Is there a musician anywhere in the world who wouldn’t love to write better lyrics?
We certainly don’t think so!
But as you will be aware, writing lyrics isn’t the easiest thing in the world, and it can be difficult to find the creativity and inspiration you need to get your ideas down in front of you.
So, with this in mind, we introduce you to ten tried-and-tested tips that will transform your writing and enable you to write better lyrics that your fans will adore.
Without further ado, let’s dive in and find out some of the ways you can write better songs.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Writing is a skill. And just like any other skill, you need to practice in order to perfect it.
The only way that you can truly succeed as a lyricist is to practice writing at every opportunity. When an idea pops into your head, have a go at jotting down a couple of verses in your notebook.
As lyricists are creative types, it’s not necessary to allocate specific times of the day to practice writing, as this might not work so well for you. It’s much better to latch onto ideas as and when they appear before trying to formulate a structure around the words that you’ve written down.
And the golden rule when you’re practicing is this – your lyrics don’t have to be perfect!
Writing is an iterative process. You will write some lyrics that don’t make sense, others that make you laugh, and some that are downright ludicrous. But they all contribute to your end goal and will help you write better lyrics in the long run.
As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect.
Start with Topics That Resonate with You
When talking about writing lyrics, Taylor Swift said:
“My experience with songwriting is usually so confessional; it’s so drawn from my own life and my own stories.”
What’s the lesson here? Well, it’s easier to write about something that you can resonate with. And while you don’t necessarily need to replicate Taylor’s melodramatic approach to songwriting, drawing from personal experience to write better lyrics will undoubtedly stand you in good stead.
Every musician is different, but basing your lyrics on a topic that you know well and are emotional about will serve you well when you’re trying to compose a song.
One of the reasons why so many people write about love, relationships, and break-ups (like Taylor!) is that we can all resonate with the emotions that such events engender.
So, plan to base your next song on a topic that resonates with you, and you will find it much easier to write coherently and passionately.
Study Lyrics by Other Musicians that Inspire You
While you might think that listening to music is the perfect way to motivate yourself to write better lyrics, you’re actually better to read and study lyrics by musicians that inspire you.
Take the first two verses of The Beatles’ classic Yesterday when written down:
Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away.
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.
Suddenly, I’m not half the man I used to be.
There’s a shadow hanging over me.
Oh, yesterday came suddenly.
What’s striking about these lyrics is that they make perfect sense when you read them from the page, and their simplicity is their greatest asset.
When you listen to songs and try and follow the lyrics, it’s easy to get lost in the song’s melody, and you can lose focus of what the artist is trying to express.
However, reading and studying song lyrics will help you write better lyrics, as you can easily understand what the musician is trying to say.
Infuse Your Personality into What You Write
As a musician, your creativity and personality make you who you are. People fall in love with music that has a personality and makes them feel a certain way.
Instead of trying to mask your personality when writing lyrics, be sure to infuse it into the words you write down on the page in front of you.
If you consider some of the most popular musicians in recent times, you will find that they have put their soul into their music.
As you’re forging a reputation for yourself as a musician, don’t shy away from exploring and promoting who you are in your music. Not only will this help you write better lyrics, but it will also ensure your fans can relate to your music and will help you forge a reputation for yourself within a certain genre.
Use a Thesaurus to Enhance Your Vocabulary
It’s impossible to understate the importance of using a thesaurus when you’re trying to write better lyrics as a musician. The average person has a vocabulary of around 20,000 words, but it’s more than possible to add to this when you set your mind to it.
Let’s look at an example.
Supposing you want to write about being sad in your upcoming track, there are so many synonyms you can find in a thesaurus to sharpen up your lyrics, including:
Unhappy, sorrowful, dejected, regretful, depressed, downcast, miserable, downhearted, despondent, despairing, disconsolate.
In this rather simple example, you’ve just added eleven words to your repertoire. And while you needn’t use all (or indeed any) of them, bolstering your vocabulary will undoubtedly help you to write better lyrics in the long run.
Write Conversationally, Not Formally
Some musicians fall into the trap of trying to write their lyrics formally as if they’re composing a poem or a haiku. But remember, you’re not submitting your song to your elementary school English teacher!
If you want to litter your track with poor grammar because it sounds earthy and raw, then absolutely go for it. The same is true for expletives, slang, and colloquialisms.
You’re in complete control of how you write your lyrics, and there’s absolutely no need for them to be grammatically correct.
The best way to think about writing lyrics is to compose your songs in a conversational tone. When you’ve written something down, if it sounds too rigid, it probably won’t fit well when coupled with your melodies.
Formality can stifle your creativity as a lyricist, so try your best to utilize a conversational tone if you’re keen to write better lyrics.
Define Your Genre and Write Within it
Although there’s no need to confine yourself within a genre, it is important to understand roughly where you would like to position yourself as a musician.
Of course, some genres overlap, but you need to try and loosely define yourself, so it makes the process of writing lyrics a little easier and more focused.
For instance, you might regard yourself as an R&B artist but with a passion for producing soul music. Soul is a sub-genre of R&B, and knowing that this is where you want to position yourself will help you draw inspiration from the right sources.
You might, for example, be drawn to the lyrics of Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, and Otis Redding if you’re keen to make a name for yourself as a soul artist.
And while you don’t have to entrap yourself within this specific genre, writing within it to produce your lyrics will enable you to focus your creative energy and produce lyrics that will resonate with your target audience.
When you’ve articulated your chosen genre, you will find it easier to write better lyrics that are relevant to the music that you’re trying to produce.
Avoid Overcomplicating Things
When you’re stuck in a rut as a lyricist, you can easily fall into the trap of overcomplicating things to try and come up with something unique. You might, for instance, pay too much attention to rhyming couplets and be obsessed with your lyrics sounding perfect.
Equally, you might be overly concerned with replicating a particular musician or producing lyrics that conform to a certain style or melody.
But when you’re too rigid and don’t allow your creativity to run wild, your ability to produce soulful and inspired lyrics will be affected.
If you find that you’re struggling to produce the lyrics that you really want to get down in front of you, the best thing to do is to strip everything away.
Grab a pen and a blank notebook and start jotting down some ideas and any lyrics that pop into your head. You should – quite literally – go back to the drawing board and cast aside any preconceptions about style or structure.
You will find that keeping things simple and rejecting conformity will enable you to write better lyrics unencumbered by stylistic conventions or industry expectations.
Collaborate with Other Musicians
It’s amazing how much inspiration you can draw from other musicians. Sitting down with another artist for a jamming or writing session will enable you to draw from another source of creativity first-hand.
If you sit down with an open mind and a blank notebook, the ideas that present themselves will inspire you to write better lyrics and even create complementary melodies.
While it’s a good idea to collaborate with musicians within your genre, some of the best collaborations in history have been when two totally contrasting musicians combine.
One live performance that sticks out is when Eminem collaborated with Elton John to perform Stan. While they didn’t write the track together, they are two of the most creative and accomplished lyricists in history, but they couldn’t be any more different in terms of style if they tried!
The point here is that you can take inspiration from other musicians regardless of their preferred genre, style, or approach to lyrics.
So, if you’re struggling to get some lyrics down that really speaks to you, reach out to other musicians that inspire you and seek out a collaboration.
Promote Your Lyrics in the Right Places
When you’ve put together some lyrics that you’re truly proud of, you’re all set to release your latest song and promote your music to your adoring fans!
But how do you ensure your perfectly written lyrics are heard by as many people as possible?
One way is to sign up for our YouTube Promotion service, where we help you increase your visibility and exposure on the platform. Instead of having to rely solely on organic traffic to bolster your popularity, our plans enable you to enjoy real engagement on YouTube and reach your target audience much more quickly.
Alternatively, you might prefer our Spotify Playlist Placement service. After putting all of that effort into curating the perfect lyrics, you want to make sure your song can be enjoyed by as many people as possible.
We can help you appear on a range of popular playlists on Spotify, which will ensure your song is exposed to thousands of users. You can choose your playlist by genre or mood and ensure your music is promoted in all the right places.
We hope that you are now inspired to go away and write better lyrics that you can be well and truly proud of. The ten techniques we’ve introduced can be employed by musicians, regardless of your genre or the stage of your career. The only thing that’s left to say is good luck, and we can’t wait to hear your next track!