How to Write Lyrics to Music

For many songwriters who began playing music before writing it, music comes more easily than lyrics.  We have loads of musical bits lying around without any lyric.  When we try to write the words, we have trouble saying what we want to say in the space of our melody.  The result is lots of unfinished songs.

So what can we do?  Below are some tutorials offering tips to writing lyrics to your original music.  I hope you find at least a few of these tools generate some momentum for you, and help you finish more of your songs.

Another consider is the stress pattern of the melody, which we’ll need to match with our lyric stress patterns.  This tutorial skims the surface of this element of songwriting.  To really begin to master this tool, I suggest Berklee Online’s course ‘Writing Lyrics to Music.’

The harmonies we write carry with them an emotional tone.  That tone can suggest imagery and language.  Below are some tips to harnessing that tone and generating lyric ideas from it.

Sometimes our job is to write lyric and melody to a track or harmonic progression.  It can feel limiting to be confined to a harmonic progression or emotion of a track, but it can also be freeing as we focus entirely on how to use melody and lyric to their best potential.

Thank you for watching, and happy writing!


Simple Tools for Writing Melody

In this video, I talk about two important melodic tools: ‘motive‘ and ‘repetition.’ Most melodies we know and love use these two tools in predictable patterns.  The patterns help us to write more accessible songs.  After writing ‘in’ the box of accessibility, we understand better when we can write ‘outside’ that box, too.

I hope this video helps you feel more confident as you write melody and harmony.  Happy writing!