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Writing Lyrics: Creative Writing Exercises

How to Be More Creative While Writing Lyrics

Being called a creative writer can be a great compliment. However, being too creative may isolate your listeners when writing lyrics. Today we are going to focus on a few exercises and tips to give you a more creative edge. This articles focus is going to lean towards writing radio records but not necessarily exclusively. If you’re trying to make it in the music industry, it’s probably best to reel in the crazy and super artistic ideas until you’ve landed on your feet. Let’s go through some creative song writing tips.


Adlib Your Favorite Songs

A great exercise that can help you write more creatively is to fill in spaces in your favorite songs. I wouldn’t suggest going the parody route. While that can be fun and perhaps help you with rhyming and with structure, it would probably be best to focus on matching the emotion and message of the song. It will also resonate well with you and hopefully put you in a mind state and feeling that you can use down the line. There is a reason why you like that song and the person who wrote it. Try to match the quality of lyric and cadence.


Conceptual Writing

Regarding conceptual writing, I don’t necessarily mean to get abstract and crazy with your writing. That’s not the worst idea but like I said earlier, try to keep it reeled in a bit when you’re writing for radio. Most songs are about emotions, whether it be love, happiness, sorrow, anger, etc. Adding a concept, or perhaps a metaphor as the main “punch line” of the song, emphasized on the chorus. This is a good way to give your listener something catchy or cool to enjoy. Try to write to a theme or a specific perspective. Put yourself in another person’s shoes and imagine what it would be like writing as them.


Writing with Co-Writers

The old cliché, “two heads are better than one” can certainly be applicable to song writing. Not always the truth but it won’t hurt to try. Coming up with games or challenges as you write with others can be really fun. Give a friend a single lyric and have them write a verse around it. Do the same for different concepts. Challenge yourselves to write it within a time frame. Start off with maybe a verse in an hour or two and work your way down to 15 minutes. Another fun exercise with a co-writer can be to have them come up with a melody or cadence and you write the lyrics.


Less is More

Writing songs can be really fulfilling. In my opinion, expressing yourself creatively is one of the best feelings in the world. Especially if others like how you do it. When planning to write for others, try to keep in mind that less is more in most cases. That can be anything from melody and arrangement to vocabulary and theme. Keeping it simple will allow your music to resonate with a larger audience which in turn means more exposure. However, this is just the opinion of one person through years of experience in the music industry. Most labels told Queen that “Bohemian Rhapsody” was too long and abstract for radio. With that said, take what you feel you can use from this article and write some hits!