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Songwriting For Dummies by Cathy Lynn Austin, Jim Peterik, Dave Austin

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Chapter 6

Finding Your Voice in the Lyrics

In This Chapter

Taking ideas from concept to completion

Considering all aspects of the lyric

Bringing in the element of music to your song

Sorting out the use of poetic techniques

Allowing yourself the freedom of flight

Lyrics can make or break a great melody. But coming up with lyrics is often easier said than done. In this chapter, we fill you in on some tried-and-true techniques used by the pros when they’re setting out to write lyrics. We also take you step by step and show you how to fit your lyrics into the common formats of songs.

Writing a Great Lyric

You’ve just bought yourself a brand-new laptop (the kind that weighs a couple of ounces and is paper thin). You’ve purchased a silver pen with your initials on it. You’ve rented a villa in the Caribbean. You also have your trusty digital audio recorder by your side, set to capture the cosmic overlap of words and music. The scene is basically set for one of those Behind the Music episodes seen on VH1.

You’re ready to write a great lyric. But where do you start? Start at the heart. Find the subjects that matter to you most. Find the melodies that resonate in your soul. In this section, we show you some of the ways the pros get started on their journey to writing a great lyric. Take a look at using one of these suggestions as a starting point:

A title (from just about anywhere) that suggests a concept

An idea or concept that suggests a title

An experience you’ve had

A cause you believe ...

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