Beginner's Guide to Writing Lyrics


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Wlokos
02-23-2007, 08:36 PM
This is just a brief guide on a few simple steps you can take to start writing lyrics. If you follow them (which isn't too hard to do if you're dedicated to improvement), you should notice yourself becoming much better at writing lyrics within a few weeks.

1. Never force yourself to write lyrics to a predetermined melody

If you actually find yourself with some lyric ideas that fit a melody to a song you've been working on, then great, run with it. But if you sit down with a piece of paper and say to yourself that whatever lyrics you write MUST fit a certain melody, you're just limiting yourself. Let the ideas flow first, worry about fitting them to a melody later.

2. Keep a lyric journal.

Just a booklet of blank paper, the size doesn't really matter but avoid anything too small (paper size wise, not how much paper is in it). Whenever it's reasonable to do so, keep your lyric journal with you. Whenever you get an idea, anything at all that may in some way be useful for writing lyrics, just write it down. Later, try to expand on those lyrical ideas.

If you write down ALL of your ideas, you'll start to realize how many ideas you have and throw away on a regular basis. Or, even if you don't have many right now, you will, because:

3. Think about lyric ideas. A lot.

Try to always be looking for inspiration for lyrics. Every now and then, when you're walking down the hallway to a class or waiting for commercials of your TV show to end, take the few minutes of normally wasted time to ponder any possible lyrics you can come up with, or any ideas you may have. If you start trying to think of more ideas, if you start trying to find inspiration in places you'd have missed before, it will happen. You just need to practice it, like everything else in music.

4. Do not give up when your first few attempts aren't very good.

Yeah, your first few attempts at lyrics after starting following these rules will probably suck. Even if not, they won't be amazing. Don't let that frusterate you. Every bad set of lyrics you write is just a part of the path to the good lyrics you'll be writing eventually. Keep trying, don't be afraid to recycle old ideas you failed to use before, and you'll get better very fast.

There are a few other things I could think of, but these are by far the most important and easiest ways to improve (or get started on) your lyric writing. Also, go to your library and look for a book or two about writing lyrics (or poetry), because there are plenty of good resources out there.

Me@UGC
02-23-2007, 08:59 PM
First of all let me tell you not to take what I'm about to say in the wrong way.
I'm just trying to be constructive.

Although I agree that what you said should work for a great number of people, i believe wrinting lyrics is too personal to say: first this, then that... and I'm also sure that you agree with me.

That said, I'm going to tell what works for me.

In the majority of the cases, I simply say to myself: "OK, I'm in the mood to do it... lets see what I can pull out the hat today!"

So, basically, i sit at the desk and try to fit some words to an already writen music.
And why do I do it?

Simply because when I was writing the music, I already had in mind where I would want to take it, so some theme is somehow bond to that music... it just feels natural to develop it =)

But, and I cant stress this enough, it's a personal matter, so one should do as one feels best ;)

ADDED: lol, just forgot to say... Good Work!!! It should help a lot of "lost" people :)

doomnight
02-23-2007, 09:55 PM
Thanks man, I'm gonna try it, but its not as if I'll be able to sing them :P And I'll have to hide this book from my family... that could be pretty embarrissing lol...

Wlokos
03-08-2007, 10:06 PM
I'm way late in responding here, but in response to:

Although I agree that what you said should work for a great number of people, i believe wrinting lyrics is too personal to say: first this, then that... and I'm also sure that you agree with me.

I understand that completely, what I attempted to do here was to create an approach that isn't so much about telling the person how to write as much as just getting them to write at all, and therefore to experiment and figure out what personal things do work for them.

Thanks for the advice all the same, though.