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How to Write Song Lyrics: Where to Start?

Songwriting is a very tricky art form. Anybody can write a song but not everybody will be good at it. Making lyrics to a song can be difficult for some people. If a person generally does not have creativity or the ability to transform words into feelings or ideas; they’ll usually have a hard time writing song lyrics. The following information will explain how to write song lyrics and where to start:

  • The Type of Music You Want to Write
  • The Song Writing Process
  • What Your Lyrics are Saying to People
  • Does Your Lyrics Make Sense
  • Connect Your Lyrics to Your Audience
  • Convey Emotion Through Your Lyrics

The Type of Music You Want to Write

When you write lyrics you’ll automatically create music in your mind to fit your lyrics. Truthfully, it is hard to write lyrics for a song that you don’t have music to within your head. Even if you come up with an original catchy slogan or hook, your mind will automatically start to figure out which type of music would work best with it. You can’t escape this part of the songwriting process.

Some people can start off by jotting down words, ideas, and feelings onto paper. However, sooner or later those elements are going to be consciously or subconsciously be put to some type of music within the creator’s mind. That is how the songwriting process works.

When you start to create lyrics, you will begin to automatically make music for your tune as well. Also, if you hear an instrumental form of music that you like (or create) your mind will also start to put words to that song. Again, the music element of creating music will automatically accompany the lyrics writing process. So, always think about the type of music you want to make when you create your lyrics.

The Song Writing Process

When you write lyrics for a song, you must know how to arrange them. If not, your lyrics will be a mess and your song won’t make sense. The following example will explain how to do this:

(verse 1)

(pre-chorus 1)

(chorus 1)

(verse 2)

(pre-chorus 2)

(chorus 2)


(chorus 3)

The above example provides a simple song structure. It starts with the verse which gives the song substance. The pre-chorus connects the verse and the chorus. The chorus is the heart of the song that everybody remembers.

Songs can also have other elements such as intros, outros, instrumentals, raps, dialogues, and vamps. Most modern songs don’t contain these elements. However, all songs usually have verses, a bridge, and a chorus.

Most modern songs have shortened pre-choruses and bridges because songs are made to be performed at a fast rate today. Many songs on the radio are about 3 minutes long. Instrumentals are rare in music today because they too take up too much time. Many songs have raps.

You can also arrange the verse, pre-chorus, bridge, and chorus into any formation that you desire. Still, all songs should have at least 2 of these 4 basic parts otherwise the song will be very one-dimensional and probably won’t appeal to a lot of people.

A one-dimensional song that is an exception to this rule is the kid song “Baby Shark” by Pinkfong. This song is basically a hook that is constantly being repeated over and over again by slightly altering the words. But this song works because people like it. However, most songs will not make it with a repeating hook and nothing else to it.

What Your Lyrics are Saying to People

Now you have to figure out what you are trying to say to people through your lyrics. If you want to write a song about being happy, your lyrics must reflect this sentiment.

For example, Christina Love (our imaginary music artist) wants to release a song about being happy named “So Good to be Happy”. Let’s see how her lyrics convey this meaning to listeners.

So Good to be Happy


The world is hurting,

People are scared,

Fighting, dying,

Pain is everywhere

We’re tired, we’re beaten

Life has become so strange

But I’m not going to give up

I pushing for that change


I’m going to put a

smile on my face

play in the sun,

And grab my best friend

We’re going to get everybody,

To have a party,

And dance to no end

My heart full of joy,

Is how we have to be

Cause, it’s so good to be happy

As you can see Lacey Love made lyrics for her song that showed how her happiness has overcome the problems she (and the rest of the world) is facing. She is determined in the song to be happy and she conveys these feelings through her lyrics.

Whatever you write your song about, make sure that you convey your feelings through the lyrics. Your words will matter and if they are inspirational or influential, they can help people to feel or even do what your song says.

Does Your Lyrics Make Sense

Your lyrics have to make sense. If your lyrics don’t make sense your music won’t either. When you are writing your lyrics, think about telling a very short story. You should have a beginning, middle, and end. This type of arrangement should be done for songs involving situations.

If you are writing a song about an idea or how you feel, then arrange the lyrics in a way where it will make sense to the listener. For example, if you want to write a song about a modern phrase in pop culture you could do something like this.

Camilla Ramirez (another imaginary artist) has a song about being lonely.

No More Lonely Heart


I go to sleep at night,

Holding my pillow tight,

Wishing I had someone

To love me as their own,

To help make a home,

So we can be one

I’m tired of not having that special guy

Even though I’m a special girl,

I want to prove to a man,

That I deserve to be in his world


I don’t want to spend another lonely night,

Crying on my pillow

Wishing someone was near

I don’t want to come home alone

With all my worries,

With no one to calm my fears,

I don’t want no more lonely heart,

Lonely heart, lonely heart

As you can see, she conveyed some basic ideas about being lonely that all people can relate to. Her song makes sense. Because many lonely people are going through the same things that she is stating in this song. You must do the same thing too. Regardless of whatever you sing about make sure your lyrics makes since to the listener. It will help the song to connect to audiences.

Connect Your Lyrics to Your Audience

Connecting to your listeners through your lyrics is important for good songwriting. If you can’t connect to your listeners through your lyrics, your song might not reach people. Your lyrics should have certain words, phrases, and emotional words that people can relate to and want to hear.

Certain words such as love, money, sex, touch, and fun are words that people like to hear. They like these words because of what they mean and convey. People want to be in love, want to have sex with that special someone, they want to be touched by someone special, and they want to have fun. So, make sure you are including words in your music that helps people to feel good or at least to feel whatever your lyrics are saying to them. This is a major way of connecting to your listeners.

Convey Emotion Through Your Lyrics

All songs have emotions, and your lyrics should convey those emotions. Slow songs are full of emotions and show are upbeat songs about rap songs being violent. Anger is an emotion. The bottom line is that your song must reflect whatever type of emotion that your lyrics are creating.

You should not make a song about going out on a date and use words like fight, anger, pissed off, rage, boring, and leaving. If you do, you will convey the wrong type of emotions because many people usually don’t have these feelings when they go out on a date.

Also, if you use words that don’t fit the emotional state of your song then you will not have a good song. You will confuse your audiences, and they will think you suck at music or just are too strange to listen to. People take music that seriously.

Songwriters in Today’s Music Industry

The music industry today is extremely competitive and it’s a free for all for anybody to get involved with. Because of social media and video sharing platforms, just about anybody can be a star. While this is a possibility, the reality is that becoming a star in today’s world is like hitting the lottery.

The reason why that point was mentioned is to help you to understand that your music must be on point if you’re writing your own lyrics. It is that serious. The quest for musical fame has seriously messed up the minds of many people and turned everybody into a staunch critic.

Even if you are writing for fun, recreation, or entertainment. American Idol and the Voice has literally made the world into critics when it comes to music. You can’t even go to a talent show just to enjoy the entertainment without one contestant or one audience member trying to turn the experience into a full-blown music audition.

When you write your lyrics, you should keep this in mind. People are very picky and judgmental when it comes to music today. To avoid a lot of negative feedback and criticism you have to be honest with yourself. Follow the above steps and your lyrics should be good enough to keep people entertained.


In closing, don’t give up on writing good lyrics but learn how to do this process in the right way. Once you do, your entertainment value will increase, and people will recognize your talent if you’re good enough.

Remember, people can sing well and create good music, but the lyrics are what helps to make everything come together. Keep creating those dynamic lyrics for your songs to give your music a fighting chance in the market.

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