#1March 7th, 2009 · 04:51 AM
371 threads / 187 songs
3,348 posts
United Kingdom
Lyrical Structure's
A while back member 'Blueyes', gave me this sound advise which I passed on to 'Fantasy', who has found it useful. So Here it is, hope it helps someone else too.

"denis, you are a good composer.. the only critique I have is to re-think the lyrical metering and structuring.. not saying change a word!! don't!!!! follow any of your classic poets (except maybe Poe) or lyricists.. easiest example would be a child's nursery ryhme...  "mary had a little lamb.. it's fleece was white as snow.. every where that mary went.. the lamb was sure to go.." take and count syllables of each line.. first is 7, second is 6, third is 7 and fourth is 6 again.. I am again not "telling you" all songs have to have their foundations set in stone that way.... there have been lyrics I have written that had other forms.. example would be 7, 6, 6, 7..  you can use this formula as just a basic gimme to aid in your lyric writing as well as melodies..... again, just an example that no one has to live by.. it just helps.. especially if one let's their lyrics flow then meters them accordingly..... the vocals did sound so much better on this one too! I am, I guess superficial about vocalists.. I always find fault.. which is usually more evident within my own self!!! remember the old addage, the fault we find with other's often resides without ourselves.... thus again I am only sharing basic music teachings my friend! first step is to enjoy yourself and your music.. to many times over the years I have let my music become a burden for one reason or the other.. forced training as a child, forced jingle writing and then forced life preformance to make a living.. I love live performance so much.. just never want to  feel like I am forced to do anything.... rather that it's my own idea.. so please again.. just an attempt to share with you bro!"

I would be very interested to see some lyrics posted with these ideas, as Fantasy has recently.

Happy writing Ampers!!!

Cheers

Denis
#2March 7th, 2009 · 11:32 AM
102 threads / 59 songs
204 posts
Canada
Couldn't agree more. I actually was talking about this last night with a friend. More important than the content of your lyrics is the simple fact that they flow with the rhythm of the music. I remember a harmony book I had said that rhythmic dissonance is always worse than tonal dissonance if for no other reason than that even the tone deaf can notice it. Great advise, it's sometimes hard to explain that idea.
#3March 11th, 2009 · 02:13 PM
27 threads / 2 songs
179 posts
Canada
I agree as well. When I write lyrics, I try very hard to have exact amounts of syllables for each verse and chorus.

HOWEVER....

If you are writing lyrics solely on a piece of paper without SINGING them...HOW DO YOU KNOW how many syllables are there?

As we all know, when you sing and carry a note, it can sometimes turn one syllable into two or even more.

So, while making sure to keep to a certain format, try to bare in mind that even if it looks right on paper, it may not fit right when sung out loud with music. This gives some leniency in the instances of having a kickass line that if it were changed, it would not have the same impact.

In my opinion, the most important thing in any song is it's message. Sacrificing the meaning of a song for the sake of perfection on paper is just not worth it...the vocalist will have to deal with it I guess with a little creativity! lol

Remember, counting syllables is a great tool in helping with flow...BUT it is NOT A RULE.

-Mark
#4March 11th, 2009 · 03:41 PM
371 threads / 187 songs
3,348 posts
United Kingdom
dustyskates wrote…
I agree as well. When I write lyrics, I try very hard to have exact amounts of syllables for each verse and chorus.

HOWEVER....

If you are writing lyrics solely on a piece of paper without SINGING them...HOW DO YOU KNOW how many syllables are there?

As we all know, when you sing and carry a note, it can sometimes turn one syllable into two or even more.

So, while making sure to keep to a certain format, try to bare in mind that even if it looks right on paper, it may not fit right when sung out loud with music. This gives some leniency in the instances of having a kickass line that if it were changed, it would not have the same impact.

In my opinion, the most important thing in any song is it's message. Sacrificing the meaning of a song for the sake of perfection on paper is just not worth it...the vocalist will have to deal with it I guess with a little creativity! lol

Remember, counting syllables is a great tool in helping with flow...BUT it is NOT A RULE.

-Mark

Very well said!!
#5March 11th, 2009 · 05:49 PM
340 threads / 59 songs
4,344 posts
United Kingdom
I think lyrics come to those who feel the need to express themselves that way, so I agree very much with the idea of not forcing anything, sitting down a working at something is a different matter, then you throw ideas around and see if they land.
I personally take it for granted that if a piece of text has no flow or tempo then it's some zen quote but not a song.
As a writer I have learned (through bandAmp) that a lyric from the writers point of view can be way too long for a song , from the songs point of view ! Because a song carries a lot of 'meaning' in the fact that it's the sung word in combination with music, 'made for each other', where as a poem (seen as a lyric by the writer) has it's meaning written into the imagery it portrays. Making it sometimes a bit 'too much' when it comes to putting it to music.
I've found that most of my 'lyrics' have needed a little cutting and pasting and shuffling around when it comes to the song, and it always works out in the end......that's the nature of the song.....you wouldn't be doing it if it wasn't possible !    
#6March 12th, 2009 · 08:46 AM
371 threads / 187 songs
3,348 posts
United Kingdom
kings wrote…
I think lyrics come to those who feel the need to express themselves that way, so I agree very much with the idea of not forcing anything, sitting down a working at something is a different matter, then you throw ideas around and see if they land.
I personally take it for granted that if a piece of text has no flow or tempo then it's some zen quote but not a song.
As a writer I have learned (through bandAmp) that a lyric from the writers point of view can be way too long for a song , from the songs point of view ! Because a song carries a lot of 'meaning' in the fact that it's the sung word in combination with music, 'made for each other', where as a poem (seen as a lyric by the writer) has it's meaning written into the imagery it portrays. Making it sometimes a bit 'too much' when it comes to putting it to music.
I've found that most of my 'lyrics' have needed a little cutting and pasting and shuffling around when it comes to the song, and it always works out in the end......that's the nature of the song.....you wouldn't be doing it if it wasn't possible !     ;)

It's nice too when a song is sung that portrays the imagery you referred to when writing a Poem.  Indeed Kings,many of your own lyrics have wonderful imagery, like 'Three wise men', well it certainly got my imagination goin'...lol
The problem I have in creating lyrics is that I seem to have an imagination blockage, it's only once on a clear blue moon that my imagination works, perhaps I need a few slaps around me chops to clear out the cob webs..lol
I suppose it's all about freeing up your brain cells, I think mine are a bit shy and need to be guided, or have a few glasses of wine so to speak.
The funny thing is I can free myself when writing music, it must be a psychological thing I'm simply not aware of, or it could be I'm a Mentalist...lol

Cheers
#7September 23rd, 2010 · 01:23 PM
4 threads / 1 songs
18 posts
United States of America
I'm glad to find this thread.

I've taken to sketching the number of syllables each melodic line could fit.  It's usually a range of numbers, the maximum number for strictly syllabic singing, and a lower number for melismatic singing -- you could in theory have just one syllable on one melodic line if you want to get medieval, right?   

Then as I write or edit the lyrics for that tune, I can stretch or squeeze for effect.  I won't claim that I'm really good at this yet, but it's something I try to do.
#8September 24th, 2010 · 01:09 PM
371 threads / 187 songs
3,348 posts
United Kingdom
studentofrhythm wrote…
I'm glad to find this thread.

I've taken to sketching the number of syllables each melodic line could fit.  It's usually a range of numbers, the maximum number for strictly syllabic singing, and a lower number for melismatic singing -- you could in theory have just one syllable on one melodic line if you want to get medieval, right?   

Then as I write or edit the lyrics for that tune, I can stretch or squeeze for effect.  I won't claim that I'm really good at this yet, but it's something I try to do.

Have a look on the home page of bandAMP there are some many tutorials created by member DTF, the last few have been on lyrics...
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