Writing Lyrics for Songs (Tips & Sample Included)

Song writing is an art in itself. While music is always important (and people generally tune into a song for the music) the words give it meaning and walk the listener through. Both music and lyrics alone are not as powerful as they are together. However, writing lyrics that hook people and hit home with them is not very easy.

Professional lyricists out there spend years perfecting and practicing their craft before they can come up with blockbusters and mega hits. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start writing now or that you can’t write good lyrics. In the end it’s all about how strongly you feel about the theme and how freely your thoughts flow.

Instructions

  • 1

    Let your creativity flow


    The first and probably most important step to writing song lyrics is to let your creative juices flowing – in a flood! Yes. Unless you break free from your inhibitions and broaden your creative horizons, there’s not much you can do in life. Including writing song lyrics.

    Forget any apprehensions or reservations you might have. You don't have to finalize anything at this stage, just let your mind wander freely and don't judge yourself.

  • 2

    Don't stop writing


    The second most important step for all you potential lyricists out there is to let your pen flow with the speed of your thoughts.

    Once you start writing, don’t stop until the flow of your thoughts ceases. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t coherent, and it doesn’t matter if you’re making spelling mistakes. What matters is that you’re jotting down your thoughts and opening a door for the creative you to step out. As they say, “Don’t write music. Let music write through you.”

  • 3

    Be prepared for inspiration


    Always keep a notepad with you. Inspiration may strike anywhere and you should be prepared to embrace it with open arms. Are you at work and you have suddenly come up with a beautiful stanza? Write it down quickly so you can give it more time later.

  • 4

    Edit your drafts


    After a rough draft has been made, edit it to keep the lyrics short, concise and coherent. They should be in a proper chronological order and not just random thoughts that you’ve jotted down.

    The lyrics can reflect an individual’s state of happiness, feelings of hope or emotions of conspicuous hopelessness, as is exemplified by the stanza below:

    In this abyss of nothingness,
    In this womb of darkness,
    He stands ensconced between hopelessness and despondency,
    Between melancholy and distress,
    He stands as a mourning prodigy.

  • 5

    Sing the song yourself


    Once you are done writing the lyrics, take a minute to reflect on them. Would you, as a listener, like them? If the answer is yes, there’s a high chance so will your listeners!

  • 6

    Get opinions from friends


    Although you are your best critic, if you find yourself doubting your lyrics, show them to your friends and ask for their honest opinion.

  • 7

    General Tips for Writing Song Lyrics


    - Keep your lyrics simple - don't use complicated or big words
    - Have a composition in mind. Ideally you should have a rough idea of the kind of composition you will be writing for.
    - Don't focus too much on rhyming words - this is a song, not a poem.
    - Try to give an overall theme or meaning to your song - deliver a message
    - Don't hesitate to second-guess your work - there is always room for improvement
    - Get your lyrics read by others to get opinions
    - Remember, when the music is added to your lyrics a lot will change

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