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Songwriter Theory: Learn Songwriting And Write Meaningful Lyrics and Songs

How To Keep Your Lyrics On Topic

Wed Jul 05 2023
songwritinglyricschorusverseslove interestoutliningchecklist
  1. Introduction
  2. Writing the Chorus
  3. Choosing Verse Approach
  4. Writing about Love Interest
  5. Song Outlining and Checklist

This episode covers various aspects of writing lyrics for songs. It emphasizes the importance of staying on topic and provides tips on writing effective choruses. The episode also discusses different approaches to writing verses and provides guidance on writing about love interests. Additionally, it highlights the significance of song outlining and offers a free lyric writing checklist for improving lyrics.


00:00 - 06:54

  • A song should be about one thing and stay on topic.
  • The podcast is about keeping lyrics on topic.
  • There is a six-step lyric writing checklist available.
  • There is a comprehensive songwriting course called Complete Songwriter Academy, which covers the overall process, as well as lyric writing, melody writing, and chord writing.
  • The course is currently half off for this week only.
  • The podcast and videos will continue to be free.
  • Leaving a kind review on Apple Podcasts or other platforms can help support the podcast.
  • Writing the chorus first can help keep lyrics on topic because it is at the center of the song and everything leads to it.

Writing the Chorus

06:33 - 14:22

  • Repetition makes a point of something.
  • The chorus is at the center of the song and conveys the core theme or idea.
  • Writing the chorus first helps in understanding the central theme and writing supporting verses and bridges.
  • Verses don't necessarily need to connect with each other, but they should connect to the main theme of the chorus.
  • Keeping the chorus light on story and heavy on theme makes it easier to repeat throughout the song.
  • Avoid repeating the same part of a story in the chorus multiple times unless it carries significant thematic weight.
  • Changing the lyrics in each chorus can be done to match different points in the story, but it increases writing time.

Choosing Verse Approach

14:00 - 21:56

  • Writing a song with repetitive choruses will require more lyrics.
  • Idea-driven lyrics focus on different sub-ideas that support the main idea of the chorus.
  • Story-driven lyrics tell a clear story that connects to the main idea of the chorus.
  • Decide whether your verses will be idea-driven or story-driven, and keep it consistent throughout the song.
  • Outlining each song section with one sentence can help you stay on track and maintain coherence in your lyrics.

Writing about Love Interest

21:29 - 29:11

  • When writing a song about your love interest, it's better to show what you love about them through stories rather than just telling
  • Using 'so' or 'but' choruses can help outline the verses and make sure they support the main idea of the chorus
  • For example, if the chorus is 'I love you', the verses could be about specific reasons why you love them
  • Another approach is to have a 'but' chorus that emphasizes unconditional love despite mistakes or flaws
  • It's helpful to have a central idea or theme for your song and use that as the basis for outlining each section
  • Decide whether your verses will be idea-driven or story-driven, and avoid mixing both approaches
  • Outline each section of your song with one sentence to clearly communicate its purpose

Song Outlining and Checklist

28:45 - 32:06

  • Summarize each section of the song in one sentence.
  • Determine if the song is idea-driven or story-driven.
  • Identify the main theme or main idea for each chorus.
  • For verses, provide evidence for why you love someone or highlight conflicting aspects.
  • Outlining is important for both idea-driven and story-driven songs.
  • Consider using a free six-step lyric writing checklist to improve your lyrics.