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FDP Forum / Sing, Sing, Sing! - Vocalist's Forum / Whats the key to writing good lyrics?

andrewginger music


whall's son
Aug 18th, 2011 09:44 AM   Edit   Profile  

i write alot of rock and punk songs. does anybody have any tips for writing lyrics?

Contributing Member

That chicken

is WRONG, baby.
Sep 9th, 2011 05:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

Andrew, listen (and I mean *really listen*) to lyrics of tunes you really like that were recorded by other artists.

What you'll discover, after a week or three of critical listening, is you tend to gravitate to certain flavors or aromas of lyric content.

For me, it is the stuff that's cleverly done--usually something with unusual or humorous rhyming or alliteration. Stuff than makes me think--rather than music with words that merely blend into the background.

Contributing Member

Fringe habitat

My tagline sucks.
Sep 14th, 2011 06:27 PM   Edit   Profile  

Peegoo is right, Grasshopper.

I would also add that you have to really live in the music, really feel it for a while, to evoke the words that you'll draw from it.

andrewginger music


whall's son
Sep 20th, 2011 06:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

thanks guys.



Yes, I use all 6 strings on my bass!
Mar 21st, 2012 08:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

Good lyrics tell a story or at least describe a situation. It's a lot like those reports you were supposed to write in school.
1.Explain topic(verse).
3.Tell more about topic(2nd verse).
4.Chorus and/or bridge
5. Wrap up the topic (3rd verse).

For verses, avoid having each line just make a statement. Better to make statement first line or phrase(separation is at comma, which is often your breath mark), then have second line that counters or explains the first line. Repeat for next two lines. Obviously try to make the last words of each line, ort every other line, rhyme.

Here is a classic example(really) "Breaking the Law" by Judas Priest.
There I was completely wasting, [problem explained]
out of work and down [line explaining why]
all inside it's so frustrating, ['nuther problem]
as I drift from town to town ['nuther explanation line]
feel as though nobody cares if I live or die
so I might as well begin to put some action in my life.

And the second verse summarizes the whole issue.
So much for the golden future, I can't even start.
I've had every promise broken, there's anger in my heart.
you don't know what it's like, you don't have a clue.
if you did you'd find yourselves doing the same thing too.

Breakin the LAw, Breaking the Law.....

(This message was last edited by bassboysinger at 08:17 AM, Mar 21st, 2012)

Contributing Member

Saskatchewan, Canada

Mar 22nd, 2012 07:03 PM   Edit   Profile  

Where to start!
1) Memphis by Chuck Berry
2) Love Potion #9 by The Coasters
3) Little Red Riding Hood by Sam the Sham
and the Pharoahs


usa/ Northwest IN

You say you`re leavin,I`ll help you pack
Mar 25th, 2012 08:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

Waist Deep in mud in a Loosiana Bayou
Crashin` through the brush Jest tryin` to stay alive
Old Man Miller`s gone home for his shotgun
One barrels for me and the other`s for his wife


vero beach, fl

That was broke
Apr 8th, 2012 05:58 PM   Edit   Profile  




May 8th, 2012 06:20 PM   Edit   Profile  

Stop trying to write the next great song, just write.

Stop trying to write the next great song, just write songs. I said that twice because it is very crucial.

Here is the thing that helped me a lot. Write 30 songs in 30 days. Turn on the TV and write a song about the TV show you are watching. Turn on the radio and listen to a song and write a song with a similar theme. (For example, the Judas Priest song someone put in the post above is about Breaking the Law and being a looser. Write a song with the same subject.) AGAIN, Don't worry whether the song are good or not, just write them.

Here is another idea I use sometimes. Find a song that you like the rhythm of. Then pull up the lyric sheet. Rewrite the lyrics for the song using a new theme but the same phrasing and melody. Throw in a few different chords or change the key and you have a new song.

Once you get into the rhythm of writing songs, they will come easier.

Use the rhyming dictionaries and thesaurus' that are available online for free. Or try some of the paid stuff like Master Writer. These things really help the song writing process.

(This message was last edited by mr51 at 06:22 PM, May 8th, 2012)

Contributing Member

Willoughby, OH , USA

I'm arrogant and a moron
Jun 12th, 2012 09:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

A good vocabulary helps.


I'm not an expert

... but I play one on the internet!
Jul 11th, 2012 01:53 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'm relatively new to lyric-writing, but I've been paying attention to the topic for longer than I can remember.

One thing I'd throw into the mix is that really "specific" lyrics can tend to be an obstacle for potential listeners. Of course, it's a balance, because overly generalized lyrics can have the same effect, or just blend in, as someone pointed out.

So, rather than write about the girl named Emily who was the sister of a good friend, but whom you barely knew in 1978, who drove a white Gremlin and who you really wish you could have had the chance to know better....

.... write instead about "every" girl. Harness those emotions and make it relatable to all of them, should they hear the song.

People want to feel like a song is about them, not about you.

Warren Pederson


Jul 26th, 2012 10:17 PM   Edit   Profile  

Avoid phrases like "the way things are" and "my life" or any variation. They suck the life out of a song immediately.



Aug 10th, 2014 07:33 PM   Edit   Profile  

I think you can teach yourself to write great lyrics the same way you can teach yourself to play great guitar. You pick some up from others, from listening, along the way. But the gist of it comes from inside you.


Contributing Member


Albino Blue
Aug 23rd, 2014 08:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

Write about stuff you actually know or feel. Daily stuff. Explore talking out loud your inner thoughts. Don't worry about being right or wrong, just be you. Express yourself. Talk over the chords until you feel like singing the lyrics.

I like to sit, and ramble on over a 145 bar blues. Just talk about what's on your mind at that moment. After a while it gets easy. But always record it, in case there is gold in there or you revisit it one day and want to dress it up.

After that, try to structure using these techniques:

Song Structure

FDP Forum / Sing, Sing, Sing! - Vocalist's Forum / Whats the key to writing good lyrics?

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