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My Tips for Better Poetry and Lyrics

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  • My Tips for Better Poetry and Lyrics

    Heyo everyone! I'm paintbrushguitar. You may have seen my lyrics/poetry on the Lyrics and Poetry Forum. I've been writing for a long time and wanted to write some helpful tips I use to help you guys. Enjoy! *These aren't in any order of importance*
    • Carry a Journal Everywhere You Go Carrying a journal or notepad or stickynotes helps you be able to jot down any one-liners or themes you may want to capture. If you hear something you think would sound good write it down.
    • Its Okay to Use Rhyming Dictionaries I've heard it so many times, "A good poet or lyricist doesn't need a rhyming dictionary; that would be cheating." It's not cheating. It's using the resources around you to your advantage. I mean, I don't have every single word that rhymes together memorized. I'm human!
    • A Poem/Song is Never Done Until it's Done Sounds weird I know. Personally, I will write a song in about 4 or so minutes. The words just flow out of me and then its done. I know most people aren't like that. But after I write it, I don't look at it again for awhile. When I come back to it, I take a different colored pen or pencil and edit it. I use standard proofreading marks. If you don't know what those are here's a good website for you: here. Its a printable too!
    • Use Metaphors and Descriptive Language If by any chance you saw my comment on kurlman's post "Sixty Years Caged". You would know I told him a few pointers about this. Descriptive language includes metaphors, smilies, personification, hyperboles, onomatopoeia, adjectives, adverbs, themes, emotions, etc. All of these play a part in trying to reach a broader audience. If you write about a personal experience, chances are some might not connect because its too specific. Here's an example of my own work that is too specific:
    VERSE 1
    Let's take a drive at night
    To that place we like
    Watch the stars light up the sky
    As they shine
    Far away wonders
    Unlike any other
    While I'm by your side
    Let's stay here awhile
    3 o'clock in the morning
    We should get going
    So our parents won't know
    But after some time
    No signs of goodbye


    CHORUS
    When we got to my place
    I felt my heart race
    This is something I can't erase
    At home. in my room
    I danced around like a fool
    My little piece of heaven
    At 3:27


    ... (BRIDGE)
    ... At the park
    In the dark
    It's just you and me
    And it just turned 3


    This song is about a time my boyfriend and I were supposed to be seeing a school play but instead we went to the park above our school and hung out. It happened March 27 therefore the song is called 3:27. In this case referencing the time 3:27 AM. Here's another example of a song I wrote before and after I changed it:
    VERSE 1
    You probably don't know me
    and if you do
    I'd be shocked
    Because you've been empty
    doubt you realize how it hurts me
    Every time you walk away


    CHORUS
    Don't you see
    Why
    I'm standing here
    Can't you see
    That
    t's not an illusion
    I know I
    Can't
    Latch on to you baby
    Why do I
    Have to love you?


    VERSE 2
    Ineed to leave and stop caring
    It makes life harder on me
    We made a
    Promise that you broke
    Do you now how you're hurting me
    Every time you walk away


    CHORUS
    Don't you see
    Why
    I'm standing here
    Can't you see
    That
    It's not an illusion
    I know I
    Can't
    Latch on to you baby
    Why do I
    Have to love you?

    VERSE 1
    You probably don't know me
    but if you did
    I'd be surprised
    Because the last few months
    I've been watching you
    Block me out of your life
    Do you know how much it hurt me
    To see you leave me


    CHORUS
    Can't you see me
    Standing in front of you
    Dont you know why
    I came back
    I can't hold on to you
    No not anymore
    Why do you make me love you
    love you


    VERSE 2
    I need to
    Fly away and stop turning back
    It's the sound of
    Your heartbeat bringing me back
    Life is
    A neverending path
    Through the darkness
    I thought you light could help me out
    But the string attaching our hearts
    is frrayed
    But I didn't notice
    Until you walked away


    CHORUS
    Can't you see me
    Standing in front of you
    Dont you know why
    I came back
    I can't hold on to you
    No not anymore
    Why do you make me love you
    love you

    BRIDGE
    So now it's been a year
    I stitched my heart closed
    I built a tower
    And chained it up
    But then he came along
    It took me some time
    Before I gave him the key
    Because

    CHORUS
    Did you know I've
    Been standing in front of you
    No, because you made me a ghost
    Dont you know why
    I came back
    No, you left when I needed you most
    I can't hold on to you
    No I can't hold on to you
    I've found someone whos stayed true
    So why do you keep on trying to make me love you
    Oh to love you
    to love you
    • Rhyme Scheme People seem to have the most difficulty with this. They think every line has to rhyme with the last. In the above songs I've written you'll see that's not the case. The first song had more rhyming in it. That's mostly because it is newer than the second one. I used to use no rhyming at all. And that's okay! Personally, it doesn't flow as well. Making a song rhyme is difficult believe me. Usually, when I write a song, I end up changing the wording of some lines so they rhyme and flow better. If I don't have access to a rhyming dictionary, I go through the alphabet and try making words with the given sound. For example:the words is Cat. Aat, Bat, Cat, Dat, Eat, Fat, Gat, Hat, Iat, Jat, Kat, Lat, Mat, (G)Nat, Oat, Pat, Qat, Rat, Sat, Tat, Uat, Vat, Wat, Xat, Yat, Zat. Like That
    Now Here's the whole process with a song of mine.
    If the given lines are
    "Watching / Waiting / Seeking the victims / Ready to rip your heart out / Gazing eyes / To detect the lies / Which are all piled up"
    These don't really rhyme or flow. Sure they sound pretty creepy, but it isn't portray what I want it to. This song is about a boy who acts differently around different people trying to please everyone, but isn't being himself. This is the opening lines of the song. They are about the people such as paparazzi, kids at school or whomever who want to bring you down. They try looking for the lies. That's why I chose this as the beginning of the song about a boy who pretends to be so many people to please everyone.
    So I look at the first part, "Watching / Waiting / Seeking the victims". The -ing verbs have a nice flow that isn't too obvious like saying the cat wears a hat. Moving on to the next part, "Ready to rip your heart out". This doesn't work at all with the previous line "Seeking the victims". So first I look up words that rhyme with victims because I like that word in this context. I can't find anything so I move on to out. Still nothing. Then I use a thesaurus and look up words related to victims. I find the word prey. Hmmm. I like this one. So then I look up words that rhyme with prey. I find entree. Since originally I was going for a menacing monster that would eat a heart, I put together this: "Watching / Waiting / Seeking the prey / Serve the heart as the entree". See the difference? Plus it really captures more of a fear aspect.
    Moving on to the next set, "Gazing eyes / to detect the lies / Which are all piled up". One thing you should know in songwriting or poetry but mostly songwriting, is that you can't have too many syllables in one line. Otherwise it doesn't flow properly. Imagine a favorite song of yours, you know, the one you change the words to. Usually when you change the words, what happens? It doesn't match the beat. There's always a beat to a song or poem whether you know of it or not. "Gazing eyes /To detect the lies" sounds a bit rushed to me. De-tect being 2 syllables needs to be replaced by a 1-syllable word. Here's the hard thing about it. Detect is a stronger word. It really shows what you are trying to say. However, because of two reasons, I can change it: 1. Surrounding that word is a lot of other strong words and metaphors. It's almost too much and needs a weaker word there. and 2. This isn't an elementary school essay. You know when you learned strong and weak verbs. Like mad is weaker than enraged. And happy is weaker than overjoyed. Not every verb needs to be a strong one.
    So I look through a thesaurus for words that are synonyms to detect or related to. Remember I'm only looking for 1-syllable words. I find words like find, spot, notice, uncover, see, etc. I try working in different words, maybe even changing the wording a bit, of all of them except the simplest ones like see, find etc. But nothing works. I do this so that way I still capture what I'm trying to say. I don't want to say someone was sad when really they were distraught. Finally, I'll use the simple words. I find that "see" works the best.
    The next part, "Which are all piled up" doesn't flow with "eyes" or "lies". I mean you could look up rhymes but personally, I know that high rhymes with these two. And it is related to up.
    So all together the opening lines will be:
    "Watching / Waiting / Seeking the prey / Serve the heart as the entree / Gazing eyes / To see the lies / Which are all piled high"

    Thanks for reading. If you have any questions or comments, reply to this thread! Good luck writing!!
    Last edited by paintbrushguitar; 01-19-2015, 07:57 PM. Reason: I fixed up the lyric portions so it was neater and easier to read :) Sorry if its still awkward on your screen. Comment and let me know..

  • #2
    Thanks so much for writing this up paintbrushguitar! It is wonderful to have so many member with so much knowledge and willing to share it. This is an excellent resource for all of us.

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    • #3
      Aww. Thanks Electron.John! I appreciate that

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      • #4
        Love the first tip. I've gotten some of my best work from a boring moment in between classes. Or during classes...

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        • #5
          Really helpful.Thanks a lot for sharing these valuable tips for better poetry and lyrics.Keep on posting .All the very best

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          • #6
            This is really a great tips from you. I enjoyed a lot and planning to write one myself. Hope I can do better by referring this. For writing related queries you can also go through with this cheap essay writing service guest blog post. You can get more ideas.
            Last edited by Joe Bobbo; 12-26-2015, 03:21 AM.

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            • #7
              For related work all the one must need to observe his/her surroundings and make a thread from it. All the process is related to nature, Your work is really a good one.

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              • #8
                To get good creative ideas visit admission essay writing services.
                Last edited by Joe Bobbo; 12-26-2015, 03:21 AM.

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                • #9
                  thanks for posting...👍🏼

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