How do you write song lyrics?

Write about whatever you like! People like songs about their lives and their experiences. These are the most relatable songs of all. There are many different ways to write a song, but if you want to focus on getting your single to get played, then you should definitely write about what you know. This is called “writing from personal experience.”

I would like to break down this process into two aspects. The substance and the cadence.

SUBSTANCE

  • When writing lyrics, always think of your end product first. Think about the song’s main focus or idea such as:
    • Whether it is just a quickie/party record, your goal is to be catchy, clever, and fun.
    • Whether it is to convey a message or just purely express yourself, try to surround yourself with the vibe and emotions the song will resonate with. Be the lyrics yourself and trust me, the authenticity and raw expression will resonate through your lyrics.
  • “Keep it real”

    • Sounds cheesy but when you are jotting down lyrics, it should come straight from your mind/heart, don’t try to emulate or just re-do something someone or so and so did. Stay as original as you can and the quality of your lyrics and your creative process will increase by time.
  • Capture the moment.

    • As a lyricist, poet, or just a writer, you often get ideas randomly at random places and at random times. Be sure to note down those ideas because sometimes they are gems that are long lost due to carelessness. So use your phone or just keep a notepad and note down ideas on the fly as you get them.

CADENCE

  • Your instrumental matters as much as your lyrics. Because if the music behind your lyrics are trash, no one would even bother to listen to what you are trying to say. So be smart with production and the instrumentals.
  • Ensure your lyrics and instrumental have a relationship of being relevant to each other. Delivering heartbreaking lyrics on an instrumental that sounds like Pharell’s “Happy” would be a disaster.
  • Try to be experimental and creative with your rhythms. When you get to recording or performing, think of yourself as an instrument on the instrumental rather than just some person utilizing it. Blend in with the beat.
  • Capture the moment. Yes, for cadences too.

    • Record rhythms or melodies that just pop in your head that come up randomly.
    • If you are listening to music from other genres, cultures, or languages, chances are you will be running into rhythms and cadences you have never thought of. Listening to a lot of music helps you be more creative but once again, try your best to be original.

A general piece of advice, don’t be confined to the music when writing lyrics. Exploring other artforms, pop culture, history and every other thing in the world can be basically articulated into lyrics and it just boosts your creativity. So be yourself, get out there, learn, stay inspired, and be happy writing lyrics! <3

Edit- I forgot to add this. PRACTICE. KEEP PRACTICING AND NEVER GIVE UP. You might have days where you feel like you are just average or days where you feel you are at your best, these are all part of the game, and just embrace them as they come. Trust me, every new experience is another lyric that is being begged to be articulated and only practice and handwork can set you apart from other lyricists out there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.