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10 IDEAS TO START YOUR LYRIC WRITING WITH A BANG

10 IDEAS TO START YOUR LYRIC WRITING WITH A BANG

London, November 2020: Guest posting by Ellie Mckinsey of Know Your Instrument: "Words are flying out like endless rain into a paper cup", John Lennon once sang while at the peak of his career, with Paul McCartney and George Harrison to discuss ideas with, and a Japanese conceptual artist wife to lend advice. For the rest of us, lyric writing seldom comes that easily. When faced with the day-to-day grind, tight schedules and little time for writing, inspiration can be hard to come by. But fear not, fellow songwriters: below we have collected 10 ideas to start your lyric writing with a bang!

10 Ideas To Start Your Lyric Writing With A Bang
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1. Get Historical

Read up on some key events in history, then jot down some lyrics around the theme. Start with facts, main events, and key players in the time. If If Abba can write 'Waterloo' about a Napoleonic battle and turn it into a pop classic, then you can do just as well.

2. Think Back to a Failed Relationship

This one is part song writing, part therapy. Think back to a past relationship that just did not work out. Not the kind that you knew you would get over, but the ones that crushed you and put you down onto your knees. 'Jolene' by Dolly Parton is a perfect example of this type of song. No redemption, no future, just pure heartache.

3. Tis the Season

Got a holiday coming up? Then write about the season but try it with some honesty. If you really do not want the whole family around for thanksgiving, then let us know why. Tell us why this really will be the best new year ever.

4. Tell Us Your Vices

Everyone has got a vice, so what is yours? Tell us about your love for alcohol or your dark, sexy side. You may end up with a Velvet Underground inspired pop hit, that is strictly for adults only.

5. Money

If the best things in life are free, then why do we have to pay the bills in cold, hard cash? Start by writing about your financial woes or windfalls. You never know, it could be the song that makes you millions.

6. Call on the Occult

Do you have the devil in you? You could do, if you call on him to help you write the greatest song ever heard. Take inspiration from vampires, ghosts, spirits and seances to add darkness to your lyrics.

7. Take a Trip

Close your eyes and imagine yourself on the trip of a lifetime. What far flung place do you yearn to go back to, or do you want to get out and explore? It does not even matter if you have never been there. Well, it did not matter to Toto, anyway.

8. Toys and Games

Take inspiration from classic games and toys. You may think life is like snakes and ladders, or sing about your poker face (actually, that has already been done).

9. Invent a Character

Think of a person you know who is a caricature. What are their traits and quirks? Rename them, then write a song with a little exaggeration and artistic license. Country House by Blur is a great example.

10. Literary Lilts

Go back to a favourite book and rewrite it as a song. Can you add harmony to Harper Lee? Rhymes to J K Rowling? Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush is a great example of a literary pop hit.

And finally... Get Writing!!

Follow each of our writing tips and you may even have enough for an album! Keep all your notes and lyric ideas together in a note pad or journal, as ideas you decide not to use now may seem appealing when you look back. Once you have your lyrics, then get started on an accompaniment that does them justice.

© 2020 Ellie Mckinsey

www.knowyourinstrument.com

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