Top 38 Lyrics Song Writing Tips

Filed in Business Idea, Business Innovation by on December 15, 2021 0 Comments

Lyrics Song Writing Tips: You can have the best song melody in the world.

But if your lyrics aren’t good, it can drag down your whole song.

Whether you’re just the lyrical type or you want to write lyrics for the sweet guitar jam you just wrote, BusinessHAB can help.

Get started by reading Steps below and follow as we walk you through standard song forms.

Music considerations, as well as just finding those elusive words!

Lyrics Song Writing Tip

Lyrics Song Writing Tips:

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Lyrics Song Writing Tips

1. Understand the parts of a song.

There are several parts of a song. Your song can include all of them or none of them.

It really all depends on you. There are standard layouts of these parts that are used in most songs.

However, so in order to understand how most songs sound.

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You’ll need to understand the parts. They include:

  • An Introduction – this is the section at the beginning which leads into the song. Sometimes it might sound different from the rest of the song, might be faster or slower, or it might not exist at all. Many songs do not have an introduction, so don’t feel like you have to use it.
  • A Verse – This is the main part of the song. It is usually fifty percent to twice the number of lines as the chorus but it does not have to be. What gives away a section of a song as a verse is that the melody is the same but the lyrics are different between the different verses.

    Lyrics Song Writing Tips


  • A Chorus – The chorus is the part of the song that repeats without changing: both the lyrics and melody are unchanged or nearly unchanged. This is usually where you try to fit the catchiest part of your song (usually called the hook).
  • A Bridge – The bridge is a part that exists in some songs but not all. Usually coming sometime after the second chorus, the bridge is a part of the song that sounds completely different than the rest of the song. It is usually short, just a line or two of lyrics, and will sometimes lead into a key change.

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2. Start with the AABA structure.

 The AABA structure is probably the most common structure of a song in modern popular music.
In the study of song structures, A usually signifies a verse and B usually signifies a chorus.
In other words, in this structure there are two verses, a chorus, and then a final verse.

Experiment with this basic structure before moving on to more complex ones.

Lyrics Song Writing Tips

3. Experiment with other structures.

There are of course, many different standard song structures. You can try AABB, ABA, AAAA, ABCBA, ABABCB, ABACABA, and so on.

  • C usually signifies a bridge, other letters that you see cited elsewhere likely just mean that that section of the song is none of the traditional parts and is unique to itself (sort of like taking a verse from a different song and putting it in).

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4. Try free form songs.

Of course, if you want to challenge your skills.

You can try to write something that breaks from traditional forms.

And does not follow a standard structure.

This can be very challenging though and is not the best way to get started.

Lyrics Song Writing Tips

5. Use stream of consciousness exercises.

Stream of consciousness writing is where you just write and keep writing and don’t stop.

Just write everything that comes into your head.

This will capture many ideas that change quickly.

But it can help you find ideas when you’re really lost.

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6. Look at existing songs.

Look at songs that are known for great lyrics to get inspiration.

You can learn a lot from thinking about what makes a song good vs what makes a song bad.

Look for the kinds of things they talk about.

How they talk about them, what rhymes they use, the rhythm of the lyrics, etc.

Lyrics Song Writing Tips

7. Use your own opinions on what type of music you want to write, and figure out what types of lyrics you like and dislike.

Previously, this step advised what constituted good lyrics and what indicated bad ones.

But it’s really up to you what kind of music you want to write.

You, whether you believe it or not, are a growing artist, and as an artist.

You can use your own path and formulate your own opinions of various fellow artists and their work.

So, if you want to write something similar to rocker Avril Lavigne.

Rather than classic Frank Sinatra, don’t let someone tell you you can’t write how you want to.

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Lyrics Song Writing Tips

8. Look at existing poems.

If you’re hard up for inspiration but you want to keep practicing your songwriting.

Try adapting existing poems. Older poems (think Lord Byron or Robert Burns).

Have wonderful ideas but might not seem all that modern.

Take on the challenge and adapt them.

Can you make a rap song out of Shakespeare? A folk song from E. E. Cummings?

This type of challenge will improve your skills and give you a great starting point.

Lyrics Song Writing Tips

9. Be true to your style.

Don’t ever look at how others write songs and feel like you have to do the same.

Everyone has a different style.

Some write freely from their mind’s eye.

While others write with a specific intention.

While there are lots of rules and conventions to music.

At the end of the day, it is a creative venture.

This means that the most important thing is that it expresses you.

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10. Keep writing to get to the good stuff.

Get a journal and be ready to write down a lot of stuff that won’t work in order to get to the stuff that does.

This is how the creative process works: everyone has to make bad things on the way to making good things.

Write as much as you can until you feel it is finished or ready to be set aside.

To even write a single word or sound is an excellent start.

Let the song ferment. Songwriting takes time!

  • Keep everything. If you write a single sentence of a song down.
  • It always leads to something else sooner.

11. Write all the time.

You should always start by just writing.

Write about your feelings. Write about the world around you.

Describe a person or a thing that matters to you.

This is to help you find the words most worthy of a song.

The poetry on which your song will be built.

Whether it’s an actual poem or just a few phrases.

That you want to cobble together into something better.

Remember: it doesn’t have to always be depressing or angry.

Or even have an emotion. A laundry list could be poetic if done right.

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Lyrics Song Writing Tips

12. Show, don’t tell.

“I’m so sad, I just feel bad, my girlfriend left me today…”….No.

Don’t do this. This is a fast way to make your song forgettable.

The best lyrics, like any good writing, get us to feel emotions.

Because they capture that experience, not because they tell us what to feel.

Try to write about what it’s like to feel something, instead of just telling your audience.

  • A good example of an alternative to this “I’m so sad” thing is from Damien Rice’s song The Animals Were Gone: “At night I dream without you, and hope I don’t wake up; ‘Cause waking up without you is like drinking from an empty cup”.
  • Brainstorm some ideas so you can see what you have and choose or even build off of an existing idea. It is probably best if you have inspiration.

Lyrics Song Writing Tips

13. Rhyme within reason.

You know when you see a song written by someone who isn’t very good and the lyrics just come off as cheesy?

This is often because they rhyme too much or very badly.

You should avoid having all of your lines rhyme, and the rhymes that you do use should look natural.

Don’t put weird phrases or words into your lyrics just to get a rhyme.

Really, your lyrics don’t have to rhyme at all. Plenty of songs has non-rhyming lyrics.

  • Good: “You make me feel real again/You just have to smile and I know/The sun’s coming out – Amen!”
  • Bad: “I really love my cat/My cat is where it’s at/Her tail looks like a bat/She’s getting kind of fat…”
  • Of course, there are some genre considerations. Rap often has far more rhyming than other genres, but even then it’s not required. It’s just stylistic.

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Lyrics Song Writing Tips

14. Try non-standard rhyme schemes.

If you do want to make your rhyming stand out a bit more and avoid sounding cheesy.

You can experiment with different styles of rhyming.

Did you know that there are more ways to rhyme than just what you learned in school?

Explore assonance/consonance rhymes, pararhyme, alliteration, forced rhymes, etc.

  • For example, Macklemore’s Same Love uses many examples of assonance rhymes and other non-standard rhymes: lately/daily, anointed/poisoned, important/support it, etc.

15. Avoid cliches.

You want to avoid cliches because these keep your songs from standing out and don’t show off your unique talent.

If you have someone down on their knees (especially if they’re begging please).

Someone is walking down the street (either it’s a girl or it’s you, either way, it’s been done).

Or you just have to ask “why can’t you see”, you probably need to go back to the drawing board.

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16. Understand music notation.

You probably remember hearing about the conservation of matter in your science classes (the idea that nothing is destroyed completely).

Well, the same rule generally applies to music.

Learn about how music notation works (bars, measures, notes, rests, etc.).

So that you can make sure your lyrics fit in with the music.

The short version of the advice is that you should make sure your lines have roughly even syllables and that your rhythm stays steady (don’t speed up too much to fit in extra words).

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17. Lyrics Song Writing Tips

Think of a section of music as being like four cups of water.

Now, you can pour half of one of the cups into a fifth cup.

But that now means that you have two half-full cups.

The first doesn’t get any more water in it.

You similarly can’t add extra beats without making it up somewhere (usually with a pause).

18. Start with a melody already written.

When you first start songwriting.

If you’re doing it on your own it’s best to start with a melody already written.

This is easier for most people than trying to create a melody that matches existing lyrics.

You can write your own melody, work with a musically gifted friend.

Or you can adapt a classical melody.

Such as from old folk songs (just be sure to use songs in the public domain).

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Lyrics Song Writing Tips

19. Stay in a single range.

Not everyone has Mariah Carey’s vocal range.

When you come up with a melody, keep the notes within a reasonable range so that someone can actually sing it.

Lyrics Song Writing Tips

21. Add in parts for the singer to take a breath.

Singers are human too and they need to breathe.

Put an extra two to four beats here and there that allow the singer to stop for a second to catch their breath.

This also gives the listener a chance to take in what you are saying.

  • A good example of this is the USA’s national anthem, after the line “For the land of the free”. There is a pause before “And the home of the brave”, which allows the singer to recover from the very powerful previous few bars.

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Lyrics Song Writing Tips

22. Read what you wrote.

What is the bigger picture? Does the song form a narrative, a declaration, or a description?

Is it a call to action, a set of directions, or a greeting?

Is it philosophy or a reflection? Is it genuinely nonsensical?

Does it have multiple forms? Start moving around words and changing them.

So they fit in with the rest of the lyrics.

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23. Lyrics Song Writing Tips

Think about how you want to come across.

And how that balances with what you want to say.

Do you like the placement of the vowel and consonant sounds?

Does a line have multiple meanings?

Does a particular phrase stand out?

Do you want to repeat a line or word?

Remember, the first time an audience hears a song.

They only hear the parts that stand out the most.

Lyrics Song Writing Tips

24. Rewrite.

Who says you can’t change what you have written?

If you like the original, then keep it.

But most lyricists need to play with the song a bit to get that perfect sound.

A good song can be written in one draft, but more often it takes a while.

Even move around entire verses so the song has continuity.

Sometimes, a song takes on a whole new meaning.

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25. Consult with others.

Once you’re done with your song, it can be a really good idea to share a test version with others.

Even if they’re just reading your lyrics.

They may be able to find places where the rhythm is off or where the rhymes sound strange.

Of course, music by committee is a bad idea but if they catch something and you agree it’s wrong, fix it.

Lyrics Song Writing Tips

26. Do something with your song!

We make the world a better place when we share the things that we create.

It’s okay to be shy and just because you wrote a song doesn’t mean that you have to go out and do a concert.

But you should write it down or record it in such a way that you can share it with others.

Don’t hide your incredible work!

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Lyrics Song Writing Tips

27. Learn how to write music.

If you’ve written your lyrics but you’ve never written a song before.

You might want to get some help learning how to compose a song.

It is not actually all that different from writing lyrics.

There are also standards and guides that you can use as a basis to work from.

Lyrics Song Writing Tips

28. Learn to read music.

Although it isn’t strictly necessary.

Having a basic understanding of how music works.

Will significantly increase your ability to write good songs.

You might even be able to write them down for others to play.

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Lyrics Song Writing Tips

29. Improve your singing.

Being a better singer will help you figure out what notes you’re looking for when writing your music.

Work on your vocal skills and you’ll be surprised how much it can help.

30. Gain basic instrument skills.

Knowing some basics about how to play standard instruments can help a lot with songwriting.

Consider learning how to play the piano or how to play the guitar.

Both can be self-taught and are not too complicated.

31. Create a melody to match the lyrics.

Try creating an original melody on the guitar.

Add keyboard and percussion music to make your song even better.

Lyrics Song Writing Tips

  • Remember there are no actual rules for songwriting, just guides. True creativity has no boundaries.

  • Sing the song out loud or in your head to know how it will sound.

Make sure your song isn’t too repetitive, but at the same time don’t be afraid to repeat a line.

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32. Lyrics Song Writing Tips

If you have an unfinished song, save it. You can get an idea from the scraps, or if you have a lot of them, you can combine them and write a song out of it.

Think about who you want to hear your song. What is it that you want them to hear?

Never dismiss an idea for a song as “too stupid”. Many of the best songs are about the most outlandish topics.

It’s good to have a songwriting notebook or perhaps a file on your computer. This helps you organize your thoughts better.

33. Lyrics Song Writing Tips

Write down a word. Then, write as many synonyms as you can for it. Merriam-Webster also has a good thesaurus online. Or Google “the word” and “synonym.”

Try to put at least some meaning behind the lyrics.

If you come up with an idea, be sure to write it down straight away, before you forget! Keep a pencil and paper with you at all times so you’ll be prepared.

34. Lyrics Song Writing Tips

Do not be scared of modifying or changing the lyrics that you created. If it doesn’t sound or feel good, look at it from a whole new angle and make modifications.

It may be easier if you write the lyrics first and then think of a title afterward. That way, you won’t be striving to make the lyrics match the title.

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35. Lyrics Song Writing Tips

If you’re writing rap lyrics, you don’t have to rhyme as much as Eminem does, because that requires a lot of experience.

If you’re beginning to write rap lyrics, start by including a few rhymes, maybe at the end of each line.

And when you gain confidence with writing along with a beat and a flow.

Start to include more rhymes to make the song sound more intricate.

Then you can add internal, multisyllabic, etc.

Try to be inventive with your lyrics – some of the most enjoyable songs to listen to have really wacky lyrics.

Read articles and interviews from other writers.

Try making up a song name first and seeing what comes of it.

36. Lyrics Song Writing Tips

A good tune is always a good tune, whenever someone finally hears it.

Some of the best tunes have been shelved for years before they were finished and recorded.

Sometimes it is easier to first write a poem, then incorporate the words of the poem into a song.

If you have a small section you want to include, but don’t know how to incorporate it into your song, record it so you know the beat, rhythm, and words. If you write it down you will know what the lyrics are, but just not the timing.

37. Lyrics Song Writing Tips

It is in no way a rule, but as the music sets the mood of a piece (major/minor, etc.) you can let that bring words that are inspired by it or if juxtapositions your thing write the opposite!

The beautiful thing is that there’s no right or wrong.

It might help to clap or snap and find a beat, and/or write about something you love that can never get old. Find the pace of your song, then find lyrics that fit.

Listen to your song over and over so that you can add or delete words.

Also, listen to other songs you enjoy, and write from that.

You may also want to sing tunes randomly.

And you can make those random notes into a song.

Keep practicing because all the stuff you may be learning can help you with lyrics.

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38. Lyrics Song Writing Tips

Try not to use the same tune as another song.

Say your ideas out loud, if you are by yourself or you have someone to say it to. This can help you to rhyme better, hear the way the consonants and vowels flow, and generally improve the rhythm of your song.

Listen to music that’s on the radio and see how they match the words to the title.

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  • Don’t plagiarize a song somebody else wrote or you could get in some serious legal trouble. But it’s good to pick a style of lyrics or music you like. So if you like Katy Perry, write pop like her. Or if you like Taylor Swift, write lots of love songs.

  • Do not rhyme constantly, unless that is exactly what you intended. It is okay at some point, but too much gets annoying, as seen below;

    • Example: My life is horrible and I think it is horrible because I left my cat at my Grandma’s and she won’t give my cat back so what am I going to do oh yeah… What am I gonna do? (that was bad)

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