Lyric Tips


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01-17-2003, 07:10 PM
Right well. Why would I waste time doing this? Hmm...good question. 'Cos I'm not wasting time, ;). I'm just helping you budding songwriters explore the marvelous world of lyric writing with a little encouragement from me...this should cut down your threads saying "how do I write lyrics?".

So...the first question.

Why write?

1. It will help you release all excess emotion in a controlled manner. It will help you cope with difficult situations.
2. You have written a riff...simple; you need lyrics. So now...I'm going to tell you one very important thing.

1st Rule: Don't write for the sake of writing. Make it personal, make it meaningful.

Now, if i was a normal self-disciplined person like all you fine people are, then I would probably tell you what to write, or simply how to write it. But, this is me. So I'll get back to that. I just want to make an observation; there are lots of people who suffer 'writers blocks'. Now this is when the person isn't inspired, and has followed my first rule. So how do you break out of this? Well, you could **** up your personal life. That's sure to give ya something to write about, ;). But no, there are easier ways...though I will include that one.



1. You are having troubles in your personal life. This is one time when you can truly write what you feel and have it sounding pretty good.
2. Walk around, perceive the beauty of the world, the magnificence of people, the self-absorbed cruelty of people, the fake beauty that you?re likely to see all around you?look at the ?fake plastic trees? and always remember them.
3. Read. It doesn't matter what, just read. A newspaper - make a political song? Maybe a book that makes you think, maybe a thriller, **** who cares? At least then you'll get an idea of how to write WHILST also getting a plot/story for your lyrics. Want some good authors?...then ask me...hell I have a thread about them somewhere. A lot of "English is caught not taught"...

Now...the hard part. "I know what I want to say...but I can't say it." Sound familiar?...not to worry.

I'll take bits of various songs to demonstrate thoughtful/meaningful lyrics.

What Do You Want Me to Say? - The Dismemberment Plan

I lost my membership card to the
human race so don't forget the face
because I know that I do belong here

Go down the checklist let's see:
feelings are good dishonesty is bad
and keeping it inside is worse still

What do you want me to say?
What do you want me to do
to let you know that I still love you?
So just a simple extract there, but if you study it, you'll see wit and intelligence.

In Depth: Verse 1
First line shows how some people don't get accepted and are ostracised (they become outcasts).
Second & third line shows that he wants to belong and to be accepted, even if the people aren't willing to do this for him.

In Depth: Verse 2
First line, looking for the qualities that he needs to fit in.
Second & third line elaborate on what he's found. Basically, it could be about writing a yea, that'll go there in tips.

In Depth: Chorus
The person in the song is anguished at not being accepted and what he has to do to get their love. It's simple, yet so unbelievably honest.
I believe that these lyrics could qualify as now I'll slot in a description on how to write emo lyrics. Please note, below is not my own work but is courtesy of MarkMac...say thanks to him when you get the chance.
So you want to write EMO... okay, I'll share what I've come up with so far.

1. Load up on literature: You can't write EMO if you don't have a good grasp on writing in general. Regardless of how complicated your words get, you need to have a feel for all the different literary instruments like metaphor, allegory, analogy and even onomatopeia. If you don't have this, stick to writing simple, raw emotive lyrics like the stuff you hear from Blink182. Mind you, I'm not saying that's a bad thing. I think that "In Too Deep" by Sum41 is actually a well-constructed lyrical song for its genre.

2. Load up on your angst of choice: EMO's big draw, particularly to college and older listeners is that it bleeds. It's gut wrenching in an intelligent, melodic way and it deals with issues in a very open and honest manner. Also remember that EMO likes dealing with more mature issues. For example, you won't really find any EMO songs about rebelling against authority, while most teen punk is littered with such sentiments. "Anna Begins" by the Counting Crows depicts a guy waking up at night beside his girlfriend and wondering what they're really about. Coldplay's "Yellow" touches on how a girl has everything her way and how the guy can't seem to turn her his way.

Important to remember: you're also loading up on angst because you're going to need to sing with angst. EMO singers have notoriously depressing tones. Crows, Staind, Coldplay, Lifehouse, etc the voice produces much of the feel.

3. Now you're talking about saying everything you feel in a few, simple catchy phrases. This is accomplished by using those literary instruments I was talking about. Look at this line from Counting Crows' "Round Here" -

"Round here, we talk like lions, but we sacrifice like lambs.
Round here, it's slipping through my hands."

The sentiment of disillusionment just drips in these two lines. To achieve the same effect by using literal lyrics would take much longer, and won't have the same effect. Lyrics shouldn't be literally visual. You're not narrating a story, you should think more along the lines of imparting an emotion.

The problem with a lot of beginning writers is that they lock on too much to trying to depict an event. i.e. "I've known you for a while, I know everything about you, I do everything for you, you're amazing but you never notice me" is how a lot of starting lyricists would treat the subject of unrequited love. But I'm not talking about being overly flowery either. Coldplay's "Yellow" goes:

I swam across,
I jumped across for you,
Oh what a thing to do.
Cos you were all "Yellow,"

I drew a line,
I drew a line for you,
Oh what a thing to do,
And it was all "Yellow."

Your skin, oh yeah your skin and bones,
Turn into something beautiful,
And you know
for you I'd bleed myself dry

You might think these lyrics are terribly simple but the truth of the matter is that, coupled with Chris Martin's vocal style, it's very well-constructed. The repeating lines show to the urgency of his actions, the line "Oh what a thing to do" highlights the uselessness of what he's done. Then of course comes the required "thesis statement" which is, "For you I'd bleed myself dry". As you said, you can accomplish a lot with a few simple words and this song shows it.

Important: Note also the use of onomatopeia in these songs. Actually, I don't think I mean onomatopeaia in the strict sense of the word, I'm just saying you should use the correct type of sound at each portion of a song. Though it's not a song that's EMO, a song I use to illustrate this to people is Sum41's "In Too Deep". The line, "Maybe we're just trying too hard, when really it's closer than it is too far." The word "Maybe" produces the exact sound you need. Try singing it with another two syllable word, like "Perhaps" and it doesn't work because its not onomatopeically sound. You can't just replace "closer" either with say, "nearer" because even though they have the same syllables, the sound of the words are not the same. Be conscious of how your individual words sounds at the key portions of your song.

We could deconstruct any number of EMO songs in this way and I suggest you do because it'll give you an idea of what you need to do to build one.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (benjmc) again...


1. Over using rhyme. I do believe everyone will admit that people on UG tend to fall into this trap. Basically, if you have nothing to say, then using rhyme will probe you to say something, anything, to fill up the page. But this goes back to rule 1...if you've nothing to say, for **** sake don't make a song saying it. Unless that is your actually topic, and you do it in a creative and thoughtful way, :rolleyes: So...basically, too much rhyme is alot worse than no rhyme. If you express all your ideas in a logical way, then no one should notice about rhyme anyway. And I know some of you may have got critiques saying "you need a certain rhyme scheme, don't wander" but that's just not right. Speak the truth, not some over rhyming piece of garb. Rhyme is often misused far too much. People don't understand how to rhyme without forcing a song. I'm going to have to go back to that listen to me, listen to Pyro, listen to MarkMac, listen to Buzz...we all agree that you shouldn't rhyme too much. But...if you get to an advanced stage in your songwriting you will realise if your non-rhyming song works..and you'll realise how to use rhyme to it's full potential.

so, I hope you'll note this thread is nowhere near complete, and I shall fill it up with helpful tips from fellow UG people who offered their help in this very useful project. I just thought I'd give you a taster.

Non Boxed
01-17-2003, 07:35 PM
Nice post.

I know lyrics are going to differ from genre to genre, but that doesnt mean punk and emo songs all have to be about your girlfriend breaking up with you. Get creative! You could write a song about the taste of pepsi.

Now I'm not talking about writing:

Pepsi is the best drink ever
I love it with all my heart
Stop drinking Pepsi? Never
This soda and I won't part

It soudns funny, doesnt it? To me it sounds exactly like blink182 and most other pop/punk bands.

Why? Because they are both literal, and uncreative. Wouldnt it be more interesting to hear something like this:

refreshing soul and mind
within the sweetness you will find
i crave that energy burst
empty can of life is worst

Doesnt that sound more catchy? It grabs you, and actually makes you THINK about what the song is saying. In this case, it is about the great taste and sugar high of pepsi, and dissapointment when you are all out. It is still emotional, just with a whole new perspective.

Writing about pepsi the first way is definitely easier, but ask yourself this: Do you want to write a song easily, or write a song well?

01-17-2003, 07:44 PM
Well...that certainly was enlightening (no sarcasm). You see, it is good to let your songs kind of drift so that they can interpreted metaphorically and therefore may be applied to many different situations.

Like...a recent song I's about climbing up the ladder of success...

Cast it aside, I beg the pardon of the queen.
Don't ask me to wash away the pain,
I won't clean up the waste I see entranced by you.
I scream down to the hobo, "I wept like a fool, one time too."

You will notice that I never actually said I was at the top of the ladder of success. Instead I implied it through my condescending attitude to people who were at the very bottom of the ladder, and by showing how I refuse to let my hands be dirtied by the filth below me. Just a further elaboration onto his point...oh yea...and I'm not that big of a dick in real life. I was imagining a situation when I wrote that song...that's something I'll come back to.

Non Boxed
01-17-2003, 08:08 PM
Yes. If you TELL the listener what to think, it is boring. If you leave it to metaphors and creativity, the listener has to actually listen and interpret the song.

01-18-2003, 01:17 AM
Alright, ben asked for my help (actually I kinda talked him into it) so here's the tips on writing "Punk"


Punk is a fairly simplistic form of writing. Very easy. For the most part, it does not involve much metaphorical thinking. Punk is mainly split up into three sections: Pop-Punk, Normal People (Emo, etc.) Punk, and Hardcore Punk.


This would definately be the easiest out of... just about anything... it doesn't involve a lot of thinking, and really is not a "true" form of Punk, in my opinion, this includes things like post-Dude Ranch Blink, post Insomniac Green Day, and ALL NFG and Good Charlotte, although these bands have different genres in themselves. There aren't many metaphors involved, and a lot of it involves love songs and stupid songs.

Love/Punk Songs

Now, when Punk came about, let me tell you, this was not what they had in mind. This is stuff like the Blink song "Untitled":

I think of a while ago,
We might have had it all,
I was so stupid then
You needed time to grow
But now just as things change
As well my feelings do
In times things rearrange
I am so sick of chasing you

But what do I get
Cause I just seem to lose
You make me regret
Those times I've spent with you
And playing those games
As I wait for your call
Now I give up
So goodbye and so long.

Let me tell you one thing, it does not take a genius to figure out this song. It is just so... out there... so broad, so very simplistic. No metaphors. At all. And very easy to write, just start with a topic about a girl, write like a page of your thoughts on her, and then rearrange lines, is my helpful hint.

Normal (Emo, etc.) Punk

Now this is some good stuff, I'm just going to refer you to the first post (Mark's "Emo" description) because seriously, he did a REALLY good job with that. I mean that's one of the best desciptions of a genre that I may have ever seen. This includes a whole range of bands (the writing style, anyway) from like Jimmy Eat World to Weezer to Dashboard Confessional. All pretty good.

Hardcore Punk

Now this isn't especially hard to write, considering a lot of it is fairly nonsensical, but its a lot of b***hing about things out of your control, such as the government, people, and the ever popular "The System". Mostly, and its pretty much the same as Pop-Punk in this sense, that I suggest just taking a piece of paper out and writing down all of your frustrations, pick the one you like the most, and then write about that. It comes pretty naturally, especially if you are an angry person.

Just my tips for the day.


Non Boxed
01-19-2003, 05:00 PM
Sure punk and pop/punk is mostly non-metaphorical and simple, but that doesnt mean people should limit themselves to writing punk songs that are simple and uncreative. It is EVER so possible to write creatively about even love/punk songs..

I just thought of a better way to explain "Get Creative!"

Instead of TELLING me something, I want you to make me SEE it in my mind. Good lyrics will make you SEE and FEEL things. Strive for that when trying to convey your message.

01-19-2003, 05:07 PM
some lyrics can't be written with rules and guidelines, but this sure helps.

It takes me ages to finish lyrics, especially since I don't want to create terrible lyrics.

most of my stuff is emoish/hardcorish, I don't care about rhyme to much.

but I do want to thank you for putting this up, it will probably help me.

01-20-2003, 03:37 PM
Right well...The plan is to absolutely fill this thread with tips...and then organise them in a new thread. So offer advice...I'm sure all of you know something...

01-22-2003, 08:56 AM
Nice thread, thanks!

Question, have you got any tipps about connecting lyrics with music, and how they have to fit and stuff ?

01-22-2003, 03:32 PM
Originally posted by Jerkee
Nice thread, thanks!

Question, have you got any tips about connecting lyrics with music, and how they have to fit and stuff ?

I might do that, though I don't really know what the problem is. Maybe if you elaborated I could be more helpful. Plus, MarkMac is probably the best person to ask about this particular aspect.

01-22-2003, 03:55 PM

This is all the stuff that makes a good song a great song. I've tried to give examples, but these things are hard to pin down, because of the deep psychology.:)

OK, here we go.

1. Turn of phrase or cliche's

You can use popular phrases or cliche's to your advantages by putting them in your lyrics but changing them. People will notice this... for example in U2's "One"

I can't be holding on
To what you got,
When all you got is hurt

The Cooper Temple Clause have a song called "Who needs Enemies When You Got Friends" - but CAREFUL. don't base a whole song around a cliche'd title.

2. Imagery and Similies

Really good imagery gives an image similar to the one the music behind it does. You don't think of clanking metal chains when you read the lyrics to Hanson, and you don't when you hear the way they play either. Check out 'Yesterday Went Too Soon' by Feeder:

i'm climbing high, up above the streets and rows of neon lights, i'm holding out my hand but i'm alone

a victim of regret, it glitters and it fades away like silver turning grey

3. Repetition of words in phrases

Only good if it makes'll see what i mean in Pet Name by they might be giants...

You said love was just a lie, but i could tell that you were lying

and in Aqualung's Strange And Beautiful:

Sometimes, the last thing you want comes in first,
Sometimes, the first thing you want never comes
I know, waiting is all you can do...sometimes.

I hope i explained them all OK, its really just something you gotta FEEL, get inspiration for...but try it.

01-24-2003, 08:55 PM
The Writings of Blink 182

Disclaimer: These writings are meant as a tool to help Blink-imitators out there, and contain many formed opinions by myself, Jacob. This is nothing more than an opinion article; do not take it too seriously. This also contains many of the (article) authors own formed ideas and thoughts on the interpretations on these songs, and most likely will not match how readers originally thought of them to be.

One of the most popular no-core ?punk? bands out there is Blink 182. With simple guitars and simple lyrics, they did not have to do much to get where they are, however, there are many local bands out there that try their hardest to imitate the rich-daddy California boys.

Cheshire Cat
Small time beginnings.

Their first release album, Cheshire Cat, was definitely their most musically talented record (as far as guitar and bass, which the bassist is still just a joke.) A 13-real, 3-crap track album, this sticks out in many of the true punk?s mind as their ?best? album. Lyrically, it is nothing special. They did not work very hard to perfect their lyrics, but it did contain some very interesting meaning and thoughts. Throughout the CD, at most there are some very weak metaphors (Touchdown Boy) but most are non-sensical, holding no true theme (Sometimes, Strings + Fentoozler.) However, in almost all songs they do try and depict some sort of a message. Here are a few examples.


I would do anything,
And that?s what scares me so bad
Don?t want to live my life alone
Don?t want to go back to what I had
Don?t want to spend my life without
All those special things
Don?t want to walk around being tied to
Anyone else?s strings.

These are the entire lyrics to the song, repeated over, an interesting method of writing the song, however though was basically an easy way out for the lazy man. The song holds a small metaphor in the sense of being a puppet controlled by an outside force, not god but perhaps a friend or girl that always needs to have their way. It is an interpretation of the writer trying to break free of a ?life of misery? which does not apply to Blink who grew up in the sunny state of California.

Romeo and Rebecca

(Verse Two)

We?ve all seen the bridge?
A broken seam and a girl on one side
You think your words will work
They only work when you lay down
And close your eyes
I thought up all the lines
All the right ones used at all the wrong times
But that?s alright
Depression?s just a sarcastic state of mind

This is an interesting song, and I think it?s pretty well written. It holds one of my personal favorite quotes, ?Depression?s just a sarcastic state of mind.? It?s so true? depressed people are always looking for attention. (But don?t get me wrong, for that applies to me, too, Mr. Depressed Depressed-pressed.) Personally to my thoughts, any song written about a girl are not punk, for punk was originally created to be rebellious, and a simple explanation for my thoughts here is, how can you be rebellious when you are singing about the same topic as N Sync? However, this song applies to everyone, the love song image, especially the ?I thought up?? part, kind of makes you laugh but you realize that it?s quite true. However, the first two lines in my opinion were searching too hard. Basically kids, if you are aiming to make a Cheshire Cat style song, just go off and b***h about whatever first comes into your mind.

Dude Ranch
The end of an era.

Their second album, 15 tracks long but goes by quick, is pretty similar to Cheshire Cat in its lyrics, but getting a little poppier in its use of special effect type things (echo, etc.)



Don?t pull me down, this is where I belong
I think I?m different, but I?m the same and I?m wrong
Don?t pull me down, this is where I belong
I think I?m different? this is where I belong.

The reason I only placed the chorus is because the rest of the song applies to everything that Romeo and Rebecca is. Also, take note that THIS CHORUS SUCKS! True, it has a very nice thought to it, but it is so simply written that my 8-year-old brother could do it (and I don?t have an eight year old brother.) I mean they wrote two lines (quite simple lines if you ask me) and chopped, diced, and repeated them. Now, if there is one thing that shows your lack of lyrical ability, that is repeating a line! I mean repeating a chorus is ok, it brings the whole song together, but repeating lines, especially that close together just shows you are lazy and can?t think of anything better that can explain what point you are trying to send across.

I?m Sorry

Don?t bide your time
?Cause it is almost over
And I know you?re down
I?ll see you around
And I know it hurts
But you?re just getting older
And I know you?ll win
You?ll do it once again

Awwwww??? this is really a beautiful song in my opinion. From the guitar to the lyrics (to the sound of Tom?s shrill shrieking) it is all around one of Blink?s most emotional pieces. I mean you can tell that he really meant what he was saying, and it all flows together too, all the lines fit in with each other. Very uplifting, kind of depressing but it really gets the purpose of the song across. Truly amazing, if you ask me, that this would come from Blink *rolls eyes*.

Dude Ranch is a very talented Lyrical album, but I only have space for 5,000 more characters, and this is mainly just to show you what not to do in songs. We now enter the Poppy McPop Pop phase of Blink.

Enema of the State
The beginning of a slow death.

Filled with computer-generated everything, a so-so guitarist, an amazing drummer and a s**t bass, Enema of the State was the start of their downfall from sort-of Punk to screaming poser state. Need I say more??

All The Small Things

(Chorus-Verse Bridge)

Na na na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na na na na.


What more do I have to say? The lack of creativity is just astounding, the poppyness is over the edge, and this little part of a song in itself is what caused me to hate Blink as people. I mean I seriously don?t know what to say? This is so bad there are not words to describe it. You?re just doing to have to pretend to understand my bitter anger towards this song, which the rest of the song, also sucks, all about a girl and NOTHING MORE! No metaphors, similes, creativity or anything.

Take Off Your Pants and Jacket
A hot, steaming pile of s**t.

Now, on this CD, I have no choice but to let my personal feelings toward the record be introduced into this section of an article. As a listener of (real) punk, this album was so disappointing that I had to but a copy just so I could throw it a few times (not really, but you catch my drift). I feel that they sold out. Now many people will disagree with that (duh) but in my opinion, those people either are not punk or are teenybopper a-cup screaming girls. This album is just so against the true meaning of punk, the anti-america, that it was truly a disappointment to have to sit through. Keep in mind that it?s not all bad, there are a couple a nice songs, the anti-conformity Anthem Part II, and the classic description of the high school lifestyle Reckless Abandon, but they are muddled behind the pop-love songs First Date and Rock Show (this may sound familiar to any of you that read my review of TOYPAJ (all four of you.))

What Went Wrong

I can?t forgive
I can?t forget
Can?t give in
What went wrong?
?Cause you said this was right
You f**ked up my life.

Meh? I really hate to drag on this song because with the acoustic, clarinet and the way Tom used his voice, this is truly a beautiful (music-wise) song, not to mention the fact that it was the only song they did right at the Pop Disaster Tour, but lyrically, this song is pretty rancid. First of all, it?s a whining song. No one (me) don?t like to hear a song whining about how a girl screwed with Tom?s brain, considering how much his voice on it?s own whines naturally. Now some may argue that songs complaining about how messed up the government is could technically be whining, but they don?t mean it to whine, they mean it to make a change in society. This isn?t aiming to change anything; this is just a song in which he wants to whine. Not to mention the fact that the lyrics themselves are not well crafted either. This section of the song really makes no sense in itself, its just really explaining what goes on in relationships and yet lacks any explanation at all. ?You f**ked up my life?? That?s nice. But it doesn?t help any, it doesn?t explain any, and it does not appeal to many people.

I have a theory though. Blink never really went through tough times in their life, they lived in California, and everything was handed to them on a silver platter (disregarding the entire divorce situations of the families.) I guess what I?m saying is that Blink lacks the life experience to know what really goes wrong with society, and that would be fine if they didn?t call themselves punk and write songs contradicting that. But I do hope that there was some part in this article that helped you either write or not write like Blink 182.


(Feedback on this article, either PM me or e-mail me at, screen name monkeyguy629. It would be muchly appreciated. (Not including ?f**k you, Blink kicks you?re a**? responses, of course.)

01-26-2003, 05:27 PM
So much helpful advice here...this is bound to get everyone started. Ah well...keep it coming...and sticky this or something.:D

01-26-2003, 05:41 PM
Read and write poetry.

I think a good song should be poetic, and to be
a poetic song you need poetry.
So read and write poetry.

I make alot of my songs with lines from my poems,
like Kurt did, I steal from my poems.

Look at art.

Art is a great inspiration, drawings, paintings, etc.
You can see a picture and write about it, just like
writing about whats out your window.

Listen to songs with lyrical talent


01-28-2003, 10:12 AM
My biggest tip: If you start on a song, finish it. It'll give you the discipline necessary to be a good writer.

Thing about creative people is that we all have one thousand ideas. In fact, if you don't have one thousand ideas, you're probably not cut out to be a writer.

But getting an idea, a catchy melody, an interesting lyric is easy, it's a dime a dozen. The men are separated from the boys once you get the ability to see the idea through to its logical end, and not just a hurried one.


Since many have already touched on lyrics, I'll touch on melody writing. Now I will admit up front that I write with a sort of pop sense in my head. If its not catchy, I don't care. I've met folk singers who deliberately sing monotonously and out of rhythm because they say that in this way, the lyrics come out more since there's no melody to dominate the tune. One common criticism I get from these people are my melodies are "too strong", I have to remove the catchiness from them. Well, to hell with that. I never liked wearing black and hanging out in Starbucks anyway. Plus though I won't eat tuna, I won't write a song about it.

Alright, so you've got a progression and you want to make a song. First thing to do is listen to it. Does it already dictate a melody? Can you already tell that it should have a high, lilting line rising above the intrumentation, or is it gruff and near discordant?

Now I play with an acoustic guitar and one of my first rules with prgressions is that you always have to make it sound interesting, even without words. Take your progression and see if you can use alternate grips. I've always said that you should know three different ways of fingering the same chord, that way you can really create feel with different holds of the same chord.

Only difference with electric and acoustic with regard to this practice is while with the acoustic, I prefer having more open strings so they ring more, with an electric, you can actually use three strings and mute the rest. Pedal effects will give you fullness.

Once you've got your progression straight, commit it to memory then you can start making a melody line. My advice to the beginner is always to just hum or better yet, create nonsense words. I use only L, H, N and T with the vowel sounds sometimes to explore melodical possibilities.

Generally, I like to imagine myself writing classical music. You know, no words but just notes that impart the feeling you want. Sooner or later, words (or even gibberish) will just flow, don't mind first if it makes sense or not. What you're trying to do is build stanzas that properly "catch", and a chorus that properly "releases". Usually, your chorus needs to be the point where the emotion comes together and this should reflect in your melody.

Even as you're eventually finding words, keep changing them to find the vowel or consonant sound that works best. Also, just keep talking and singing, you never know when you might just stumble on to the perfect line that is perfectly connected to your melody.

So there, just start mouthing off melodies but feel the emotion that you want. You'll soon get what the correct onomatopeic sense of your song is. If you're making a punk song, just start screaming but make it sound right and you'll be able to eventually fit in words that will carry that correct screaming sound you want. If you're writing EMO, just let yourself fall into your angst and mumble whatever, but mumble it melodically. Later on, you'll fill those words in correctly too.

And don't be afraid to use simple words to say big things. Don't listen to people who say that talking about your girlfriend, or your heartbreak, or your family problems are boring and cliche. These are the themes that have held true to people for thousands of years and will continue to hold true for thousands more.

You have to write what you know and keep at it. To create lyrics about arbitrary matters simply for the sake of using flowery words is a mistake. Just be one of those wordsmith poets. If you feel your lyrics, you'll feel a melody as well. This is why the best writers are all tortured in mind in some way, shape or form because they bleed for what they do. And even those who write simpler pop, still have the ability to connect to an aspect of themselves that lesser writers don't.

In the end, it's just a matter of being able to say what you feel. But the fact is, most people cannot do this.

01-28-2003, 06:32 PM

Basically what was just described is the Paul Simon technique (obviously he's not the only one to do it...but he's the best example I can think of).

You just sing a melody, hum whatever. Then you find the right beat/syllable count/meter. It will then all work it's way into proper English...emotional English.

There is a good article about this...somewhere...this link below...uses Radiohead as an example.

Melody Writing (

I'll post techniques pretty soon...

01-28-2003, 09:15 PM
One more thing you'll want to do as you start writing songs: Figure out your strengths.

Take a good long look at you, or your band, and be very honest with what you have to work with. What your band likes to play should definitely dictate what you write. If that's not what you want to write, then you should really think about going to another band as this will only create turmoil if you keep writing stuff they don't like.

If your guitarist is good, then make stuff that gives him room to create strong arpeggios. If your drummer and/or bassist is good, make stuff that is beat-driven. My own band has a really talented fiddler (he got into Julliard) so a lot of times we let him dictate the instrumental movements and I don't make melodies that are too rough as to counter the symphonic power of a violin.

But most important is to study the voice of the singer. That will dictate your overall sound. Is it rough and grating? Then you'll sound heavy. Is it mellow and melancholic? Is it happy and fun? Your singer's voice will also determine much of your instrumentation. You don't want to drown out a singer with a soft, warbly voice inasmuch as you don't want to hamstring a belter with quiet undertones.

I like to think that its songs that look for certain singers so its useless to force someone whose voice doesn't fit the melody to sing it.

02-04-2003, 03:24 PM
Ok that's it I'm sick and tired of people saying that there are rules to wrighting lyrics. The truth is there are no rules. thats what makes song writing so good. I can be about personal problems but no one wants to hear a punk sing about " just how bad or good life is." put some real feelings into it. I don't care about your day or an old freind. I'm not a heavy metal junky but as an example Mudvayne's lyrics are extraordinary. But they talk about the end of the world and abondoning all hope. that doesn't mean the world has ended for them... in fact life is good for them. they play those songs because its there style and its good. and Kid rocks new duet with country sound. He hasn't cheated on any wife to say its just an idea that produced a great song. The lyrics in these forums are lacking. This is a challenge to all you writters to try different things with your lyrics and post them. Hell my lead guitarist is from napal so we sing a song in napoli and damn do they have a great language.:mad: :mad: :mad:

02-04-2003, 03:46 PM
There aren't rules...but there are guidelines...and that's what this thread is about. Like you said...


*put some real feelings into it
*try different things with your lyrics

Maybe slightly obvious, but still good tips/guidelines...

02-04-2003, 08:51 PM
I think the best advice is to write and see what comes out. Then write some more. And more. And more. As with anything, practice can only make you better. And you only get out what you put in. Your first song will be rubbish. Your twentieth song will be a lot better.

Also, try recording yourself singing your songs, and listen to them. It won't be pleasant at first, but pretty soon you'll realise how you can make your songs better.

Lastly, ignore every single piece of advice you've ever been given on how to write a song. The world does not need another Blink 182, another Nirvana or another Camper Van Beethoven. The world needs a new you.

02-07-2003, 01:27 PM
ok, im going to start making songwriting lessons on this thread. so prepare yourself for lesson one. if any songwriting info is needed PM me or (if that doesnt suceed) contact me at my e-mail address

Lesson 1: Help me! Writing Songs is Hardddddd

The first thing you've got to do is relax. If you think writing a song is going to be hard, of course it's going to be hard. You need to clear everything out of your head including all the doubts of writing the song and concentrate purely on what the song is and what its about. Try and think in your head and figure how you would sing it/play it, remember, you make writing songs more difficult for yourself if you simply start with words on a piece of paper, those words need to mean something in accordance with the music. Let your feelings and your attitude out onto the paper and remember; its not a crime to find sanctity in writing. Writing can calm us and when performing songs, you have to remember that passion you had when the song was wrote otherwise it will be lost. Songs mean something and so do words. You need to convince the listener that what they listen to is relative and enjoyable, comforting and sanctious. Trying to write songs may be hard at first, but once you break through the barrier of fear the songs can just flow. Imagine that all that exists is you, the pen and your feelings you write about. Disregard everything else and writing becomes easy. Don't be afraid, because fear lets you fall into the trap of feeling forced to write. Also, if your first tries dont succeed to much, there is every right to try again. Remember; Rome wasn't built in a day. Songwriting, like any other skill, needs to be worked on and homed on in the right way. If you have only just started writing, consider asking other people for their opinions on your writing and how you could improve it. You could ask your band, a friend, your brother or sister or even put it on a website for critique just like this one and remember to always ask for improvements. You can only improve by yourself at a very slow rate, you have to take into account other people's feelings and so forth on a song. In this way, you bring yourself closer to the heart of the listeners.

02-07-2003, 03:35 PM
Lesson 2: Catering for your Genre

One of the most important aspects of songwriting is the genre. I write for my band, who play alternative rock music. Just like if I was in a punk band, I would write punk lyrics, and if i was in a metal band i'd write metal lyrics. This is what this lesson is going to be about. Every band is stereotyped into a genre, bands can't help that and it has become an important part of music to decide which genre you are. When you first start a band you want to know the genre and want to know which music you want to write for. So, What genre are you?
Metal, Punk, Mainstream Rock, Pop, Indie, Alternative, Hardcore, Blues, Funk, Dance etc etc, each has a different writing style. All are very different, despite how similar some may seem and writing for genres can be surprising. For example, writing Alternative lyrics can be very similar to writing metal lyrics. And despite how some lyrics may seem simpler and easier than others (ie. pop-punk), each artist sticks with it's genre (apart from experimentation) and each delivers exactly what the audience demand. Don't be closed from trying to write different styles of writing though, When I started writing over 2 years ago I wrote mostly punk/grunge lyrics. Since them, I have tried my hand at a lot of things, from piano ballards to all out alt. metal. The truth is, you write what you and your band and your audience demand and if you feel pressured, you know you have to do something different. So try it and see how it goes. There is, after all, no harm in trying. So, what are these so called writing styles? Well firstly there's Punk, this writing style has often been critiscised as being too simple and too repetative. Yet those are the things that punk lyrics revolve around; simplicity and repetativeness. The whole attitude of punk is a "dont care" one, which also has to be repeated in punk lyrics. Punks need to relate to the music, and the best way they can get that is from the lyrics around them being familiar and almost written by them. Punk demands simplicity and therefore simplicity can be more an artistic statement than rubbish. Yet, punk can be spoiled by being too simple with a forced punk spirit. You have to include raw in those lyrics, rawness and passion and bitter emotion which helps the punk fan relate themselves to the music. Like for example, Jacob's example of Blink 182. A lot of people consider Blink 182 still punk, but really they are the easy way for 12-year-olds to get into "Punk" because the lyrics are similar to the pop music they heard before. If Blink made albums like they did when they released "Cheshire Cat" and "Dude Ranch", maybe they wouldnt be as popular as they are, but they would earn more respect aswell as being more loyal to their audience. This doesn't mean I like Blink, I'm speaking in retrospect as a fan, so if this is wrong don't blame me, but it's important to stay focused with what you want to do and what your audience want when writing for any genre, and this includes Punk. Metal lyrics however, can be disputed into many ways in how you write them. You can take the easy way and put simple lyrics into a flurry of hate and malice in your performance. This is a commonplace in Nu and Goth Metal. The metal fans can relate to them, can sing along to them and still feel inside of themselves feelings reflected within the music. What's important in metal music is to have an important hook. If you have this hook, then your listener has something to rip things to while shaking his/her hair back and forth. Power chords, or barre chords are used for a fast effect, in some retrospects, to create a whirlwind where feelings are accessible to the listener and hatred is "aware". For example, a nu-metal band such as Korn, bases their playing around a flurry of guitar playing and simple lyrics with a hook ("going blind", "here to stay") which the nu-metal fan can jump around to and sing along to while hating himself and feeling he is important in the process. However, there is of course more obscure metal, "true" metal some people call it (i'm looking at you morbid) and pure "hate" metal. These bands dont rely as much on hooks and dont rely as much on simple lyrics. In fact their lyrics are complex, challenging and unnerving. They want to make people afraid of them, they want people to relate to them, they want people to feel the spirit of "true" metal inside them. Quite a few "old-skool" metal fans have turned to "true" metal in an attempt to get rid of the other, currently more popular version of metal. This is because these lyrics are complex, personal and hateful. You have to remember when writing these lyrics what people want to here. You can't just waste away using power chords and 4-word lines, you have to move your words through like poetry. That is what "true metal" is based around.
The final most important genre of lyrics which relates to people on this forum is alternative and this is where I see myself as excelling, as it is my own genre. When writing alternative, you have to base your lyrics around feeling and consequence. Imagine situations or think of them for yourself, anything goes, yet personality often gives a more distinct and comforting feel to the alternative listner. A lot of alternative depends on the backbeat, you have to keep your lyrics in time with the beat and move the words about almost like a dance. Use clever language, but not too clever, and always feature a meaning behind your songs. Remember it is the most important feature in alternative lyric writing, and all writing in fact to relate to the listener. The listener demands a closer look, a look inside your head, a look inside the situation and a look over life itself. Philosophy is important in alternative aswell, you need to let the listener know what you think and demand them to question their beliefs. A softness is required to, you have to be able to share your heart and to tell stories about your heart and make listeners feel like they could be in that same position, simply by listening to the music. A lot of alternative songwriting is based around major chords mixed in with obscure chords at the top of the bridge. In alternative the most simple rythm can go and the most complex one can, yet they both have to have some feeling behind them. By being too clever, you can make your music end up sounding mechanical, and alt listeners do not want this. Influences are important in Alternative, yet you must remember to move away from copying. No matter how much someone has liked a band just because you sound like them doesnt mean they will respect you. Take Oasis for example, a lot of alt listeners treat Oasis in contempt because they take half their music straight from the creators of alternative themselves, The Beatles. And another fault with Oasis is that they just try to make songs to try and equal ones they have previously done and not try and make better ones. This is where you can fall into a songwriting trap. To enter the next song with an anticipation that you can make a song which is better than anything you've wrote before can actually make you do it. To make a song with accepting defeat beforehand that it'll never be as good as another song makes the song sound boring, unoriginal and really, a song a tribute band would simply make. Alternative listeners do not want a song which sounds like one you made before, they want fresh and they want knew. If you don't give it to them they'll loose interest. Take for example, Oasis. Theyre song "Little By Little" uses exactly the same chords as "Wonderwall" and even has a similar melody. Now this song has enjoyed mainstream success yet it has been proven in alternative magazines of late that many alt. Oasis fans are losing patience with their repetativeness and their boringness. Where as Billy Corgan, after enjoying mainstream success with the Smashing Pumpkins, is now enjoying more mainstream success with new alt band Zwan, who, while still resembling the Pumpkins sound, make fresh, new songs that don't bore the listener and appeal to him rather than boring him. The lifeline of alt music is to be original and thats the best thing you can do to your fans. To go into a song and make it better and better and better, this is exactly what alt fans demand. If you don't satisfy their demands, thats where it starts to go wrong. Always question yourself when writing lyrics and imagine who it is for and how it will attract people. Never forget that you have an audience, never forget that you are part of that audience aswell.

I hope this has helped you write with your genre, but remember the ultimate judge on writing lyrics is YOU. Not your idols, not your friends, YOU. And the best thing to do in lyrics is to be yourself because thats what people love most about good music.

02-09-2003, 09:33 PM
Originally posted by MarkMac
Of course there are rules you can follow. That's why there are things such as basic chord progressions. There are musical truths that can be broken, but they do exist.

If there's one thing i couldn't stand when i was a beginner, it was big headed guitar players who never gave any helpful advice. "There are no rules" "Write what you feel." "Just sit there and let it come to you." NONE OF THIS HELPS A BEGINNER. He's still just as lost as when he first approached you and you just made him feel more stupid because nothing "just comes to him."

Maybe if nothing comes to him then he doesn't really have the ability to write a song. Songwriting can be learned, but there's got to be some kind of natural ability involved as well. It's similar with sport. I always really wanted to be good at football (or soccer for the Americans present). However, I wasn't naturally gifted at football. I could have practised every day, but I knew deep down that I could never be any good at football. Some people just aren't very good and will never be very good at some things, it's a simple fact. Sorry if this upsets anyone.
The fact is, the first time I wrote a song, I sat down with a guitar and it all flowed naturally. Some people aren't lucky enough for this to happen. I know from experience that if ever I've tried to force a song to be written, it's been rubbish.
I know the advice sometimes isn't very helpful, but it's always honest.

02-10-2003, 02:17 AM
Hey, I'll throw in my two sense. Someone said in this thread to always finsih your songs. That's something I rarely do. Sure it's good to finish what you start, but that'll also force the lyrics. I have hundreds of half-finished songs sitting on my hard drive. When inspiration gives me a line or two I'll write it down, but I won't try to force a song around it. I'll play with it in my head until I get something that I like or I leave it sit, come back to it, or possibly never use it again. A plus for this "method" is that I can sometimes combine two 'half-songs' and get a good song out of it.

One more tip I have. For a psychology class I did a review paper on mental illness and drug abuse in prolific authors and poets. Turns out, a majority of them aren't quite all there or they're lumpy drunk most of the time. What the author suggests, and I totally agree with, is that a mental illness (e.g. Panic disorder, manic-depressive) or drug abuse tends to alter the perception of the reality for the writer. In fact genius of one sort or the other is usually coupled with a mental disorder. Now I'm not suggesting you become an alcoholic, drug addict, or go insane, but your song writing could improve if you look at the world in a different way, rather than just trying to describe it in a different way. Maybe you've already got a really unique perspective on the world - capitalize on that. You might end up writing a really good song on why everybody is upside down and you're the only one who is right standing on your hands. That's probably a really horrible suggestion, but I hope you get the idea.

02-11-2003, 02:28 AM
Yeah, I was the one that said that you should always finish your songs, but that's the trick, isn't it? It's tough to finish a song without forcing any lyrics but that's what you have to do. It's all well and good to be creative and stuff but music is full of people who don't, or honestly can't, finish what they start.

But Agincourt illustrates my point perfectly. An idea is easy. You can come up with tons of ideas. To see that idea to completion is another matter.

If you have any true talent, you've got to be a closer and have that ability to finish a cohesive entire piece of work. Because a hundred half-songs doesn't mean squat.

The fact of the matter is that if you have good ideas, there is a way to finish each one. In those hundred half-songs (assuming they have a good musical idea) there lies a hundred full songs. Real ability is when you can find the rest of it, that which isn't so obvious.

And Jackpot, that is the most arrogant thing I've heard a musician say. So if music doesn't hit you on day one you should quit trying to be a songwriter? I mean, even if you don't write well it doesn't mean that you shouldn't write. You need to encourage people to do better all the time. After all, if it ever reaches the point that they can't go any further musically (be it writing or playing), they'll decide for themselves if they want to stick things out at their talent level or not.

02-11-2003, 03:29 AM
I see your point as well, and hopefully there exists somewhere a happy medium, which of course is different for everybody. I don't mean to say I have hundreds of half written songs. I'd call them more -ideas that didn't make the cut. If I get a good idea, it'll get written, but I try not to waste time forcing something that probably won't make it. But to each his own.

Non Boxed
02-15-2003, 11:32 PM
I find myself saying "its unoriginal" or "its uncreative" a lot in the lyrics forum.. Let me try to elaborate what originality is and where you can find it, and how to use it in your songs.

First of all, you definitely want to avoid cliche lines and concepts, such as the "falling" or the "walls are closing in." Listen to some Linkin Park and Korn, to find out what NOT to do. Pretty much every Linkin Park and Korn songs say the same freaking things, and they are so typical. You DO NOT want to write typical and the same thing.

Simple, easy to understand lyrics arent always great. You aren't writing for anyone else except you. If you are, perhaps you are writing for some sell-out pop crap and it doesnt matter if what you write is good or not. Otherwise, you should not be concerned if anyone else understands your writing, as long as it has meaning to you. If it is complex and has no meaning to you, thats just as pointless as having simple lyrics with no meaning.

About simplicity, let me rant a bit on this. I am no fan of blink-style stuff. I think its a load of crap. Why? The simplicity of the lyrics leave no room for interpretation. They tell the listener what to think, rather than the listener finding a meaning in the song themselves. While you dont need to use big words and insanely complex metaphors to have a non-simple song, you should definitely stray from the same old same old every day language. If you use same old same old every day language in your song, I guarantee that no one will get the "whoa..." feeling after they read your song. You might get a "cool," but you wont leave anyone in awe, because everyone is used to same old same old every day language.

Where do you find something original to write about? Right inside of you. Feelings are with you at all times of the day, so why not listen to them? Once you have a feeling you want to express, think of an object that reminds you of that feeling, and then make that object come to life. It takes lots of practice, but the results are amazing. You could even just sit down whenever you have a moment and write down exactly how you are feeling, then later go back to the list of feelings and work on it from there. Your writing will really benifit if you can relate your feelings to a very abstract object instead of a same old same old every day object. Again, people are used to same old same old every day objects... so you might get a "cool", but never a "whoa..." with same old same old objects. If you think of an object, ask yourself if you would encounter it in a normal day. If the answer is yes, try to think of a different object.

Word choice can have a huge impact on a song. The same old same old every day principle applies here as well. If you say "the glass broke" or "the glass shattered", which is more likely to get the "whoa..."? Definitely "the glass shattered" because broke is such a common, overused word. If you notice an abundance of every day words in your song, head over to and find some new words. I never write anything without my thesaurus at hand, and I use it at least 10 times when writing a song. I guarantee that using abstract words will improve your song quality by at least 100%.

Well thats some things I can think of right now. :cheers:

02-16-2003, 02:17 AM
Well first of all all these suggestion are good and will work, but there is one problem you can come across sometimes when your writing is that you'll want to say something but u don't know how.

like say you want to write a song about the horrors of war and your happily writting along and then bamm writers block.well i have a trick i like to use.

What i do is that i'll pick my topic and them i'll write down all the little things about war that pop into my head and make a list of them.

and then you should get a list like things

- death
- pain and suffering
- loss of life
- innocence killed
- ect
- ect

and then when you've written down all the things you can think of you start writing and when you can think of a line to put in you can look at your list and see if anything you've written down will fit or give you and idea of something that will fit or work ect ect ect.

anyway thats my little trick and i find it really works and hepls me alot and hopefully it will you too and if i don't well then ****

Non Boxed
02-16-2003, 10:24 AM
You can even combine geneticalerror's tip with mine. You could try to come up with objects that remind of you of death or whatever, and then come up with feelings that the object inflicts upon you.

This would make your work more creative and interesting than same old same old every day songs.

02-17-2003, 03:54 PM
Your writing will really benifit if you can relate your feelings to a very abstract object instead of a same old same old every day object. Again, people are used to same old same old every day objects... so you might get a "cool", but never a "whoa..." with same old same old objects. If you think of an object, ask yourself if you would encounter it in a normal day. If the answer is yes, try to think of a different object.

i think this is a good tip...but i think you can still elicit a 'whoa' from using everyday objects. i try to do this more because it makes people think about things in a completely different way. or i use something so completely mundane that no one else would think twice about using it for a song. if you take something ordinary and put in an extraordinary situation or give it an extraordinary significance then it can make a song awesome.

about being original and creative...i was talking to my expressive arts teacher once and i was explaining how everytime i write i feel it's something new and then i read it through and realise it's pretty much the same message as every other time, and he told me that can be a good thing. just because you're writing about the same thing, doesn't mean everything you write about that subject has to be exactly the same. he told me that great writers sometimes write the same books over and over again, just as great songwriters will write the same songs over and over again. it's just because they're written in such different ways, even though the underlying theme is the same, people see them as completely separate, new and original pieces of work.

Non Boxed
02-17-2003, 06:46 PM
Yeah, I wansnt really getting at writing about NEW things... its finding a new original style of writng and not same old same old everyday language

02-18-2003, 03:39 AM
nothing to do with what i just wrote:
I would tend to disagree with the statement that a song must be based upon some strong feelings. Most songs are based upon a feeling of anger, lust, sadness, greed, etc. but inspiration can come from a totally inanimate source. My fave example would have to be "Good Morning Captain" by Slint, or most of anything by Liars. It may come across with a certain emotion attached, but that's due to the listeners perception. Write about your favorite book, take a concept and create something from it.

02-22-2003, 10:15 AM
I accept that some people don't have "natural" ability. But it is an ability that can be gained by practice, and yes, I've said it too many times, reading.

Syllable Counts/Rhyme

Also, I'd like to elaborate on something I did last night which was rather fun. What did I do last night? I wrote a song with Non Boxed and June...June already had a verse done. So it was easy enough, as we had a distinct pattern and topic et cetera. Then...there were 2 methods we used in order to keep up the rhyming pattern, (which was ""--A--A--A"...which basically means a rhyme every 3 lines and whatever in between). The first was the simplest: we just wrote a verse (of 9 lines) and then at the end swapped the lines around so that we kept the same structure. The other method was easy as well: We found 3 rhyming words, put them at the end of each 3rd lines and then worked everything around it. The 3 words we got were, Gaze, Blaze, and Haze. See there is nothing extravagant about lyric writing. I mean those are primary school words. You can still write decent song...*time for the shock*...which rhyme. Now, most beginning writers will post on here and then have people say "you use too much forced rhyme", which they take to mean, "Never rhyme again you stupid bastard". But no, it's just don't be so obvious about it. If you have a standard binary rhyming scheme, try and put a bit of space between the rhymes...and please, do not overuse rhyming. Don't do something like this (which has 4 rhymes - unfortunately June, Non Boxed and I did have a four rhyme chorus...which we quickly scrapped)...example

Broken and empty along the way
I've now forgotten what i forgot to say
I see the same, it's always a hidden ray
These feelings of loneliness are here to stay.

I mean, apart from the majority of that being pretty poor writing anyway...the 4 line rhyming is just bloody annoying. It?s AAAA...and you don't want that. The most common, yet least forced binary rhyme scheme is ABAB, because there is room for genius in between the rhymes. Anyway, that's just a quick tip.

Also, if you have a melody, then work out how many syllables are in it, and then write everything you have to say, then edit everything so the content is as good as you can get it, and then edit it at the that everything can fit into the syllable count (more or less). This is the way you write..."very good" songs. (Which is the category I would put June's song under). You spend time, and you do to the best of your ability. And if you keep on practicing things, in this "technical" way then your ability will continue to improve.

So, get inspired. Find a style (YOUR STYLE...everyone has their own style which they develop over time) try to use some internal rhymes every now and then (something like "Our bottle of gasoline to light the sunken dream" which has two rhyming words contained within one line), and finally spend time, (the song that June wrote with Non boxed and I took roughly 3 to 3½ hours)

02-22-2003, 01:11 PM
Linking Music with Words

So let's assume you have your lyric written. Now you have to find some sort of structure within the lyrics. Standard ones are very simple, like


Something like that is pretty much conventional. So basically, if you into writing pop/punk then you'd probably have arpeggiated power chords for your verses, then power chords for your chorus, then some sort of descending power chord arpeggio for the bridge.

Or if you were into "deeper" lyrics then you might have strummed chords with small elaborations (fills, bends, slides et cetera) for your verse, then energetic strumming for your choruses; And then some sort of melodic solo for the Bridge. Or for the bridge you could have a solo, which repeats the melody.

But it's crucial that everything locks together. That is why most people will write music first...because it provides a structure upon which to base the lyrics, and that way it is easiest to fit the lyrics into a melody. All you have to do is get the flow and phonetics and syllable count right and then you have a song.

Anyway, the key thing is to have lyrics which actually fit some sort of melody, which is why sometimes you will find it difficult to fit long lyrics into a decent melody. When writing, it's a good idea to stick to words that sound good when sung. It is essential that you have a good melody, as few people will listen to a song that has boring music, poor vocals, dull melody and amazing lyrics.

Anyone else have any tips in this particular field of lyrics writing? (*benjmc looks to Mark*)

02-23-2003, 02:16 AM
Ben, your "syllable counts" tip was great, but with music you really only need a rough syllable count versus a strict one which is necessary in poetry. I know most songs are effectively poetry set to music, but you get a little more leeway in regards to syllables/line in a song vs. in a poem.
i don't have an example (And i'm not going to make on up, because it will be terrible), but i think you all get what i'm trying to say.

Non Boxed
02-27-2003, 10:30 AM
Revise Before Posting

You wrote what you think is a killer song. Do you rush to your computer to type it up and post it right away??? Noooooooo way.

A few weeks ago I wrote a song... and it was about 1:30 in the morning when I finished, and I thought it was the greatest thing ever. Last night, at around 1:30 in the morning again (lol), I wrote another song, and then I looked over the other song. I started marking up the whole thing with notes such as "find new word", "doesnt flow", "wtf?", "nothing to do with anything", and just plain old "delete."

So maybe sometime today I will go back to those notes, and make all of those changes that need to be made. I'm sure if I hadn't made those notes, and I posted it, I would receive almost no replies because no one could understand my blabbering, or people would bash it because one verse was really random. So I am going to delete that verese, probably save it for another song, and fix some words in places.

The lesson? I don't write a song in 5 minutes and then post it just as fast. If you don't want your song to get bashed here, YOU need to bash it a LOT yourself before you post. It works best if you write it, leave it for a day or 2, then go back to it and tear that sucker apart. Where you make a note of "need new word", grab a thesaurus and find a new word. Read it aloud and see if its a mouthful to read. Keep asking yourself, "Does this go along with the message I want to say?" After you mark it up and edit your song, THEN, you should post it. Don't post it before you revise it, though, unless you want to get bashed.

[edit: :o :o :o :o ]

02-27-2003, 05:27 PM

Anyway...yea, always look over your work to see if it all makes sense. I mean you could end up with one amazing verse.................and then it has nothing to do with rest of the song (*by this stage benjmc is already out the door and walking to the nearest alley*)

So make sure it all flows...make sure there's no senseless gibberish. But most of all...make sure your work is inspired.


Some elements which will make an average/good song into an excellent song...heart, passion, soul, energy, inspiration...emotion
Sometimes you'd rather not use a thesaurus because it's easier to convey feelings without the limitations. Express songs with emotion.

Non Boxed
02-28-2003, 11:25 PM
I found this interesting site. This section has a great tip on revising.

03-02-2003, 08:05 AM
Rhyme (again)

It is true that some beginning songwriters will use rhyme in order to give them something more to add...they just think "Ride rhymes with lied" and take it from there.
Other people use rhyme in order to help the flow of the song. Recently I wrote a song which rhyme with an AABBCC structure, and I showed it to Non...who claimed it read like a nursery rhyme...and I realised this I changed it to a ABCCDE. Rhyme does help flow, and as previously stated Bob Dylan is a great example of a songwriter who sues rhyme to good effect.
Finally...internal rhymes are used to create a dramatic effect, like the emotion you are trying to convey is overpowering you.
When used properly rhyme adds a great new dimension to a song. However, if used incorrectly it will normally affect the quality of the song. Therefore if you aren't confident in your ability as a songwriter you shouldn't rhyme as much as someone like Bob Dylan.

Inspiration (again)

Inspiration is something that comes to us all in different places...
I like to read, and when I finish a book that if often when I'm most inspired...however I know for a fact that June, and Non don't really read that much...they both prefer to write (so do I...but I need something to write about)...for instance yesterday I got 2/3rd's of the latest book I was reading finished...and then I went into a 3 hours thinking daze.
More inspiration can come from...Emotions (not situations)...situations...or books
Then find a window, look outside of it and look really hard at what you see, then imediately ask yourself what you are feeling. Find a paper, write down the feelings, then turn it into a song/poem later. Write down all that you're feeling...all your anger/spite...all your love/ cetera. And then mould it into a song at a later date when you feel more inspired/more controlled.
Practice writing. Inspiration comes when you least expect it, you just have to learn to listen to that little voice that is giving you ideas...
Find what's real to you. Doesn't matter if it's simple or seems plain, if it's real, you can make it sing.

Some of the above tip was stripped from a response of Non's in some thread...and some was stolen from MarkMac's response in some thread...

Finally...if you have any questions then it would be very helpful if you just posted on this thread and asked...that way everyone can benefit from the answer. Thank you in advance for you co-operation

Non Boxed
03-02-2003, 10:59 AM
Yeah, looking out the window is great. I've done that one more than once.

Another thing I did yesterday is I went outside to run, and after I finished running I was walking around outside to cool off, and its amazing the things you see and think about while you are by yourself and walking around outside. Just be sure you actually remember it all, because when I got back in I found a paper and my mind went blank :o

03-02-2003, 04:54 PM
listen to a song that u kno is upseting, or gets u thinking, this will give lots of things to write down and make a song out of, it certainly works for me

03-05-2003, 11:43 PM
hey, im just a newb i know and im newb at songwriting, i dont like my songs either, i know i need to get better, but i was wondering about some of the ways a few of you critiqued it...well for one thing, my song is over here and i already know it isnt that good
but my questions are these
1. Alot of you talk about, "it has to be different and you have to make them think" i know i like that to...but not all songs do that and they are still good, and here im going to use Staind alot for my examples, Aaron Lewis very emotional songs that are straight forward and say what he feels, which i did in my song, i didnt make you think of the meaning or anything, I told you so you can go "Ya, i can relate to that" and then sing along, alot of the time i see songs as sort of a story with story i mean they either make you think (so its like a crazy story) or just hand it to you and come out and say it (some other stories) and thats what i did and like every staind song does that and they are good songs that are meaningful, deep, and popular. I like em alot. But then there are people like the Beatles who do half and half, and ozzy is half and half, and then there is red hot chili peppers who are mostly not just striaght forward, im just asking why straight forward is bad
I also do something that alot of people probably do but i will use Aaron Lewis as an example, he and I and many others id like to think use the word "you" alot because it can mean more than one person, so a certain lyric doesnt just have to apply to one person, and then the person listening and or reading the song can relate to it if its happen to them (they would know if it does or not cuz it is straight forward, they dont need to think) and the "you" can mean what ever person has done it to them, which allows them to relate even more as if they said it themselves, maybe thats exactly how they feel, well theres my two cents, im not trying to say any of you are wrong so dont get mad at me, just say if you agree or disagree and why, well bye fer now!

03-05-2003, 11:56 PM
forgot to say, that yes i know not ALL of aaron's lyrics are straight forward, im just asking why cant some of them be, especially your first songs?

03-09-2003, 07:40 PM
Alrigth, well I'm going to post a redirect from here to the "Archives" forum just so people can read this in there too, cause this is on of the "best threads" that belong in tehre... I think... I hope...


03-11-2003, 12:19 AM
Cool, it does seem like it deserves to go there doesnt it? well I just wanted to ask if you guys were speechless (didnt know how to answer...not in awe of the post heh), or you agree or just dont want to reply, but can someone please?

Foxy Lady
03-12-2003, 08:49 PM
This helped me alot....thank you seriously:cheers:

03-17-2003, 01:57 PM

Right, I was sent a PM (from luke89) asking how to make lyrics flow without overdoing rhyme. Well I hate to admit it, but it?s a damn good question, which left me stumped for a while. So I asked some people in chat (Ry, Dave).
The first thing you need is good rhythm, because as Dave said, even with rhyme your lyrics won?t be effective without good rhythm. I?m a strong believer that any aspects of flow, which don?t work out on paper, can be easily fixed when put to music; so don?t be deterred if you find your flow has some hitches. Rhythm is helped by the amount of syllables in each line being near enough constant. I?m aware that the ?guidelines? in song writing are more lax than the ones in poetry therefore this doesn?t matter so much when you?re putting it to paper but you should still follow the rule. I already have a post about this entitled ?syllable counts? which explains everything pretty well. Now?the next point?
Everything should flow smoothly, and this is where rhyme can be used. I?ll make up some sort of lines now, erm? ?Seems that after all this time / you still can?t be on your own / I think you should know / nothing?s set in stone? Ah **** it?I?m not inspired so I can?t think of anything (and that?s like pop/punk ****). That stanza type thing I just made up has a loose fitting rhyme scheme of ABBB. Now that?s one way of rhyming without having anything looking superficial (I mean a loose fitting rhyme/not that stanza I made up, ;)). For example ?constellation/taken? is a pretty good rhyme (I?ve already used it :D), or let me think??emancipation/salvation? (I?ve used that one too). See these are complex rhymes that aren?t ?alone/stone? lol. Basically I believe in ?good? rhyming?there?s an informative thread in the main section which asks ?Why Rhyme? and the answers are basically that it helps flow (which is true). I feel the main problem with using rhyme is that if the rhyme are obvious and cheesy then your song will come out sounding like some sort of nursery rhyme (yup Mark, you?ve taught me well ;)). It?s the same deal with conventional rhyme schemes?things like AABB (otherwise known as rhyming couplets) remind you of a nursery rhyme. Exotic, nicely balanced rhyme schemes are the epitome of cool in song writing :D. Let?s see, I?ll think of some rhyme scheme? try ABACC (that one is one that I?ve used) or ABBAC or ABCABC or ABCDEC (that one is one that June thought of?pretty genius). You could of course have something really strange like ABCCDEBD but that might just get confusing, lol. Another tip is to alter your rhyme scheme slightly throughout the song because this adds some variety and nearly always keeps some of the cheesiness at bay. Though beware of altering it too much because it may seem like you're wandering...

03-17-2003, 01:59 PM
Shaping the Invisible

There are times when you'll be at a total loss for inspiration that seems worthy enough to be used for a song...but nearly all inspiration is worthwhile. If you write about it in a new, different, interesting way then it should work. In fact just write about it in a good way (forget about different) so that no one is able to notice whether it's clichéd or not. Ultimately you should be able to combine the old perspective with the new one in an effective manner.
In order to explain how you can twist words into something I?ll us one of my latest song as an example. So...let's start by saying you have a could be something simple or it could be something quite complex; it really doesn?t matter. The line I had was ?15 serious minutes of my life just flashed by? and I thought about this one line for at least 4 hours. But for some reason I didn?t write down anything at all until the next day. I just let that line simmer in my mind until I felt I was prepared to do something useful with it. And the one meaning I was able to derive from it was that 15 minutes is roughly the same time as an interval in a theatre. So now I had at least one thing to elaborate on during my song. Mind you, I didn?t really elaborate that much, I just explained that 15 minutes passed by and I was feeling empty after them.
The next idea that came into my head for this song was the famous Shakespeare quotation ?All the world is a stage, the men and woman merely players?? There is more to the quotation but that?s the only part I took to have any relevance to my song. I decided that as 15 minutes was roughly the same length as an interval, I could combine both of these ideas so that I had something to write about. I agree however, that deducing that concept simply from a line about 15 minutes flashing by, slightly odd to say the least. That?s why I know that no one will get the chorus of the song (the 15 minutes thing) due to the subtleness of it placement. So what more do I have to say about inspiration? I think I?ve covered it all?you can get a whole idea and make a song which flows perfectly and is written in 5 minutes, and modified in 10. Or you can get a line and then find certain complexities within that line that can?t be easily found. This should give your song a profound value, whilst maintaining the simplicity with which your listener can connect and interact with. Really, song writing is a personal thing, which you then open up so that it has a deep meaning to you but also to your listeners who can easily relate to the lyrics you produce. I was glad that the song I?ve described to you was well; let?s say powerful to some people. I guess now that I?ve gone as far as explaining the whole song to you then I might as well provide the lyrics for the song and then go into detail on a few stanzas.

Some Analysis

Here we go?here we go?here we go?(anything I say should hopefully have some relevance to song writing as a whole?if I go into detail then there?s bound to be some techniques for you to pick up on and sue yourselves)

15 Ways to Reflect

So fall in love on a pedestal, have a drink on the platform,
Waiting, though there are no trains here to pick you up tonight,
You're acting out every goddamn scene of this powerless play,
But at least it's God's work of art.

Firstly I might as well explain the title. You all should understand the idea of having a pause during a play (the play being a metaphor for life) and then having a few minutes of silent reflection. And throughout the song I use numbers a lot particularly 15, so I thought I?d have the title ?15 Ways to Reflect? because the word reflect can be interpreted in two different ways. You can reflect sunbeams?or you can reflect upon yourself in an inner kind of way (introspection or whatever.) In this song, the main character does both?so technically I should have used ?2? instead of ?15? but I figured that 15 would fit better because he?s having a look at his inner self for 15 minutes.
Now?I?ll go on to explain the verse. I?m quite happy with the way the 1st line turned out due to the fact that it conveys the story of the song almost immediately. You?ll also notice that ?platform? can be used to describe the place where you wait for a train to arrive?hence the next line ;-). The fact that there are no trains explains the fact that there is no easy way to escape living. It?s a bizarre thought, but hell?it?s more or less true. 3rd and 4th line are a couplet just like the 1st and 2nd lines. They go on to further detail the theme of life being like a play. There is always the word ?goddamn? followed by ?God? which is basically like a contradiction when you have it in my context. It is to show antagonistic sets of emotions. The word ?powerless? is simply placed there to show that individual lives aren?t all that influential, and also to reflect upon the fact that the characters are ?powerless? when it comes to trying to control their lives. 4th line could be taken as a bitter anti-Christian remark or it couldn?t. It depends how you look at it. I see it as describing how Christians always fall back on the fact that they?re going to heaven whenever their life is over, and this belief is what carries them through the hard lives they have to lead. It?s also a twist on the fact the playwright is often referred to as God due to the fact that he is in complete control of every action, and every word that is spoken (this all goes back to the word ?powerless? which you now see quite clearly is an insight into how the characters are).

By now you should probably see that I?m not really a conventional songwriter. I use ?big words?, use ?characters?, use ?imagery, and use ?symbolism?, which people don?t get. The above characteristics of my writing go to show why some people regard me as more of a poet than a songwriter. But I like to just combine poetic aspects and techniques with unconventional song structures. This next stanza (which happens to be the chorus) will be further on in the ?story? of the song.

15, 15, 15 oh yea...(How can I not know it yet?)
15 serious minutes of my life just flashed by,
15, 15, 15 minutes of eternity wasted in a dream
With the skies despondent and the audience gone...

1st line?hmm?it goes further into the vague sense so that everyone can relate to the feeling of not knowing. None of us know some things for certain, and therefore I just left that part pretty open for interpretation, though the main thing I was getting at is the fact that after 15 minutes of quiet reflection the main character still has no idea of the reason for him being alive/the reason for his relationship falling apart. In the next line ?serious? is honest, yet it also has a certain edge of humour to it. Like when thinking it the character has a smirk on his face. In the 3rd line it really means that life seems to go on forever yet the character is aware of the fact that it doesn?t and that?s why he?s dejected about wasting those 15 minutes on a look at the inner-self which provided no answers and only more questions. In the 4th line the description of the skies is used to emphasise how sombre the character is, and then the line ends by showing that no one?s watching him anymore and due to this he feels alone?but also lonely.

15 agonising minutes threaten my peaceful sleep,
15 tender moments where I just sit down and weep
Time to pay no heed to my need for time...
15 more seconds to forget I'm alive...
(Such a meaningless pause)

The final stanza I?ve chosen to look at is the ending due to the fact that the ending and the opening are pretty much the two most important parts of a song. And the chorus is also important, as it?s supposed to have a prolonged meaning in which it usually summarises the theme of the song whilst maintaining a catchy hook.
In this stanza the character is, well, pissed off at him self. It?s my true self-deprecating style again. He now reflects on his moments of reflection and finds those wasted minutes unbearable to think about. The discovery of his true self has left him in a pain, which won?t allow him to sleep peacefully. The 2nd line shows how fragile all humans are?I thought this was a line of quite effective word choice. Final line is one of tragedy?
I think in this song I was able to ?show? and ?tell?. At heart the songs really a love story with a different spin on it (or that?s how I imagined it when I wrote it)?

Hmm?looking back on that I don?t think it was useful at all. Ah **** it, :peace:
Maybe it gave you the skills needed to analyse lyrics, maybe it gave you the impression that I?m an egotistical bastard, I don?t know?hopefully I?ll get some more damn articles now though.

Non Boxed
03-17-2003, 08:16 PM
Shape. The. Invisible.

^ That sums up everything I've been screaming about for as long as I've been here

p.s. abab rhyme scheme or aabb is a nursery rhyme

03-18-2003, 03:27 PM
Originally posted by Non Boxed
Shape. The. Invisible.

^ That sums up everything I've been screaming about for as long as I've been here

Leonardo Da Vinci said that...(great minds think alike)

Originally posted by Non Boxed
p.s. abab rhyme scheme or aabb is a nursery rhyme

Ahem, I believe I said that...

Non Boxed
03-18-2003, 07:31 PM
ahem, i was agreeing with you.. genious :D

03-21-2003, 02:18 AM
I'm not a very good songwriter, but what I've been doing lately is writing down on a sheet of paper whatever comes to my head, literal or whatever, and just write my ass off. If it's about how I feel, or the writing itself, I write it down. One of them my friend kept talking to me in class as I was writing, so every now and then it would say "STOP BUGGING ME" after a sentence.

Then go back later, and see what you've written for inspiration. Plus, it helps you to understand how you feel better.

But I'm not songwriter, so I dunno if that's good advice or not.:cheers:

Non Boxed
03-22-2003, 10:36 AM
If you've written a song (Which you wrote a very nice one cheese), then you are a song writer..

03-22-2003, 12:59 PM
Thanks. :cheers:

*feels warm inside now* :D

03-22-2003, 07:09 PM
Mark's always complimenting people, lol...

Nah...I saw the song...'twas good indeed. If this thread was helpful then it's done some good...if not...well might as well keep it up as it's likely to help a few people

04-04-2003, 01:50 PM
Everyone all out of tips then?...seems that way to me...;), lol.

04-08-2003, 04:49 PM
Lyrical Technique

Allusion ? A reference to a person, character or event often by way of a parallel, i.e. a similarity could be reinforced by an allusion. Take Ry?s song he had a while ago, it was full of allusions to Greek Mythology.

Assonance ? the repetition of vowel sounds to gain special effects?for example ?losing your longing?, ?baiting then waiting? or ?biding and hiding?.

Compound words ? double-barrelled words made by combing two existing words. They are sometimes used to pile effects in descriptive poems?for example ?wind-wandering, weed-winding bank?

Diction ? the poet?s language, the words that he chooses. It may be simple, modern, old-fashioned, love-related, metaphoric and doomed (hey Non, ;)) et cetera.

Figures of speech ? Similes, Metahpors, Alliteration, Onomatopoeia

Similes ? Are direct comparisons between two things that are alike in one particular way. Similes are used to add an extra dimension to the work of the lyric writer, especially if the simile is an original and unexpected one. Similes differ from metaphors because they use the words ?like? or ?as?. This is an analogy because it draws a comparison.

Metaphors ? used frequently by poets, they make us think of familiar objects in a new way (Non has become a priest on this subject). They suggest similarities by describing one thing in terms usually associated with another and not literally true?for example ?the drowning ship of youth collides with time, always?. Some metaphors can be sustained over several lines, or even throughout the whole song. This is an analogy because it draws a comparison.

Alliteration ? the repetition of consonants in words and phrases to give particular emphasis?for example ?violated vineyards?, ?faced by frivolous facades in which the plan is to sulk until the sadness is a stain that fades with the fire and frees and flows and strives further away?, ;) Now there was a nice long one that I just made up, :D. The most obvious examples I can think of, however is ?Thomas the Tank Engine? or ?Percy Pig?.

Onomatopoeia ? Is the use of words whose sound echoes the meaning they are conveying?for example ?sizzle, crackle, snap, hiccup, slurp? et cetera.

Imply ? to hint towards something but not say it directly. The reader or listener is then to make his own inferences (read between the lines) to figure out what the poet/songwriter is insinuating.

Enjambment - the use of run-on lines which are not end stopped.

Images ? sense-impressions which poets use to set their readers? or listeners? imaginations to work. Images contribute to the mind?s eye but can also appeal to the other senses?for example ?the golden ray?s of soft light, yielded potency to enlighten our visions of the shimmering pain? (clearly image), ?her skin so smooth when caressed curved high into the night? (first tactile/touch, then image again), ?the crude smoke drifted through our brains and smelt of high voltage fires? (olfactory/smell), ?I doubted your quivering voice could contain such firm authority, strike it down with a slam of your fist? (auditory/sound). Much of the impact of descriptive lyrics is made in particular through manipulating the reader?s senses in this manner.

Mood ? the overall feeling generated by the lyrics. It may be happy, sad, optimistic, disillusioned, bitter, et cetera. Mood can also be defined as ?tone?.

Personification ? the term used when something which is not human is given human characteristics?for example ?the chair stood upright, and talked to the darkness, while waiting for it?s master? or for people who read Ry?s work ?Death Herself? is a perfect example of personification.

Symbols ? are objects that are chosen to represent ideas of abstractions on a higher level.

Theme ? the central idea of a lyrics, the ?message? the poet may be trying to put across.

Refrain ? a line or set of lines that is repeated, possibly with slight variations throughout the song (can also be known as the chorus).

Rhyme ? the repetition of sounds, usually at the end of lines, though not always. There are also internal rhymes...for example ?relinquished shame, and extinguished flames?. Remember it is the sound, which determines whether words rhyme and not the spelling. In song writing certain syllables can be drawn out, or accented in order to give the effect of a rhyme without actually having a definite rhyme. You can also have rhyme schemes, where there is a definite rhyming pattern like ABBAC.

Allegory - a work in which characters or things represent moral qualities.

Satire - this is when the writer uses exaggeration or humor to criticize.

Apostrophe - this is when the writer talks to an absent person, inanimate object or idea.

Pathetic fallacy - this is where nature mirrors the feelings of someone, like if someones crying, its raining outside.

Verisimilitude - this is the use of realistic details to make the impossible seem possible.

Asides - when words in parenthesis (brackets) further elaborate on a point, and usually have a very distinct tone (ie a more personal tone, or a sarcastic tone etc)

Parallelism - two or more lines of poety similar in length, structure and meaning. An example from a poem about an irish airman (an irish airman foresees his death) is "those that i fight i do not hate / those that i guard i do not love"

Oxymoron - placing contradictory words together (ie cold warmth)

Points of View - DIfferent perspectives that lyrics can be written in. These are 1st person, 2nd person and 3rd person.

First Person - Using "I" Writing, allows your audience to identify with you.

Second Person - Using "You", can be used to disguise the peronal nature of the song.

Third Person - Using "He","She", "They" etc. Can be used to distance oneself from the material. Good for songs with multiple characters

04-29-2003, 04:03 PM
Hey, this thread I'm linking you to is less tips and more discussion. Cos I'm fairly confident we've exhausted the most useful tips for writing lyrics, and now maybe it's time to discuss about the hard parts of the songwriting process. In truth this isn't completely about that. In fact, it could fall into the tip category, (though in a slightly unorthodox manner). Oh well, without further ado here ( is a thread which discusses how to overcome lulls, ;). (Speaking from experience.)

05-23-2003, 11:56 AM
I think that WAYYY back there when everyone said to write a lyric a week that was a good idea but it'd work better to write music to it. And learn which instruments would go where and arrangement. If it's a dark song don't play a happy melody on a toy piano unless its one of those somewhat ironic weird sounding songs. Well that was my only insight ;) :peace:

05-23-2003, 08:11 PM
Here's a question. How do you put chords together with the lyrics???

05-24-2003, 12:29 AM
Alot of times you can just be creative. Don't write a dark scary song and put it with some happy funk melody on a toy piano (unless you want it like that). I'd reccomend just picking a chord progression in a minor key and seeing if it sounds like you could sing to it. If that didn't make sense at all say so and i'll try to explain it better. :bonk:

05-24-2003, 09:53 AM
See, this is the problem, I'm new at guitar and I don't know my minors.

05-24-2003, 11:13 AM
Hmm... Have you written any riffs? Try practicing just randomly playing some things and eventually you could probably write a great riff with no musical knowledge. But pretty much anything with 5ths (power chords) can be used an a Minor song because they aren't major or minor so if while you're starting out you could probably just find some popular power chord progressions.

Again if that didn't help say what didn't make sense.

Steph Bets
07-28-2003, 08:45 PM
oh yes i have a tip!!( i always have sumthing to say)
THINK OF A WORD U REALLY LIKE and write about it not like
"Depresssed: afeeling of immense sadness and confusion"
but maybe...
"alone again,
left asking how..."
i dont know... that was abad example i made up in 5 secs

08-03-2003, 05:45 PM
All i can say is "just write how you want to write" there is no set code to follow. not every song has to have the same structure as what you always hear. example, Intro-verse 1-chorus-intro-verse 2- chorus-bridge-end chorus. i think that way is really common, too common. in closing, just don't listen to anyone else, hell, don't listen to me. just write like you want to write.

thats my 2 cents.

08-10-2003, 06:48 PM
Great articles.
But you forgot all about comical lyrics.
Comical lyrics can be deep at the same time, and can be interesting to read and contain some interesting rhymes.

A good example is the Reverend Horton Heat, The Misfits, and the Nekromantix, and a lot of psychobilly in general....

I'm thinking about doing a "Lyrics of Reverend Horton Heat" column, as that is where most of the inspiriaton for my lyrics(along with some of the lighter more upbeat Tiger Army, Clash and AFI lyrics) comes from.

A lot of Rev. Horton Heat lyrics are about drinking, partying, love, and doing drugs, but put the subject in a fun and humorous light, while creating goo dimagery and great melody.

As the Misfits and Nekromantix do with death.

08-13-2003, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by Berlioz97
Great articles.
But you forgot all about comical lyrics.
Comical lyrics can be deep at the same time, and can be interesting to read and contain some interesting rhymes

Berlioz is right about comical lyrics. Although i am not a comical lyric writer, think about this.

One of the best ways that people sway others to their 'viewpoint' (whether political, whatever...) is to use comedy. Bill Mahr and Jon Stewart are case in point. They make a joke about some odd political mishap, and then it makes the end listener think "WOW, he is so right!"

It sticks in the brain that way.

08-25-2003, 01:55 PM
One of the problems I have always had when writing SONGS is that, in most of the opportunities I finally get some inspiration, I write the lyrics, then try to make it fit into some kind of music:confused:.

An advice for "amateur" songwriters, or "writer's blocked" songwriters, is to write the Music first, then do the lyrics.:bounce:

Nevertheless, it's just a theory I have. And like some of theories, this one works ONLY IN CERTAIN CASES, like mine, for example.

I think it's VERY IMPORTANT to get some inspiration before you write lyrics. But HEY, WE'RE MUSICIANS, WE LIVE IN INSPIRATION!

09-07-2003, 08:15 AM
In response to kreeping...

Originally posted by MarkMac
Of course there are rules you can follow. That's why there are things such as basic chord progressions. There are musical truths that can be broken, but they do exist.

If there's one thing i couldn't stand when i was a beginner, it was big headed guitar players who never gave any helpful advice. "There are no rules" "Write what you feel." "Just sit there and let it come to you." NONE OF THIS HELPS A BEGINNER. He's still just as lost as when he first approached you and you just made him feel more stupid because nothing "just comes to him."

It's like when I read the guitar instruction forum, whatever the question, you'll always find someone who'll say that you should just practice more. The thread about singing and playing was like that. Everyone just said practice, practice, practice...

Yes, of course that's true but I think most of the beginners already know that they need to practice. What a Sherlock Holmes you must be to say that you need to practice to get better at guitar... What beginners need is someone to sort of point the right direction, that's all. A little focus. Something more substantial than, "There are no rules." That doesn't help at all.

You can talk that way with other more accomplished guitarists and writers since you all already know the basics. When you're trying to help people out, give them something they can understand and go with so that eventually, they can figure out their own way, their own style.

...the end... nearly, first I need my cheap dig: "noting is written in stone"... epitaphs, my friend...

Steph Bets
10-06-2003, 11:22 PM
ok question: what do you guys think of enjambment in songs? if oyu know what im talking about, if not ill explain. but u guys seem pretty smart so... ya know

10-07-2003, 02:59 PM
Enjamb(e)ment - the use of run on-lines in a piece of writing - is a simple but neat device to strengthen songs - when used correctly... that is to say, it allows the listener to interpret two meanings from what would only have one meaning when written without enjambment, (if you get me)... so yea, it's cool when done well.

10-07-2003, 10:18 PM
If I were to want to read someones (or bands) lyrics to try and get some examples of what to do in my songwriting, who's do you recomend?

10-07-2003, 10:58 PM
the best advice i can give about writing lyrics is that you shouldnt think about it, you should feel it. write exactly what is in your heart not your head. just close your eyes and write the words that come to your fingertips. you can rearrange them later for better structure and clarity but your true emotion is going to be the best communicator even if it doesnt make complete sense at the time because eventually it will come together for you.

as for what bands to check out, its hard to be specific without knowing what kind of lyrics you wanna write, but i can tell you who inspires me. older creed, bush, and our lady peace albums are great. definitely check out the more classic song writers like lennon and cobain. tool also has some brilliant lyrics.

Steph Bets
10-09-2003, 03:11 AM
Originally posted by benjmc
Enjamb(e)ment - the use of run on-lines in a piece of writing - is a simple but neat device to strengthen songs - when used correctly... that is to say, it allows the listener to interpret two meanings from what would only have one meaning when written without enjambment, (if you get me)... so yea, it's cool when done well.
yeah i know what it is i was just wondering, do you guys think a song with enjambement is more effective than one without, in getting its message across... my favourite is in space dementia by muse and it goes...
"well destroy this world for you,
i know you want me too,
feel you pain"
and it could be interpreted as "well destroy the world for you , i know you want me too" or "i know you want me too, feel your pain"
i think enjambment is extremely pwerful and helps to improve the flow, because it all runs together, but im pretty crap at using it

10-18-2003, 12:12 AM
Originally posted by buzzlikeafridge
erm well the guitarist in my band keeps on talking about this nirvana-writing technique his guitar teacher told him and he's made some decent songs out of it so maybe you could look up that?

lessons 3 & 4 should be up in the next few days folks :D
Woah thats cool. Could try and find out from him? That would really be helpful.

10-18-2003, 12:14 AM
Originally posted by SOAD2NFG
as for what bands to check out, its hard to be specific without knowing what kind of lyrics you wanna write, but i can tell you who inspires me. older creed, bush, and our lady peace albums are great. definitely check out the more classic song writers like lennon and cobain. tool also has some brilliant lyrics.
Thanks. Do you know if it would be helpful to read some of AFI's? Thats the style I tried to use for my first song (after reading this thread). Oh and thank you to everybody that contributed to this thread. I learned alot about songwriting out of it.

10-20-2003, 09:57 PM
hmm seeing i've never replied to this thread, i'll just say one tip:
BE CREATIVE! don't limit yourself to normal ideas and don't be afraid to go out on a limb! sometimes your ideas will work, sometimes not :cheers:

10-25-2003, 12:40 AM
Yes. Everyone turn from the UG Giants and look to the little man here. First I want to say if any band, person, mouse, or musician gets "popular" by doing cover bands and not their own stuff, they should be beaten with their own instruments. 2nd, the word "genre" should be burned at the stake. Everyone should have their own "genre"(even though it is burned at the stake). Because smashing people into boxes a.k.a. genres (burnt baby!) is wrong and that is what sends many a band into the grave. And for lyrical tips, you have to start crappy and know it. cause if you're going around town saying "hey you! I'm the best da**it!" from the beginning, you are doomed for failure. The only way to get better is to recoginize your own mistakes and then fix them according to your P.O.V.

thank you for listening(reading) and g'night

btw.......dude ranch was a better album, jacob. enema of the state and TOYPAJ were s***, but dude ranch was better.

(P.S. Did this have anything to do with lyrics? :confus:

mums five
11-01-2003, 08:26 PM
very helpful
if you want examples of good lyrics listen to Crosbie Stills and Nash its old but really good

11-02-2003, 10:36 AM
Just wanted to say thanks to all the people who contributed to this thread, its really helpful :cheers:

11-03-2003, 10:42 PM
theres a lot of helpful stuff in there. as for the blink thing, i agree with the whole contradiction thing and punk, but i think they have pretty good lyrics. like in going away to college.

11-25-2003, 06:45 PM
a way i write lyrics is to open up notepad and fill it wwith what i am feeling, no rhyme or flow, jsut how i am feeling, i usually get about five or so pages of it, then i just read through it, and rework the five or so pages into a song, i dunno if this will help anyone but it has helped me get past my stupid primitive aabb rhyming and the same with abab. it works for me so i thought it may help others!

11-25-2003, 11:51 PM
thx does anyone have advice on writing emo?

11-26-2003, 05:08 AM
Originally posted by playguitar6847
thx does anyone have advice on writing emo?

On the first page in this thread there's a great post about it, check it out! =)

12-10-2003, 08:25 AM
I dunno about you guys, but I get all my imagery from moments which just captivate me. I know it sounds really cheesy, but it's true. Like walking home in the cold night and seeing the lights across the water, you know? To me, feelings go with places, and if you describe the place and include yourself in the scene then the song will take on the entire feeling of the mental picture you've painted.

I'm amazed at people who just pluck emotions and thoughts from nowhere. I could never do that because it would just sound insincere coming from me.

Also, if you are writing distorted and bizarre lyrics, it's terrible if you write something that sounds good but means nothing and relates to nothing in your song. That is just pretentious and the world has enough pretentious bands in it. And also do not just listen to one band cos you'll end up imitating them. There, that's my advice imparted. Hope it is of use.

12-13-2003, 05:49 PM
It seems like there's too many stereotypically written songs. Such as angst. Yes, I've been there myself. I've written well over a dozen songs... and after reading them all it irritates the heck out of me, and then to go on here I just see the same pattern... Try writing about something different. It'll get noticed.

12-15-2003, 06:20 PM
Originally posted by IndigoBanana
I dunno about you guys, but I get all my imagery from moments which just captivate me. I know it sounds really cheesy, but it's true. Like walking home in the cold night and seeing the lights across the water, you know?

yeah that's how i think of some of my imagery too. i just find beauty in a lot of nature, and i feel emotions in the things i am seeing. i try to capture what i saw and the emotion in my writing, which i still can not do as well as i wish i could. oh well, but yeah, look for beauty in nature, not necessarily rare things such as meteor showers and such, but in the every day things you see. the brown trees against the red glowing sky. leaves blowing in the wind. etc, etc.

12-19-2003, 03:45 PM

I have read some interesting tips about writing poetic verses that have much more art to them than "singing about pepsi"

Good example; whoever said that.

Anyway, I thought that these Ideas are good for poetry, however, I think people have overlooked a big factor of lyric-writing in this thread: lyrics are part of a musical composure

Lyrics aren't anymore important than any other of the song structurally speaking but since most of your average persons do not understand pure emotion played by an instrument, you have to sing them words so they will understand.

Every riff and musical phrase should convey some emotion, if it doesn't it's noise. Lyrics are musical phrases that describe themselves.


Another thing people missed in this thread is that words have tone. Every time I write a song, I write down the chord progression, come up with my melodic harmonies and then write down specific vowel sounds that would sound good with that part of the song and not clash with the musics overall tone.

Then, I write what I call grabble words. they don't mean anything but they sound good with the song.

(Note: if you write Nu-Metal, stop at this point: people cant understand screaming anyway)

Once you have the time, the melody, and what you want your words to sound like, all you have to do is find out what the song means.

What I mean by "WHAT THE SONG MEANS" is what the acutal music says, not any previous ideas. Like if you had a chord progression that went from Dmaj to C maj to G maj, you wouldn't want the title of the song to be something like "The agony of living in hell"

Anyway, once you figure out what the song is going to be about, and that it's appropriate, think of how you can say it in the way within the set parameters of the garble words.

Also get a dictionary and a thesaurus. This helps you find different words that fit.

Besides that, my only tips are already here, read, write things down all the time, little sentences you hear in books, speeches, poetry anything that you think of or imagine and you're off free.

12-19-2003, 03:49 PM
Originally posted by playguitar6847
thx does anyone have advice on writing emo?

Yes Break up with your girlfriend

the rest will take care of itself.

12-20-2003, 06:07 PM
Hey, as long as the lyrics mean something to the writer and sound good WITH the music then thats all that counts! Remember the music people!

12-27-2003, 11:50 PM
I love writing lyrics...It's my passion...I write them about my girlfriend, being angry, being happy, fun, cheating, a girl who uses you, being lonely, missing someone, or just rockin' out. It's so much fun to write lyrics to your songs. It kicks ass. :angry: :cheers: :D :devil: :headband: :sexsmile:

12-27-2003, 11:55 PM
:headbang: **

12-27-2003, 11:58 PM
If you post again in this thread, I'll punch you in the face, wake you up, then warn you.


12-31-2003, 12:41 PM
Ahem... warning for breaking rules and calling me gay Jesus.


12-31-2003, 02:09 PM
/quote/2. Walk around, perceive the beauty of the world, the magnificence of people, the self-absorbed cruelty of people, the fake beauty that you?re likely to see all around you?look at the ?fake plastic trees? and always remember them./quote/

amen brother:cheers

01-04-2004, 05:21 AM

I don't know if these tips have already been posted

Write what you know. If you've never had a girl friend don't write about your girlfriend leaving you.

For heavens sake and for the love of all that is good do not EVER, EVER rhyme for the sake of rhyming. In fact don't even try to rhyme. If it rhymes good on you. If it doesn't thats great. If you look at the lyrics to some of the best songs ever written they don't rhyme all the time. When it does it happens naturally. Try using word that don't actually rhyme but sound close.

"sometimes you're the windshield
sometimes you're the bug
sometimes it all comes together baby
sometimes you're a fool in love
sometimes you're the louisville slugger baby
sometimes you're the ball
sometimes it all comes together baby
sometimes you're gonna to lose it all"

That was the chorus to the song The bug by Dire striats. Mark knopfler had a knack for that type of thing. Thats all i can think of tonight.

01-11-2004, 05:59 PM
this are awesome tips so far!

one thing i like to do, is paint a scene of something that i can really relate to and feel myself. i think something important to keep in mind if your writing an emitional song is if YOU can relate to it, then most other normal ppl can relate to it.

I'm writing a song right now (i write punk, punk rock, and a little pop punk music), and its a slow sounding song, but the music is upbeat, so the lyrics and the song mixed together are very uplifting. one of the verses is just describing how perfect the night is, how its cold and moonlit, and things like that. the song is really saying how you would carry this girl through anything. really good song, and i think the best part is describing this perfect night that you really feel everything that needs to be felt.

so yeah, keep up with this awesome thread!


01-11-2004, 06:03 PM
ah one more tip. for writing realy emotional songs that you want people to feel, don't force yourself to write them. Write on them when your feeling the emotions ur describing in the song. That's what i'm doing with the song i mentioned above. i've been working on it for a month, and only have 12 lines. last night while chatting on MSN i was in a great mood, so i got out the song, and only got to writing the chorus, but its sounding great.


01-21-2004, 06:57 PM
Hey i got a couple a tips on rhyming...

NEVER rhyme just to make it rhyme, this is really basic and has been said many times but its the most important part of rhyming.
Rhymes should be natural and should just flow into your song, they should not disrupt the rhythm just so that the sentence will rhyme.

Try not to use the same rhyme twice, its fatal to the rhythm. Rhyming isnt nescessary and if u use the same one twice, even if it fits, it murders the rhythm and ruins the song. You can get away with it sometimes but more often then not its terrible.

Rhymes should be strong, to achieve this the rhyme should have a clear meaning and not be a broken up sentence thats only purpose is to form a rhyme. Also try not to use simple words often (day - say) but more complex and intresting rhymes (day - dismay). Weak rhymes really hurt the song and they are usually just there to form a rhyme.

NEVER force a rhyme. If u cant fine something to rhyme then it doesnt have to. Forced rhymes kill the music and most of the time theyre not even nescessary.

Try not to have a fixed rhymes scheme (A - B\ A - A -B) try to make your rhymes unpredictable and surprising this really makes the song more intresting and greatly adds to the rhythm.

Dont look to try to use rhymes or excpect rhymes, they should just flow out into the music and always try to maintain ur rhythm. If you feel the music flowing dont stop it to make changes or rush it just let it come out and u can edit it later. Take your time too if u rush it itll sound terrible and strained.

Well thats all ive got hope it helps...

01-21-2004, 07:43 PM
ok, i didn't have any time to read the whole thing because it was so long. but do you have advice for writing metal style stuff. the stuff i listen to is really poetic, like east west, demon hunter, chevelle, linkin park... chevelle's not as poetic as most, but i like how they write. i write lots of stuff, and i don't always seem to finish my songs. sometimes. most of the time i run into that problem when i try to write for my girlfriend. can you help with any of that?

01-24-2004, 09:18 PM
I believe writing come from the heart; if you have it in there, it will come out. The true reality of the matter is: Some have it....Others don't. And that is a very good thing.

01-25-2004, 09:28 PM
Uhhh 10 pages later I don't know how useful this will be or if it has already been mentioned ( I skipped from page 3 to page 9 ) Anyways, although I do believe in different types of writing styles, I feel it is unfare and naive to say " well.... I think punk lyrics are simplistic an blah blah... well I i'd rather singe off my eyebrows than listen to such and such... " also... Somebody made a comparison between writing in a very specific sense (it was a can of pepsi I believe) and being very broad.. Some songs are intentionally meant to be overly specific for intentionally reasons... For instance... A song written about a young bird... Its been in its nest for weeks being fed by its mother, and is just about to learn to fly. So it steps out on the edge of the branch, takes a small jump, and falls and breaks it's neck.. Ta-da!!! There are many ways to interpret simplistic forms of writing as well as compilations with elaborated emotions and other lyrical devices... If I had to give one tip, it would be this: There are many different of styles to write in, try to be expansive. Try new things. Be innovative... The songs people hate the most are the ones that have been done OVER and OVER and OVER again..... This all being to late now anyways ... but ohhhhhhhhh well. =P


01-27-2004, 11:56 AM
Here are a couple of my personal tips not just to writing lyrics but writing in general. I think most have been said but I'd just like to give my two-cents heh:

1) If you are stuck, don't stop writing. Don't. Just keep going and put down every crappy thought in your head until something good comes up. Even if you think you have absolutely nothing to write about, just stop a second, clear your mind and just start writing phrases off the top of you head. Nothing to me is worse than staring at a blank page (or a white screen) so just fill the goddamn thing up. I have dozens of stream of consciousness type things I've written, really ****ty stories and the like, but if you know what's good and you know what you like, you should be able to tell when what you're writing is crap. If you think you suck, the only way you are gonna get better is writing even more or by...

2) Again, read you illiterate bastards. Any goddamned book you find. Find writers who you think have control of language and read 'em til your eyes a redder than a 40 year old stoner's. Read any magazine article, cereal box, class schedule, liner notes anything just read it. If you don't wanna read then what can I say, maybe words aren't your thing. Just be sure that when it's coming to your writing, it's your writing and you're not jacking anyone elses words. Find inspiriation on a bottle in a medicine cabinet.

3) This one is directed to cliches (I suppose the word cliche is a cliche now) since they seem to be prevalent around here. I don't know how not be cliche. But an awful lot of the lyrics I've seen posted here (in my short time on these boards) seem to be along the lines of:

"Oh my tormented soul of souls
smashed on rocks
crushed bollocks
bleeding this
yada yada"

Yes. I understand you are going through something tough. Be clever about it though. If I never saw another song modern rock song with the word "bleed" in it, I'd die a happy man. I absolutely understand why there are so many songs with these types of lyrics (obviously everyone's life has ups and downs, easy to relate to) but would it kill some of you to write a song that had to with something else? Think of it as a learning experience. I know it's usually not wise to write out of your own experiences but hell don't let it stop you. You're a writer goddammit. Make some **** up. Write a song about the War of 1812 but don't be a douche about it and make it obvious. When it boils down to it, most lyrics can be seperated into two categories:

I) Internal Lyrics, the kind that come from inside, involve feelings an other usually intangible and personal things

II) External Lyrics, which are about the things around you, whether it's politcal, beautiful places, a person etc.

Either works, but for me, external lyrics have a whole other depth because they can be something we may have actually seen/done/whatever.

So there's my tips which turned into a semi-rant. I'd like to leave you with a parting message but if I don't get outta here, I'm gonna be late for class... :D

01-28-2004, 07:49 AM
when writing ur bands likes an dislikes should show in ur lyrics
i have jst started writing an discovered exactly that but when u write try an get input from the band when uwirte cos that was my fatal mistake
i write songs that i think are good then get shot down by the other members of the band!one more inportant think is u should enjoy writing!!!!!!
jst thought i'd add my thoughts to this!

01-28-2004, 10:55 PM
I am very new to songwriting (and admitably a sub-par writer) but when I first learned how to play guitar, I never tought I would EVER write a song, so I just played and recorded some Beatles and Tom Petty songs to get a feel of how music syncs up with lyrics and it helped a lot. So I suggest doing a few cover songs before writing your own. Thats just me though.

01-29-2004, 10:31 AM
gd point ur best bet is to do some covers an get use to playin and the way lyrics flow with the music

02-06-2004, 11:22 PM
The fact of the matter is that there are no new themes at all in this world of ours, and no matter how current your writing is, you're still going to be related in some manner to something that's already been done.

But this isn't a bad thing at all. I like to think that there are no new messages, only new messengers, and this is very important because people often only listen to someone who is from their context.

This is why even confirmed greats like the Beatles or Stones don't appeal to people today. It's not that they aren't good, or that their lessons aren't relevant, they're just not of this generation and that means that we can't relate.

So long as there are teenagers, there will always be a group of people that wants to hear all the cliches because frankly, nothing is a cliche to most teenagers. But the least that a writer should do is try to be the best messenger to his audience.

02-07-2004, 09:24 AM
:-| Mark posted :-|.. haha, good wise words there, ;). I doubt you'll be stayin' but it'd be cool if you did... you know alot of good stuff, man.

02-08-2004, 10:27 AM
Here's my contribution:

Interesting article about cliches. Click "Read Chapter 2" at the bottom for one on metaphors.

02-10-2004, 11:53 AM
Originally posted by benjmc
:-| Mark posted :-|.. haha, good wise words there, ;). I doubt you'll be stayin' but it'd be cool if you did... you know alot of good stuff, man.

Thanks for the words Ben. Actually I've dropped in here a bit during the past few months, it's just that I hardly ever find anything new to talk about so I don't reply.

02-15-2004, 09:14 PM
ok, umm a lot of this stuff is really helpful, but i have to dissagree with helping people write a specific genre of music. i think that as you write it becomes whatever it really is. dont aim for a specific type of music, because writing is natural, staight from the heat, and not preplanned. ok im done...

02-23-2004, 01:01 PM
here's the easiest way to write lyrics i find. what you do is write the lyrics to the melody of a song you like then change it to fit in with your song. i've written about 7 songs like this

03-01-2004, 11:08 AM
how can the monkey boy criticise blink? ok, so there not like ur sex pistols (fake) or rancid and bad religion who may write songs bout the hardships of life. does that mean there not punk. punk rock was never a political movement. very few bands actually sung about politics etc. back when punk first broke. bands like the ramones and the buzz****s made punk unpolitical. blink 182, have been the most succesful punk band for a long time. there music attracts sum kids to buy the older stuff by ramones, clash etc. therefore keeping punk alive in ppl's hearts. does it matter if there songs arent directly writing with any emotions? NO, cos the best punk songs tend to b more about having fun than spreading the message of how hard life can be. surely theres enough stuff on the tv to remind us how hard it is. and blinks albums have all been good. they may not b to ur taste, but u cant criticise what they do until u do exactly what theyve done.

03-01-2004, 05:44 PM
Wow, that was almost a year ago... anyway, the next person who posts their OWN lyrics in this thread or asks someone to make a riff or asks someone for tips for themSELVES, or basically does NOT post something helpful will be warned. Understood?


03-05-2004, 06:54 AM
I agree with quite a bit of what you say, and it is a pretty in-depth and educational experience reading that post :). But I have to say I don't agree with some of your "rules". (obvioulsy they're not rules, but I couldn't be horsed to think of a different word hehe). things like - make a song personal. I quite enjoy jabbering about crap and making funny lyrics. I find that even seriously impersonal lyrics (if mixed with theright tune) can be very meaningful. This is in the sence that they make people smile - or even laugh. Just my two-pence, thaought i'd through it right in there :)

stay happy

03-07-2004, 03:08 PM
Go to sleep listening to music. good article

03-07-2004, 07:13 PM
yea, i heard that listening to music while you sleep helps helped me at least (i was listening to Thrice)

03-10-2004, 02:59 PM
My tip:

I have no tips, just a bit of advice... [This is how I write lyrics...]

Take a walk and start singing to yourself. [In your head or you'll sound crazy to all the other people] If you come onto something catchy NEVER and I repeat NEVER EVER EVER NEVER throw it out... Stupid songs you sing in the shower or while doing something are usually diamonds in the rough...

That's how I write songs. [My tip]

Oh, and watch out for my dog... His name is cliché and he's been running around messing with songs. [Even mine] I should really put a stop to that.

Cheers, Later, Peace!

03-11-2004, 11:00 PM
This is somethign I use quite a bit in my writing . . .I dont know if anyone will find it as useful as me but Its in the film 'Finding Forrester'

(this may be a mis-quote, but the idea is there)

"Type, hit the damn keys. Type your first draft with heart, put all your soul into that first draft and dont worry about sounding smart or using proper structure. Just type what your feeling and what words it makes you feel. On your second copy, look over your draft and edit your feelings to be meaningful to the reader. Use your brain and think your way through'

So basically:

first draft- Use your pure emotions to type with
second draft- Use your brain to make it sounds more then a journal

(it might take more then 2 drafts though)

Good luck all!

03-21-2004, 06:40 PM
Ok, I deleted ab unch of spam... if I accidentally deleted something important, oops, sorry...


03-22-2004, 03:44 AM
Yesterday me and my friend were rehearsing a few songs, when I just started singing (very high-pitched, with a made-up melody)... Just a really, really bad lyric with no kind of rhyming-scheme or anything... But when my friend heard that he got like thousands of ideas and on the following 30 minutes we wrote three half-done songs... (and the last half of a song isn't really that hard to write)

So my tip for now is to think about every single idea you get, 'cause even if the idea is bad from the start, you'll probably get more ideas out of it...

04-06-2004, 02:22 PM
Remember: The thesaurus is your friend, not your air supply (Clever, right? I came up with that).

04-07-2004, 06:43 PM
Hey, could you gve me some tips on my songwriting then. When i write songs i tend to just go for the 'Spunge' sort of lyrics (singing fast lines that mainly all rhyme)...but it is there any tips to boost my Punk/Ska songwriting skills.

Here is some of my lyrics for my song 'Hero for the day' for my band [hero for the day]:

Hey, Ho?Heeero!

Life?s so great now I?m a hero
it sure beats being a zero
Everyone looks up to me now
I no longer get the eyebrow
Even if it is for one day
When I seen people shout (hooray)!

Please advise me towards being a great Punk/Ska songwriter.

04-08-2004, 05:38 PM
Originally posted by Ben[HFTD]
Hey, could you gve me some tips on my songwriting then. When i write songs i tend to just go for the 'Spunge' sort of lyrics (singing fast lines that mainly all rhyme)...but it is there any tips to boost my Punk/Ska songwriting skills.

Here is some of my lyrics for my song 'Hero for the day' for my band [hero for the day]:

Hey, Ho?Heeero!

Life?s so great now I?m a hero
it sure beats being a zero
Everyone looks up to me now
I no longer get the eyebrow
Even if it is for one day
When I seen people shout (hooray)!

Please advise me towards being a great Punk/Ska songwriter.

Uhm... just try to "not rhyme"..? =)
If you write something, just forget about the rhyming, just take a synonym for the word if you rhyme... I've had the same problem... but I don't know, I just got rid of it somehow... =)

04-11-2004, 04:55 PM
great thread!

04-12-2004, 07:56 AM
songwriting is a bu*g*r wen u 1st start and im still in that position

04-12-2004, 10:59 PM
My Advice is never throw out an old half done song even if you wrote something 100% better. I'm just starting out but I find that when I'm stuck if i go back and look at the lyrics to the "Little Songs That Couldn't" I find a lyrics that works great in the song I'm writing kinda like a diamond in the rough thing.

Also I don't play guitar but i write lyrics so while i'm writing i sing the song outloud and make little notes all over the place like creshendo here..slow it down...pause...add echo, little things like that and that gives me an idea on how the drums/guitar/bass should sound and then I'll make a little paragraph at the end of the songs like a mental note on how the guitar sounds in my head whether I decide that i want the song to be more mellow like "Konstantine" by Something Corporate or more uptempo like "Lover I Don't Have To Love" by Bright Eyes. You may not be in school but take notes all over the place cause when you go to finish the song it makes it ALOT eaiser. Also note the mood you were in when you wrote the song...if your depressed the day you wrote the song it's gonna sound alot different to sing on a day your hyper and everything. I Hoped this helped some!

04-14-2004, 03:22 PM
thanks! wat bands r u in2??? well........which 1's inspires u most?

04-14-2004, 08:42 PM
You can't give tips on lyric writing. It is an expression of what you have to say. There are no limits and secret formulas. Just writing down what you feel.

04-15-2004, 10:56 AM
Originally posted by nyx
You can't give tips on lyric writing. It is an expression of what you have to say. There are no limits and secret formulas. Just writing down what you feel.

You're pretentious. Deal with it. Of course you can give tips... you can give tips on pretty much everything... no stringent rules, no definitive guidelines.. but tips? Yes.

"It is an expression of what you have to say..." or don't have to say; I quote (someone, lol) "I have nothing to say... and I am saying it... and that is poetry"

It's the expression you're getting tips on. Learning how to express emotions in an - wait for this corker - emotive way.

04-15-2004, 11:29 AM
Originally posted by benjmc
You're pretentious. Deal with it. Of course you can give tips... you can give tips on pretty much everything... no stringent rules, no definitive guidelines.. but tips? Yes.

"It is an expression of what you have to say..." or don't have to say; I quote (someone, lol) "I have nothing to say... and I am saying it... and that is poetry"

It's the expression you're getting tips on. Learning how to express emotions in an - wait for this corker - emotive way.


We're not giving tips on "Oh, well, you should fall deeper into love", we don't change the MEANING....we only seek to change the MEDIUM, that is the written text.

I could have all the emotion in the world but if i write

"rozez R red
vioulets are blue
i thikn your pretty
and good looking 2"

....then it's not exactly showing what you feel is it?

04-15-2004, 03:36 PM
Originally posted by Pyr0

We're not giving tips on "Oh, well, you should fall deeper into love", we don't change the MEANING....we only seek to change the MEDIUM, that is the written text.

I could have all the emotion in the world but if i write

"rozez R red
vioulets are blue
i thikn your pretty
and good looking 2"

....then it's not exactly showing what you feel is it?

But wouldn't it be really good if you could fall deeper in love? :p:


04-17-2004, 10:50 AM
Originally posted by _Bucky_
But wouldn't it be really good if you could fall deeper in love? :p:


No. It'd be shit

...ah jeez, she's turned me into such a cynic.

04-17-2004, 04:57 PM
both r right i think. u do write on were ur passions lie but u can also giv tips 2 begginers who trying 2 brake free of the invisible wall they cnt write on

04-17-2004, 04:59 PM
i mean wen u 1st start 2 write lyrics its hard coz u dnt kno wat 2 write about or wat 2 say ur 1st few might b crap but u will soon get their

04-18-2004, 02:41 AM
I'm suffering frm some serious writters block-NOTHING is inspiering enough-I mean i feel like writing a song, I've got some gr8 stuff worked out on my guitar-but what the bloody hell shud it be about? and past experiances has told me writing when theres nothing you really have to say only brings out awful songs and lyrics. -I will NOT screw up my persnol life.

04-18-2004, 10:22 AM
couldnt agree more about rhyming. PEOPLE. you can write an amazing song with no rhyming whatsoever. it's not worth comprimising the lyrics for sound. try writing a song on your guitar first, then write lyrics for can sound amazing with not a single rhyming word. try also using repition of words, as that can lead to better lyrics which still sound great.

04-19-2004, 10:41 PM
what is the key to James Taylors music, Im trying to figure out whats so amazing about his songwriting
any hints as to why its so good

04-20-2004, 01:31 PM
I agree with forcing the rhyme part but I don't think every1 here forces the rhyming. It does ruin some songs that force it though

04-20-2004, 02:41 PM
ive always loved maynard james keenan's song writing skills...

Night Prowler
04-22-2004, 04:54 PM
I like the lyrics to Jimi Hendrix - Castles Made of Sand

Down the street you can hear her scream "you're a disgrace"
As she slams the door in his drunken face
And now he stands outside
And all the neighbours start to gossip and drool
He cries "Oh, girl you must be mad,
What happened to the sweet love you and me had?"
Against the door he leans and starts a scene,
And his tears fall and burn the garden green

And so castles made of sand fall in the sea, eventually

A little indian brave who before he was ten,
Played wargames in the woods with his indian friends
And he built up a dream that when he grew up
He would be a fearless warrior indian cheif
Many moons past and more the dream grew strong until
Tomorrow he would sing his first warsong and fight his first battle
But something went wrong, surprise attack killed him in his sleep that night

And so castles made of sand melts into the sea, eventually

There was a young girl, whos heart was a frown
'Cause she was crippled for life,
and she couldn't speak a sound
And she wished and prayed she could stop living,
So she decided to die
She drew her wheelchair to the edge of the shore
And to her legs she smiled "you won't hurt me no more"
But then a sight she'd never seen made her jump and say
"look a golden winged ship is passing my way"

And it really didn't have to stop, it just kept on going...

And so castles made of sand slips into the sea, eventually

05-09-2004, 10:44 AM

05-09-2004, 08:45 PM
Originally posted by ToolBoy
couldnt agree more about rhyming. PEOPLE. you can write an amazing song with no rhyming whatsoever.

an intelligent newbie :eek:

on the thesaurus issue, i personally don't use a thesaurus. if you know more "complex" words and know how to use them in context, then that's great. but i don't think you should stick some word you might have never even heard of before into a song. it takes away from the meaning in my opinion.

05-09-2004, 10:15 PM
this is just a minor thing, but when you guys type up lyrics dont use words like "u" instead of "you" and "r" instead of "are." it takes away from the respect level and intelligence of the song.

05-10-2004, 08:20 PM
Better yet, NEVER use "u" instead of "you" or "r" instead of "are" etc.

Erich yeung
05-16-2004, 12:44 AM
What about writing metal songs?

05-20-2004, 01:44 AM
good tips benjmc i was suffering from some hellish writers block the last couple days. To say the leasnt not anymore

05-21-2004, 04:59 PM
Can someone help me with lyric tips for like "classic rock"
Any help is appreciated.

05-21-2004, 05:03 PM
One of the main things is to write stuff that actually has happend to you, ect not something you just came up with that rymed. Theres a kid at my school who wrote a song about suicide cause he thinks hes really good at writin songs. First of all hes never even gone through contemplating suicide, im not saying i have, but you can tell he didnt write that song about true emotion from him. Secondly he came off as fake because the stuff he wrote isnt even the stuff your thinking of when you might do it, again im not saying i have but i know some people that have, and have seriously thought about, doing it. So basically dont just think up somthing that ryhmes or sounds good becuase you will just come off as fake. haha that kid sounded like linkin park in a lot of his songs....

05-26-2004, 01:12 PM
its a newb fest in here

05-26-2004, 02:05 PM
Originally posted by D2Dguitarist1
its a newb fest in here

Ha, great tip oldbie (you are from 04 an' all.. the cool year to join)... I'll bear that one in mind the next time I'm writing a lovesong.

05-28-2004, 12:30 AM
i just sit down and write what first comes to mind after i think up a subject. freelance it. its more fun. :) no thinking permitted !!!!

05-29-2004, 04:09 AM
can you give me some sites, where you can find more writing tips, those on here are great, but i need more stuff, so hopefully someone can help me:p:

06-02-2004, 01:52 PM
Damn, this is sum useful info (this will really help me write sum better lyrics)

I usually write just what i think and what sounds good :D
but it'll really help me !!

Thnx U people 4 the tips

06-05-2004, 09:49 PM
Can someone give me some tips on how to write something like the early november style?

06-05-2004, 10:58 PM
Originally posted by FatKidsonMopeds
Can someone give me some tips on how to write something like the early november style?

Well, if you listen to them a lot you should already write sort of in their style. If not, I suggest listening to them while you write. It should help you write like them.

06-07-2004, 12:07 AM
This stuff is all well and good, really it is but what advice do you after you have lyrics that u like, how can you put music to it w/o screwin it up

06-07-2004, 03:53 AM
Originally posted by SilenceEv0lves
Well, if you listen to them a lot you should already write sort of in their style. If not, I suggest listening to them while you write. It should help you write like them.

I do. I KIND of write like him..but hes just amazing. I guess most people just hate their own least I do. :(

06-08-2004, 10:48 AM
What do you mean by onamatapia (sorry if spelling is off) because in english class we were taught that it meant using a word to describe a sound which actually sounds like the sound (i hope that made sense, im talking about the word sounding like the sound) but you don't seem to be using it that way. Please explain to me what your "definition" of it is, because i am kinda confused

06-13-2004, 08:33 AM
onomatopiea is when a word sounds like the sound it is describing (bang, crack, crash, whack, etc)

06-17-2004, 07:06 AM

I froze your tears and made a dagger,
and stabbed it in my **** forever.
it stays there like excalibur,
are you my Arthur?
Say you are.

take this cool hard steel-ed blade,
take it, sheath it, in your lake.
i'd drown with you to be together.
Must you breathe?
Cos I need heaven.

06-20-2004, 12:43 AM

What music genre do u plan on doing this in??

The Hurt Within
06-21-2004, 07:37 PM
Originally posted by Testify1
an intelligent newbie :eek:

on the thesaurus issue, i personally don't use a thesaurus. if you know more "complex" words and know how to use them in context, then that's great. but i don't think you should stick some word you might have never even heard of before into a song. it takes away from the meaning in my opinion.

yeah i kinda agree.....i mean you've read some of my stuff testi and would i be right in saying i have a resonable grasp of using complex words in the right context like my song NeoEnmity but some words i use come out of a thesaurus...its not like i use it for every word cos i agree by doing it the synonym won't be exactly fitting as the original word....but i still have it so that i have the option if needed.....if it does get too complex then yes i does draw the meaning away....but i also feel that it can work even if the reader has to look up the word...e.g mars volta...... also writing over a long while you tend to find these words as you go along.....

06-21-2004, 10:45 PM
i am very much with what i heard from crescent shadow... i mean guys, girls, look here: punk is not going to last!! i'm sorry,'s got some catchy stuff,... but it simply isn't gunna last, ...hopefully for some it will evolve into something better, something with more meaning, but the way it is now, hellz no. why? cuz what someone already said up there, .... it doesn't make you think, least with the songs i'm hearing thats the case,'s saying "i have a problem" then, "someone look at my problem" and then "come on, just look, you don't have to fix, it just look at it!" and lastly, " i'm mad at my dad cuz no one will look at my problem."
theres really no depth to it, what i'm gunna say sucks for a lot of really good lead guitarists and others, but it's true..... what stands the test of time is not the rippin' solos and the nice little riffs, ...the lyrics are what stick. ....try listening to some Dylan, the dude could never sing, my 7th month of playing guitar i was further along then he is now.... but the way he writes makes you think, ...and you dwell on his songs.... because they have meaning!! i've tried with some punk songs, ..and they can be pretty fun, but if you actually wanna make a name for yourself that your grandkids friends will be like, "dude your grandpa is kirby McTalkalot?? rock on!" (??? , i dunno) remember what you've heard when you're writing your songs, like the dude said right away, .... tell your story, and tell it well, ...make em think about it,... and if you don't have a story to tell, then get **** faced and go on a road trip,.... something will definately happen to give you inspiration. if you STILL don't have a story, ..then what are you doing trying to write????

06-21-2004, 10:52 PM
oh good god,... one more thing..... don't use a thesaurus! that is retarded.... you should have the words in you to know how you feel,.... you shouldn't have to find big words that rhyme with survive..... come on people.... i'm in disagreement with someone up there,.... you have to have some kind of a rhyme scheme to make it interesting, but they're right in that you should not go way overboard like that. you can right some deep stuff keeping it simple. and if you can't,... give your bass player a chance... cuz you can't write.

06-24-2004, 02:33 PM
nice post.

The Hurt Within
06-25-2004, 06:12 PM
Originally posted by iravick
oh good god,... one more thing..... don't use a thesaurus! that is retarded.... you should have the words in you to know how you feel,.... you shouldn't have to find big words that rhyme with survive..... come on people.... i'm in disagreement with someone up there,.... you have to have some kind of a rhyme scheme to make it interesting, but they're right in that you should not go way overboard like that. you can right some deep stuff keeping it simple. and if you can't,... give your bass player a chance... cuz you can't write.

Im retarded cos i use a theasaurus coming from some1 that spells write (right) and NO YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE A RHYME SCHEME TO MAKE IT INTRESTING thats complete bullsh!t....i don't rhyme and im sorry but i hope that its the way i use my words that make it intresting....not because i can rhyme pain with vain or gain for the zenith time....ur last comment is just disgraceful ur saying i can't write cos mine a more have to really think before you speak.....songs are not always about how you feel can write about a historical event.....a theory....on a quote.....write a story song....write a song about describing objects.....maybe about ur favourite sir you are retarded.....and're the guy that replied to my song with "eh" aren't you??? it says alot man.....and that is not alot.


06-27-2004, 10:03 PM
well idk if this helps u but sumtimes i use this as a tool its a lil trick my english teacher teach me when im writing poetry
when u make a line of a verse try to make em with the same number of sylables... shall i explain my self??
heres an example

|my |name |is |dan|ny|
|im|a |real|cool|guy|
|if|u |dont| like |it|
|well|then |Dont| eat| it|

uhhh this is not actually a song lol... but anyway if u notice each line is divided on 5 silables that helps for songs u know

your welcome if it helps you guys

06-29-2004, 01:48 PM
Here's something I do. When writing a song, never write the title first. Writting the title first, I believe, would only force the words. Another thing is try to find a nice flow. Like in first song ever written "The Real Life" in the begining:

Fire risin' above my life
Demons feel so alive
The running water is too low
I have no more flow

It doesn't have to rhyme, but it can if you want it too.
Oh, using a dictionary/thesaurus isn't all that bad. When trying to remember or think of a nice word, but can't remember it's meaning, it's always helpful to use one so the song makes sense and having a good vocabulary instead of sh!t, f*ck, D¿mn, and all the other four letter words. Be more considerate towards othe people when saying that. Thankyou, have a nice day.

07-01-2004, 08:34 AM
the thing with lyrics and with songwriters is that there are 2 different kinds in my veiw.

1. there is the pop sound kind writers who just write about any sort of sh*t they come accross in life.

Emma Bunton Sing for annamaria:

Hey Maria Papa said
You better go to bed
Maria Mama said
You better go to bed
And little sister said
You better go to bed
The older brother said
You heard what Papa said
You better say goodnight
You better shut the light
And Papa told you no
You can't go out tonight
But Papa didn't know
Maria had a date
And couldn't let him wait

So in a little while
She waited till the lights were low
She went out the window to her beau, and so

There's a lot of huggin' then
A lot of kissin' then
A lot of huggin' him
A lot of kissin' him
A lot of happy talk
A lot of moon above
But very little time
But very little time
To make a lot of love
To make a lot of love
Which is a normal thing
To make a lot of love
For it was summertime
When all the crickets sing
And in the summertime

When anyone's in love
The crickets sing a happy song
But they didn't do their repetoire for long

Suddenly the Papa came
And then the Mama came
And then the sister came
And then the brother came
And then the uncle came
And then the cousin came
An even dozen came
And I can tell you this
It was a dirty shame
Because the Papa came
And then the Mama came
And then the sister came
And then the brother came
And then the cousin came
And even dozencame
And I can tell you this

When anyone's in love
The crickets sing a happy song
But they didn't do their repetoire for long

Suddenly the Papa came
And then the Mama came
And then the sister came
And then the brother came
And then the uncle came
And then the cousin came
An even dozen came
And I can tell you this
It was a dirty shame
Because the Papa came
And then the Mama came
And then the sister came
And then the brother came
And then the cousin came
An even dozen came
And I can tell you

Suddenly the Papa came
And then the Mama came
And then the sister came
And then the brother came
And then the uncle came
And then the cousin came
An even dozen came
And I can tell you this
It was a dirty shame
Because the Papa came
And then the Mama came
And then the sister came
And then the brother came
And then the cousin came
An even dozen came
And I can tell you

Suddenly the Papa came
And then the Mama came
And then the sister came
And then the brother came
And then the uncle came
And then the cousin came
An even dozen came
And I can tell you this
It was a dirty shame
Because the Papa came
And then the Mama came
And then the sister came
And then the brother came
And then the cousin came

how can i some thins song up in 3 words



2. the writers that write for what they really believe in and know what they are doing:


Dashboard Confessional (any song theyve eva wrote)


07-04-2004, 01:42 PM
I have a tip to people who are reviewing other peoples songs...
Stop handing out **** scented roses.. if it's **** tell them its ****, and how they can improve it. You arent helping anyone out by telling them "good job, now go read mine".

07-05-2004, 01:44 AM
A new way of writing...

I pick a movie, TV show, friend, or other random things then write vague refernces to them (doenst have to make sence) write a catchy chorus (doenst have to make sence too) and get away with it.

Have you heard what Micheal Stipe (R.E.M), Thom Yorke (Radiohead), Alex Kaparnos (Franz Ferdinand), and Gary Lightbody (Snow Patrol) and Ababil Ashari <me> (Shorthand Phonetics) is singing in thier songs? gibberish! and people find gibberish amusing!

Like in the late eighties when Michael Stipe was confronted with writing a chorus for "Orange Crush"? random things. How about the line from Radiohead's "Paranoid Android?" that read, "Kicking squealing gucci little piggy", it was just Thom Yorke noticing a drunk fat woman in a bar!

So, basicly it only has to make sence to YOU!!!

07-06-2004, 09:41 PM
Or you could write lyrics that people will relate to and understand. "Imagine" isn't the song it is because of the catchy piano hook. There's a place for nonsense in music, but to write songs that only you understand is a mistake, cos eventually people will just get sick of trying to figure out what you mean.

Even the Chili Peppers write meaningful lyrics every so often, and they've built a career on nonsense.

07-07-2004, 01:31 AM
(about the last 2 posts) So there you go 2 ways to cut it! It's your call fellow lyric writers!

RHCP king
07-07-2004, 05:39 PM
god man that must have taken you agers to write out

07-12-2004, 05:51 AM
well, most important thing about writing is that it should stem from the inside I guess:) and I really don't know whether my writing is good or bad but it's mine and that's what really counts:)

Sitting on the edge of nowhere
looking through the empty space
I can't see you any longer
there's a shadow on your face

Sitting in my inner cage
breathing in & breathing out
I can't keep myself together
The more I feel the more I die

Going inwards desperately
going deeper every day
wanting you so greedily
I can't see the other way

Crawling 'neath the broken heaven
Losing image of your eyes
I can't find you in the darkness
I can't feel I fall apart

and so on:)

07-12-2004, 08:15 AM
I only got one rule for songwriting. Write whatever you want. You don't have to write from the heart if you don't want to, and you don't have to use metaphor or whatever. If you follow any rules given by anyone else, your lyrics won't be so good. All you should aim to do is write GOOD lyrics. Nothing else. You will know good lyrics when you see them.

07-14-2004, 07:17 PM
i got a question.what exactly is a bridge in a song??

07-16-2004, 04:56 PM
A bridge, well, it's used to link to a prechorus into a chorus or to just a chorus, or the outro. It's always near the end tho. If I'm wrong guys, correct me.

07-17-2004, 12:47 PM
^^^ bridges are anything that joins a verse and a chorus...thats it.

07-18-2004, 09:50 AM
Hey everybody,

I'm having some trouble with songwriting. I like to play punk and poppunk stuff, and I write my own songs in this genre. when it comes to the music I don't have much problems, but when I have to write lyrics to my songs the disaster starts. I want to write my lyrics in English, but I'm from Holland and so Dutch is my mainlanguage. This makes it pretty hard to write a decent song in English, because I don't know every word and expression.

My question for my fellow UG-ers is:

Are their more people here with this problem and how do you overcome it??

Tips and help would be more than welcome, thx


07-18-2004, 12:25 PM
why dont u do as much as u can in english and throw in like a dutch verse. ive seen the mars volta do it only theres is in spanish

07-18-2004, 04:37 PM
mm well dutch is a really ugly language, so that is no option. listen to the song holiday in spain by blof and the counting crows, it's a mix of dutch an english too, it's horrible. But thx anyway for the suggestion

07-19-2004, 02:31 PM
i love you guys..

07-20-2004, 12:21 PM
Well, blur pulled it off perfectly on "girls & boys" (du ber sech schon/but you havent been introduced) also more recently Franz Ferdinand...(Ich heisse super fantastich/Ich champs champers milafhsich) [mind that I dont know how to spell german words] dutch could be used inn the same way!

07-26-2004, 01:28 PM
hi, i'm from belgium, and my mainlanguage is also dutch, and the only tip i can give is, write as much as you can in english, like on forums, letters, ... whatever, also read much stuff, and use a dictionary when you see a word that you don't understand, don't say oh well i don't know it i don't want to know it . I've always been good in english, but since i write lyrics my english is way better then before, just because i used dictionaries, just think of a sentence in dutch, and translate it, it really works, more tips i really can't give so yea i hope it works for you, cuz it did for me.

07-26-2004, 01:44 PM
ok, heres a random tip, i may start posting here regularly, but for now ill just give this little bit of advice, if no one has said it already (and to get off the language subject for the moment)....

when you write your lyrics, say them out loud, doestn have to be singing, just makesure its sounds right, that way the rhymes and syllables can be corrected before posting them on here(or even if your not posting them here)...........they may look godly on paper, but when brought out vocally, they may just sound like shit.....

well thats all for now......

07-26-2004, 03:31 PM
wow man.All this has totally helped out.I write a lot of metal and rock songs but these articles has given me a different view on some of my songwriting.thanks guys.

07-27-2004, 01:22 PM
Thanks to everyone who helped me out with these usefull tips. I've finally fully completed a few songs and I'm quite pleased with them, maybe I'll post some of them on this site later, so let me know what you think then. but anyways thanks alot, you've all really helped me out, more tips are welcome offcourse :D

07-27-2004, 07:46 PM
I think that everyone has their favourite type of music. Most people say that you should write more complexly so people have to think about what their hearing. But music is about feeling not finding hidden meanings after inspecting the song and lyrics. People should be able to relate to the song. Music should speak to you without having to rack your brain for significance. I still respect your opinions.

07-28-2004, 04:49 AM
I think you're right freak4ever, Lyrics don't necesarilly have to be complex to be good. please don't flame me for what I'm about to say :-P, but I think that some pop-punk bands have very good lyrics, despite their simplicity. 'Adams song' by Blink 182 for instance is pretty simplistic, but it's a song many people can really relate to.

07-28-2004, 05:35 AM
nice post thanks for the tips dude

07-28-2004, 02:54 PM
Do you guys think that If I add Latin (the old stuff, not Italian or Central American) would sound good with a Metal or Alternative song? Evanescence did in chorus. I can't make it out except for the last part "male fi cum" which means "with evil intentions or deeds"

07-28-2004, 03:04 PM
^ Foreign languages usually go along well with music.

The Hurt Within
07-28-2004, 08:04 PM
As long as you can say it well and make it understandable....a local band tryed it and even a spanish girl couldn't understand what they said....oh and btw she was spanish. :D :confused:

07-28-2004, 11:35 PM
Other languages than your natural tongue are nice but if you are going to go that route, be sure that either:

a) You have a good grasp on the language


b) You have someone who can help you translate with a good grasp on the language

Don't even bother with online translators. I use some spanish sometimes because it's the only other language I know. Most non-english languages sound really good sung though, especially the Romantic languages. French, Spanish etc. English is nice and all but compared to other languages, it's a very utilitarian language. Gets the job done but in all honesty, it isn't very melodious in it's own right. Just one writer's opinion.

07-29-2004, 11:35 AM
Well, I know Latin well. I can use it. Latin is kind of a difficult language to learn, but it's actually easy. The hard part is they have a completely different word order. But thanx guys.

07-29-2004, 12:34 PM
Hah, Latin is one of the easiest languages to learn, just alot of grammer. Although it's never done outside classical artists, Italian is very popular and also good for voice training.

07-29-2004, 02:20 PM
Well, I know that. What I meant by hard in Latin is all the structures such as you know the principal parts right. I know many people who can't get a grasp on those which are easy. Latin has 4 pp. Many people can't comprehend that. Another is poetry in Latin. The hardest of all is poetry. They follow a more difficult word order and to the uneducated Roman he would be wondering what the hell it is. One language I'm actually interested in learning is Etruscan. Then no body would understand a single word. But anyway, the hardest language to aquire is English with all of its slang and stuff.

08-02-2004, 05:41 AM

08-04-2004, 11:11 PM
I dont know any latin- no other languages inspireme to write in that laguage or based around it.... I read books, historical horror/fiction and if i find anything written well, just a line, mayube a paagraph abd I'll just think about what it says... like:

" there is a place for negativity-as much as there is a place for goodness-in the great scheme of things. there are no hero without a villain, no peak without a valley. But our path, the path of love, demands that we overcome negativitybut we do not overcome it by resisting it.that is an illusion.
what you resist will persist." - Alandra, 'Thee Last Vampire 6" by Christopher Pike

08-05-2004, 05:25 PM
i speak hebrew as well as english, but i seriously doubt i could use that in any way! just because the languages are completely english and european languages have more in common

08-05-2004, 08:51 PM
I'm really beginning to get pissed off by the attitudes of certain people on this board.

I appreciate that people have opinions and they're free to make them, but it seems that some critiques look beyond the flow and structure of a song, just because the lyrics aren't "poetic" enough for them to read.

Not to mention the attitude towards "cliches"...I dislike them as much as anyone else but it seems that people are forgetting that phrases that they deem unacceptable here are commonplace in a lot of mainsteam music. If you took away lyrics that could be deemed cliche, the likes of Chris Martin would not exist...and yet Coldplay are on the most well respected bands around. So you explain to me how that works?

08-06-2004, 07:56 AM
hmmmm, we're trying to make better writers than the likes of coldplay?

The Hurt Within
08-06-2004, 06:07 PM
Originally posted by Diminishedfaith
hmmmm, we're trying to make better writers than the likes of coldplay?

haha owned.....its creditable here for originality to be the key slightly above how well the image is portrayed along with the idea presented....we are not the mainstream....we are the undiscovered and the likes of us wont get noticed for being copycats....catch my drift....hence why we do look down on things like cliches.

08-07-2004, 10:03 AM
i speak english, italian, french and dutch...but i dont see how a song is better in another language. living in holland encounters me with a lot of dutch music...and it isnt really all that good. as for frech, i find french songs sound like celine dion (sp?). italian is ok if u wanna write an andrea boccelli song

08-07-2004, 06:21 PM
Well, some other languages have a better sound to them. I personaly don't like any Asian music. I like the stuff that flows, such as modern day latin (Italian). Latin just sounds good. I don't like spanish too much because it just doesn't sound right. I live by these spanish people (not to be racist) mexicans who listen to the tuba crap. I can't stand it. It has to be hard and not an oriental language nor spanish.

If you recall listening to Evanescence, song 11 on her Fallen album, there's an outro that uses a choir that sings Latin. The flow is evil, to bad I can only make out the last part, male fi cum, which means "with evil deeds" or you can say intentions. Either one is acceptable. But on the first part, I think it's prulum, which I've never heard of it. ABB, can you figure it out for me, I can't quite make out that first part of the outro on Evanescence.

08-09-2004, 03:40 PM
Is monkeyguy still on vacation?

08-09-2004, 03:44 PM
Never mind

08-09-2004, 04:45 PM
man this thread is helpin me out alot

08-09-2004, 04:53 PM
Surely it should
But even if I could
I don't know I would
Would help on writting songs
Because rap talks alot about Girls
Girls wearing thongs
So rap sucks, metal all the way
I geuss that's all I have to say
Ne way have a good day sir
because life is nothing but a blur


08-12-2004, 05:26 AM
Ok, I don't know if this is the thread for this, but... I have trouble writing lyrics. Not in English, but in my mother language. It's just so weird for me to write in Slovenian, because most of the music I listen to is English and I have no idea how the song is supposed to look like. In English, I think my songs turn out being good to listen to (check out my song that has a title Just some song), but I can't write songs in language that I have been speaking for about eleven years (I don't know when I spoke). And, if my band will have english songs, maybe some people will think that I'm ashamed of my language or something stupid like that. Help.

08-13-2004, 02:37 PM
Thanks for the thread...I've been suffering from writers block lately...and I agree with AngelOfLust - Art is a great influence. Nobody wrote like Kurt did.

08-13-2004, 02:41 PM
Note to Alien_from_a_cd - Write what language you feel more comfortable writing in. No one should say you're ashamed of writing in your mother tongue. You should'nt have to write to please other people. Write to please yourself. If you're happy with your writing, run with it.

08-13-2004, 04:59 PM
Hey, if you language has a latin root to it because I have no clue about the language Slovenian is, but if it has a latin root, I'm sure some people can understand your song. But yeah, right whatever language that suits you best, don't feel ashamed of anything. Do what you want to do. Don't care about ne body else, just as long as it's your original work. Man I sound like a dumbass trying to teah a genius.

08-16-2004, 12:08 PM
nice posts.

08-16-2004, 04:25 PM

08-17-2004, 12:59 PM
i am havin trouble just getting started on what to write a song about could someone help me?


08-17-2004, 02:11 PM
I have been writeing for a few years, and just thinm about something that rush's emotion to you, maby u will have to look at some old text's or letters that you dont want to read, but it will only last for so long. so Just get the emotion, right down everything in you're head, then make it rhyme, then chuck a few metaphors in it but with the same meaning as the line it is replaceing. Then just mass about with some scales for a riff, fit chords over the lyrics which are the same pitch, add bass along the same lines as the guitar, and a drum beat which just holds together the mood. Then there you, go, that si the simplest way of writeing a song.

The Hurt Within
08-18-2004, 05:53 PM
^^^ okay yeah hes got some ideas there.....but when you begin you have 1 of 2 ideas

1 - write the music first then just randomly sing along find the syllable count and certain lines that fit and then change the lines about and just generally go with the flow.....or

2 - write the lyrics as he said try a find a tap of emotion and then just let it flow....the best thing to begin with is to find a line....perhaps you'll hear it on tv in a film or just in everyday speech...maybe you'll think of somit urself and then build the somg around it......although NO NO NO it does not have to rhyme....its not a criteria.....

take the 1st few thoughts and then think well how else could i say this

Your eyes are beautiful
I love you so much it hurts

this is pretty bland but.....

Your eyes are beautiful
Like seas of deepest blue
I love you so much
I could drown in them

there i've added some imagery and started a theme....of water/colour you could continue adding your feelings and then giving the reader visuals that follow the water/colour theme.
then over time you'll have an idea and be able to expand this idea into a song......

hope that helps


08-19-2004, 10:12 AM
Walk around, perceive the beauty of the world, the magnificence of people, the self-absorbed cruelty of people, the fake beauty that you?re likely to see all around you?look at the ?fake plastic trees? and always remember them

The FAKE PLASTIC TREES. HAHA ha ha. I knew you'd be a radiohead freak. Damn pommy pen fiddlers.

08-19-2004, 11:22 PM
Cool, thanx for the tip!!!!

08-22-2004, 12:15 AM
hmm my life is pretty ****ed up parties ARE KICKASS INSPIRATIONS and also right songs about ur friends ****ed up lifes or make up ur own story it doesnt has to be about u
i also like to listen to have music in the backround playing to write a song for some reason

The Hurt Within
08-22-2004, 02:39 PM
Originally posted by RockNRollGuy420
hmm my life is pretty ****ed up parties ARE KICKASS INSPIRATIONS and also right songs about ur friends ****ed up lifes or make up ur own story it doesnt has to be about u
i also like to listen to have music in the backround playing to write a song for some reason

Thats often the way.....i do too.....although if its of a certain style then the lyrics unintentionally will be drawn to a similar style....i often listen to classical music when writing purely because its of no common stlye and doesn't contain lyrics so it mearly gets the brain in motion.....

08-25-2004, 01:53 PM
A new Tip.

If you can't think of something to write a song about, or are really lacking in much in creativity, read.

Then take a random sentence from it, and turn it into something.

In the post above me...

Thats often the way.....i do too.....although if its of a certain style then the lyrics unintentionally will be drawn to a similar style....i often listen to classical music when writing purely because its of no common stlye and doesn't contain lyrics so it mearly gets the brain in motion.....

Everything in bold could be a line in a song, with perhaps one or two word changes.

So read a book, wait till you find a line that really grabs you, and expand on it.

Try and get something really abstract, and then imagine a background to it.

Using the example above: it merely gets the brain in motion.

What could he be talking about?

Well, we know its about classical music, and its lack of lyrics, but take it out of context and it means very little. The 'it' refers to nothing when on its on, so you make up the 'it'.

Perhaps he's talking about Love? Sex? The Television? Drinking coffee in the morning? A photograph?

Who knows?

Lets say we choose the Photograph option..

Ask yourself some more questions..

+ What is the photohraph of?
+ Why is he looking at it?
+ What does it make him feel?

etc etc.

Then just keep expanding.

You now have yourself something to write a song about, and one line already.

Hope that helps...

The Hurt Within
08-25-2004, 07:20 PM
^^ nice dude very nice indeed.

thats kinda what sparks me off.....i mean the song in my sig was entirely based on the line "I still stand seeing visual reminders of the city that day" what he says does work.

the most influential book i read that inspired a few songs was;

lullaby - Chuck Palahniuk (fight club)

The whole book is littered with amazing ideas and side events that could easily be turned into a song.

gd advice posted anything???

08-27-2004, 12:01 AM
let the listener really enjoy the lyrics

08-27-2004, 08:41 AM
Please, someone, delete all these spam posts. This thread was good once.

08-27-2004, 12:23 PM
Originally posted by The Hurt Within
^^ nice dude very nice indeed.

thats kinda what sparks me off.....i mean the song in my sig was entirely based on the line "I still stand seeing visual reminders of the city that day" what he says does work.

the most influential book i read that inspired a few songs was;

lullaby - Chuck Palahniuk (fight club)

The whole book is littered with amazing ideas and side events that could easily be turned into a song.

gd advice posted anything???

Posted anything as in a set of lyrics?

There's a song on here I wrote called "Conversation's with A Screw-Up", page 2 or 3 by now probably, could do with a bump.. only got one 'crit..

The Hurt Within
08-27-2004, 02:31 PM
i'll have a quick serch for it im the "here" in my sig and read my song/poem if you wanna see that i can practice what i preech.

09-01-2004, 08:38 PM
I dont think I've ever posted a tip in here, but Ill post some stuff that may not have been covered....

Inspiration in all the right places

okay...inspiration can come from so many different things its amazing...I once was working and there was this chipmunk slowly dying and trying to get up and walk and blah blah and i watched it for like 5 minutes as it died and suffered...I then got home, and wrote a song about that but used that story metaphorically, it obviously wasn't about a chipmunk dying...

And to all these writers who want to be considered emo, so they overload they're songs with cheesy love lines...And try to use so much emotion that it gets sickening...You don't need to always write about girls to be considered "emo"....You can write about other things in life, other than girls... I know 95% of all my songs are about girls but I try to mix things up a bit...Part of becoming a better writer is changing up a bit, and the willingness to try different things...

Anyways back to the inspiration...

If you want inspiration go outside at 11 at night and just sit there and watch the stars and watch everything around you, trust me something will come out of that...

Take a walk into the woods, and just observe nature and everything going on, trust me something will come out of that...

And im sure youre thinking, "all i will get are dumb imagery filled poems/ songs"

No no no...thats where the creativeness factor comes in...We call these poetic tools considered creative, "Metaphors" and "similies" and "personification" and things like that...

Just don't limit yourself, let yourself grow as a writer and expand your music tastes...If you listen to blink and thats all, chances are you will write lyrics like that, which i guess cna be a good thing, but in most parts for people on here, a bad thing...

Read up on different artists writing structures, and the way they put forth their emotions...

Trust me good things will come from this, and you will definitely expand as a writer, cause I know I did...

09-04-2004, 07:13 PM
Originally posted by falloutboy

If you want inspiration go outside at 11 at night and just sit there and watch the stars and watch everything around you, trust me something will come out of that...

Funnily enough I just did that. I can't write a song at the moment though, but I'll do it again tomorrow night and do it.

I wish I lived somewhere more rural though. When I'm here I can see the climbing frame at the end of the garden, my neighbours house(s), and street lights etc. Not very inspiring...

09-04-2004, 10:27 PM
Nothing is working for me, so I'm resigning my songwriting deal. I just can't write ne thing good ne more :(. Oh well, bound to happen sometime I geuss. tried all the tricks. <nothing>

09-05-2004, 12:33 PM
Originally posted by Danny7
Funnily enough I just did that. I can't write a song at the moment though, but I'll do it again tomorrow night and do it.

I wish I lived somewhere more rural though. When I'm here I can see the climbing frame at the end of the garden, my neighbours house(s), and street lights etc. Not very inspiring...

lol yeah i know what you mean...but once in awhile ill be up north or somewhere and i can just go outside and i just draw inspiration from so many things...And make sure when you're doing that, comprehend everything you see...Cause you can just look at a tree blowing in the wind, and just think "oh I can't write anything about that", but that could be a metaphor for so many things...You just need to keep an open mind

09-07-2004, 12:41 PM
Originally posted by falloutboy
And to all these writers who want to be considered emo, so they overload they're songs with cheesy love lines...And try to use so much emotion that it gets sickening...You don't need to always write about girls to be considered "emo"....You can write about other things in life, other than girls....

It's not they use so much emotion in the song that makes them sickning. It's the whining and the unorignal cliche crap the most people write at first that makes me barf. FOr example...

Baby i miss you so bad
You're all I ever had
How you make me so sad

okay that may be an over-exageration of poor lyrics, but you get my point. Overlly cliche, overly corney and pathetic and it leaves nothing to your imagination.

Also, many new writers limit themselves so much by trying to stick to a rhyming scheme. Personally, rhyming is a second thought for me. I try to develop good imagery and original ideas before i start worrying about that.

One good idea is all it takes. Most times I'll think of a line that sounds really good and I'll build around it. And like Fallout said, you can draw inspiration from vertually everywhere. Everything can be a metaphor for something. Also try reading some poetry and some stories. I know some of you will be like "aww no man, poems are gay" but trust me they really help and will inspire you lots. (Note: There's a diffrence between "inspired" and a "blantant rip-off".)

hope this helps

09-11-2004, 11:12 AM
What if i have what im going to write about, and have an idea of where i want to go with it, but cant think of any thing good, iwth any meaning to write about?

What should i read or something to get inspiration to write with moere meaning?

09-11-2004, 01:44 PM
I'M BACK! Writers Block is finally gone and the process of writing a song is finished. Wait for a couple of days, I'm gonna have a god song comin up for ya'll

09-12-2004, 09:06 PM
Just an interesting thought.

Metaphores, similies, rhyme and other poetic devices aren't nessicary to be poetic. In fact, I find that blatant use of them actually cheapens a song's value.

Case in point - Way too many dumb screamo bands.

Good examples (Brought to you by The Clash, a great band who I happen to be listening to right now)

"When they kick at your front door, how you gonna come? With your hands on your head or on the trigger of your gun?" - Guns of Brixton

"Are you takin' over, orr are takin' orders?" - White Riot

The Hurt Within
09-12-2004, 11:50 PM
cheapens the song....dont you think thats a bit single think that your way wouldn't either?

09-13-2004, 03:46 PM
*shrug* Just expressing my views.

I find blantent use of metaphors and similies become cliche and cheesy after a while.

It's just my opinion. I'm only speaking for myself.

09-14-2004, 05:18 PM
Hi all! I have been playing for like a year now, and I've got a pretty good grasp on it. (My whole family plays, so it was easy to learn) Well, the deal is I can't seem to write any good lyrics! I can come up with my own riffs and everything, but when it comes to writing down lyrics, I get so lost! I don't really want to write about "downer" stuff...I just want to be able to write a fun song that I enjoy singing and people will enjoy hearing. I, for sure, don't want to write about boyfriends and sunshine, lol...I just don't feel like writing a "down" song...hhmm, well if you have any suggestions please feel free to reply! Thanks!

09-15-2004, 03:12 PM
Anybody want to send me some of their favorite lyrics that they wrote? I'm a beginnner...and I could use the inspiration!!! Send them to!

09-16-2004, 07:33 PM
Wow you guys rock... thanks for the input!!!

09-16-2004, 08:58 PM
Very well done!
Damn...i feel like writing now!


09-16-2004, 11:06 PM

*WooT WooT WooT*

Tom Trendy
09-19-2004, 07:58 PM
That was a great article. I learned a lot from the views different people expressed towards it too. Great idea starting this thread.

09-21-2004, 12:44 AM
i personally am a big believer in a style of songwriting that makes you dream, like Springsteen or Billy Joel. They are, beyond being songwriters, story tellers, but not overly specific. THey give you enough that you form a picture in your head of what's happening

Springsteen's Thunder Road:
"The screen door slams, Mary's dress waves
Like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays...."

Just those two lines, although terribly vague, never fail to elicit the same image in my head every time i hear it.

More importantly than saying what you have to say in a song, give people something that they can relate to while still making it personal. Give them a general idea that we're all familiar with-- love, anger, hope, rebellion, desperation-- and tell it in a way that takes the emotion and ties a story to it. Put a picture in someone's head as best you can, it doesnt even need to be the picture in yours. As long as people are seeing things, you know you've written something meaningful.

09-21-2004, 04:50 PM
I get most of my influence by other artists as well such as, Godsmack, LP, System of A Down, Mudvayne, Disturbed, and some Christian Religion as well, 3rd Day. Switchfoot is pretty good too, I used to like P.O.D. Puddle of Mudd gets some good music out there, but they're too punkish for me. I don't write punk. Evanescence help me gain some vocabulary, only two words :D, but the guitar work is what inspires me the most to write music. There's a garage band I know called Revolver (came out before Velvet Revolver), and they're great, but they're music was unsuccessful, so I'm starting up from where they left off with their guitar work and create better riffs. From there hopefully I can get my albums to sell.

Lyrics is something everyone should cheerish in the first place. When criting them, we should be more considerate guys and jackasses like MelodyForgotten would try to bring us down. F.uck him.

Hmm, I blabbered enough, so I'm gonna stop here :D

09-26-2004, 04:38 PM
that post was very very helpful
thnx alot guys

Rune Playaz
09-27-2004, 08:27 PM
very impressive... im gunna test this... ive been looking for help on it so thx good advice