How To Write Song Lyrics

I can’t really believe it but I just made song lyrics for one of the songs in Splattering Yet Endearing. This is the song:

So how did I go about making the lyrics for the song? Here is what I went through, in a semi chronological order.

  • Think in general terms what the song is about. For instance, the song above is from the perspective of one person, so the song’s focus is about one person. From there I can think about the lyrics.
  • If possible, listen to the instrumental for your song or another song so you can try to mesh your lyrics with the music or some instruments.
  • Start writing, and rewriting and rewriting, the lyrics. Someone told me songs are like poetry. I like to think that is true. It also makes the process less daunting. Reference your info on your song’s subject so you can turn that info or data into brief, catchy lyrics instead of narration, dialogue or straight facts.
  • Lyrics need to consider the content itself, the speed/pace of the words and any rhyming if desired. Making the actual lyrics is a slower process. It will probably take a few days and need a few revisions. You need to use new lines, spaces, new verses to indicate any pauses or pace changes from word to word, line to line in the song’s lyrics. Also, consider if there are any choruses or repeating lyrics if any in the song.
  • SING the lyrics out loud. This really helps to see if the lyrics work harmoniously with the music itself. I did this 20 times to help myself with editing and also to see if my lyrics jived well with the instruments I was listening to in the song. It also helps for timing purposes. Lyrics are short normally! I would say 150 words is plenty for a three minute song. By singing the song to yourself, you can see if your lyrics are actually coherent when sung all together.
  • Don’t forget to start looking for music people to help actually make your song, such as vocalists, composers and producers.
  • Remind yourself of the song’s themes and main message, to ensure the lyrics work well with what you want to convey.

You finished your lyrics? Cool. But a song is more than the lyrics. Even if you hire people to help you, you still need more info for them to start working.

  • What is the style of your song or the mood of it? What is the primary instrument or instruments that will be used in the song?
  • What is the genre of the song?
  • What is the estimated length of the song?
  • What is the song name?
  • Will there be any vocal harmonies? If there are multiple singers, who says what and when?
  • Are there any parts of the song with no vocals, just instruments playing?

Once you have made satisfactory lyrics and thought about the music/instruments themselves, you are more or less good to go to start creating the actual song and getting it sung!

One thought on “How To Write Song Lyrics

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