Writing a Great Song Lyric

Need some tips on how to write a great song lyric? Check out these tried and true techniques guaranteed to have you writing better songs.

Start With the Title

It's always easier to write that new song when you have a good working title.

The chorus will be more effective if it contains the title more than once, and every line of lyric should relate back to it.

Try to come up with a compelling and unique title. If you have an idea of what to write a song about, try to find a way to express that idea it in four words or less.

Write from Emotion

When you write from emotion you will find your lyrics become more intense. Writing about someone or something you are passionate about gives a sense of urgency to your song.

In other words, when you care it shows.

You have to walk a fine line here. You want to make it personal enough so that the emotion comes through loud and clear, but you don't want to make it so personal that nobody can relate to it but you.

Write a Short Story

When you've decided upon a song idea, write it down in short story form, before actually writing your lyrics. It doesn't have to be long. Just a page or two ought to be enough.

Tell me what happened. Give it a beginning and an ending. Include characters' names and descriptions even if you don't intend to use that information in your song.

Doing this will give you a clear idea of where your song is going to go. It's much easier to write a good song when your subjects and their actions have already sprung to life.

Visualise the Story

This is much like the last tip, except you are going to do it in your head. Imagine your short story as a film. Close your eyes and picture the scene. Notice the colours and the smells. Notice the expressions on your characters' faces, and the tone of their voices.

Write down all of your observations. When writing lyrics fill in these details.

These are the details that will give your song lyric depth and realism. People love it when they can listen to a song and see the story unravel.

Don't Stress on the Rhyme

Don't be too concerned about coming up with that perfect rhyme, at least not at first. Write what you want to say, and have it make sense. Then try to work in the rhymes.

But keep in mind that the rhyme is by no means the most important aspect of a good song lyric. Many hit songs have been written without much rhyme at all.

Incorporating a good rhyming scheme can be a powerful tool for connecting your song with your audience. But don't compromise what you want to say just for the sake of making it rhyme.

Rewrite that Song Lyric!

I know, I'm starting to sound like a broken record here! But rewriting is a must.

It's during the rewrite that you can make those rhymes fit nicely into your lyric.

It's when you can inject the details that will serve to fill up your listeners' senses.

It's during the rewrite that your song begins to really come to life, so please don't skimp on this one!


Try these techniques for yourself. I believe you'll find them all to be practical and effective tools that you can use to help you write a better song lyric.

Happy writing!


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