#1
I've been trying for ages and I just can't write song lyrics, all the advice I find is really repetitive and anything I do write is really lame and cringey. Did anyone on here who has managed to write songs have this? If so what did you do to get passed it? (This is really stressing me out ?)
#2
I have exactly the same problem! I have tonnes of tracks just waiting for lyrics, it's really frustrating. What I'm doing at the moment is reading a lot of poetry, listening to a lot of music and paying a great deal of attention to the lyrics. Whilst it's too early to say how effective it'll be, I definitely feel I have a better ability to 'sense' how good my lyrics are now. Just try it, maybe it'll work for you.

Another thing I would add is that I've noticed you can pull off just about any lyrics as long as they're performed with conviction and purpose. Who cares if they're not great as long as they're pulled off confidently and well?
Last edited by 12wilsonh1 at Aug 21, 2016,
#3
Quote by 12wilsonh1
I have exactly the same problem! I have tonnes of tracks just waiting for lyrics, it's really frustrating. What I'm doing at the moment is reading a lot of poetry, listening to a lot of music and paying a great deal of attention to the lyrics. Whilst it's too early to say how effective it'll be, I definitely feel I have a better ability to 'sense' how good my lyrics are now. Just try it, maybe it'll work for you.

Another thing I would add is that I've noticed you can pull off just about any lyrics as long as they're performed with conviction and purpose. Who cares if they're not great as long as they're pulled off confidently and well?
12wilsonh112wilsonh1 I'll give it a try.
#4
Quote by 12wilsonh1
What I'm doing at the moment is reading a lot of poetry...


This is the correct answer. There is an old adage about paintings. How do you know what is a *good* painting? Well, look at a million paintings. Closely. After a while you will know what has merit and what does not. All great writers have one thing in common, they studied the hell out of all great writers that came before them.

And re-write. Re-write and then re-write a dozen times until you don't need to re-write anymore. Develop the know-how for storytelling or whathaveyou. It takes time. Just like being a skilled guitar player takes time. Patience and dedication. You will always be better as you age. Art is not like athletics; you don't peak and then fall; rather you improve over the years.

All art is reinterpretation of all art that preceded previous art.

One word of advice . . . avoid anything cliché at all times. Never take the easy route. And never, never, rhyme "tonight" with "alright". Be better than that.
“High fly ball into right field. She is… gone!" - Vin Scully
Last edited by Standard_A440 at Aug 21, 2016,
#5
I used to have that problem as well.. What finally got me going was when my friend told me to just finish your first song.. Even if it's not great just finish one.. The first song I wrote was more of a poem and I never did put it to music.. But the feeling of finally finishing a song and seeing the benefits of all your hard work is very satisfying.. The next songs I wrote became easier and easier to write.. It can be difficult coming up with an actual subject to write about.. If I have no inspiration sometimes I will just play the guitar while singing random things with it until something just sounds good to me, then write a few more lines that are related and often a story begins to form from that.. But most of the time I just wait until inspiration comes to me..

I do also agree with 12Wilson that it is possible to pull off some pretty mediocre lyrics if they are sang well.. Not every line has to be gold.

One other thing I do is set the mood when I write.. I literally turn off the TV, dim the lights, light some incense and candles.. Maybe have a few drinks or something to smoke.
Last edited by babysmasher at Aug 29, 2016,
#6
Quote by babysmasher
I used to have that problem as well.. What finally got me going was when my friend told me to just finish your first song.. Even if it's not great just finish one.. The first song I wrote was more of a poem and I never did put it to music.. But the feeling of finally finishing a song and seeing the benefits of all your hard work is very satisfying.. The next songs I wrote became easier and easier to write.. It can be difficult coming up with an actual subject to write about.. If I have no inspiration sometimes I will just play the guitar while singing random things with it until something just sounds good to me, then write a few more lines that are related and often a story begins to form from that.. But most of the time I just wait until inspiration comes to me..

I do also agree with 12Wilson that it is possible to pull off some pretty mediocre lyrics if they are sang well.. Not every line has to be gold.

One other thing I do is set the mood when I write.. I literally turn off the TV, dim the lights, light some incense and candles.. Maybe have a few drinks or something to smoke.


Thats exactly how i go about it. I always make sure to either finish the song or scrape it, but i never work on a bunch of songs at once. I have two at a time at most, and thats just the music, for lyrics i always work one at a time. I also do the thing where i just play and sing nonsense, until there is a line or two that sounds good, and then build it from there. Sometimes i have an idea what exactly the song has to be about, but i find that i have more trouble with that. Its easier to just sing a few lyrics that fit, and then kinda figure out how to write them into the general theme.

I never light incense tho.
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#7
Not a great songwriter but this helped me.
try to come up with a theme. what do you want the song to be about?
then write some stuff of the top of your head and ask a friend to help you with some more things to say about the subject.
make arrangements to fit you're taste
and do what gorky said sing some nonsense over it until you've come up with a vocal melody and then just fit in the words to that in a way that makes sense to you
Last edited by joaof9826 at Sep 2, 2016,
#8
I don't write lyrics myself but I know that the few times I dabbled a bit I got stuck because I didn't know what style I wanted and every line was a mess because of that.

I see a few main styles where you (and I) should make a decision. The more straight-forward storytelling of, say, old english folk songs, (you know "I went down to the glen one day, a fair maiden i saw there"), or a more vague poetic approach that's more to the listeners interpretation (Woven Hand song: "Behind a door, Hand to face, Conscience is the wound") or if you're into metal the meshuggah style of rambling long words that sound cool ( like: "ostracizing the inevitable, disembowelment is my corruption").

And of course then apply all the advice from previous posters on the genre you prefer.
#9
I think a lot of cringey-as-fuck lyrics come from two things: trying too hard, and being too generic.

Someone gets broken hearted by a girl that cheated and is depressed. But they don't want to tell the details of the story because...what if someone they knew heard it and put it all together?? So instead they want to write a song about how they feel...I feel depressed because my girlfriend left me okay I'm going to write a song about that. The result is often cringey as fuck because it sounds like generic clichéd depressed drivel. To avoid generic you need to be specific. I was with a girl that destroyed me by cheating on me. I'm going to write a song about part of that experience. She was on the late shift, she called me to say she'd be later than normal, I was already suspicious and started pacing, smoking non stop, I drove down to her work in the middle of the night and sat in my car parked in the shadows waiting and watching to see if she came out on time and when she did if she got into his car.

Obviously this isn't a worked out song but it's a scene. A guy waiting like a stalker in the night paranoid, wanting to catch her, but not wanting there to be anything to catch. It could probably be written in a way that sounds pretty straight in the chorus about waiting in a car at night for your girl to finish work. But in the verses unfold the story of the cheating and deception so that it's not quite what the chorus makes it appear to be. I haven't written this song yet but hopefully you get the idea. It's a specific scene that tells a story about a guy getting cheated on and driven to do stupid shit.

I'm writing about her cheating on me and breaking my heart but about something specific. The bonus of this is that it is a complex and rich tapestry of experience that I could draw from to write countless songs about.

Or maybe you write a song with a topic as simple as waiting for someone to call you back (or text you back) or whatever. If you read that last sentence and thought - that's a lame ass thing to write a song about, then maybe it's the trying too hard to be cool factor that is resulting in cringey-as-fuck lyrics.

But listen to Bobby Darin's "Black Coffee". The song captures that same feeling because it's specific with imagery and detail. It's not generic or trying to be cool, it's specific and trying to tell a story. In doing so it resonates and most people know that feeling. Even if they have never been through the same exact experience they have probably been through something similar.

Another option is the open conscious type of lyrics. Here the danger is more about trying to be cool and coming up with cool words or lyrics that sound cool. If you do that it's going to sound cringey because you're putting a filter on your conscious and it won't be true.

You need to remove all your filters and inhibitions during the process of writing. Bare your soul, your deepest secret fears and desires, and do it without caring who might every possibly hear it. This is an incredibly hard thing to do. People often walk around for so long with their filters in place that they don't ever bother to take them down, even when they're alone. They never bother to really look at themselves in the mirror warts and all. There are too many distractions to allow them to avoid that. It can take a while to get to the point where you can do this. Or maybe you just start doing it straight away.

Whatever you write...don't judge it so hard. I can almost guarantee that there are worse lyrics out there that have made the US Billboard top 20 at some point over the past 50 or 60 years.

The best thing you can do is just be honest. That sounds very cliché but it's so true. Just tell it straight and be specific. And don't judge yourself or your work so hard.
Si