Learn how to write lyrics if you are a music artist. Here are some of the best songwriting tools and resources to help with writing lyrics.
Becoming a good songwriter doesn’t happen overnight. You become a good songwriter by practicing and studying the greats.
Here are 11 tips and suggestions to help you become a better songwriter.
- 1. Freestyle + Audio Recorder
- 2. Make Song Writing a Daily Habit
- 3. Create a System to Capture and Organize Lyrics
- 4. Start with the Hook
- 5. Study Popular Music
- 6. Use Song Writing Apps
- 7. Widen Your Vocabulary
- 8. Use a Thesaurus
- 9. Rewrite Lyrics for An Existing Song
- 10. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
- 11. Practice Object Writing
- Additional Tips for Writing Lyrics
How to Write Lyrics
1. Freestyle + Audio Recorder
Our first suggestion on helping you to get your songwriting ideas out is to simply freestyle your lyric ideas into an audio recorder, this can be a app on your phone.
When you first have an idea you want to capture it right away, and the best way to do this is recording audio.
You don’t want to lose your idea because you aren’t typing fast enough or getting distracted by typos.
When you are capturing an idea you just want to let the ideas flow. With audio you can capture the energy, flow, and pattern of the actual lyrics.
So try to capture vocal ideas on your phone and convert them to text later.
The goal is to not let the process of capturing your ideas to stop your creativity, so make capturing ideas as easy as possible.
2. Make Song Writing a Daily Habit
The best way to get good at anything is repetition. Which means the more you practice, the better you will become.
This means even writing lyrics when you don’t want to. So maybe write lyrics on how you don’t want to write lyrics.
Forcing yourself to write daily is like exercising your mind, the more you exercise the stronger you get in the easier it becomes.
J. Cole talks about his writing process for “Born Sinner” and how he’s evolved from his earlier music projects.
3. Create a System to Capture and Organize Lyrics
I suggest using a note-taking app like Evernote to organize your songwriting ideas. It is a free popular note-taking app.
With the app you can type out lyric ideas, add tags to a note to group your ideas, and you can easily search through the text to find ideas in the future.
You can also include audio recordings with notes so you have an audio reference to go with the typed-out lyrics.
Here are some ways you can use Evernote for songwriting:
- Use audio dictation to capture ideas
- Use the text to speech feature to here lyrics read back to you
- Create a note with links to favorite songwriting tools, articles, and examples.
- Add tags to your different lyrics like genre, feeling, and mood
4. Start with the Hook
The hook of a song is usually the most important and catchy part of a song
It’s important because is usually repeated multiple times throughout the song, and creating a catchy hook is how your song will be remembered
So try to start with a hook if possible, because once you do you will have a direction for this song.
So what makes a hook good? Check out this video on why we love repetition:
5. Study Popular Music
Research the Billboard Hot 100 Chart over the last couple of years and try to understand why certain songs are so popular.
Where the songs popular because of the beat, the hook, or something else that was going on in the music industry at the time.
The same way artist study popular painting artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent van Gogh.
You should study successful music artists to understand what type of music they created to get to where they are.
6. Use Song Writing Apps
You can use online rhyming dictionaries to help give you more ideas when writing lyrics.
7. Widen Your Vocabulary
The wider your vocabulary the more words you have at your disposal when it comes to writing songs.
So make it a habit to keep learning new words to add to your vocabulary.
Also take time to study the most commonly used words and songs in your desired music genre.
You don’t need to copy these different songs but with the information you can learn how to use it to apply to your songs.
8. Use a Thesaurus
We all have words that we may use over and over when writing or speaking.
So use a thesaurus to help find alternative words so you don’t repeat the same word over and over when writing a song.
9. Rewrite Lyrics for An Existing Song
If you are struggling creatively try writing lyrics over an existing instrumental that inspires you.
These lyrics can potentially be used on a future song you create for yourself.
10. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
People often tend on focus to the side of the spectrum they’re most familiar with.
It’s important to get out of your comfort zone every once in a while.
Listen to music genres you’ve never given a chance to before, analyze lyrics that you judge far from your style, and put them side to side with your favorite songs.
Searching for new material may spark your creativity.
11. Practice Object Writing
Object writing is a powerful exercise most famously presented by Berklee’s songwriting professor Pat Pattison in his book Writing Better Lyrics.
It consists of picking a random object, emotion, or event (for instance: a chair, sadness, mornings…), and writing everything about it using all your senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch, and so on).
You don’t need to worry about creating complete or tidy sentences, the whole purpose is to get your thoughts flowing.
There are numerous benefits to this practice: it helps you write faster, it sharpens your senses, and it quickstarts your creativity
Here is a video that gives you a quick introduction to objective writing:
Additional Tips for Writing Lyrics
- If you have writer’s block take a break and go for a walk.
- Be patient, good lyrics evolve. You can always capture your ideas and revisit them later.
- Share your lyrics with others to ask for feedback.
Conclusion on Writing lyrics
Writing good lyrics is easy if you take the right steps and practice it constantly.
Make sure you practice lyric writing every day and make it a part of your daily life. You’ll sharpen your skills in no time.
Read more books and poetry to help you with language.
Practice a technique called objective writing whenever you can.
Show your lyrics to friends and ask for their opinion.
Do you have any tips on how to write lyrics?
Please share it below.