Compostion and Recording help for the aspiring lyricist

    Submission Guidelines  (Please Read)    

 

 

Sorry, I do not accept lyrics about violence, hate, or with any harsh profanity.

Before submitting your lyrics please take a moment to read the following Submission Guidelines:

 

Rick's Mugshot

Award Winning Songwriter, Record Producer and Music Educator Rick Brown

 

Please Note:  Many of the lyrics I receive are very difficult to compose music to,  primarily  for the reasons stated below. Please take the time to read this as it will help me immensely in writing a GREAT melody to your lyrics.

A Word About Continuity   an important note from Rick Brown

One problem I have found with lyricists who are not musicians is that they quite often do not have continuity in their lyrics.

By this I mean the number of words and/or syllables in the lines of their verses do not match up.   I cannot count the number of times I have received lyrics from someone and after I have written a great melody line for the first verse and chorus have discovered that their second and/or third verses do not match up at all in continuity.  Sometimes they have even written a whole extra line in another verse, or sometimes the lines just don't match up in syllables or number of words in the line.

My point is > make sure you have the same continuity and flow in the lines of your verses.   Choruses are not usually a problem as there is usually only one chorus in a song or the same chorus repeated one or more times.

One lyricist friend I sometimes work with has told me that sometimes he will think of a well-known melody of some hit song. He then plays this melody in his head and writes original lyrics around it.   He is not stealing the melody, as the composer who puts the music to his lyrics doesn't even know what he was thinking of and always comes up with something entirely different.

Another way for lyricists to have continuity in their lines is after you have written one verse just sit down and count the number of words and syllables in that verse and try to match your other verses with the same flow.

An example of continuity:

1st line, 1st Verse: It's bare-ly been an hour since she’s been gone     

(9) Words, (10) syllables

1st line, 2nd Verse: I nev-er knew she had a change in mind              

(9) Words, (10) syllables  

( 1st line of 2nd verse is The Same (in contiunity and flow) as the 1st line in 1st verse)


An example of NO continuity:

1st line, 1st Verse: It's bare'-ly been an hour since you've been gone    

(9) Words, (10) syllables

1st line,2nd verse: I nev-er real-ly thought she would ev-er think of leav-in’ me  

(11) Words, (15) syllables

( 1st line of 2nd verse is Different (in contiunity and flow) than 1st line in 1st verse)

examples from > I Just Might Be Missing Her (words and music by Richard Brown) © 1999 Richard Brown


There is of course always room for a slight margin of difference in lines and syllables BUT the point is to try and keep the rhythmic flow as smooth as possible.

This "Continuity Matter" may not seem like a big deal to you (The Lyricist) but if you are a composer attempting to write a melody line to lyrics that lack continuity it can become a nightmare. I will reject most lyrics that I receive that do not have at least an attempt at continuity and rhythmic flow.

ALSO > When submitting your lyrics please "Clearly Mark" your Verse's, Chorus's and Bridge's.  I have received many lyrics that are just one big long paragraph of words with no reference to what is intended as a verse or chorus etc.   Usually these lyrics also lack the continuity I have been speaking of.   Once again, I will reject lyrics that do not have at least SOME Semblance of Structure

These are some of the most popular song structures in commercial music:

AABA ------- (verse, verse, chorus, verse)

ABAB ------- (verse, chorus, verse, chorus)

ABAC ------- (verse, chorus, verse, bridge)

ABABCB --- (verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus)

BABABB --- (chorus, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, chorus)

You will notice that in these 5 examples there are only 2 that include a "Bridge".  I am NOT a fan of "Bridges" in popular songwriting. Most hit songs consist of Verse's and Chorus's only. In my opinion a Bridge just adds another (un-needed) section that takes away from the flow.   But of course (like in all things) there are always exceptions. I do realize that some songs seem to cry out for a Bridge, but they are the exception, not the rule.   Bottom Line > Use your own judgment.

I have used these popular "Song Structures" as an guideline only, and you do not have to stay precisely to these Structures, BUT please try to Structure Your Lyrics to what I like to call  > Music Friendly

Definition of Music Friendly

Common Song Structures and Continuity in Lyrical Rhythmic Flow between each of the Verse's  > AND Continuity in Lyrical Rhythmic Flow between each Chorus.  As noted before > Chorus's are most likely (The Same Lyrically anyway) , so continuity between them is usually not  a problem.   If your Chorus's ARE different from "Chorus to Chorus" then I suggest you go back to Square One and re-write until you have just "One GREAT Chorus"  (that can be repeated throughout the song)  that is > HEAVY ON THE HOOKLINE.

Song length IS important

Most Radio Music Programmers will not add songs to their playlist if they are over 3 ½  minutes  long.  If it's a really GREAT song it may get approved for airplay at 4 minutes or even a bit longer, but that is the exception.    My point is make your lyrics a reasonable length. Two or Three Verses and a Chorus is standard.   Ballads sometimes have an added Bridge, but like I said before I'm not a big fan of Bridges.   I prefer working with lyrics that have 2 or 3 Verses and a Chorus (That Is Heavy On The HOOKLINE).  The Chorus's are usually repeated after each verse or 2 verses which of course accentuate the HOOKLINE.   (In the rare instance that your lyrics are lacking in adequate duration) Don't Fret.  It is very easy to lengthen a song  by adding Instrumental Breaks, repeating Lines/Verses and/or Chorus's.  BUT   >  It is impossible to shorten it if your lyrics read more like a Book than a Song.  If  I were to compose music to these (book-like) lyrics they would be way too lengthy to be commercially acceptable.  PLEASE keep within the boundaries of acceptable songwriting practice.

If you are still are a bit confused and in need of a little coaching on the subject of songwriting I would urge you to read one or two of the many fine books that have been written on the subject.  My own AUDIO and e-book is called THE SONGSCULPTOR METHOD, Secret Songwriter, Tips and Techniques .    Another one of my favorite books on the art of songwriting is: "Songsmith" by Jimmy Webb. 

 

Songsculptor's Home Page

Site Map

Who is Songsculptor?

What We Do

Work For Hire

Testimonials

Song Reviews

Meet The Writers We've Helped

More Original Songs

Email Rick

Lyrics > Submit Them Here 

Please Note:

You are NOT required to submit payment until after your lyrics are received and worked on, and the melody composed to your lyrics have been approved by you. 

        

 

 

 

site map