Writing the perfect song is a challenge for all singers. And then again, how do you define perfect? What is perfect for one singer might not be the same for another.
However, there are some things that all popular and hit songs have in common. If you want to write a hit song, there are certain common mistakes that you must avoid.
You must know how to incorporate lyrics that use a good rhyming scheme syllabic patterns, has a story-like progression and has a catchy hook. When you start writing a song, it might seem impossible to imagine that you are writing the next big hit. However, by avoiding these common mistakes, it is possible to increase your chances of writing the next bestselling song.
Here are the five mistakes you should avoid while writing song lyrics.
1. Avoid having too much rhyming
Even though rhyming is an important part of writing songs, and you will often find a lot of rhyme used in popular songs, but too much of it can also spoil the overall tone of your song. Rhyming use has to be subtle, and it should not distract listeners from the main message of the song.
Having two lines rhyme and then refraining from using rhyming in the next couple of lines is a good thumb rule to use. The use of rhyming has to follow a strategy that will draw attention to some words, but it should not be used just for the sake of using rhyme.
It is the right combination of strategic rhyming, combined with a catchy melody and interesting use of words that gives you some of the most classic songs ever written.
2. Avoid using cliché and controversial lyrics
Many songwriters think that writing a controversial song will put them in the spotlight. However, it is best to avoid writing lyrics that can lead to controversies not just for you but for other people as well. Try to always toe the middle line while writing your songs.
Avoid crossing any ethical and moral boundaries. Avoid lyrics that encourage bullying, violence, and racism. Also, avoid using clichés in the lyrics. It is best to be original in your lyrics.
Writing meaningful, gentle, and gracious lyrics for your song means that more people will be attracted to your song as they feel good when listening to the beautiful words, mesmerizing rhythms, and beautiful beats of your song.
3. Lack of a coherent story
Your song lyrics should ideally tell a story. As the song progresses, your thoughts and ideas should be able to unfold in a manner that makes sense to your listeners.
If you find yourself struggling to write a song that delivers a clear message, ask yourself what story would you like to tell? One of the key questions to answer here would be about how you want your listeners to feel after listening to your song.
The lyrics of a good song should be able to resonate with your listeners easily. Then only will you have people coming back to listen to your song.
4. Don’t keep too many ideas in one song
When you are writing a song, it is best to stick with one idea. Don’t try to tell multiple stories through your lyrics, as this will ultimately render your lyrics irrelevant. With multiple ideas, your lyrics are no longer focused on one story, but they are now conveying many ideas all haphazardly put together.
Songs that have a herd of ideas are usually forgotten easily because the audience is unable to connect with the multiple stories. So it’s best to stick to writing about one story. And if you find yourself unable to express what you want to say about that story, it is best to change the story instead of combining it with other ideas.
5. Your song should not appear to be an essay
Your song should not drone on and on like an essay that rhymes. Songs should be concise, well-rhymed, and meaningfully written. People look to songs for immediate relief. But, if your song is so long that it makes your listener feel they are listening to a rhyming essay, you have failed at writing a good song.
Long songs not only frustrate listeners, but your message also tends to get lost amongst all the words. Long songs also tend to lack the right structure and start meandering from their theme and chords. So try to create short and meaningful lyrics with proper rhyming (but not too much), and write with good sentence construction.
If you are a beginner at lyric writing and want to learn and get more adept at the art, you have landed in the right place. Unlu brings to you Lyric Writing Fellowship which is a 3 monthly multi-teacher program. Here, you can learn from industry experts about the A B C of lyric writing. They will coach you on the basics and give you some eminent tricks and tips to enhance your skills.