The lyric writing side of songwriting is known to create an enormous number of problems for some folks. No matter how hard they try, they are unable to write a single line that they can be pleased with.
In many cases these very same people make phenomenal advancements in writing music and melodies. However they just can't seem to figure out how to come up with suitable lyrics to match them.
If you are facing such a situation, there's probably no need to worry. By taking certain appropriate steps you should be able to overcome lyric writing hurdles and write songs that deliver.
(1) Here are some essential ideas for overcoming these hurdles.
If you're very good at writing melodies but can't seem to write a single line, one solution might be collaboration. Instead of beating your head against the wall for ideas, find someone who is very good at writing lyrics and work together. You may be surprised at the wonders that can emanate from a combination of his excellence at writing lyrics and your brilliance at writing melodies.
2. Lyric writing tools
Perhaps you may be hoping for some other solution. While you don't mind the idea of collaboration, you want to allow yourself to get better at writing lyrics, instead of leaving it to someone else.
As far as I'm concerned, the importance of laying hold on good songwriting "tools" should never be underestimated. Educate yourself as much as you can. Make use of songwriting books, programs, courses, software, articles or whatever valuable resources that you have at your disposal.
You've probably heard it said a thousand times ... Without motivation, you won't go very far. This also applies to your lyric writing. While the songwriting "tools" outlined above can help you improve, without adequate motivation failure is inevitable.
(2) Here are a few tips to help you generate lyric writing ideas.
1. Use different lyrics to bring the same message across.
Choose a theme which is known to have made a few hits. What message does this theme bring across? Write different lyrics that bring the same message across. A typical example of this is John Denver's "I'm Leaving on a Jetplane" and Wyclef Jean's "Gone till November". These songs made hits in different eras. Their basic message was similar ... Baby, you don't need to cry because I'll return.
2. Add a unique twist to a cliche.
Turn on your radio and you will hear cliches being repeated over and over. Using these very same cliches is simply a futile exercise. My suggestion is to add a unique twist to these cliches. This is something I am focusing on more and more.
A typical example of adding a unique twist to a cliche is found in Dianne Warren's "Unbreak my Heart" made popular by Toni Braxton. The ever popular cliche, "break my heart", was twisted.
(3) Here are three lyric writing suggestions.
1. Write a song about a particular incident. Your song should tell a story.
2. Write lyrics that have absolutely nothing to do with anything you've actually experienced.
3. Get lyric writing ideas from newspapers, magazines, movies, TV and so on.
Overcoming lyric writing hurdles involves a lot of determination, hard work and perseverance on your part. Implement the suggestions presented above and move one step closer to lyric writing success.
This article was posted on December 18, 2003