Not everyone will agree, but for me, songwriting is all about getting the message across. It’s your content that matters the most while your music is there to lift it.
The question is, how can you write better lyrics? Are there more effective ways on how to write song lyrics?
Well, you are in luck because I’ve laid out a couple of tips on how to write lyrics better.
1. Pick a topic or a theme.
Songwriting is much like poetry. You can even say that songwriting is poetry set to music.
People are triggered or inspired to write lyrics through different means — some out of anger, others out of love.
Whatever the subject matter that you choose, it all boils down to one apparent reason – you need to talk about a central theme.
It’s easier to write content around a particular subject rather than writing aimlessly without knowing what you are writing about.
Use KEYWORDS to trigger ideas.
Most inexperienced songwriters would do something like this – get a pen and paper and start writing.
Naaahhh… I doubt that will work smoothly for most people. Let me show you a trick so good, it’s one of my effective ways on how to write song lyrics.
Although there are gifted lyricists, the vast majority of songwriters don’t have that gift of writing in an instance. They usually take time. If you are still reading this article, then most probably, you are one the vast majority I am talking about.
Now, enough sidetracking.
Keywords are super useful tricks to jumpstart your lyrics. How do you go about using them?
First, we presume you have already chosen a topic to write about.
Here’s an example to elaborate on my point.
Topic: Rainy Days
As you can see, I wrote five (5) random keywords that I think are connected with my topic about rainy days. Now, the next thing I need to do is to connect these keywords and fill in some words in between until I get my lyrics going.
On a COLD Tuesday night and a COFFEE in my hand
Under a BLANKET of WET memories alone I stand
Haha, I just made things up, and it doesn’t seem right, but I managed to fill in some words in between the keywords I wrote. Now, I have written myself some weird lyrics which I can fine-tune as the writing progress.
How about another example?
Topic: Cheating Girlfriend
Now, let’s see what sort of things I can conjure out of this list of words about a cheating girlfriend.
Her BEAUTY entices every man that looks at her.
The words from her lips only spell DANGER
An angel I once thought I’d never HATE
Has triggered only ANGER as of late.
Well, I think you are getting the point of how to use KEYWORDS to your advantage if you want to write lyrics for your songs.
Before we continue, you might want to check these 17 Guaranteed Tips To Make Better Songs.
2. Ask, What’s Your Point of View?
When a singer sings your song, the singer establishes a relationship with the audience. It means the singer expresses the idea of the song.
So, where can you find ideas? They are everywhere. You need to know what you are going to say to your audience or listeners or how you are going to say it.
Remember, when writing your lyrics, you are expressing your point of view to your audience.
1. The Third Person Point Of View
This writing in a way where the singer is the storyteller. It’s like watching a movie where everyone is not involved, and the singer is the storyteller.
Here’s an example.
He told her the words “I love you,” but she couldn’t say it back.
The singer is asking the listener to observe He and Her from afar. It’s like watching a guy saying “I love you” to a girl and got rejected.
It’s taking a look at things from a distant view.
2. The First Person Point of View
This point of view of writing is very intimate and up close. We start zooming in the camera and get much more in the story.
Example: I have given her everything, even the stars, and the moon, but she won’t love me back.
Notice how the singer becomes the person involved in the story, and the audience now gets a more intimate view of everything.
The singer now is telling the audience something about himself.
3. The Second Person Point of View
Now, another exciting way of writing a song is to set the lyrics from the second-person point of view.
The singer becomes the middle man of the story.
Example: You have given her everything and yet could not love you back.
The singer becomes some advisor for the audience who have experienced something similar to our example.
3. Using Mind Maps To Visualize Your Lyrics
Sometimes, visualizing things can enhance the songwriting experience. It’s pretty much like using keywords but a lot more visual.
Mind maps act as a visual presentation of how you will go about writing your lyrics.
You put your main topic at the center of your map and start writing keywords around it. Use lines to connect your keywords to your main subject.
A mind map is like drawing the sun. You use a circle and inside the circle resides your main topic. Around the circle are all the keyword ideas you wrote that revolve around the central theme.
Here is a link to a free mind map generator site that you can definitely use for your songwriting.
4. Experience Is The Best Teacher
They say, “You cannot give what you do not have.” That is true about songwriting, especially constructing your lyrics. At the end of all these effective ways on how to write song lyrics, experience sums it all.
Yes, you may write about something from an outsider’s point of view, but you are a more productive writer when you write it from the inside.
Meaning, it’s easier to write something you have experienced.
For example, let’s say you want to write on the topic of fishing.
You have never gone fishing before, so you sit down in front of a computer and google everything about fishing.
It just won’t work.
If you want to write a song about fishing, you must have gone fishing at least.
You can’t write a heartbreak song if you haven’t experienced it at all. It would be very shallow!
If you want to write about something, then experience it yourself!
Conclusion on effective ways on how to write song lyrics.
There are no rules in songwriting, especially in creating the lyrics. The things I have written here are only guides or tools which an artist can use at his or her disposal.
I want to provide a much smoother transition for those who want to improve their songwriting skills.
Everyone has to start somewhere, but if I can help you make the journey more comfortable, then I have accomplished my goal of writing this article.