Improve Your Lyrics – Tip #9

What is a qualifying metaphor and how can it be used in a song?

You have probably used it before. It is when

  1. You use an adjective before to qualify a noun
  2. Or when you use an adverb after to qualify a verb

and it create some form of “conflict” because the two ideas don’t exactly belong together.

For example, a “tender knife” where the adjective “tender” qualifies the noun “knife,” have a sense of conflict because those two words don’t regularly go together.

Going back to a previous week’s idea about rain, you can use a qualifying metaphor to say “the clouds where weeping gently” instead of simply “there was a light drizzle outside.” Where “gently” is the adverb qualifying the verb before it.

Play around with them to create vivid and emotional imagery in your lyrics.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Author: Bryan M. Waring

Bryan Waring is a graduate of USM's School of Music with a B.M. in Performance – Composition and is now attending Belmont University for a M.M. in Commercial Media – Composition & Arranging. During his time at USM, he studied violin with Dino Liva and composition with Dr. Daniel Sonenberg, as well as has premiered several pieces during the semiannual Composer's Ensemble concert series. In 2017, Bryan was a writer for the original musical theater work of "Molded By The Flow," directed by Paul Dresher and Rinde Eckert. Outside of school, Bryan has been involved with writing music for videogame developers at Portland's CI2 Lab, collaborating with the King Tide Party, and studying with Larry Groupé (Straw Dogs) in San Diego. Now living in Nashville. Along with composing, Bryan teaches music to children, receiving the Master Teacher Award for his work at ESF Camps; and does audio engineering for live ensembles. Besides talents in music, Bryan is a team-player in any competitive work environment; equipped with skills in leadership, organization, mathematics, creativity, communication, and managing. On the side, Bryan has worked as a model for several skilled artists in the New England area. Among his other accomplishments include obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout in April 2013 with a project of building a side parking area with guide rails for Webb Mountain Park in Monroe, CT.

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