Video #5: Images Bring Your Lyric to Life

To listen to the song examples in this video, be sure to turn on Youtube “Annotations.” Click on the square speech bubble at the bottom of the video screen. Or you can listen on Spotify, Rdio, or any stream-on-demand music website.

Rhymes – Not As Important As You Think!

Working on an early draft of a song?  Don’t worry about rhyming too early. Forcing a rhyme can twist your song out of shape, making a line sound unnatural. Worse, it can make you say something you don’t mean. That’s when listeners start to tune out. Instead…

1st: Say what you want to say. Write a couple of lines that express the heart of your song. (Don’t think about rhyming.) Continue reading “Rhymes – Not As Important As You Think!”

Add Emotion to Your Lyrics

Moon and LoversLet’s say you’re in love with someone and you want to let that person know how you feel. You could simply walk up to them and say, “I love you.” That might work. Or you could make an effort to create the right surroundings: a walk along the beach, holding hands on a summer evening under a twilight sky, and as the moon rises and hangs like a giant disco ball in the sky, you whisper, “I love you.”

Without a doubt, the second option seems more likely to convey your I-love-you message convincingly (except for the disco ball). And while it’s not guaranteed to make the other person love you in return, as a songwriter it’s definitely going to give your audience a better chance to feel what you’re feeling and believe you really are in love! And that’s what songs are all about.

When you give your listeners the details of an experience in a way they can see, feel, and touch, you draw them into the experience: they picture the beach at sunset, feel the warm air, and hear the words that are spoken. They’re involved in your situation without even thinking about it. Using the physical senses – sight, sound, smell, touch, taste – to convey emotions is much, MUCH more effective than simply telling your audience what you feel. Here’s how you do it.  Continue reading “Add Emotion to Your Lyrics”

What Is Song Structure?

Most songs are made up of of three different sections: Verse, Chorus, and Bridge.  Many hit songs have the form: Verse/Chorus/Verse/Chorus/Bridge/Chorus.

Here’s how the sections work together:

CHORUS: The chorus has the same melody AND the same lyric each time we hear it. The lyrics sums up the emotional heart of the song. It’s the section that listeners will  remember and want to hear again and again. Be sure to include your title in your chorus so listeners know what to call your song. The title is often in the first or last line, sometimes both.

VERSE: The verses all have the same melody but different lyrics. A verse takes us deeper into the feelings or situation that created the feelings in the chorus. Because the chorus is repeated three or more times, you can keep it interesting by giving listeners more information in each verse – something that reveals more about the chorus and deepens our feelings or understanding of it. Continue reading “What Is Song Structure?”