Writing a Great Lyric

Added on Wednesday 6 Jul 2011

You’ve just bought yourself a brand-new laptop (the kind that weighs a couple of ounces and is paper thin). You’ve purchased a silver pen with your initials on it.  You also have your trusty digital audio recorder by your side, set to capture the cosmic overlap of words and music.

You’re ready to write a great lyric. But where do you start? Start at the heart. Find the subjects that matter to you most. Find the melodies that resonate in your soul.
Here are some of the ways the pros get started on their journey to writing a great lyric.

Take a look at using one of these suggestions as a starting point:
 

  • A title (from just about anywhere) that suggests a concept
  •  An idea or concept that suggests a title
  •  An experience you’ve had
  •  A cause you believe in deeply
  •  A storyline you’ve imagined (or lived)
  •  A catchy phrase
  •  A melody that suggests a lyric

Much of the process of lyric writing is experimentation and trial and error. Many writers prefer to start a song with a co-writer and finish it up separately (often getting back together one more time to compare notes and finalize the song). Like viewing a painting, it’s good to take a step back to see the whole picture clearly. There’s no need to force a lyric. You’ll find that if you just give it a little time (but not too much), the lyric will naturally come. It’s great to come back after a break and get each other’s fresh point of view.
 

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