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How Do You Write Your Lyrics?


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Hey i'm new to writing lyrics and only just started it a few month ago when i just started making lyrics up in my head and figured i would try and get into actually writing things down. I've tried writing a few songs and then the rest is just a few lines of stuff i thought sounded good and was catchy at the time.

One problem i'm having atm is finding a rhythm to what i'm writing down, some things i'm fine with but a lot of the time i'm just writing how i feel etc, how should i try to overcome this? I'm not really a propper musician and only teaching myself acoustic guitar so i can't really come up with any instrumental for me to write it to.

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I'm pretty new to the realm of songwriting, so I can only tell you what I do:

I always write lyrics first. When I write them I try to rap them in my head. If I allow myself to sing them without music, usually the song usually comes out kind monotone, So I always rap at first. I let the natural rhythm of the words influence the rhythm of the song. That may be really unhelpful, but it's the only way I know. I rap out the lyrics as I'm writing them so they kind of have a feel. I make sure that my verses have a consistent feel. When I first started I would actually count the syllables in each line to make sure that each verse would balance, and each line of the chorus would balance. I don't do this any more (I find it a little constraining) but it kind of helped me find rhythms when I first started.

If that doesn't make sense to you, I would recommend rapping over a chord progression. Just picking a strum pattern could help bring out the rhythm of your words. You just have to be willing to change things. You might start out with one strum pattern, which will inspire a rhythm which inspires a new strum pattern.

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Hey

For me, now, I start with a title that evokes an emotion, use that to write the melodies and then start writing down ideas, phrases, feelings and thoughts the title and emotions suggest.

I ask myself all sort of questions during this stage. I then write the chorus, repeated sections and lastly the verses... ok sometimes a few lines or a lyric just pops out and I fit the melody later... but that is the exception.

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Long-story-short.......my process is very similar to John's.

Generally, the majority of the completed lyric comes after the title & melody

Tom

Yes, I find it easier to write the lyric once I've got the melody, although often a little bit of the lyric is written first. I usually start with a couple of lines - maybe the title - maybe just an interesting idea, and then start developing the melody from that.

However, if you're writing all the lyric first then you need to find the rhythm in the words. What I do is to count "1-2-3-4" in my mind while reading through the words, to see how they could fit over a standard 4/4 beat. In other words, I'm looking for the meter of the lyric. Not every line will fit properly, so you either modify those lines or else modify the music for those lines. On the whole though, you need to find a particular meter for most of the lyric:

http://www.musiclyricsfyi.com/meter-in-lyrics.html

Of course, not all songs are in 4/4. You might find that your lyric works better in 3/4 or some other time signature!

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i tend to write the chorus first because it is the main part of the song and my rythym goes from there.

I do the verses second, making them the same rythym and then the break or bridge comes last.

I makes it so much easier for me that way because i can also keep the meaning/ concept of the song consistent as well

as keeping the rythym and harmony the same.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for taking forever to reply, forgot to o.0

i think i meant the melody more than the rhythm really :P

Maybe it's just a matter of practising and experimenting with what i've written. Do any of you maybe change the melody during or even after the song if you don't think it's good enough etc?

Edited by Shane
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  • 1 month later...

Wow, reading how other people write is pretty deep stuff man....

Myself:

I kinda, sit down in a quiet room, have a coffee, set up the writing implements, and then start with a title, the title always reflects what I want the whole picture to be about.

then I always hear music in my head, Not music already written either, I'll heard the drums, bass, guitar clearly, and then start singing over it, The music is like I'm in control also,

So if I want to go back and sing over that bit a few times, I can.

The only downside to having this skill, is I can always remember the vocal melody's, and I remember the music for about a day after, But when I get to my guitar or keyboard, I just can't find the sound, Or get the chords right. Thats why I'm learning as many scales and chords as possible now.

Sometimes I have these amazing sounds in my dreams, I have dreamt up amazing music, I wish I can make it one day lmao....

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:P i think the best way to overcome that is continuously repeat the melodies etc, and maybe even record them :)

I think everything sounds better in your head though too, i'll write lyrics and just sing it in my head but when it comes to actually singing it everything seems a little off, though sometimes that's just due to not singing it before i think and i just need to get used to what it is i am trying sing since it only seems to happen when put emphasis on words or have a bit more of a complex melody

:)

Edited by Shane
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey i'm new to writing lyrics and only just started it a few month ago when i just started making lyrics up in my head and figured i would try and get into actually writing things down. I've tried writing a few songs and then the rest is just a few lines of stuff i thought sounded good and was catchy at the time.

One problem i'm having atm is finding a rhythm to what i'm writing down, some things i'm fine with but a lot of the time i'm just writing how i feel etc, how should i try to overcome this? I'm not really a propper musician and only teaching myself acoustic guitar so i can't really come up with any instrumental for me to write it to.

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hello Shane

I've read some of the replies you've recieved about your writng, all good but not really what your looking for, the first thing you need to know about song writing is, how to construct your song (verses) etc do yourself a favour and visit your local library and look for a book on songwriting by a professional, they've been there, done it, and have the badge to prove it, you'll find out how to construct your song the professional way and a lot more!, I think thats the best advice anyone can give you at the start of your writing career, take it .

jon bek

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  • 2 months later...

like how SymbolofSound do, i usually start in chorus then after that i construct the verses..for its music, im not really good in it so my mate do it for me :)

Edited by Kenny
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I usually start by writing the lyrics--I just set them to a beat and go with it (I nearly always begin with the chorus). The melody eventually comes to me once all of the lyrics are completed. The way I see it, many well written lyrics can sound good in several music styles, so I don't like forcing a song to any one genre until I am convinced as to where it belongs musically.

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