I recently read the story of a man who wants to write lyrics for a 3-string guitar. I like to write stories, and I am always looking for ways to make them more interesting. The story of this man is great, but it just did not seem very exciting.
After all, what is an old guitar and how can I use it? Then I thought about my own life: most of the songs that we have written have been in something close to this format:
1) You can learn how to write lyrics for a song for your guitar by reading this article (or follow the link below).
2) Consider that it is one of several thousand books out there on how to write songs.
3) If you are writing a book on songwriting, consider that you need to include step-by-step instructions on how to write lyrics using the above method. If you want the reader of your book to be able to improvise lyrics when they read along with you, which would be better? Writing or improvisation?
4) What does it sound like when you sing these songs? Does it sound like an approachable voice or does it sound like a bad joke? In other words, do these words in fact sound good or does the voice come across as gimmicky or nonsensical? I am sure that if I were writing a song, I would also want my words to be well-constructed and well-written from beginning to end — especially if they were meant for an audience — but those are not always practical considerations.
But what if someone wanted me as their lyricist? And what if they really wanted me as their lyricist and showed some interest in collaborating with me so that we could create music together without having me do all the work (i.e., match their current style and goals while they figure out where they want their music going)? Then what could be done? What could we do together to make our music better than anyone else’s right now? Well… first, let’s take a look at this 3-string guitar
Step 1: Finding the Topic of Your Song
While the music industry is certainly not free from plagiarism, the reality is that most musicians don’t realize this until it’s too late. They often write lyrics for a song that does not accurately represent their view of reality.
So what is a singer to do? Don’t believe me? Well, you can always just make up a song. It doesn’t have to be true, just as long as it sounds good. This is where an experienced songwriter can help.
The first thing I must mention is to acknowledge that you are going to write down the words of someone else’s songs and make them yours. That might sound weird — but so what? You are writing songs and making music with someone else’s lyrics, which means you need to understand how they fit into your own musical language in order to write them down properly.
Second, take some time to get familiar with how the other person wrote their songs, so you know the basic “rules of thumb” for putting together lyrics that work well together:
1) Make sure each syllable has a beginning consonant followed by a vowel;
2) When making up a line, put every syllable on its own line;
3) Put the word at the beginning of each line;
4) Use only one capital letter per word (unless otherwise noted);
5) If there is more than one syllable in a word, put each syllable on its own line (e.g., “I think she got jealous because he was looking at my boobs today!” becomes “I think she got jealous because he was looking at my boobs today! I think she got jealous because he was looking at my boobs today!”);
6) If there are two syllables in a word and they both end in ‘y’, they should be placed on separate lines (e.g., “I think she got jealous because he was looking at my boobs today! I think she got jealous because he was looking at my boobs today! I think she got jealous because he was looking at my boobs today!).
7) If there are two or more syllables in a word and they both end in ‘e’ or ‘i’, they should be placed on separate lines (e.g., “What do you see when you look in this mirror? Do you see me? Do you see me?! Do you see me
Step 2: Understanding the Lyrics’ Purpose
The story goes that the guitar is a 3-string instrument which comes with strings, and it just sits there on a wooden stand. The story goes that the guitar is doomed, because it’s got no melody and no lyrics. People who came after said that with enough practice, you could play the guitar and write songs. And if you did enough of those, you’d eventually be able to sing them. And then they went and wrote songs for a 3 string guitar.
Step 3: Brainstorming a List of Lyrics
A key problem facing businesses today is how to effectively communicate their goals, mission, product and value proposition. Every business has a written mission statement. This is a good place to start but it’s not enough. As you work on your business plan, make a list of all the things that you want to accomplish in the first year or year-and-a-half of your business. Write out all the lyrics to all the songs that you would like to write for each one of those objectives.
Now take each song and brainstorm for about 10 minutes on how you can write a lyric for it. As you are brainstorming, don’t stop until you have several ideas that are totally different from each other (perhaps in styles/genres). Repeat this process until you have a list of at least 3 songs that have lyrics for at least 3 different musical instruments (guitar, piano/keyboard and voice). Now, take those three songs and write one or two lyrics for them (i.e., one or two lyrics per instrument). Now, go back to your original list of objectives and add those two or three new words around each of the objectives on your list. That is when it really gets fun!
Step 4: Creating the Chorus and Bridge
“A good chorus is a key part of the songwriting process. The chorus typically explains the underlying message or theme of the song, and provides a structure that connects all the verses together. The bridge is often an extension of the chorus, describing a new twist in the story.”
In the last 10 years, with the rise of the internet and mobile devices, there has been a remarkable growth in the number of people around the world who are able to both read and write songs. But this ability is not just limited to the very rich: it is accessible to anyone with a computer and a microphone.
If you’ve ever written any sort of song, you know that writing lyrics is not an easy task. You have to think about melody, harmony, rhythm, and chord progressions — it’s all there in your head; but somehow, you have to put all that stuff together into something that makes sense enough for a song to be taken seriously. There are lots of ways to get started: sing-alongs on YouTube, “cover songs” by famous artists on Facebook pages like “Song Lyrics for Your Song” or “Lyrics for Your Song” pages on YouTube (where you can also post your own lyrics), or even just writing down what comes into your mind when you sit down at your piano or guitar for hours at a time. It may seem tedious at first — but once you have mastered the process, it becomes quite enjoyable. This series of blog posts will teach readers how to do exactly this.