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Drastically Improve Your Lyric Writing Skills With These 7 Tips

 by Autumn Huerter

A young woman writing song lyrics into her notebook

If you’ve been taking voice lessons in Kansas City for a while, you might be anxious to move onto a more creative step - song writing. For many musicians, writing lyrics can be a huge hang up and could stall your process, leading to frustration and disappointment. If this is happening to you, know that you’re not alone and there are things you can do to help. That is why today, our Music House team has compiled seven tips that could significantly improve your lyric writing skills. Check them out below!

Tip #1: Stick to cohesive imagery.

Right out of the gate, one of the first things you need to do is establish what kind of imagery you want for your song. For example, are you building the lyrics around metaphors related to the stars or outer space? If so, throwing in lines about something totally unrelated might come across jarring or confusing to your listener. Instead, sticking to cohesive imagery will help your song feel more fluid and have a deeper impact overall.

If you are struggling to stick to one metaphor or concept, look up different words related to said concept. You might be surprised where you find inspiration to develop your song and shape your lyrics!

Tip #2: Be creative but find balance.

It is no secret that music is all about creativity and self expression. Lyric writing can be a really impactful tool for sharing your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. If you are pursuing song writing, this means that you clearly have a message you want to communicate with your audience. 

While it’s important to be creative and share lines that are rich in metaphor and imagery, don’t forget to strike a balance and include a few lyrics that are more straightforward. After all, lyrics are just poetry with music notes attached! Most people won’t want to sit and read a poem composed of words that they don’t understand or lines that they can’t relate to. This same concept applies to listening to music as well.

Tip #3: Don’t be overly repetitive. 

Writing lyrics to a song is much like writing a story. While your chorus repeats, you don’t want the rest of our song to feel like you are saying the same thing over and over. This will get boring for both you and your listeners. Instead, think of how you want to progress your story forward. Having an ending in mind will help you create a song that is cohesive as well as entertaining and compelling.

Tip #4: Clearly communicate your message.

A key thing that you need to remember when writing your lyrics is that the listener doesn’t have the advantage of being able to read your mind. What might make sense to you could be confusing to your audience. That being said, ask a friend, band member, or fellow student taking voice lessons in Kansas City to check out what you’ve written and get their feedback. This peer input can be extremely valuable and help you to significantly hone your skills.

On the other hand, some lyrics are meant to be vague and open to interpretation and that’s great! But if there is something specific you are really passionate about and trying to communicate, you want to ensure that message comes across loud and clear.

Two friends writing a song together while playing piano

Tip #5: Make it memorable.

Other than sharing your thoughts and feelings, the other primary goal of writing a song is to make it memorable. This is especially true when it comes to your chorus. Think of some of your personal favorite songs - what does the chorus sound like? How is it formatted? What lines stand out to you the most or pack the most meaningful ‘punch’? 

Tip #6: Sing the lyrics aloud.

The written word can sound beautiful on paper but then be extremely difficult to articulate, especially while singing. That is why not all poetry translates well to a song format and vice versa. As you are writing your music, be sure to sing the lines aloud as you go. If there is a tongue twister that is hanging you up, scrap it from the song or figure out how to reword it. If your lyrics sound like the terms and agreement contract for a new electronic, remove excess or unnecessary words. Your first draft is rarely, if ever, your final draft. Don’t be discouraged - keep trying new things until you find what works!

Tip #7: Above all else, have fun!

There will be times that song writing, especially writing lyrics, is going to be extremely difficult or feel taxing. While this is bound to happen, don’t be afraid to take a breather when you need to. Put your more serious song down and write out some silly lyrics to give yourself a mental reset. Collaborate with a friend or fellow Music House student to create something fun or off the wall. Not forcing it and giving yourself breaks will make the overall songwriting process more enjoyable.

The Best Music Lessons in Kansas City

If you are an aspiring musician or simply want to hone your vocal skills, taking voice lessons in Kansas City can be a great place to start! Here at Music House, our incredible and talented instructors are here to help you every step of the way. Our program encourages students to participate in real world music situations, including performing on stage in front of a live audience, joining a band, and jamming with our professionals. 

If you are interested in learning more, contact us today! With convenient locations in Lenexa, Overland Park, and Prairie Village, we are ready to teach you regardless of what part of Kansas City you may be in.

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Written by Autumn Huerter
Autumn Huerter
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