For a lot of bands, writing the proper songs and lyrics is one of the major factors for success. Sure, composing unique music is absolutely important, but the quality of the written words, the lyrics of a song that accompany the music, or vice verse, often makes whether a song will be remarkable or that it remains in the vast sea of unremarkable songs.
So what is it that makes a lyric great and remarkable lyric? Well, that’s tough to answer in a simple, straightforward way, but maybe it’s a good idea to take a closer look at some common mistakes that should be avoided at all times when you write lyrics. If you will avoid these mistakes, the quality of your lyrics, so also of your songs, will definitely gain in strength:
1. DOn’t Attempt to include too many ideas
The best lyrics usually explore a theme or tell a story, and exactly because it focuses on just that one idea, the song presents a strong cohesive feel right from the from first to the last verse. A common mistake made by many lyric writers is that they try to include multiple ideas or themes into one song. This often will lead to the notion that each separate theme or idea feels isolated from the song’s overall theme or idea. Keep it simple is key!
2. Include a clear hook line
The overall goal is that your listeners should remember your song for as long as possible, and long after it’s finished. That will make them fans of your song and you, and that’s what makes them come back time and again. Your song needs to include a clear and obvious hook line: this is key to your song’s success. This is exactly what will make your song remarkable. Practically all classic songs, nearly all songs that could stand the test of time, include a clear and obvious hook line.
3. Lyrics Must include a grounded idea
Your lyrics should always have a grounded underlying theme or idea that your audience can connect to. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with philosophical or metaphoric ideas, but to prevent your ideas from failing to reach your listeners, your lyrics really should be based on a grounded idea. A pretty good example of such a key ‘reference point’ is Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd. As philosophically and metaphorically it may be, the themes of the album were also basically rooted in England’s struggles at that time.
4. Avoid awkward phrasing
Many lyric writers make the mistake to sound ‘too artistic or over-interesting’. So they start writing and phrasing in an awkward, sort of backward style. They start to break up phrases in an unnatural way that doesn’t make any sense, except to be just ‘different’. And this is wrong! Your lyrics (like any other lyrics) will be best when you write them in such a way that the listener can understand them, that they will make sense to your audience. No matter whether your style is conversational or other, straightforward lyrics will generally connect far easier to the listener than awkwardly composed lyrics.
5. keep your Lyrics genuine
When you’re not a romantic, when you’re not political, and so on, do NOT try to sound like one. Disingenuous lyrics very easily and quickly will sound like that, and that’s a fantastic way to lose your audience. Regardless of your song’s theme or idea, your lyrics must in some way be connected with you if you want them to stand out and come across as genuine. If you don’t, your lyrics will lack conviction which will make them feel stale.