A trip to the beach, a night on the town. Bright lights and crowds and carnival rides. These are just rough ideas. Just write down everything that comes to you. Flowers make me think of colors — gold, red, purple — and bees buzzing around. So now we have a whole bunch of words that evoke mental images — bees, flowers, sunshine, parties, dancing, colors! They all have to do with smiling and feeling good. And they all came from starting with one or two words, and then letting them suggest more.
Notice how many words are similar to the ones we came up with. You make me dance like a fool Forget how to breathe Shine like gold Buzz like a bee Just the thought of you can drive me wild Oh, you make me smile. Now the listener is able to picture how the singer is feeling instead of just having to take her word for it. This is one of the most important tools a songwriter has. After you have a list of related words, make a list of contrasting words and images, ones that suggest the opposite.
Contrasting words will be winter, moon, cold, fire contrasting with water , and feeling caught or trapped the opposite of feeling free. Write down single words or short phrases. And try not to be critical of your ideas — just write down what comes to you. Then, make a list of contrasting words, images, and phrases. Write as many words as you can think of in each column.
Let one idea suggest another and follow the trail wherever it takes you. This is a great exercise for stretching your creativity. When you have a good list of words, try plugging some of them into your verse and chorus lyrics. Replace a statement with an image or action that helps to express the emotion in your song and makes the listener feel what you feel or see what you see.
Every time you open your mouth to speak, you start singing! Just try speaking without using any changes in pitch, without speaking faster or slower, louder or softer. You end up sounding like a robot. Although we usually think of singing as something quite different from talking, we actually use a lot of melody when we talk.
When we talk we use pitch, volume, phrasing, and rhythm — all the elements of a song melody. So if you have a few lyric lines, all you need to do is speak them to get a raw melody started. In fact, just by changing the melody you can give the same words an entirely different emotional meaning. Notice the difference in the melody? In the question, the melody goes up at the end. In the frightened version, the pitch starts higher and then the melody moves downward.
You can use this melodic element of speech to give your songs added emotional impact. Keep the pauses that occur naturally and exaggerate the little ups and downs in your speaking voice. Remember, this is your raw material, not the finished melody. Speak the chorus lyric with as much emotion as you can put into it. Now, exaggerate the pitches, keeping the rhythm of the words and any pauses that occur naturally.
This will get you started on your chorus. Of course, there are other ways to write a song melody but this one will give you a great place to start. Work on the melody and chords using the verse and chorus lyric you have, gradually smoothing and changing until you have something you like. Then write the rest of the lyric to the final melody. Songs for musical theater are different — they usually do require perfect rhymes. Check out a web site like Rhymedesk.
Read my post To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme on my blog site. Know when to take a break Work on your lyric for short periods of time. Take a walk and let things settle for awhile. Keep the hit song melody in your head. The most important thing and the most difficult is to keep the emotional integrity of the song intact. Keep working on the lyric until you are genuinely moved and excited by it.
Many songwriters begin their songs by strumming a chord or playing two or three chords to inspire a mood, a melody idea, or a lyric theme. While song melodies and lyrics are copyrighted, in general, these familiar chord progressions are not. C-Am-F-G belongs to everyone! You can use this type of generic chord progression in your own songs.
Listen to a recent hit song and learn to play along on either guitar or keyboards. There are many YouTube videos that will show you how to play recent hits. These are protected by the copyright law.
Learn to play chords If you already have an idea for your melody, you can hunt for the chords that fit. Check out my Resources page for a good one.
Or you can take a few lessons from a local music teacher. Many music stores offer lessons. Your local community center or college may have classes. Or ask friends and neighbors to refer a teacher. We know chords, we know song craft, we know how to follow our emotions — none of this has anything to do with how many dazzling riffs and licks you can play. Just strum or chord along with your voice and keep the emotional feel front and center.
Karaoke tracks offer an instant backing track that can inspire ideas and get you singing your lyrics to a contemporary beat. Go ahead and write a song for friends and family or just for songwriting practice.
The track itself is copyrighted but generally the chords are not. Read on my blog: A lyric with a single, strong emotional focus is ideal for this use. Notice how they enhance and deepen the effect of the scene. As an exercise, choose a scene and try writing a song that would work with it. Record your vocal and a simple guitar or piano part, then play it softly under the scene to see if it increases the emotional impact.
Time to look for a co-writer! Back to the hunt for collaborators… Idea 1: Universities and community colleges in your area will have a music department. Also, check to see if there is a campus club or group interested in music or songwriting. Check out clubs in your area that feature local artists. Check out local music stores. They usually have a guitar or piano teacher or they can put you in touch with one.
The teacher might be interested in writing with you or may know a student who is looking for a collaborator. Advances in recording technology have revolutionized home recording.
Although a course in home recording is beyond the scope of this article, here are a couple of ways to get started…. There are many inexpensive software programs that include both MIDI sequencers for use with MIDI keyboards and audio recording capability to record vocals and guitar.
Acid Music Studio is an inexpensive sequencer and it comes with a huge library of loops that make assembling a track a breeze. Yamaha makes a good inexpensive keyboard. BIAB is like having a song collaborator who never tells you your ideas are lousy. It will create a chord progression or you can type one in or play one on a MIDI keyboard.
It will create a drum, bass, piano, guitar, and string arrangement based on your chords. BIAB will even create a melody and a title! To find out more, visit my Resources page. There are many good recording studios and demo services that can produce all or part of your demo. They can record the instrumental tracks so you can do your vocal at home, or they can give provide just the guitar or drums.
I suggest giving the service an idea of what you want by playing existing songs with a similar style, sound, or feel. Of course, all I have given you here is a doorway into songwriting. Everything you need to know is right there on the radio, in your CD collection or on your iPod. Stand on the shoulders of giants; use what others have discovered and build on it. I'll come up with one line in a day, and then it might be a couple of days before I come up with the rhyming line.
There's still a lot of mystery to songwriting. I don't have a method that I can go back to - they either come or they don't. Put those feelings into a song you can be proud of. Getting an outside persceptive on your track from a fellow musician can help to bring the best out of your music. Two heads are always usually better than one. I don't know how to make beats. I don't play instruments. I'm not a good singer. So even when you see a solo album of mine, it's still a collaboration.
Keeping your track as simple as possible at first is an excellent way to accelerate the songwriting process and work out the structure of your song. Many complex songs from 5 or 6-piece bands started life as a few chords strummed on an acoustic guitar. Whether it's written in two hours or two months, the final product is all that's important, no matter how long it takes. Musicians and songwriters are often our own worst critics.
Overthinking can be your worst enemy. Get the basis of your song down, and you can always go back and change things afterwards. You might find they have some fantastic insight into how it could be improved. I always envied people in bands who got to have that interaction. It's a nice change helping other people with their music and not being all about what I'm trying to do myself.
This quote from the legendary Johnny Cash sums up the point perfectly. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past.
If you wish to write song lyrics for a living, you’re sure to find song ideas for lyrics that fit with your music perfectly. Each day, you’ll find ten free song ideas in the box below to help write a song. We’ll also publish the ten song ideas for lyrics that you may have missed yesterday.
Help writing a song that you'll be proud of is on the way. In this article I will show you how to get past this frustration, and actually write something you really, really like. Not only this, but once you’ve done this you’ll know the path to songwriting greatness.
Read on my blog: How to Write a Song if Your Don’t Play an Instrument. ‣ Songs for Film & TV. Many of today’s top TV dramas and films use songs to add mood, energy, and atmosphere to scenes. A lyric with a single, strong emotional focus is ideal for this use. The Song Lyrics Generator is here to help you through your song writing writers' block. Pick a genre, answer a few questions, and the generator goes to work automatically writing your song!
Song Lyrics Generator Have fun writing lyrics and experimenting with different musical styles. You can choose a musical genre or artist to inspire your creation, then you choose a few topics to write about and we map out a cool song based on your choices. Tell us a bit about the person you want your song to be about and we'll use your ideas to write the perfect song lyrics. (Either that or we'll generate the most random string of sentences you'll ever read - it can go either way!) Love Song Lyrics Generator. Quickly make a love song using a few words of your own or our automated keyword.