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Tapping Into Your Musical Side - Writing Song Lyrics

Aug 18, 2007
Have you ever thought about writing a song? Do you love music? We all know that a song is so much more than the musical background you hear throughout. No, the whole song comes together with the lyrics. The lyrics make the song it makes the music. Typically, the lyrics are written before the melody and music are added. The lyrics and the idea behind the lyrics lay the ground for the music to come afterwards.

Think about your favorite songs. Why are they your favorite? For many people, the words within the song grab their attention. For me personally, my favorite songs are those that have meaning. Rather, it evokes a particular feeling within me or it tells about a specific time in my life. The lyrics tell a story. They can tell any story, rather it be about love gone bad, an ever-lasting love, a person, a group of people, or a time in ones life. You are telling a story to the listeners and hoping they can relate to that story in some way.

Getting Lyrical Ideas

Most lyrics you hear in song come from the everyday life of the lyricist. It's a good idea, if you are serious about writing song lyrics, to get yourself a journal and keep it with you throughout the day, jotting down your ideas. You never know when a lyrical idea will come to you. Be watchful and mindful of your interactions throughout the day. Some areas that may bring you ideas for lyrics may include:

. General conversation - While speaking to anyone throughout the day, such as friends, family, or colleagues, you may find that something they have to say gives you an idea.
. Happenings in your surroundings - Your environment can tell as story as well. While you're in the cab, while walking down the street, on the subway, or anywhere you might be. Something might occur, even the slightest thing, which could jog a lyrical idea.
. Newspaper - Current events, articles, or even advertisements.
. Magazines - Real life stories, fashion, and other events could spark an idea.

It is important to keep in mind that your lyrics should have meaning to you. They should flow in a seamless way. You see, as mentioned earlier, lyrics tell a story. Therefore, treat your lyrics as a story first. Write your story, then you can begin to break them up in to song lyrics with rhyming other important aspects after your story is finished.

Lyrical Tools

Throughout the years, lyricists have relied mostly on the trusty old pen and paper to write lyrics. To many, they will not use anything but pen and paper to write their lyrics. However, in the computerized world of today, more and more lyricists are turning to the computer to write songs.

There are a variety of tools available to any songwriter on the computer and off. For example, rhyming dictionaries are great when you are having troubles coming up with rhymes to specific words. On the computer, rhyming and replacing words is extremely easy, and most often performed with a simple click of the mouse. Many programs such as Microsoft Word and other specific songwriting software programs offer an integrated thesaurus that is perfect for coming up with alternative words and phrases to increase the impact of your lyrics.

However, the most important tools are your own thoughts and ideas. You can choose the pen and paper method or the computerized method; however, your ideas are what make the lyrics to begin with.

Crafting Your Ideas Into Song Lyrics

You have your ideas; you've chosen your method of writing, now what? Now it is time to start forming your lyrics. This is likely the hardest part of writing the song, much harder than coming up with ideas. Now you have to work verses and choruses to form your songs. Rhyming is ultimately important. This is where your rhyming dictionary comes in handing.

Typically, the end of the second line rhymes with the end of the first. However, in some cases, the end of the third line will rhyme with the first.

For example:

As we grow older,
The world gets colder,
Because the love is gone
Though we keep going on
And keep our love in a song.

Don't forget your chorus; this is what brings the song together. You decide where your versus go and where the chorus comes in and repeats. Writing lyrics to a song is a wonderful way to express yourself. It tells a story in the way you see it and feel it.
About the Author
Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of MusicianHome.com, a site that provides information and articles for musicians at all stages of their development.
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