Improve Your Lyrics – Tip #17

Most songs have a structure using verses and choruses/refrains.

The chorus or refrain is a repeated section that typically doesn’t change (or if it does, it is minimal and still keeps to a basic theme) so that everyone can sing along. Hence the name – chorus.

The purpose of the verse is to tell a story that will bring out the central meaning of the chorus.

We can think each verse section as a “box” – containing ideas in lyrical form to compose the overall message of the song.

When you are brainstorming how you want to construct your verses, keep in mind this “box rules” for your verses as to how much you should say/reveal to create a good flow in lyrical storytelling:

  • Box 1 – the first verse should be where you introduce the audience into the world of the song, giving a good flow of ideas
  • Box 2 – the return of the next verse should be a continuation of the same ideas, but in a new creative angle/viewpoint
  • Box 3+ – any other verses should get to the point of the theme, but in your own angle or combining ideas from previous verses.

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Improve Your Lyrics – Tip #16

There are certain power positions in your lyrics that can effect the entire meaning that you want to come across to your audience.

Okay, now let’s back it up a bit.

A power position is a place in your lyric verses that holds a lot of effect (possibly in meaning or in memory) to the people listening.

Think about it – where do you want your best home-hitting lyrics to be in your song? Buried in the middle?

The three most common power positions in music are:

  • The first/opening line of a section
  • The last/closing line of a section
  • Extra lines out of the 4 line stanza

These areas grab the most attention to the listeners and make those the most memorable lyrics.

So, be sure to put your strongest or ear-catchy lyrics in those power positions.

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.

Improve Your Lyrics – Tip #15

A cliché is an overused idea – overused to the point where it doesn’t sound like an original and/or creative thought. More importantly, it can hinder the creativity of your lyrics.

While some people can argue that there are a lot of successful songs that use clichés, another person can argue that those songs tend to be prone to ridicule for their simplistic lyrics.

Either way, how you write your lyrics is up to you… but today’s tip is on what to avoid.

Some common clichés appear in the forms of:

  • Cliché Rhymes – predictable close rhymes
  • Cliché Phrases – commonly-used statements
  • Cliché Images – regularly mentioned objects
  • Cliché Topics – oversaturated field of song topics
  • Cliché Metaphors – typical representations

HOWEVER, clichés can also be used strategically by taking an overused idea and reworking it into a new angle.

This can be done by expanding upon the idea, or reframing how the idea is presented.

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.

Improve Your Lyrics – Tip #14

Today we are going to talk about two similar ideas of rhyming in the realm of loose/imperfect rhymes.

First up, the additive/subtractive rhymes. These are words that have similar sounding vowel sounds, but one might have a extra consonant sound at the end.

For example:

And years after years we tried

But it only made me scream and cry

Both words at the end of the phrases have the “I” sound, but tried ends with a -d.

And then there are assonance/consonance rhymes. This is when both words have a consonant after their similar sounding vowels, but they are different.

Okay, that might sound confusing, but take a look here:

And so death was a great mystery

No one knew who’ll the Reaper reap

What soul to take or whom to keep

A deadly trick-o’-treat

Lines 1 & 2 show an additive/subtractive rhyme because reap ends in a consonant while mystery does not.

Lines 2 & 3 show a perfect rhyme with both the vowels and consonants matching.

Finally, Lines 3 & 4 how an assonance/consonance rhyme because while the stressed vowel sounds are the same, the consonants at the end are different.

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.

Improve Your Lyrics – Tip #13

This week we are going to talk about how to break free from perfect rhymes.

Sometimes, we may feel like a “slave to the rhyme” when writing lyrics; sacrificing creativity for the continuation of a rhyme that can

Today, we are going to discuss how family rhymes can help expand lyric writing out of perfect rhymes.

Family rhymes are when the two rhyming words do not end in the same consonant letter, but have similar sounds that still make a rhyme.

Here are some “families” of consonant sounds at the ends of words that work well with each other in a rhyme:

Plosives:

  • -b
  • -d
  • -g
  • -p
  • -t
  • -k

Fricatives:

  • -v
  • -th
  • -z
  • -zh
  • -j
  • -f
  • -s
  • -sh
  • -ch

and Nasals:

  • -m
  • -n
  • -ng

Play around with seeing and singing how family rhymes can work into your songwriting poetry.

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Improve Your Lyrics – Tip #12

Continuing with the recent weeks talking about making artistic comparisons, a songwriter can do so with a simile.

A simile is a comparison of two different things using “like” or “as”

You can compare two similar objects like:

  • Soft as a pillow
  • Hot like fire

Or compare two different things in a contrasting (almost sarcastic) juxtaposition:

  • He’s as alive as a tombstone
  • Strength like a feather

Regardless of how you choose to use a simile, be sure it enhances the creative and descriptive poetry of the song.

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Improve Your Lyrics – Tip #11

Sometimes, before starting a song a band might say that they are going to play in the key of something. This is so everyone is in the same realm of pitches and everyone can play together cohesively.

That being said, a lyricist should attempt to do the same idea by writing in the “key of a word,” to create cohesiveness.

Now, what exactly does that mean? Well, when writing a song, try picking one overarching word or message – and then make a word bank that directly or similarly relate to the main idea.

So, if your main idea is “how tough work is,” you would probably see words like “sweat,” “tired,” “exhausting,” instead of “fluffy.”

One helpful way to organize ideas and process them is to use a spider-chart, and how all the connecting words branch-off from each other.

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.