Improve Your Lyrics – Tip #26

One aspect of your lyric writing you should be aware of is how the words line-up with the stresses of the meter in the music.

To review, meter and measure is the grouping of beats (pulses) together into a repeated hierarchy. In most music, the meter is 4/4 and the first beat is the strongest… followed by the third, second, and fourth.

As you speak your lyrics, you will notice that there are certain words (or maybe syllables of words) that have emphasis/strength. The overall goal is to make sure that those accents in your singing naturally line-up with the accents of the meter.

Strong words at the beginning of a verse should start on the downbeat while weak words at the beginning of a verse should start on an upbeat/anacrusis.

Of course, you can play with the syncopation and placement of accents. However, to achieve a fluid and natural sound – aim to get the lyrics stresses on the beat stresses.

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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