5 Lyric Pitfalls For Songwriters

by Marty Dodson
Sep 6, 2017

These are the 5 most common lyric mistakes I see songwriters making over and over…

Saying the same thing in the second verse that you said in the first verse. Don’t just re-word the first verse to make verse two. Give me something new. Take the idea to another place.

Letting pro-nouns get loose on you. You have to make sure that the antecedent of each pronoun is clear. All of the “she’s”, “he’s” and “its” have to clearly refer to the intended object or person.

Rambling. Most of the time, if you don’t know what you are trying to say from the start, you will ramble. That’s why I suggest doing a map of your song as soon as you come up with an idea. Write a one sentence summary for each section of the song. Then you know PRECISELY what you are trying to say and you can stay on track much more easily.

Not saying anything significant. You want your listeners to feel something or have some reaction. If the response you get when you play your song for someone is a polite, “That’s nice”, then you probably haven’t moved them in any way. Be sure you are saying something that people care to hear.

Saying the same old thing in the same old way. The hardest part of songwriting is saying the same old thing in a NEW way. If you say the same old thing in the same OLD way, you’re dead in the water.

Check your lyric for these pitfalls before you play them for someone else. You’ll always make your song better by clearing up these issues on the front end!

Write On! Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson is a multi-hit songwriter, co-founder of SongTown, and co-author of  The Songwriter’s Guide To Mastering Cowriting and Song Building: Mastering Lyric Writing


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