Old 05-17-2010, 04:11 PM   #1
Garrick
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Default How to Write Lyrics - tips

I would like to know how you write your lyrics. I've spent a shit load of time learning how to use Reaper and i've learnt so very much from all of you, especially "Why do your recordings sound like ass?", the more i learn more i realise how good Reaper is. Punchs way above its price tag.

But all is futile. If i can't write one god damn song that says what i want to say and say it in a cool way.

John Lennon says write what you want you think, make it rhymn, and put a back beat to it.

Leonard Cohen would write 70 verses then pick the best ones.

People say write from the title, write the music first, write the words first, no such thing as writers block.

But the one thing i hate hearing is, "you either got it or you don't", I hate hearing it cause i hope it's not true. What i think is, if you have the desire to write then you got the "it".

Any wisdom you can share could be the little spark for me and others to get shit done and have a good time. Thank you.
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Old 05-17-2010, 04:21 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrick View Post
Any wisdom you can share could be the little spark for me and others to get shit done
well if i wanted to do that I'd go to the toilet - but as for writing, I think of someone/thing/happening/experience that inspires me and write the music first. lyrics come as a sort of main theme which helps me develop the music - I dont hear lyrics in my head as such - only those other voices
different for everyone of course.
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Old 05-17-2010, 04:39 PM   #3
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Thanks Keys, and please excuse the vulgarity "to get poop done". i'm just having a little moment of frustration with myself to the tune of "just write the damn thing".

Just reading your take on things get the creative juices flowing. cheers.
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Old 05-17-2010, 04:51 PM   #4
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My suggestion is to constantly, or at least regularly, mess about on your preferred instrument. Record every idea, however stupid, with an appropriate title so you can find it later (ie under "corny turnarounds" or "cool basslines"). Hopefully these quickly develop into a useful resource - if you are feeling uninspired you can always be building on one of the old ideas.

The same goes for lyrics. Make a time when you write, and just do it. It doesn't matter if it is rubbish to start with - later on when you have lots of bits of songs it is much easier to fix them and put them together than it is to attempt to produce "the perfect song" in one hit.
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Old 05-17-2010, 04:53 PM   #5
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I think if you want to be a writer....then you can be a writer. It's just going to take a little time and patience. Theres tons of good books out there. Sheila Davis is one of my favs. The more you write, the better you'll get...just like anything else. My first thousand songs were pretty crappy.....I think there starting to get decent.

It sounds to me like you could definatly benefit from some good books on the topic though.
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Old 05-17-2010, 05:07 PM   #6
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Garrick
frankly my prob is the opposite.
i cant stop thinkin up lyrics.
got books of blinkin lyric ideas.
heres some tips mate.
1. at dollar stores you can buy big blocks of lined paper
with holes you can put in a 3 ring binder.
2. keep the binder close by when your home or out somewhere.
3. stay attuned to everything going on around you,
you might read something in the newspaper or see something
on tv or out shopping ,..in summary "listen to life around you ".
start jotting likkle ideas down n song concepts.
mebe its about something you hate or like, or something
someone says.
just start writing little ideas down n song concepts n gradually string sentences together.
4. listen to some audio youve recorded with no vocs.
eg a geetar n drum rhythm. what emotions do such bring out ??
write down what your feeling from the music.
5. another way to break the ice is to just always be thinking
up song titles from daft out there titles to more serious ones.
haveing got the one line title..what lyrics do the title lead to ??
6. assume you will often fail.
but dont let this paralyse you with self doubt.
never EVER let doubt get the better of you.
just keep on writing down everything. cos out of that will
come some lyrics.
in summary banish the devil of doubt sitting on your shoulder.
all the best.
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Old 05-17-2010, 05:21 PM   #7
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for me, lyrics have come to me in many different ways. i don't think there is a method or a recipe one can follow in order to write great songs. if there were then that book would be selling millions and millions of people would be writing hit songs. so i definitely think there is something to the 'either you have it or you don't' philosophy.

personally i often find that the topic i want to sing about is the hardest part, and i tend to try and start with that. or i always pay attention in everyday life for themes and ideas, and kind of hooks, or phrases that mean something deep to me or whatever. i think carrying a pen wherever you go and keeping your mind always open and listening for song ideas is a key part of the process.

also sometimes i'll just write a guitar lick and then play it and then sing over it to find a melody, and then that will make me think of something and it will become words, and then i'll write a whole song about that.

I think starting with the song title is not a bad idea, but maybe not just writing the song title down and then writing your tune necessarily, but if you wrote the music already then use the music to find your hook which will be your song title.

definitely i think you should start with the hook. this is your bread and butter. this is the hard part. this is the part you want to be fantastic. the rest of the song is almost filler. i mean it needs to be good too, but it doesn't need to be quite as strong as your hook.

also, just the message you are delivering matters to how cool it sounds. this nobody can teach you. what you wish to say in your songs is what you wish to say. if someone taught you that, then they would have written your songs, at least in part.

also the melody is real key to them sounding good. imo for pop songs, or rock or whatever, radio songs, your average kind of tunes, melody is so important. again nobody can tell you what melodies you can use, this is something you'll need to find on your own.

me, sometimes a melody hits me right away, sometimes i need to play around for a while on a tune until i find the melody i like. sometimes trying too hard hurts the process, sometimes i start with the melody and find words to fit it and sometimes they morph after that. sometimes i find the words and the melody at once. sometimes i find the hook, the idea first and then write the music for it.

it can happen in so many ways. to me, art and actually most things in life, is not action, but reaction. people always wonder how to do, but really the trick is not to do but to listen. to allow to happen. to create the environment for creative process, and to capture the moments when they come to you.

it happens to me, where i'll sit down with the intent of writing a song and just nothing will come to me, and i feel i suck. and other times, i just sit down without any intent at all and things just happen without effort at all.

another thing you can do is listen to songs you like and try to find out why you like them, why you like the lyrics.

i sometimes use stuff like rhyming dictionaries and synonym dictionaries also. some might think that is cheating or something, but i don't care, i'll search anything for inspiration. inspiration is the key, to me, wherever you get it from doesn't matter. and inspiration can be anywhere, it can be in what someone said, in a poster, in a commercial, in an observation you made of people, anywhere, but often thoughts and ideas that would be good for songs can be just skipped or forgotten. so you need to have presence of mind always listening for song ideas.

millions of men had seen apples fall from trees before Newton did. but it was his attention, his mind thinking and observing, and wondering that made the apple inspire him to discover gravity.

inspiration can be everywhere, but you need to pay attention to it also. it's really hard to just sit down and think, 'ok, i'm going to write a song now' it's not math. it's not washing dishes or something like that. it's art. and art is funny that way, where you can't always make it happen, sometimes it needs to come to you.

the hook is the main thing though i find. look for hooks. the rest should fall into place easily enough after that. hooks don't always need to be the chorus like mccartney's yesterday, either. but yesterday, that word and it's changed meaning for this song is his hook. the idea. nobody can give you ideas. and yet in another way, everybody or anybody can.
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:00 PM   #8
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1. Get a rhyming dictionary - there are several, but I like Penguin way better than any of the others. Not everything has to rhyme, but when you feel that it does, a good dictionary can point you to things you hadn't considered at all.

2.Listen to artists whose lyrics you like or want to emulate, especially songs you haven't heard before. Listen to the almost universally acknowledged masters of lyrics (Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young...etc. even if you don't particularly like them, just check out their words.). also READ: books, essays, whatever, just make sure it's well-written and by someone who knows how to use words.
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:10 PM   #9
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listen to "circus" by tom waits.
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:24 PM   #10
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interesting thread,
personally i think i am a bit sucky with lyrics, tend to just make them up, often ending up with a song consisting of about 2 or 3 phrases in that case...
writing stuff down is a bit too pre-conceived for my liking, feels like its too constructed without any consideration for whether the lyrics actually need to be there in the first place or work musically. it is music after all (controversial i know!)

on the other hand, lyrics have never floated my boat much when i listen to music, or that odd lyrics are more interesting than ones that make complete sense.
so one angle is to just not give a flying monkeys nuts about what lyrics you use, just focus on performing them and delivering them in a musically convincing way, then even nonsense like "i'm a banana, will you be my banana too" could be really cool. .

but i'm a deliberate ignoramus on this topic so will be interested to read others take on things.
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:52 PM   #11
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1. Pen or pencil.
2.Paper.
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:21 PM   #12
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i think that there isn't a method to it. probably just have to keep at it, take what you get, refine bits when you can. when i'm jamming/singing, i'll rattle off whatever comes out, and that pretty much defines the flow and melody. if i try to think my way through it, such as staying on a topic, i end up dead in the water every time. when it gets to the actual writing lyrics part (refining the gibberish), logic doesn't help me there either. the more logical i try to be, the further away i get, ending up with some mechanical stale crap. some of the stuff that can come out of our heads is crazy (especially when it makes some sense). btw, i have no idea what i'm talking about. figure it out for yourself.
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:07 PM   #13
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Always use words. Lyrics are no good without them. [doh!]

- Write about who you are and what you know, not what you imagine yourself to be. If you write what's in your heart, your lyrics will be authentic. However, if you write what you think other people want to hear, your lyrics will sound pretentious and without emotional commitment - because usually you didn't live the experience you're singing about.

- Sometimes a fast song needs slow lyrics, sometimes a slow song needs fast lyrics.

- For some songs I've written 20 different full sets of lyrics before being happy with the outcome. It can take many tries and much practice just to develop your thoughts to the point where you can say it far more simply in the end.

- The world "orange" is gaining wider acceptance, but use it sparingly. Not everything has to rhyme. That's just a rumor. So give it some time, and don't forget the humor. (I know, I'm rhyming, sorry)

- Realize that some people never listen to the lyrics, only the music, the melody and how cool the words sound coming out of the singers mouth. Song 1, Message 0
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:36 PM   #14
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Write,write,write. Yeah right.




Collaboration works for me. I need to know what a song is about , melodies come easy to me but the lyrics... I need a professional for proper results , most of the time. The rhythm of the words... who is singing etc.


An example: Someone needed a "simple summer song " for certain type radio stations.

I thought for a while, got some ideas down and called a lyricist. We discuss the thing for a while. I then got the lyrics from the writer after a few days and my brain starts to "paint the picture", if you like. I´m kinda arranging a song before there is a song... gathering the ingredients.

Basically I gave the lyricist some basic words, ideas and atmosphere. I then get the ball back and it will develop into something - I do not play any instrument while doing this.

I then make a scratch demo with a drummer. At that point the original song may have many permutations and the lyrics may need to be rewritten many times, I may change the lyrics and the lyricist may change melodies or arrangement ideas...

After that I finish the demo, send it out and wait in horror.


If you find a good person to collaborate with, the results can be more than 1+1.
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrick View Post
John Lennon says......
lyrics are overated. you couldn't possibly write something dumber than:


Oh yeah, I´ll tell you something
I think you'll understand
When I say that something
I wanna hold your hand
I wanna hold your hand
I wanna hold your hand

Oh, please, say to me
You'll let me be your man
and please, say to me

You'll let me hold your hand
Now let me hold your hand
I wanna hold your hand

And when I touch you i feel happy, inside
It's such a feeling
That my love
I can't hide
I can't hide
I can't hide

Yeah you, got that something
I think you'll understand
When I say that something
I wanna hold your hand
I wanna hold your hand
I wanna hold your hand

And when I touch you I feel happy, inside
It's such a feeling
That my love
I can't hide
I can't hide
I can't hide

Yeah you, got that something
I think you'll understand
When I say that something
I wanna hold your hand
I wanna hold your hand
I wanna hold your hand
I wanna hold your ha-a-a-a-a-a-and
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:22 PM   #16
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You should ask your self what your level of ambition is. Personally I have found that if I am going to write lyrics, then I am going to do it properly. Which means it is more than an afterthought, something that you add to the music.

I have read a couple of books that I would recommend you to check out. It's "Write Better Lyrics" by Pat Pattison and "Shortcuts to Hit Songwriting" by Robin Frederick.

What these books have in common is the notion that lyric writing is not only an art, it's also - perhaps mostly - a craft. There's a technique to be learned. A technique of communicating a message or a story effectively during the time span of a song.

Of course it's always easier to say "it's art - it can't be learned". When someone writes a book on a sucject like this and says "here's how you do it", you can always find exceptions to the rules, and often the advice seem way to rigid. However I think you can gain a grat deal from books like these if you approach them as an open minded and critical reader, taking from them what you can use. You need to be able to understand under what premise the book is written and understand the context of the book in that light.

For instance "Write better lyrics" seems to have been written upon the premise that lyrics are something you write seperately and often before the music. That a writer works together with a composer. Also it seems to be influenced a lot from the Nashville school, and if you listen to some of the songs that can be found on Pattison's homepage, they're - in my opininon - quite tasteless. But he sure knows the mechanism of a lyric.
What I've gained from this book is for instance to build a "lyric worksheet", to do ten minutes of "object writing" almost every day, and I have gotten a refreshing new way of looking at rhymes, namely inperfect rhymes. And a lot more actually.

The "Shortcuts..." book is made for HIT songwriting. The goal is to learn to make what the radio wants. This goes to far in my opinion, because, while I agree that a song should communicate clearly and that it's a good thing to make something people like, I simply don't like the kind of songs that are the role models in this book. I find them to be almost obtrusive.
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:31 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keys View Post
I dont hear lyrics in my head as such - only those other voices
But those other voices just may be the lyrics you're looking for!
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:53 PM   #18
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Listen to The Beautiful South, "Song for Whoever" (and to the rest of their catalogue, while you're at it).

Also, I find that listening to a record with over-the-top lyrics tends to set my mind free and put the wheels in motion. Echo and the Bunnymen works best for me (your mileage may vary).

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Old 05-18-2010, 12:46 AM   #19
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hey, it's ez willis. what up ez?
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Old 05-18-2010, 12:53 AM   #20
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Guitar players...Best way I think is to have a chord sequence maybe...strum away...be a bit absent minded and sing anything that comes to mind. If nothing comes to mind, hum the tune until you get some words...write down the words you sing...you might play a line over and over looking for that absent minded phrase that comes out. Let that absent minded phrase build other phrases...you hear lots of verse start out similary e.g Yesterday/ Suddenly because the humming/ lilt suggests it
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Old 05-18-2010, 12:55 AM   #21
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Musicians make music.
It flows out of them.

Writers write.
It flows out of them.

Either you are or you aren't or you pretend to be.

Or you find a writer to work with, which is what many or most do.
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:48 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixeltarian View Post
listen to "circus" by tom waits.
Will do love that guy

Quote:
Originally Posted by ez_willis View Post
lyrics are overated. you couldn't possibly write something dumber than:


Oh yeah, I´ll tell you something
I think you'll understand
When I say that something
I wanna hold your hand
I wanna hold your hand
I wanna hold your hand
Not helping

Quote:
Originally Posted by El-Rallef View Post
Listen to The Beautiful South, "Song for Whoever" (and to the rest of their catalogue, while you're at it).

Also, I find that listening to a record with over-the-top lyrics tends to set my mind free and put the wheels in motion. Echo and the Bunnymen works best for me (your mileage may vary).

El-Rallef
Cheers

Quote:
Originally Posted by PAPT View Post
Musicians make music.
It flows out of them.

Writers write.
It flows out of them.

Either you are or you aren't or you pretend to be.

Or you find a writer to work with, which is what many or most do.
ahhhhhhhhhh!


i feel better now thanks just was having a moment
the coin dropped today in the "write what you know" vein.
yep the ol "write what you know then rewrite till you like" trick
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:41 AM   #23
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Some "musicians" are just simply good poets or good storytellers, but mediocre musicians. Sometimes the songs they write, if they write any
music at all, are good - sometimes they are generic saccharine swill.

I'm mostly an instrumental dude, so I don't write lyrics a whole lot.
When I do, I just envision what the song reminds me of, what sort of vibe
it gives off, that sort of thing. I've never really been a fan of contrived
"uber serious" lyrics as the song/music that embodies them usually sound
really half assed and boring.
With that said the most interesting take I've read about this subject is David Lee Roth's approach for 1984 (and perhaps others) - love him or hate him, love or hate Van Halen, his approach sounds like a cool way to fly. I'm sure others do it as well, but Dave a roadie or buddy drive him up and down the coast/California to which he came up with lyrics while he listened to the music. If you could find a buddy to drive you around somewhere cool, interesting or scenic maybe you coud get inspired whie you listen to the music too.

An alternate idea is if you have money burnin a hole in your pocket, go rent a cabin or scenic hotel room. Don't watch any TV or anything just relax and listen to the tunes - if you get inspired, write em down. That said, movies can also be another source if inspiration.
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:02 AM   #24
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I find the more I read, the more I write. Like taking in verbiage to put out verbiage.

When you want to write, don't think about writing -- think about the thing you want to write about. Think about it -- the situation, the idea, the interaction, the plan to take over the world -- as if you were to explain it to someone verbally. Good phrases will come to you. Grab them and see what they say.
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:09 AM   #25
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Garrick and everybody else,

maybe I'm not the best person to give you hints about all of this since I'm no native english speaker/writer, anyway, here are a few comments I can give you.

1. did you ever wrote love letters or emotional letters home, postcards etc?
if yes, try to reproduce what you wrote back then, try to find the right writing mood again, there are tons of apps helping you with the rhymes

2. if you have a content you would like to write about (Say it's about the whole story of mankind's greatest fear, the fear of dying") let's go for similar songs to inspire you like e.g. "Don't fear the reaper", "Don't pay the ferryman" etc, and let them help to find you what has to be between the lines

3. a happy song works best with happy lyrical content (my experience), and the other way round

4. find out what emotions is your "best" one, you will write your best lyrics in that mood/emotion. (Unfortunately my best lyrics are all about anger and stuff like this)

5. Listen to word endings sung in songs. A million melodies end with "..ine" (e.g. coming from "mine" or "...all" from "fall" "...ooh" from "you" etc. Have an ear on what you hear in the radio and note how often these endings are used. This may give a skeleton to start from (at least every now and then)

5. use it in relation. Means what you hear has to fit to the volume used for example. a love lyric may work in a whispered or in yelled way.

6. (I guess this has been told before by a wise man) carry your mobile phone with you and record ev-ery-thing! Every bit may become important. Sing, whisper, shout, cry, speak, sum, rhyme whatever. Just keep the idea. Later on you may puzzle all you bits together.

OK, at the end a few links:
http://thebuddharats.wordpress.com/2...g-how-i-start/
http://thebuddharats.wordpress.com/2...m-john-lennon/
http://www.lilacwriter.com/marketing...ngwriting/home
http://www.songwriterforums.com/
http://www.greatsongwriting.com/songwriting-forum.html
http://forums.songstuff.com/

Hope this helps.
HoJo
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:16 AM   #26
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So many different techniques....

I don't think there is a wrong way of doing it, as long as it gets the job done!

Personally, I like getting the melody down first, phonetic singing over the music. Then I listen to it loads. A particular line or phrase will attach itself to a bit of the phonetic melody, and the rest of the lyrics seem to flow from that.

It helps to remember that Lennon and McCartney would sit down with their guitars and say, 'Lets write a swimming pool.' Their motivation was money.
Likewise U2, having finished a rough version of 'One', The Edge commented, 'Thats the roof in Ireland paid for.'
Lennon said of Dylan (re his lyrics), 'He gets away with absolute murder.'

Zappa only wrote lyrics because '...the audience expects it.'

My own personal struggle with lyrics & songwriting was solved when I was flicking through a book of 70's music and came across 'Get It On' by T-Rex. Terrible nonsense lyrics backed up with the easiest chords in the world. I then realised i didn't need to be the Shakespeare of lyric-dom, but just get the ***k on with it!

So in short, I agree with ez willis.

I hope this helps!
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:23 AM   #27
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Not sure if this has been said above, but lyrics have to sound good AS sound. If they don't speak well, they may not sing well. (Tons of variables on that one.) I think it's more important that lyrics sound good than that they mean good. The trick is getting what you want to say to sound good when sung. That balance will have a big influence on the lyric's genre, like what category artist do they seem to go with.

I listen to J-pop and can't understand a word of it but I love how it sounds. (I'd probably like it less if I understood it.)
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:40 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marah Mag View Post
Not sure if this has been said above, but lyrics have to sound good AS sound. If they don't speak well, they may not sing well. (Tons of variables on that one.) I think it's more important that lyrics sound good than that they mean good. The trick is getting what you want to say to sound good when sung. That balance will have a big influence on the lyric's genre, like what category artist do they seem to go with.

I listen to J-pop and can't understand a word of it but I love how it sounds. (I'd probably like it less if I understood it.)
I second this. U2's 'Pop' album is chock full of clunky lyrics that don't fit the songs.
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:44 AM   #29
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But in fairness to Bono, it's hard writing somgs when you're out saving the world every day.
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:52 AM   #30
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when i was a kid, i didn't pay much attention to lyrics - i used to only listen for the sounds. nowadays, lyrics matter as much as anything, sometimes more. don't get me wrong. it's the sound that tells me whether i'm going to listen for more than 10 seconds, but if the lyrics aren't saying anything that catches my interest, i'm not going to listen to the song again or remember much about it.
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:59 AM   #31
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1. Never title an instrumental with no lyrics on it. Because it sets a prerequisite for the song and the title may not be enough to propel lyrics.
2. Don’t think of rhymes. Think of related words to what you feel like and write them down. Make a big list and eliminate what you won’t use.

3. Remember that you don’t have to rhyme 100%. Example ---cats, crabs, laughs. People get stuck in a paradigm thinking that you have to rhyme by how things are spelt in a dictionary. Big mistake.
4. try starting with a famous quote you like. It will inspire you to say what you think of it.

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For inspiration http://www.rhymezone.com/
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:03 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jumhed View Post
I second this. U2's 'Pop' album is chock full of clunky lyrics that don't fit the songs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marah Mag View Post
But in fairness to Bono, it's hard writing somgs when you're out saving the world every day.
Plus, it's hard to fit your music to the singer's lyrics when you spend all the live long day twiddling knobs on your delays.

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Old 05-18-2010, 05:05 AM   #33
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And then, there's the Bowie thing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cut-up_technique

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Old 05-18-2010, 05:25 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ez_willis View Post
lyrics are overated. you couldn't possibly write something dumber than:

Oh yeah, I´ll tell you something
I think you'll understand
When I say that something
I wanna hold your hand
I wanna hold your hand
I wanna hold your hand
Yes you can !

I like the lyrics from the first Ramones album.

for example


"Now I wanna sniff some glue !
Now I wanna have something to do !"

hehe that's the whole song.
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:37 AM   #35
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First: get an idea you are passionate about. It is way easier to write about what you love/hate etc.

Second: it is a craft that can be learned.

Third: going at it will increase the technique but only if you are self analytical and self critical without beating your own brains out/in.

Fourth: Think of a funny or interesting way to convey the ideas. Just saying it like it is does not do it unless it is 'I wanna hold your hand...'

Fifth: Listen to it and be proud of it. If you are not proud of the words then you have not achieved in your own terms. Forget the world. You must write to be proud.
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:53 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry G View Post
First: get an idea you are passionate about. It is way easier to write about what you love/hate etc.
Then we would all be writing about the same thing, and we already had that long ago:

"if you drive a car, car - I'll tax the street;
if you try to sit, sit - I'll tax your seat;
if you get too cold, cold - I'll tax the heat;
if you take a walk, walk - I'll tax your feet.
Taxman!
'Cause I'm the taxman,
Yeah, I'm the taxman."

etc.

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Old 05-18-2010, 06:02 AM   #37
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Once your lyric is written.... go through it and throw about 3/4 of it out.
The distillation of your original idea will hopefully then either be what it needs already or will guide you in different better directions.
Same holds for melodies Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Great ongs are usually built from very very simple but effective ideas.
This isn`t Great Art we are doing, guys.

Come to think of it, what the hell IS Great Art but regular art with delusions of grandeur?
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:06 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El-Rallef View Post
Then we would all be writing about the same thing, and we already had that long ago:

"if you drive a car, car - I'll tax the street;
if you try to sit, sit - I'll tax your seat;
if you get too cold, cold - I'll tax the heat;
if you take a walk, walk - I'll tax your feet.
Taxman!
'Cause I'm the taxman,
Yeah, I'm the taxman."

etc.

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Classic.

One of my favourite stories is about The Kinks. In a song they list all the people who take a cut of money from their songs. No-one sued though. They just took a cut of that song too.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:37 AM   #39
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I've been a "writer" my whole life. In the 60's I took up the guitar to get my Poetry listened to easier. Think of a good opening line and then build from it. Or think of a cool phrase - like:

"Lady come to me tonight... when all the stars are in motion and I've nowhere special to be..." (one of mine)

you can do it! And remember - it doesn't always have to rhyme... it's the rhythm not the rhyme.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:13 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kundalinguist View Post

- Realize that some people never listen to the lyrics, only the music, the melody and how cool the words sound coming out of the singers mouth. Song 1, Message 0
ya this is true. but to me a song is like a woman, the backing is her body, the melody is her face, and the lyrics are her personality. iow, a song that sounds good with good melody and stuff but bad lyrics, to me, is just a pretty face.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BenK-msx View Post
interesting thread,
personally i think i am a bit sucky with lyrics, tend to just make them up, often ending up with a song consisting of about 2 or 3 phrases in that case...
writing stuff down is a bit too pre-conceived for my liking, feels like its too constructed without any consideration for whether the lyrics actually need to be there in the first place or work musically. it is music after all (controversial i know!)

on the other hand, lyrics have never floated my boat much when i listen to music, or that odd lyrics are more interesting than ones that make complete sense.
so one angle is to just not give a flying monkeys nuts about what lyrics you use, just focus on performing them and delivering them in a musically convincing way, then even nonsense like "i'm a banana, will you be my banana too" could be really cool. .

but i'm a deliberate ignoramus on this topic so will be interested to read others take on things.
This is like Nirvana's songs, they were mostly nonesense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ez_willis View Post
lyrics are overated. you couldn't possibly write something dumber than:


Oh yeah, I´ll tell you something
I think you'll understand
When I say that something
I wanna hold your hand
I wanna hold your hand
I wanna hold your hand

Oh, please, say to me
You'll let me be your man
and please, say to me

You'll let me hold your hand
Now let me hold your hand
I wanna hold your hand

And when I touch you i feel happy, inside
It's such a feeling
That my love
I can't hide
I can't hide
I can't hide

Yeah you, got that something
I think you'll understand
When I say that something
I wanna hold your hand
I wanna hold your hand
I wanna hold your hand

And when I touch you I feel happy, inside
It's such a feeling
That my love
I can't hide
I can't hide
I can't hide

Yeah you, got that something
I think you'll understand
When I say that something
I wanna hold your hand
I wanna hold your hand
I wanna hold your hand
I wanna hold your ha-a-a-a-a-a-and
I don't find anything bad about these lyrics. 'i wanna hold your hand' a nice metaphor for saying i want to be with you, and then some filler along those lines. perfect.

to me lyrics being good does not necessarily mean the message itself. i mean sometimes it can, for me at least, but what's important i think for an artist writing lyrics is that they want to write those lyrics. it comes from them. it's not just something they did for cash, or whatever.

i mean, there's a james brown tune that's called 'givin up food for funk' i find this is awesome hook, i could just imagine, that someone asked if they wanted to go get food and they decided to just keep playing more music, and so the singer said givin up food for funk, and they jammed to it. awesome. i mean i'm not certain that's how it went down, but still, it doesn't have to be crazy insightful necessarily or mind blowing lyrics, but you don't want it to suck when you read out the lyrics, and what's even better is if you read out the lyrics and find out they're actually awesome and what was a good song before is now an amazing one.
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