Good music often has lyrics that read like poetry. Language is a powerful thing, and can speak to the soul. Pair the lyrics with the right instruments, melody, and rhythm, and you’ve got some truly powerful music on your hands. If you have been called to create music, you might be wondering how to even beginning writing song lyrics.
Brian Overton is a Christian Contemporary Musician and Co-Worship Leader. He is also a founding member of the worship music project, His Word Christian rock band. Today he shares his advice for writing song lyrics.
- Learn about different song structures. If you listen to a lot of music, you start to notice that a lot of songs follow a similar structure. In most songs there is an introduction, verses, a chorus, and possibly a bridge. Learn what these are, and try to identify them in the music you enjoy.
- You can also completely ignore the structure of songs and go for something more free-form and poetic, though it can be difficult to do this as a beginner.
- Keep a journal on you at all times for when inspiration strikes. Even when inspiration doesn’t come, it is good to keep a daily journal practice to get the creative juices flowing. If you are stuck on a blank page, try this simple exercise: start writing down any random thing that pops into your head and don’t stop writing. You can set a time for 10 to 15 minutes and just keep writing.
- Let go of the expectation of perfection. Just write down all of your ideas and leave the editing part until later on. Don’t let perfectionism keep you from writing anything at all.
- Practice different ways of writing music. You can go with lyrics first, or try coming up with the melody on an instrument first. Try new things to find what works for you.