Advice on writing lyrics

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Advice on writing lyrics

Postby iDeltaVelocity » 22 Apr 2014 22:54

I made this new Progressive House song which is intended to be feature Silver Spoon from the show, and the thing is, I really want this song to have lyrics in it. It's something I've never tried before so I think it could be a good thing for me to start learning.

So far, though, I got nothing.

I could really use some advice on how to write lyrics, if you can help.
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Re: Advice on writing lyrics

Postby Stuntddude » 23 Apr 2014 06:49

Don't focus on making every line part of a perfect rhyming scheme. If you're focusing more on how to rhyme the lyrics than how to make the lyrics sound natural and actually mean something, it's very likely you'll end up with something I like to call "Aviators syndrome" - where your lyrics sound incredibly contrived and mindnumbingly lame in general. Just listen to any one of about half of the songs on Aviators's album Mirrors and you'll hear what I mean. Try to write what you mean at first and then modify it to better fit a rhyme and rhythm as you need to later.

Also, try to avoid incredibly cliche things, unless you're going to use them ironically. That tends to include rhyming light, night, fight, bright, etc. together (I'm pretty sure this is literally the most obvious and overused rhyme in existence at this point). Especially, ending lines with "tonight" makes me want to rip things apart.

Try not to spell everything out literally, unless again you're intending it to be ironic. Don't be like 90% of pop lyricists.

Also, you can take this with a grain of salt as I have yet to release any song with my own lyrics, although I'm pretty sure what I've said is somewhat common knowledge.
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Re: Advice on writing lyrics

Postby iDeltaVelocity » 23 Apr 2014 12:00

That's actually some pretty helpful advice. Thanks.

I can tell this is gonna be something really challenging for me.
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Re: Advice on writing lyrics

Postby itroitnyah » 23 Apr 2014 14:39

Fantastic, I have just the thing for you then. A copy-pasta from one of my older posts:

Find your rhyme pattern based on how many lines you want.

Do you want to have 4 lines? 6? Do you want the rhyme pattern to go ABABAB? ABBA? How you set up the lines will really help to add or release certain emotions or whatever.

Like, ok.

I loved her so
I loved her so
I loved her so


See how there are an uneven amount of lines in that verse/chorus thing? Try singing them. There seems to be a problem, and the problem is that this verse wants to continue. It doesn't feel resolved. Now try:

I loved her so
I loved her so
I loved her so
I loved her so


It feels much more resolved, almost like it's saying "Alright, let's stop here". Use this to your advantage.


Ok, now rhyming. There are many types of rhymes that you can use, and the way you use them can be incredibly helpful as well.

Perfect rhymes are perhaps the best known because reasons. Perfect rhymes are like "pack" and "stack". There are three requirements to make a perfect rhyme, and they are 1) Identical vowel sounds 2) Identical sounds following the vowel (if any) and 3) The rhyming syllables begin differently. It sounds elementary and it is.

The next set of rhymes that you need to know about are the family rhymes. They essentially work based on how we form consonants. There are three categories of family rhymes, the plosives, fricatives, and nasals. The plosives are the consonants that "explode" out of our mouths. "P" and "T" are good examples of this. there's a chart that goes along with this.

b -> p
d -> t
g -> k


You'll also notice that the consonants listed next to each other sound like each other (try "buh" and "puh"). The next group of family rhymes require us to create friction between our lips, teeth and/or tongue in order to form them. "th" is a good example of this. Obligatory chart:

v -> f
TH -> th
z -> s
zh -> sh
j -> ch

The "TH" and "th" are hard and weak

Just like the plosives, the fricatives next to each other also sound alike. Finally, the nasals. These are easy to guess, since they're the consonants that you use you nose to sound out. "mmmmm" is a good example. Another obligatory chart:

m
n
ng


You'll notice that the nasals don't have other consonants on the other side of them, and that is because they are all companions. In fact, with all three of the categories, all of the consonants on the same side of the arrows are companions, and if I am correct (not 100% sure about this), but they can be rhymed much like their matches on the other side of the arrow, so "z" can be rhymed with "TH".

Ok, before we wrap up rhymes, I should let you know that there are other forms of rhymes, but I don't know them because I stopped watching the Songwriting course videos before they explained the other rhymes (although I have them all downloaded. I'll get around to watching the rest of the class, I swear!). The point of learning the perfect and family rhymes is because the less perfect the rhymes are, the more unstable the rhyme becomes. This will be a big helper in pushing emotions. In a love song about a break up, you can use more family and other unstable rhymes to help subtly display emotional breakdown, which breakdowns are generally unstable, haha.


Ok, before you go, one more tip on composition.

There are 6 fundamental questions you need, or should answer in your song.

1. Who is it Is there a central character? A group of people? A "narrator"?
2. What do you have to say Is there a problem? A celebration?
3. Why are you saying it If the problem is a break up government shut down, why did it happen? Why did you win a car?
4. When is it Was this a while ago? Current? Going to happen in the near or far future?
5. Where is it At you house? In the city? At your girlfriend's house the White House? On a lake?
6. How does it all come together Pretty much put the puzzle together so that the lyrics form the story you're trying to tell.

With #6, you need to put the story together well. You can't talk about being in love with your girlfriend in the first verse, breaking up in the second, and the first time you met in the third.

Put all these things together and then your songs will hold some more emotion and get the message across better.

All/most of this information came from a free songwriting course on Coursera, and there's obviously much more to lyric writing than this, but these are the basics.
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Re: Advice on writing lyrics

Postby iDeltaVelocity » 23 Apr 2014 17:39

Wow.

That's pretty much all I have to say in response, haha. What I'm trying to do is write lyrics from Silver's point of view, so I guess it is narrative. But past that, I got nothing.
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Re: Advice on writing lyrics

Postby Freewave » 24 Apr 2014 17:17

iDeltaVelocity wrote:Wow.

That's pretty much all I have to say in response, haha. What I'm trying to do is write lyrics from Silver's point of view, so I guess it is narrative. But past that, I got nothing.


What is it about Silver Spoon that you want to write a song about? That she's a follower of Tiara and not really a bully? That she's a submissive? Or that she secretly enjoys other pain and suffering? Or that she secretly hates herself? Or do you want to write about a specific episode and just those circumstances?

It's really up to you to figure out what lyrics and story you are going to be telling. If you're still stuck read some fimfiction of her and get an idea or write about that fic (and give credit if you do).

Honestly songs don't write themselves. If you're wanting to write a song with lyrics you really have to have something you want to write about.... At least a few sentences or a chorus from the outset to start with and then build outwards from there.

I use rhymezone a LOT. Its a great site for coming up with similar sounding word choices....
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Re: Advice on writing lyrics

Postby iDeltaVelocity » 24 Apr 2014 18:45

Honestly songs don't write themselves. If you're wanting to write a song with lyrics you really have to have something you want to write about.... At least a few sentences or a chorus from the outset to start with.


I am working on a chorus line. I got a few things written down that I think can work.

It's really up to you to figure out what lyrics and story you are going to be telling. If you're still stuck read some fimfiction of her and get an idea or write about that fic (and give credit if you do).


Thanks. I might try that.
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