October 31, 2020

How to Write Great Lyrics – 5 Tips for Beginners!

Hello friends and welcome back to Swift lessons for another weekly challenge.

In recent weeks have talked to you a lot about songwriting, I gave you my top tips to help you get started and also taught you how to analyze your favourite songs, so you could draw some inspiration Well today the challenge continues.

I'm going to encourage you to write your first set of lyrics And I've got five helpful tips to get you started! Okay getting started with tip number one consider common themes So this is the practice of relating your real-life experiences with common themes as a way to develop a more Universal sound to your music.

So some common themes include love, this could be love lost, unrequited Love, true love.

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and some song recommendations I have for you would be Paul McCartney's “Maybe I'm Amazed” – true love “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers and also one of my personal favorites, “Without You” – so love lost there by Harry Nilsson Another common theme would be coming-of-age.

so personal growth, changes, self-exploration.

Consider listening to “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac, it has some really beautiful lyrics.

Next we would have death – the loss of a loved one fear of the unknown, the afterlife some strong examples there would be “Comeback” by Pearl Jam or “Tears in heaven” by Eric Clapton, a really beautiful tune.

moving on we have rebellion – teenage angst – pressing against societal expectations.

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think fight for your right by the Beastie Boys or Joan Jetts “Bad Reputation.

” Okay, and the last thing that I would recommend you tap into would be disillusion So these are songs about activism, social injustice.

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think Marvin Gaye's “Mercy Mercy Me” Sam Cooke's the “Change is Gonna Come” or Neil Young's “Ohio.

” Okay, very good now We're thinking of common themes that brings us to tip number two, search for stories So the inspiration for writing lyrics can come from a wide variety of different places it could be your personal experiences But it could also be the experiences of friends and family It could be something you've taken from a film a newspaper virtually any other kind of media.

Whenever I'm talking about Searching for stories one thing always comes to mind and that is Paul McCartney's description of the writing process behind “She's Leaving Home.

” I'm gonna read off my notes here because I don't want to misquote him.

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He says John and I wrote she's leaving home together.

It was my inspiration We had seen a story in the newspaper about a young girl who had left home and had not been found There was a lot of those at the time, and that was enough to give us the storyline so, always be looking for stories You'll find them in the interactions you have with other people, in the movies you see, in the stories You read.

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there's so much material out there for you.

Okay, very good everybody so far We're considering common themes we're searching for stories and that brings us to tip number three, to study rhyming schemes So this is the method of mapping out the different rhyming words you have at the end of each line in a song or poem The first rhyme is labeled A, the second B the third C, so on and so forth.

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So I'm gonna give you two examples of rhyming schemes The first one is the most basic just A, A, A, A and the example that I'm offering is “Yesterday” by Paul McCartney So I'm gonna read this off – it's yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away now It looks as though they're here to stay.

Oh, I believe in yesterday Okay, so very very basic all of those lines were a match now Let's take a look at a more complex pattern in “American Tune” by Paul Simon This is an A, B, A, B pattern, goes like this: Many's the time I've been mistaken and many times confused yes I've often felt forsaken and certainly misused so that was A, B, A, B And he continues that motif later in the song.

He says and I don't know a soul who's not been battered I don't have a friend who feels at ease.

I don't know a dream That's not been shattered or driven to its knees So every other line is a match and that's a very very common pattern, one that I definitely recommend that you get started with Okay, now moving on to tip number four; study song structures So it's very important to understand the different components that make up a song and also what the listener expects of those different sections So we have the verse section, this makes up the majority of the song It's gonna change throughout the tune and it's also where you're going to be telling your story, building up your characters Settingn the context.

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okay next we have the chorus; This is where you're gonna be looking for your “hook” It's that part of the song that's repeated over and over and over again It should be something that is simple, universal and something that really gets stuck in the listeners ear, okay And then we have the bridge; this is an optional section That usually happens somewhere around the 3/4 mark within the song It should have its own unique chord progression and most importantly it's function is To renew the interest of your listener before you launch them into a solo or another chorus And then finally we have your coda This is basically an outro usually a very simple line often taken from Another part of the song and then repeat it over and over again as the song fades out So there you have it you have your verse telling your story, your chorus setting up your hook – creating that “ear-worm” for your listener.

the bridge renewing the interest of your listener And then the coda bringing the song to a close Okay, now moving on to my fifth and final tip for writing great lyrics, and that is to tell a story So a good lyricist knows how to convey context and emotion without directly telling you what their characters are feeling So for example in Paul McCartney's yesterday.

The subject is obviously conveying a feeling of deep sadness Maybe even a little bit of shame certainly nostalgia for a better past.

The lyrics are just vague enough to be universally relatable And they're not so explicit that they're boring.

That's probably one of the things that makes “Yesterday” one of the most successful songs in pop music history It's super relatable and so easy to fit those lyrics into the context of almost anybody's life So that's my final tip for you Tell a story, try not to be too literal, leave some things open for interpretation, and try to make things as universally relatable I hope you enjoyed these five tips and I hope that they're going to be useful for you as you break into writing your own Lyrics and I want you to know that these are only guidelines as you write more and more you're gonna develop your style you'll find Yourself going outside of these guidelines and making things your own.

I want to thank my Patrons for making all these lessons possible I hope you're enjoying all your extra resources; exclusive lessons, backing tracks, and PDFs I've got many more videos coming up so keep checking back, please subscribe, please share This is Rob at Swift Guitar Lessons in Philadelphia saying happy pickin'.

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