Jump to content

Your Ad Could Be Here

Coming Up With Good Lyrics


Recommended Posts

I am trying to brush up on my lyric writing ability or lack of it. I looked at the lyrics area and I'm lost.

 

I am looking for suggestions on how you get ideas for lyrics.How you write the lyrics?

 

A few things I've done so far are- I picked up a book on how to read poetry correctly. I picked up a bunch of books with actual poetry in them.

 

How is poetry and lyrics different?

 

From what I gather so far, poetry is multi dimensional. Simple  instructional writing is  one dimensional. Writing is instructional, Poetry is experiential.

Poetry shares experiences and invites you into the lair. It offers the ability to feel through words. 

 

This might be all wrong. 

How do you get the initial idea? How do you start?

 

Please move this if it belongs in another area. If we give examples, this would probably be more specifically lyrics area??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the thing that a song has that a poem does not, is a chorus or refrain that connects the verses.  You CAN have two or three totally unrelated verses that are tied together with a chorus that can have a multi-meaning.  Of course the chorus/refrain are used in different ways and might simply drive home a point.  

 

A poem doesn't have a hook like like a song does and its the hook line that makes a song memorable.  A chorus/refrain always pulls you back to some related consistency throughout the song.  A poem tends to be more of a continuing narrative that you can go on and on with until you express all your thoughts to completion.  If you did that in a song, you'd likely lose your listeners.  A song has to be more succinct and sometimes you have to drop the extra wordage.

 

 In a song, you can get away with using words in an unusual way and because of "how" we hear songs, you can get away with leaving out words you would otherwise include in conversation or poetry.  The music sometimes is really what matters.  Hate to say it, being more of a lyricist, but...the music drives the whole "feel" and appeal of the lyrics.

 

 For example: I wrote a song that was intended to be tongue in cheek comical about a high school crush with an upbeat sort of fast-moving pace.  A collaborator put slower waltz music to it and it made the song more of a sad song about love lost.  The music often drives the song--maybe not even in a direction you would prefer.  It can change the meaning of your lyrics in the same way that the intonation of your voice can change the meaning of the words you say.  (Why we use emoticons--so the intent is not misunderstood and cause communication issues). The music is very key.  The vocals and music are really what draws listeners in.  If they like it, they MIGHT pay closer attention to the lyrics.

 

As far as how to get ideas, dig deep into your most emotional moments, your history, your thoughts, feelings, etc., draw from those.  Pay attention to other people, their expressions, their emotions, what's important to them, put yourself in their shoes and try to experience what they might be thinking, feeling, doing, etc.

 

You can fabricate a story or a point or even veer off from actuality and into something that's not.  You can employ your imagination for a fantastical land or creature, etc.  You can listen to the news, read a book, observe your surrounding, consider your dreams.  If you've not heard/explored object writing, you might consider trying that.

 

Object writing has a way of bringing up experiences and memories you might otherwise have overlooked.  For example:  OBJECT WORD: net -- fishing, boats, sailors, (led to memories). For me net brings to mind the most amazing experience with my best friend when we were in high school.  Her American father motor boated us to an island a friend of his had a cottage on.  It stormed so we couldn't get back.  I knew my parents would freak because I didn't come home that night, so early, early the next morning we set out and the sun was rising and reflecting on the placid water,  tug boats were humming low as we entered the bay of the mainland, seagulls flying and the mumble of men's voices coming from the boats carrying over the water, the air was cool and it smelled of ocean.  It was such a calm, wonderful experience.  I could write about the details of that in at least part of a song.

It might take longer, but keep up the word associations and if a memory with detail comes about move on to the details of that.  Keep writing your associations for 10 minutes. Set a timer if you have to.  Doing this can stimulate ideas.  

 

Hope this helps a little.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did you pick up a book on lyric writing?  

 

Pat Pattison - Writing Better Lyrics

 

https://.amazon.com/Writing-Better-Lyrics-Pat-Pattison/dp/1582975779

 

this is the best book I have on lyric writing because it gives so many approaches.

 

But I've never seen, because I haven't looked, a book on Celtic lyrics.  So beautiful, can you imagine?   I think some of the techniques in that book would still be of great help, although I think you would need to make the vocabulary adjustment.  

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, starise said:

How is poetry and lyrics different?

 

In many ways I think it's only different because lyrics are sung. You could sing some poems (or ANY poem, but some won't flow easily). One difference is that lyrics have to fit the music, they have to flow. And generally speaking lyrics have a structure to fit a song structure... you're kind of restricted in terms of syllables and having some kind of rhyming scheme....and typical songs will have a repeating chorus of course... well, you know all that stuff (dunno why you asked, you already write lyrics :)  ) 

 

16 hours ago, starise said:

From what I gather so far, poetry is multi dimensional. Simple  instructional writing is  one dimensional. Writing is instructional, Poetry is experiential.

Poetry shares experiences and invites you into the lair. It offers the ability to feel through words. 

 

I think you're over-thinking that, probably. Lyrics can be as poetic as you like... and all lyrics are poetry of sorts...and poems can be anything you want too.

 

16 hours ago, starise said:

How do you get the initial idea? How do you start?

 

It's up to you. If something's bugging you, or if you feel moved about something you can set out to deliberately write about it....but I reckon it must be hard to keep coming up with lyrics that way. There are loads of ways to come up with lyrics. Usually I just sing syllables, part formed words, noises, along with the music...and then listen back and try to figure out what the words sound like (kind of like the reverse of mishearing lyrics in songs)... sometimes some complete words come out too, sometimes a whole song-worth of lyrics come out....sometimes I have to juggle them around and add words to make things make a bit more sense (or to just feel more cool or whatever)...sometimes that turns out crap for me, sometimes good.

 

Everyone has their own way... depends what kind of lyrics appeal to you. If you listen to a band like Squeeze for example, you can tell they're deliberately written stories and very 'every day' but with clever word play ('Up The Junction', for example), so in that case you'd likely spend more time actually writing to a theme rather than using stream of consciousness (In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins for example... all just came out rather than being thought through. As he's said, he didn't know what it meant but understood why it came out) or Bowie style cutting up and shuffling words around (any 70's Bowie is a good example). Any way round I think some word play is needed... find themes and hooks out of the words you come out with and ways to link everything together. It's a matter of taste though isn't it? 

 

It has to feel right to you, but one way or another I think lyrics are best if you can let yourself go a bit. And you can let out some deep stuff you don't want to be open about if you're cryptic...that stuff just comes out and you realise later what it was all about.

 

 

 

 

Edited by MonoStone
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Pahchisme Plaid said:

 

I think the thing that a song has that a poem does not, is a chorus or refrain that connects the verses.  You CAN have two or three totally unrelated verses that are tied together with a chorus that can have a multi-meaning.  Of course the chorus/refrain are used in different ways and might simply drive home a point.  

 

 One thing I'm learning is that poetry has different styles. I was under the impression that poetry should rhyme. In some styles it doesn't rhyme. In the book on poetry I'm reading they give examples. Some forms are almost like books and others are very short and to the point.Some styles have a repeating verse or phrase that could be used as a chorus. And then to mud the waters even more, some songs are only VCVC with no chorus. I guess there are exceptions here and there. I like the idea of multi- meanings. Universal concepts that transfer across multiple ideas and situations.

 

14 hours ago, Pahchisme Plaid said:

A poem tends to be more of a continuing narrative that you can go on and on with until you express all your thoughts to completion.  If you did that in a song, you'd likely lose your listeners.  A song has to be more succinct and sometimes you have to drop the extra wordage.

 

This seems to be one disadvantage to having a lyric before the music because it has to fit the timing and flow of music. It's almost like the more complicated thoughts need to be broken down to bite sized chunks. Although I think I prefer at least some forethought before or during. As a religious song writer I'm sure you're familiar with the Psalms. Did you ever wonder how some of that was put to music? It would be interesting to hear the end result. Bands like Kansas and Rush managed to put in some really long ideas, but then I don't think may listeners really got it either.

 

14 hours ago, Pahchisme Plaid said:

As far as how to get ideas, dig deep into your most emotional moments, your history, your thoughts, feelings, etc., draw from those.  Pay attention to other people, their expressions, their emotions, what's important to them, put yourself in their shoes and try to experience what they might be thinking, feeling, doing, etc.

 

You can fabricate a story or a point or even veer off from actuality and into something that's not.  You can employ your imagination for a fantastical land or creature, etc.  You can listen to the news, read a book, observe your surrounding, consider your dreams.  If you've not heard/explored object writing, you might consider trying that.

 

Thanks for these tips. I'll definitely keep those in mind.Thanks!

 

10 hours ago, HoboSage said:

Tim, Tim, Tim . . . .  What are you doing , man?  You're a musician and you sing.  For self-contained musical folks like us, lyrics are just the words for the vocal arrangement in our songs.  When you look for a killer guitar riff, do you think about what you might want to play?  NO.  You noodle around on the guitar until you come up with something "cool."  Well, that's how you, as a musician/songwriter, should be coming up with lyrics too.  All the words you'd ever have in a lyric are already in your mind.  But, just like you don't look for a killer guitar riff in your mind but in the guitar, don't look for a cool hook or phrase as a starting point for a lyric to a piece of music by thinking about it.  Find a cool lyrical phrase by "noodling" words - by singing to whatever music you have you think has potential. Put your "singer's cap" on and just start singing.  What you start singing might just be stream-of-consciousness gibberish.  But, soon you'll start locking in the vocal melody you want to sing to that music, and how you want to sing to that music, and that will start influencing the vowel and consonant sounds you're singing stream of consciousness, and at some point, and it won't take that long, you'll sing some phrase that hits you with "yeah, that's something cool" and that's your inspiration for the start of the lyric for that song. And, from that point on, you're finishing and refining the song structure, lyric, musical arrangement. vocal arrangement. and probably the mix too, all as a cohesive whole within the context of that song, which is kind of the whole point. :)

 Thanks for that vote of confidence David. It seems I can get ideas fast on an instrument.

 I think my lyric ability is sub standard . I have written some songs with lyrics. At one point I figured I couldn't really do it and worked with a few people. 

Later I started to lean away from co writes and looked more at what I might be capable of doing alone. Not that I'm against future co writes.

I'm still working on the technique you mentioned. ( singing stuff that comes to mind while playing) and it does seem to help. You and Dek are really good at that. I'm still at it ;) Maybe I'll get better with time. I see it as painting with words. Adding a brush stroke here and there until it looks like a picture! A natural progression for an artist! Thanks for those ideas.

10 hours ago, McnaughtonPark said:

Did you pick up a book on lyric writing?  

 

Pat Pattison - Writing Better Lyrics

 

https://.amazon.com/Writing-Better-Lyrics-Pat-Pattison/dp/1582975779

 

this is the best book I have on lyric writing because it gives so many approaches.

 

But I've never seen, because I haven't looked, a book on Celtic lyrics.  So beautiful, can you imagine?   I think some of the techniques in that book would still be of great help, although I think you would need to make the vocabulary adjustment.  

 

 

I didn't specifically do that. In my past personal experiences "how to" books usually gather dust. I read through them and a week later I forget everything I read. This is probably a problem with me. I have also come to accept that my attention span is limited when it comes to technical reading. I would rather fail at doing it than read about how to do it. I tend to use how to books as more of a quick reference. Thanks for the suggestion though. I don't know if I'm capable of following through with it.

 

I did get a book of Celtic poetry. I could easily have gotten lost in that book emporium for days. Another thing that caught my eye was a huge book of limericks. I didn't buy it but I might go back. Some of those can be a little *ahem* different. Actual old Irish poetry is similar to old English poetry in that it sounds antiquated. Might fit in some instances and I've certainly toyed with those ideas.

I flunked English class BTW. Had above average reading ability, but when it comes to breaking structures down and explaining it all I got an 'F'. :( Prepositional phrases, adverbs etc etc. I just as well been on Mars.

9 hours ago, Jenn said:

obo said it best.. just start singing along or pick up a pen and just start writing... ive come up with some really weird stuff.. but also some good stuff that i have no idea where it came from!

Thanks Jenn!

3 hours ago, MonoStone said:

In many ways I think it's only different because lyrics are sung. You could sing some poems (or ANY poem, but some won't flow easily). One difference is that lyrics have to fit the music, they have to flow. And generally speaking lyrics have a structure to fit a song structure... you're kind of restricted in terms of syllables and having some kind of rhyming scheme....and typical songs will have a repeating chorus of course... well, you know all that stuff (dunno why you asked, you already write lyrics :)  ) 

 Now THIS is exciting to imagine changing poetry into lyric!  I guess it was possible but wanted input from you guys to see if it was something you might have done. Much of what I've done hasn't had lyrics. I hope to get better at it.

 

3 hours ago, MonoStone said:

hink you're over-thinking that, probably. Lyrics can be as poetic as you like... and all lyrics are poetry of sorts...and poems can be anything you want too.

 

This is what I guessed. Kissing cousins. No hard and fast rules against or for it seems.

 

3 hours ago, MonoStone said:

It's up to you. If something's bugging you, or if you feel moved about something you can set out to deliberately write about it....but I reckon it must be hard to keep coming up with lyrics that way. 

I have an idea like that now. It's a poem. The only thing that was hard was re writing it a half dozen times. It still isn't there yet, but it's at least a beginning.

 

3 hours ago, MonoStone said:

g syllables, part formed words, noises, along with the music...and then listen back and try to figure out what the words sound like (kind of like the reverse of mishearing lyrics in songs)... sometimes some complete words come out too, sometimes a whole song-worth of lyrics come out....sometimes I have to juggle them around and add words to make things make a bit more sense (or to just feel more cool or whatever)...sometimes that turns out crap for me, sometimes good.

 

I'm still working at this. Knowing you've done it helps.

3 hours ago, MonoStone said:

re time actually writing to a theme rather than using stream of consciousness

With out thinking about it I believe you have stated two very different approaches that have very different outcomes. I like the way you said that.

 

3 hours ago, MonoStone said:

lyrics are best if you can let yourself go a bit. And you can let out some deep stuff you don't want to be open about if you're cryptic...that stuff just comes out and you realise later what it was all about.

Well said.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://astore.amazon.com/songstuff-20/detail/1582975779

 

A better link, found by scrolling down on this page actually.  SongStuff has a store with links to books.

 

What do you sing when the words just come to you out of the blue, like in the car, or when you are just on a walk?  Those are good words to begin with.  But, I find they are rarely a songs-worth of words and the effort to force them into a song lyric is a struggle.  Usually they are bits, a verse or a chorus worth of words that can benefit by using some building blocks, some tools to enhance the message.

 

I saw you replied, I'm not done with my thought but I don't want to repeat myself so i'll check out then back in. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, starise said:

I didn't specifically do that. In my past personal experiences "how to" books usually gather dust. I read through them and a week later I forget everything I read.

You won't with this.  You'll see the changes his suggestions make on a lyric. 

 

3 minutes ago, starise said:

This is probably a problem with me. I have also come to accept that my attention span is limited when it comes to technical reading

It's not technical, it's $13. 

 

4 minutes ago, starise said:

I would rather fail at doing it than read about how to do it.

Then by all means, have at it.  Set out to fail, what a wonderful technique.

 

Your answer to my suggestion was completely self defeating.  Yet, giving up on helping someone who wants to write better lyrics doesn't seem to be an option for me.

 

Your stubbornness is your greatest obstacle. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've mentioned this before and to this day for me it still works. My first job out of college was a pretty fun one with some crazy people. For about 2 months we did a thing called Sing it Thursday where we would sing stuff we needed, instead of asking. Not 100% everything, but to the point it was kind of annoying … which is why we stopped after 2 months. But common things like "did you get my email?" "Have you seen Anheusers spec sheet?" "Going to get more coffee" you name it, we sang it. Obviously it was kind of dumb. But, for me it stuck. I can be at the store looking to check out and see that lane 3 is open. So in my head I sing something about lane 3. What's great about it in my eyes is you start getting common phrases people say in song form without really trying. If nothing else it is a fun exercise to keep the mind working on music.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, McnaughtonPark said:

Your answer to my suggestion was completely self defeating.  Yet, giving up on helping someone who wants to write better lyrics doesn't seem to be an option for me.

 

Your stubbornness is your greatest obstacle. 

 

As an example I have a book on mixing by one of the very best engineers out there. I read it once. It was so filled with info that I don't have all of it in my noggin as I type this. So I have it on a shelf close to where i work. I sometimes pull it and look at a chapter on say, EQ or compression. But most often I find myself simply mixing and pulling the necessary tools.

I think I've mastered the basics well enough that I don't need to concern myself with all the fine details. I just do it.

 

Reading that book would probably be a lot the same. I will look it over. Thanks for the info. It might become an invaluable reference. I seem to have a learning style that lends itself better to experience over reading...just a quirk of mine and doesn't mean I won't read that book. THANKS!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have that book MP refers to, I now use it as reference because I forget things.  However, I do think some of that info might also be on Youtube, I( think). My MIL ordered a PP item for my birthday a few years ago.  Its "Write Fearlessly" on an external drive, so you can listen, if it holds your attention better than a book.  It has a lot of the same material that's in the "Writing Better Lyrics".  If its a matter of just getting back into the swing of things, starise, maybe you should just consider co-writing a few with someone you're comfortable with,  just for a bit until the "aha!" kicks back in.  I know it can be awkward when you're away from it for a chunk of time.  Also, just doing it and doing it regularly...I'll bet that'll work.  I'm not familiar with your lyric stuff, so don't know about you what these other guys know.  It sound like the only thing you might be lacking right now is a little confidence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

37 minutes ago, Pahchisme Plaid said:

I have that book MP refers to, I now use it as reference because I forget things.  However, I do think some of that info might also be on Youtube, I( think). My MIL ordered a PP item for my birthday a few years ago.  Its "Write Fearlessly" on an external drive, so you can listen, if it holds your attention better than a book.  It has a lot of the same material that's in the "Writing Better Lyrics".  If its a matter of just getting back into the swing of things, starise, maybe you should just consider co-writing a few with someone you're comfortable with,  just for a bit until the "aha!" kicks back in.  I know it can be awkward when you're away from it for a chunk of time.  Also, just doing it and doing it regularly...I'll bet that'll work.  I'm not familiar with your lyric stuff, so don't know about you what these other guys know.  It sound like the only thing you might be lacking right now is a little confidence.

 I downloaded the book. I read the first two chapters and scanned the rest. I think it will make a nice thing to keep alongside for looking at. It was kinda what I expected. A dissection analytical approach. Nothing wrong with that. Any class on the subject would be approached like that. For me at least, this is like putting the cart before the horse. Before I can dissect and analyze an idea I need to have the idea :)

 

I don't see my style as sitting down and using a grammatical or linguistic format in the origination phase. It's like, you make it and we'll tell you what it is or isn't. It isn't that I don't WANT to do that it's that I probably CAN'T. 

 

I liked the appendix of the book best- " Don't be afraid to write crap, it makes the best fertilizer". Thanks Pahchisme for all of those tips.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me, the blogs and books are useless. They try to explain how you should write lyrics, but really what they are doing is explaining how they would write lyrics. Everyone is different. If you have a blank page staring at you. Write down 10 random words, pick one or two and write some more that go with that, at some point you will start to see a pattern form with words that will go together.

 

I don't tend to have a problem writing lyrics and a lot of mine come from singing random words to a melody idea as I am walking about the house, doing something else, showering. Start singing when you are doing something else, it takes your mind off thinking about it. Some of the words may be random rubbish, but some of them will start to form something useable and interesting. If you need to, sing into a dictaphone or if you have an app on your phone. I've got small books littered about the house that I write things down on, an app on my phone I type into, or an app to sing into. For me, I can come up with ideas when I least expect it and it is always when I'm doing something menial and my mind wanders.

 

I don't think anyone can really teach you as well as you can teach yourself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do have a couple of methods that work. I've written about them before in the songwriting area.

 

What others here have said seems to tally with what I have found. Put simply, you cant invent good lyrics (they sound contrived; which they are), instead you have to discover them. The subconscious is the productive area.

 

We cant access our subconscious directly, we have to invoke it in some way.

Thinking about writing about here you live. I live near the coast. Thinking directly I would think of buildings, or chalk hills, of the dockyard.

 

When out walking I become aware that I am enjoying the sea air, the rotting smell at ebb tide for example. That's stuff that I dont normally think of until I experience it. Its a richer vein to work with, because songs are only about feelings.

 

I like the sound of the approach HoboSage suggested. Sort of riffing with words. This is because words sound completely different when they are sung. A repeated refrain can take on a life of it own when sung. Not a bad place to start.

 

This is great example of using one line to tell a WHOLE STORY. Any more than the one line would lessen the message. Repitition makes you think about every permutation of those words.

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What Rudi touched on there is a good point. Repetition is seen by some as a bad thing in music, but it is proven that that is the thing that most people come back to and like about certain songs. It is why dance music is so popular... the beats, the bass, the melody, the words... all of it is repetitive. A lot of popular songs sound very similar all the way through with just slight changes to show a verse/chorus and bridge, yet you have experts trying to teach you how to write a song and this is a bad thing to them, as if it is cheating and simplifies the music too much. You just have to look at what is popular with the general public to see that is what people are listening to. It's been mentioned before about using one or two chords and how you change that up throughout a song... some see that as a bad thing and you have to have different variations of chords to show a difference. A song is going to be a song no matter how many chords or lyrics you put in it. If someone sings whether is music or not, it is a song, their voice is the instrument. If someone does a 1 + 1, it is a song - if someone puts 150 tracks together, it is still a song. Someone will enjoy it for what it is. We have mentioned before about all the different styles of music there is and that not everyone will like all or any of them, but your ear knows what it likes and from a young age we are taught by repetition which is why the majority of people favour that, as it is something we know.

 

As for lyrics, I agree with Rudi and Hobo and Dek - the best lyrics will come from within you - don't force it - let it flow. Everyone has a story in them waiting to get out. It's finding that moment and catching it when it does. Some have a Lord of the Rings omnibus waiting in them to come out - now that will be a hell of a long song!!!!;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, starise said:

 One thing I'm learning is that poetry has different styles. I was under the impression that poetry should rhyme. In some styles it doesn't rhyme. In the book on poetry I'm reading they give examples. Some forms are almost like books and others are very short and to the point.Some styles have a repeating verse or phrase that could be used as a chorus. And then to mud the waters even more, some songs are only VCVC with no chorus. I guess there are exceptions here and there. I like the idea of multi- meanings. Universal concepts that transfer across multiple ideas and situations

 Well, most of my poetry study was over 25+ years ago, so I've lost all the technical naming and such that are associated with poetry.  I admire the fact that you are diving into an area you want to be strengthened in.  I don't see that it can hurt anything as long as you're enjoying it.  

 

Your music is beautiful!  I listened to some briefly.  I have hopes to go back for a better listen (I'm a little behind on my "focused listening". I was aware that not all poetry had to rhyme, though with songwriting, I (I) do tend to get "stuck" in that rut of always rhyming.  You bring up the scriptures.  Yes, I have wondered what the Psalms sounded like with music.  I think there is a possibility that the original rhythm, flow of meter and beauty of words (I hear more specific in the Hebrew/Aramaic language than ours) may have gotten lost in translation from Hebrew to whatever it went to and then to English.  Ever listen to any Hebraic music?  I think there is some on soundcloud--its quite different sounding from English, so I'm certain the meter would be a little different.

 

I would certainly employ the methods mentioned by others above since you have the skill to do musical riffs.  I wish I could--just not there yet, though I can do it with someone else's (If the music is a style and feel that I can absorb and speaks something to me).  Two of my favorites are written to someone else's riff.  It takes me longer than it does to freestyle lyrics.  

 

I get how a brain can draw a blank sometimes, particularly if you've been long stressed and not able to relax.  I think that's why songs come to people when they're in their car driving, in the shower or supposed to be sleeping...because its when we allow all other systems down.  Maybe you just need a quiet, relaxing "away" location where other "to do's" aren't calling to you.  I have focus issues when life gets a little overwhelming or I have too much I "should" be doing and at those times, my creativity seems shot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is also The Great American Songbook as a reference.  Never hurts to see how master wordsmiths did it.

 

You said you wanted to write good lyrics.  In the end, I think that simply wanting to do it won't be enough.  I think you'll find everyone wants to write good lyrics. You'll read 100 so/so lyrics for every good lyric.  What sets them apart?

 

As far as inspiration goes, what isn't inspiring?  Just look around you.  Use your senses, did you read that far?  If not, why not?  Impatience?  Intolerance?  Ignorance? What other words go along with those words?  What situations arise from them?  What rhymes with them?  What are some interesting adjectives you could pair them with?  Did you read that far?  Which point of view works best for the lyric?  How can you determine that?  Did you read that far?  

 

  

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Pahchisme Plaid said:

Well, most of my poetry study was over 25+ years ago, so I've lost all the technical naming and such that are associated with poetry.  I admire the fact that you are diving into an area you want to be strengthened in.  I don't see that it can hurt anything as long as you're enjoying it.  

 

Thanks! After being immersed in electronic gadgetry for hours and hours. I'll admit it is nice to read something a person wrote hundreds of years ago and be transported to that time, that feeling they had. Amazing that words can do that.

 

23 hours ago, Pahchisme Plaid said:

Your music is beautiful!  I listened to some briefly.  I have hopes to go back for a better listen (I'm a little behind on my "focused listening". I was aware that not all poetry had to rhyme, though with songwriting, I (I) do tend to get "stuck" in that rut of always rhyming.

 

Thank you Pahchisme!  I seem to like the distant less direct lyrics I hear. Rhymes for me personally can be nice or not depending. They can also be similar to worn out cliche's. I can get too focused on the apparent underlying technique and miss the intent. Sometimes I'll see a lyric and my main thought is, "See how he/she did that?" and the next thought is, " Was there supposed to be some point to this?". 

 

23 hours ago, Pahchisme Plaid said:

I get how a brain can draw a blank sometimes, particularly if you've been long stressed and not able to relax.  I think that's why songs come to people when they're in their car driving, in the shower or supposed to be sleeping...because its when we allow all other systems down.  Maybe you just need a quiet, relaxing "away" location where other "to do's" aren't calling to you.  I have focus issues when life gets a little overwhelming or I have too much I "should" be doing and at those times, my creativity seems shot.

 

I always have these thoughts swimming round up there like you say, during those mindless moments of the day. Admittedly not enough of that. I've had this almost nagging "thing" I'll call it where a certain person who I don't really know well comes to mind. It makes no sense. In fact, I don't really WANT to think about them, I have tried to ignore it, but it re occurs quite often. Like having the hiccups. It won't go away. I thought it might be a good theme for a song at some point. I thought about calling it "strings", like I seem to have their "strings" following me around.I had wondered if they had that impression of me...now that would really be odd! 

 

21 hours ago, McnaughtonPark said:

You said you wanted to write good lyrics.  In the end, I think that simply wanting to do it won't be enough.  I think you'll find everyone wants to write good lyrics. You'll read 100 so/so lyrics for every good lyric.  What sets them apart?

 And I do. I see this as one of those things that would differ between listeners. A great lyric to you might not be a great lyric to me and so forth. Dude, I'm over a half century old. I know everything takes effort by now :)

21 hours ago, McnaughtonPark said:

As far as inspiration goes, what isn't inspiring?

The local sewer plant? Although I'm sure we could come up with something.:)

21 hours ago, McnaughtonPark said:

st look around you.  Use your senses, did you read that far?  If not, why not?  Impatience?  Intolerance?  Ignorance? What other words go along with those words?  What situations arise from them?  What rhymes with them?  What are some interesting adjectives you could pair them with?  Did you read that far?  Which point of view works best for the lyric?  How can you determine that?  Did you read that far?  

Do any of us see everything through glasses of intolerance and impatience? The first step is admitting those things. A nature scene obviously doesn't demand that. A pretend environment doesn't demand that. Do we more act from existence or act from a plan or both? Both seems to be the best answer. Are we writing about a concept? This is a physically intangible thing. A historical event that we didn't attend? We weren't there so we have to make it seem real. Many songs aren't experiential but many are. Lots of wiggle room there wouldn't you think? What if we're writing about a feeling? How do you break that down and say it has to be one way or another way?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read what you wrote as lines in a lyric.  With some adjustments, you could put what you just wrote to a melody.  Ask a question here or there, make a statement and give examples.  

 

Dont put a box around what a lyric is or isn't.  Some tools will help push away the sides of the box.  A thesaurus, a rhyming dictionary, and I also keep a list of adjectives. 

 

With a little knowledge of some of your personal history, I see you writing some faith based tunes, some space based tunes, and Philly right?  Or the northeast somewhere, anyway,  you could tap into some really strong historical stuff.  There's family and future or cancer and fear, there's music without words, and green, lots of green.  Draw a line.  Put a word at the end of it, yes that word, the one one you're telling yourself you didn't think of, write there at the end of the line. Now, you'll just have to trust me.  Ooh, that's it isn't it, trust.

 

trust is an action.  

 

__________ trust

 

ok, so if you were to search for an adjective to describe trust, to color it, what word would it be?  Be creative and new, explore the possibilities, don't simply rely on the word that comes easily,  really look for something interesting.  You'll know you've found it when it makes the word trust feel really wide.  All of a sudden, there's a gaping hole with this new _________ trust that is waiting for your ideas to flow into.  Freedom and openness and I keep seeing green for some reason, Celtic maybe, you're music is stuck in my head.

 

let go

 

maybe that's it, maybe the song is called Let Go.  Maybe that trust line is only one line in the song.  Either way, it's a start.  

 

Dont  worry about perfection, those minute details worry tends to dig up are rarely ever more than fear without a conscience.  Pay it no mind.  Is there ever completion?  Is thought ever more than a hitchhiker of time?  Time without fear is heaven to those sick with worry or hungry for the touch of love.  Let go of it all, and all will be yours.  Trust is an action.  Let go.

 

That last paragraph is what comes from free writing.  My mind wandering around an idea.  I failed somewhat because I didn't use all my senses, but I did pretty good idea wise.  I'll try to think about how the rest of my senses relate to my topic when I go further into the write.  But for now I want to read back through what I write and pick out some key words, some words which really stick out to me.  

 

Perfection

worry

conscience

fear

completion

hitchhiker

hunger

 

now there are a couple of ways to go,  I liked some of the lines the way they were written, but it doesn't take me long to do the next step anymore so I'll also go through the list and find adjectives or adverbs that enhance those words, or I'll go through the rhyming dictionary and find some interesting rhymes and near rhymes for them.  This expands  the sides of the box, the box grows outward with ideas.  

 

Its getting late, I gotta go to bed, but all this is in that book and he does a way better job of explaining it.  I just wanted to show it as a process, only one process of many discussed already.

 

peace

Edited by McnaughtonPark
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

First off I want to say that I'm amazed by your process. Good stuff!

 

12 hours ago, McnaughtonPark said:

a little knowledge of some of your personal history, I see you writing some faith based tunes, some space based tunes, and Philly right?  Or the northeast somewhere, anyway,  you could tap into some really strong historical stuff.  There's family and future or cancer and fear, there's music without words, and green, lots of green.  Draw a line.  Put a word at the end of it, yes that word, the one one you're telling yourself you didn't think of, write there at the end of the line. Now, you'll just have to trust me.  Ooh, that's it isn't it, trust.

 

 

I think I see where your going with this. Faith based? Probably more vertical than horizontal for a number of reasons. Maybe. I'm a southerner by birth but I live not far from the city of brotherly love.Lots of great suggestions though. For me personally, the direction is more abstract intentionally. I don't see myself telling a detailed story but maybe. What about the "why?". For some people it seems to be more about blending in, sounding cool, catching a current vibe.For others it seems to be more about impressing friends and peers. In that frame of mind I would be writing a song that I determined would appeal to a certain type of people/person. I wanted ideas that are more transparent. I don't want to put out some agenda. I want it to be what it is. People are too smart for that anyhow. The inside coming outside. I guess this would be a beginning approach for me.Maybe not for someone else.

 

13 hours ago, McnaughtonPark said:

to search for an adjective to describe trust, to color it, what word would it be?  Be creative and new, explore the possibilities, don't simply rely on the word that comes easily,  really look for something interesting.  You'll know you've found it when it makes the word trust feel really wide.  All of a sudden, there's a gaping hole with this new _________ trust that is waiting for your ideas to flow into.  Freedom and openness and I keep seeing green for some reason, Celtic maybe, you're music is stuck in my head.

 

Very interesting. A musical hook, a verbal hook and repetition seem to be the common structure. I hope you don't misunderstand. I don't mean this in a bad way. It seems a lot like a crossword puzzle in how you use your reasoning to get the right word.Lay a bunch of options on the table and pick the best one. I can't use English identifiers though because as I said, I flunked English theory class. You could call it anything and I wouldn't know. 

 

Thanks! 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

41 minutes ago, starise said:

You could call it anything and I wouldn't know

 

Know what? That's a great line.

 

I can hear the accents in the delivery & music behind it already. The ...'I-would-nt-know' part has equal accents and is stronger than the 'you-could-call-it-any-thing-and..' part. That's half the song right there!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By continuing to use our site you indicate acceptance of our Terms Of Service: Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy: Privacy Policy, our Community Guidelines: Guidelines and our use of Cookies We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.