Lyric Writing ConceptsThe first thing we need to address when we think of lyric writing concepts is exactly where we are in the writing process. There are three pillars to a song: lyrics, melody, and harmony or chord progression. And while it might be obvious, the order in which we create each pillar affects the next one dramatically. Therefore, there is no cute and tidy, one size fits all approach to lyrics, but a pliable, constantly evolving approach that reflects where we are in the song process.

A very high percentage of the aspiring songwriters who contact me got their beginnings writing verse. It is important to note that verse is not a lyric. Poetry stands alone, and each syllable creates the meter that gives the language its rhythmic context. In a lyric, depending on the melody it’s set to, there can be more than one note per syllable, and even several notes depending on the style. In addition, melody introduces the concept of timing, which means a word resting on a note could be held for more than one count, maybe even more than one measure. As a result, it can be a challenge considering a lyric apart from the melody that will express it. Continue reading »

My Songwriting Coach, Getting IdeasGetting ideas for your various songwriting projects can be one of the biggest challenges to a songwriter. I’m sure you can join me in remembering times when you felt like writing a song, or even felt musically inspired to write, and just seemed to sit and stare at an empty page, never quite coming up with that quality idea. Well, I have a great solution so that you will never or, at least rarely, have to endure that experience.

I propose that you keep with you at all times, a “line and title” notebook. Of course I realize it’s 2012, and you’re more likely to carry a Smart Phone, iPad or other tablet, laptop, or even a portable, digital voice recorder. However, there is nothing that triggers creative juices like holding the pen in your hand and writing it out the “old fashioned” way. Ask Sting. So I still recommend a small notebook; Nothing too big, but just a small, manageable journal book that you can write in. Continue reading »

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