10 Common Mistakes Made Writing Lyrics
(Step back and take a careful look at your lyric. One or more of the mistakes below may keep your baby out of the winner’s circle. )
- Song idea is overdone without a fresh approach. Most common theme is the “You done me wrong and I’m leaving you.”
- Lyric is riddled with clichés. Love songs can be the worst offenders. A song contest judge or publisher in particular will toss out the song in a heartbeat, (pardon the cliché’ J) if the lyric has them.
- Lyric is not conversational. It’s not believable if the artist is using words not commonly expressed or sentences are broken or convoluted or forced.
- Missing a clear hook, has more than one hook, and/or verses or chorus do not set up and lead to hook. Hook is weak.
- Lyric is outdated. Words, mannerisms, ideas seem to come from a past decade or so ago.
- Lyric is preachy or philosophical or distant. Doesn’t reach you on a personal level.
- Uninteresting, predictable rhyme scheme (lines 1 and 2 rhyme, 3 and 4 rhyme, rhyme scheme in verses same as chorus. Rhythm/line lengths same throughout. No variation gets very boring – difficult to write a melody that’s interesting when written this way.
- Long verses, too many verses, long chorus – redundant, lengthy, wordy, etc. Main idea of song is not understood by time you get to chorus, takes too long to get to chorus.
- Lack of visual imagery. Lyric is telling when it should be showing.
- No movement from verse to verse. You could change their place and it doesn’t affect the song. Chorus doesn’t conclude. Bridge doesn’t do what it is supposed to do.