure to find song ideas for lyrics that fit with your music perfectly. Each day, you’ll find ten free song ideas in the box below to help write a song. We’ll also publish the ten song ideas for lyrics that you may have missed yesterday.
Help writing a song that you'll be proud of is on the way. In this article I will show you how to get past this frustration, and actually write something you really, really like. Not only this, but once you’ve done this you’ll know the path to songwriting greatness.
Read on my blog: How to Write a Song if Your Don’t Play an Instrument. ‣ Songs for Film & TV. Many of today’s top TV dramas and films use songs to add mood, energy, and atmosphere to scenes. A lyric with a single, strong emotional focus is ideal for this use. The Song Lyrics Generator is here to help you through your song writing writers' block. Pick a genre, answer a few questions, and the generator goes to work automatically writing your song!
Song Lyrics Generator Have fun writing lyrics and experimenting with different musical styles. You can choose a musical genre or artist to inspire your creation, then you choose a few topics to write about and we map out a cool song based on your choices. Tell us a bit about the person you want your song to be about and we'll use your ideas to write the perfect song lyrics. (Either that or we'll generate the most random string of sentences you'll ever read - it can go either way!) Love Song Lyrics Generator. Quickly make a love song using a few words of your own or our automated keyword.