#1 Rhyme for all you‘re worth!
Whether Rap, EDM, Pop Music or Metal - most song lyrics come along rhymed. House/mouse/louse/spouse - that can‘t be so hard. Yes, it can! It is said that there have been musicians and lyricists who lost their way in search of the best rhyme and were never seen again. The most important tip we can give you is: Rhyme! And do it as often as you can. By rhyming a lot, your brain will have built up a large rhyming vocabulary after a short time, just waiting to be used. In any case, Pumuckl would have made a good songwriter.
#2 Find new metaphors
A metaphor is a linguistic, stylistic device in which a word or expression is transferred from its actual context of meaning to another. It sounds complicated, but it‘s not. To make your own lyrics more interesting, metaphors are an often used tool by famous songwriters. Try to put the feelings your song conveys into new linguistic images. Example: Let‘s say you‘re writing a lyric about growing apart in a relationship. Now, of course, you could write a very obvious lyric like:
I have learned a lot from you
But we have grown apart
Or get creative and find ways to express yourself differently. First, locate the word you want to paraphrase. In this case, that would be „distance.“ Now look for things that are far away or represent long distances, such as clouds, the sun, the desert, or planets. For example, you could express moving away from each other as follows:
I know the world keeps turning for you
But another planet is where I live now
#3 Finding melodies through improvisation
Lyrics and melody go hand in hand and need each other like people need air to breathe. Often, songwriters are given instrumentals that already have a melody. An easy way to add words to these melodies is to improvise. Activate the loop function in your DAW, let the instrumental run and sing whatever comes to your mind. It doesn‘t matter if something rhymes or not, if it sounds good or not, if it makes sense or not. Often, after some time, a whole verse, a catchy hook or even a whole song may develop from meaningless babble. By the way, well-known musicians like Post Malone and UFO 361 often use this technique, too.
#4 Learn from the masters
The best teachers are those who are good at what they teach. This is also true in terms of songwriting. Look for the songwriters of the songs that mean the most to you and analyze the lyrics. Try to identify metaphors and rhyme structures and apply them to your songs. One of the best German songwriters, many music makers agree, is Rio Reiser. In his song „Land in Sicht,“ he uses a lot of linguistic imagery to help him express his feelings through creative linguistic imagery. For example, he sings:
Land in sight, the wind sings in my heart
The long journey is over
Morning light wakes up my soul
I live again and I am free
He expresses very poetically that a new time is dawning for him, a time that is positively colored and ends a negative episode.
Probably the most important tip for all aspiring songwriters is to live and experience. Simply put, how can you write lyrics about a breakup if you‘ve never broken up? How can you write lyrics about homesickness if you have never left home. Feelings are best put into words when you know how they feel, and it doesn‘t matter if they are positive or negative. When it comes to writing lyrics, you can create something positive out of your worst experiences and feelings, move people and make them think - and who knows, maybe your pencil will eventually get a whole stadium singing along.
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