Music has a way of conveying thoughts and emotions in a way that no other type of media can. Good song lyrics speak directly to the heart of the listener, and they can become entrenched within popular culture well into the future.
All aspiring songwriters want to create lyrics that will blow everyone away, but few take the time to really study the elements that make certain lyrics memorable. Use these tips when writing a song to help improve the quality of your future lyrics.
1. Start With a Song Seed
Memorable lyrics all share a unique feature: they all begin with a song seed. A song seed is essentially the central idea of the song. Your song seed can stem from a particular character, situation, memory, or emotion. The important thing is that the song seed is easily expressed and can serve as the foundation for an entire song.
All of the lyric phrases that are included in a memorable song support the song seed.
2. Establish a Point of View
Memorable lyrics usually have a very clear point of view. This means that the songwriter took the time to identify who the song would be addressed to and who would be telling the story before starting to write any lyrics. Establishing a clear point of view makes it easier for you to create a cohesive lyric story when writing a song.
Be sure that you stay true to your point of view throughout the song if you don't want your lyrics to confuse the listener.
3. Select a Song Form
All of the best songwriters utilize song form when crafting lyrics. There are many song forms out there, but each serves the purpose of acting as a roadmap for the lyrics of a song.
The song that you choose will determine when the tempo of the song should accelerate or slow down, and where the catchiest phrase of the song is located. A good understanding of song form allows you to utilize your chosen form as a guide for developing the musical form of the song. Lyrics and song form should complement one another if you want the lyrics of the song to be memorable.
Creating timeless lyrics isn't easy. Examine the lyrical structure of the most memorable songs in music today to help you get a feel for the qualities and characteristics that define good lyrics. You can implement these features into your own writing to improve the lyrics you produce over time. Listen to some top songwriters to pick up a few tricks to help your own music.