Maybe some of you would think it's as easy as "be yourself" but sometimes when I try that and I listen back to it I don't really think it's that good.

One thing I have been seriously thinking about is whether or not to say "I"

Another thing is should I use mostly figurative language and symbolism, or be straight up with my lyrics, or try to figure out a mix.

And my final thing is how long do you guys usually spend making lyrics? I seem to do it over the course of days but I do not spend much time at once focused on it, especially if I don't feel like I'm coming up with anything amazing at the time. However this is starting to make the songs like a collection of ideas but not so much one piece.
I don't write lyrics, I come up with them whenever they pop into my head, so I really don't have much input. But if you want lyrics to speak to the listener then that is a problem, it's difficult to find something everybody is in touch with, HOWEVER, if you look for a problem that many people have, death of loved ones through tragic accidents, loved ones on drugs etc. then the listener has common ground.

Avenged Sevenfold made a song "So Far Away" about the loss of the drummer of the band Jimmy Sullivan, The Rev. All the listeners of the band felt the loss of Jimmy he was an amazing drummer and an amazing person.

Simple Plan made a song "Untitled (how could this happen to me?" about drunk drivers and the long term effects.
Im not that good with lyrics myself, but as a wannabe musician, I appreciate a lot of different lyrical styles. For example, i think the "straight" approach to lyrics (like Jack Johnson, Men at Work, The Beatles in some extent) is pretty cool, and it has its own way of speaking to the listener. I also like more metaphorical approachs like The Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, Radiohead.

When i write lyrics, i usually come up with a lot of "ideas" but very little concrete lyrics, and i find myself struggling to find lyrics that match the music.

Well, i think i havent really answered anything aha, but i recommend you this video, from an amazing musician:

Last edited by matuwels at Dec 26, 2011,
Say 'I' or 'you'. And unfortunately , it's those poppy lyrics to do with love and breaking up that speaks to the listener the most. Thats probably why its the largest subject for lyrics. You can't things too cryptically because they have to understand what you're saying, most people aren't into poetry. Basically, write about an experience or emotion thats universally felt to all people.

Don't try to think about each line that much, usually the best lyrics are written very quickly, when inspiration just hits them. When you're inspired, just write whatever you feel. If you really dislike a line, you can adjust it later.

Also, it usually takes me about 10-20 minutes to write lyrics. The most I've ever spent is about 45 minutes, and it didn't even turn out to be that good.
Last edited by StrumThatFender at Dec 26, 2011,
I'd say don't worry about that too much. unless you're writing radio-friendly pop hits (read: songs about drunken sex and how many bottles of overpriced liquor you have in your limo), you shouldn't feel the need to go out of your way for it.

that being said, you never know what somebody will identify with. you might write something that you think only you've experienced, but people might love it for any number of reasons.

I generally work under the assumption that nobody will ever listen to my music. don't write for an audience. write for yourself. you'll be surprised.
Write lyrics that speak to you , then hopefully there will be people out there who are on a similar wavelength. Never pander to someone else. Never.
--------------------i'm definitely the alphaest male here--------------------
Whenever I write a song, I tend to make one page, with 4-5 lines each stanza. I make these songs in...mmm 10 minutes. And, I really like them. My friends say theyre good, and occasionally ill get some props from UG.
It is very hard to write lyrics that talk to other people, but thats something I could really care less about anyway.
For me, I want to write lyrics that are personal to me. I imagine that if I ever got my songs played at a gig, the crowd should get a more of an understanding of who I am. Which is why everyone in my "band" (its 3 of us so far, we cant play worth a damn yet) writes a song.
"A guitar is your personality expressed through six strings"

"I'm cuddly bitch, deal with it"
Quote by FunkasPuck
Write lyrics that speak to you , then hopefully there will be people out there who are on a similar wavelength. Never pander to someone else. Never.


Speak YOUR truth. Maybe people connect to it, maybe they don't. But trying to do anything else will likely come off as false.
Like others have said, certain subject matters speak to people, but I wouldn't fake it.

When I done (The Legend of) Jimmy Gamble (it's on my profile) a lot of people I know who usually listen to pop music enjoyed it because it told a story. So maybe try a story within a song? Bob Dylan and Tom Waits come to mind.
In order to get in touch with a person who isn't yourself, you have to remember that the listener/reader cannot read your mind and they don't know every single nuance of the story you are trying to tell. This is why you have to be very aware of how you are presenting your ideas so you get the essence of the emotions you're trying to convey across. If you're trying to tell a story that's sad, make sure you identify exactly what is so sad about it, and make sure you find a way to say that to the reader. Lots of inexperienced writers write things that are supposed to evoke powerful emotions or be thought-provoking, but fail because they are too attached to the words they're writing. You have to be detached from what you're writing while still being attached to the emotions, that way you can objectively judge how you would feel if you were reading or listening to it as another person. It's a skill that has to be learned if you're not naturally good at it.
Today I feel electric grey
I hope tomorrow, neon black
Quote by Jearl
I generally work under the assumption that nobody will ever listen to my music. don't write for an audience. write for yourself. you'll be surprised.

Be sincere.
The only way to do that is to be honest with yourself.
Just like Jearl said.

I strongly suggest checking out some of Rush's lyrics.
Songs like Entre Nous and Limelight deal with social interaction if that's the topic that you want to address.

Also, check out the lyrics for songs like Spirit of the Radio and Red Barchetta

Do yourself a favor and check out at least one of them -Entre Nous would be a good start.

I made it easy
Mean People Suck.
Last edited by Tele1 Kenobi at Dec 28, 2011,