CHECKLIST FOR YOUR LYRICS Strive to have at least 3 or 4 items in each category

Beginning of the Process:

____ A genuine idea based on a newspaper article, history or current events

____ A memorable title: word, question, pun, dynamic phrase, quote, theme statement

____ A strong beginning that will keep people’s interests

____ The appropriate format: AAA, ABAB, etc.

____ A strong time frame

____ Characters that people will care about and understand

____ Lyric information that is worthwhile and newsworthy

____ A new way of looking at an old theme

____ Inclusion of something novel in the lyrics

Middle of the Process:

____ Word elements that will keep repeating in a listener’s mind

____ Use of antonyms, alliteration, time periods, colors, location, colloquialisms, and/or highly descriptive terms

____ Use of questions, quotes, greetings, requests, responses and/or provocative statements

____ Use of types of irony, puns, personification, similes, metaphors and/or other figures of speech

____ Strong visual images and use of the five senses

____ Showing of emotions, attitudes, strengths and weaknesses

____ Directed lyrics focusing on saying, being or alluding

End of the Process:

____ A pay off for the listener, a final message or learning

____ A retained memory of the lyrics and their message

____ Repetition that highlights the key message

____ An ending that makes the listener reflect

NECESSARY VOCABULARY FOR LYRIC WRITING The Hook: The part of the song that you walk away humming and remembering is the hook.

The Verse: The main body of the storytelling is the verse. It includes the when, where, who or what, why and how of the story.

The Build: This is the pre-chorus section of the song. It leads out of the verse and builds to a dramatic chorus.

The Chorus: The purpose of this section is to hammer home the hook, or part of the song you like to hum. The chorus resolves the action and explains your need for writing the song.

Turnaround: This technique gives the chorus a strong payoff. It is used not only at the beginning of the chorus, but at the end of the chorus, slightly turning around the meaning of the hook line.

Vocal Bridge: This bridge is in the middle of the song. It helps you to understand the singer’s point of view on the subject. It gives additional information to make the story lines of the song come together.

Break or Breakdown: This is an instrumental bridge. It comes before the final section of the song. Rap: Rap is a musical art form in which the entire song is chanted in rhythmic speech.

Meter: A line must always have a measure, patterned arrangement of syllables, organized by stress and length. This creates a rhythm that can be sung or played instrumentally.

Rhyme: Within a song, there can be several different rhyme patterns. Lyricists must be aware of which rhyme pattern(s) they wish to use.

Space: Not every moment of the song has to be filled up with words. There needs to be empty spaces where the listener can digest the message.

Fade: At the end of a verse-chorus style song, the chorus can be repeated over and over again and faded out slowly.

Ending: If there is no fade, the last line of the song must draw the song to a definite conclusion.

Tag: If a song has a definite ending, lyricists sometimes insert one or two lines before the last line.

These last few lines are a build up to make the last line more dramatic.