Whether you’re just starting out, have been in the music field for a while, or are Taylor Swift herself, you’ll know that writing song lyrics can be difficult. There’s a lot more planning and strategy that goes on behind the sheets. The structure, the format, and the melody, all need to be taken into equal consideration. It’s especially challenging when you’re trying to convey emotions and connect with your audience by writing catchy song lyrics.
Catchy songs are extremely memorable. It’s the reason why we still remember our ABCs. So here are a few tips to write songs that will get stuck in your audiences’ heads:
Master the Art of Emotional Expression:
Your lyrics should resonate with your audience. This is where emotions come into play. Infuse your lyrics with authentic emotions that are universally appealing. Express your own feelings and experiences in the song, whether it was a crushing heartbreak or the best day of your life, to create a relatable and powerful connection with your audience.
Weave a Storyline
Craft a compelling storyline that takes your listeners on a captivating journey. Such storylines entertain the audience while also making the lyrics more lasting and impactful.
For example, Taylor Swift’s All Too Well takes listeners on a journey of a young couple in love, their relationship troubles, and the aftermath of their breakup, diving into memories that linger long after the relationship has ended.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
Plant a Hook in their heads and repeat it frequently. Choose key phrases that are worth stressing and repeat them. Those words get stuck in people’s minds and are regarded as meaningful. Use this ingredient sparingly, and avoid overusing it, or it will lose its effect. Sprinkle it throughout the song, especially in the chorus, where it will have the most impact.
Dua Lipa’s “Levitating”, Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” and “I want it that way” by Backstreet Boys brilliantly execute this technique with purpose in their verses and choruses.
- Use Rhyme
Rhymes are the easiest way to remember something. It’s used as a mnemonic device. Almost every song in musical history wields this weapon. Use appropriate rhyming words which go with your song’s theme, message, and emotion.
Here are the different types of rhymes you can use in songs.
To understand good, you need to understand evil. Antithesis means using two opposite words in the same line. People tend to understand matter when it’s presented with its polar opposite. Moreover, it creates a dramatic effect which makes it memorable.
Lyrics like “I can make the bad guys good for the weekend”, “Darling, I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream”, and “Everything that kills me makes me feel alive” are a few iconic examples.
Structure your song
Your song structure plays a vital role in the recalling game. Many songwriters usually go with ABABCB (A = verse, B = chorus, C = bridge or solo). The chorus is repeated three times in this format to make it the major hook. Most songs use this common strategy which makes it easy for the listener to remember.
Go slow, then drop the bomb
You know the last part in Bohemian Rhapsody when they go:
“Oh mama mia, mama mia, mama mia, let me go
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me,
And bam! This dramatic moment is what people anticipate and remember the most. Most songwriters use this method in the pre-chorus. When the sound in the pre-chorus drops down, it sounds like that drop is building up to something, and then the chorus is sung on full blast. This is the most memorable part of any song.
These were a few strategies to help you write catchy lyrics. Make the most out of these techniques and give your audience a good musical earworm!
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