Happy to share an article that I was commissioned to write for WQ Magazine, the members publication for Queensland Writers Centre, on crafting your song lyrics to tell a compelling and detailed story. Read the article here: http://www.writingqueensland.com.au/storytelling-through-songwriting/ or continue reading for a short excerpt. Songwriting classes are one of the benefits of learning piano at Counterpoint Music Academy, with focus given to both musical and lyrical elements of the song.
Problem number two: How will this song be unique among the many, many songs about love/heartbreak/joy/anger etc.?
Solution: Focus on the details, not the big picture. Start with a word or sentence that sums up your current emotion.
I’m in love.
BORING. In the words of the T-Birds and Pink Ladies, tell me more, tell me more.
I’m in love with a girl.
Why? How? When?
Because she’s beautiful and makes me laugh all the time.
Go deeper. Describe her. What are her defining features? Use your senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste.
I’m in love with a girl who has the cutest ears and a perfect smile and smells like flowers and I get goosebumps when she holds my hand.
We now have detail to go along with our emotion, detail that will take the listener in to their own world while simultaneously bringing them in to yours. There’s a careful line we must tread though. Too much specific detail and the listener can’t put themselves in your shoes. Don’t be afraid to use vague specifics if you want to reach your broadest possible audience. Take the above example: anyone who’s in love with a girl probably thinks they have cute ears and a perfect smile. But disconnect might arise if we go deeper with our descriptions. Not every girl has big earlobes or a slightly crooked tooth.