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San Diego Songwriters Meetup Group Message Board Lyrics and Music Hookup › We Need Your Lyrics for Song Contest

We Need Your Lyrics for Song Contest

cliff k.
Group Organizer
San Diego, CA
Hi, this Wednesday night at the MeetUp we will announce the winner of the last GAME event where teams write a song to a specific title. The title was "Stay Tuned". 5 lyricists worked with musicians to craft a song, finish it, and record it all within a month. Winner gets free studio time at Signature Sound Studios to polish up their recording, and a shot at being on KPRI's Homegrown Hour.

The next GAME song title is "Warmer Weather". We need lyricists to help. You do not need to submit a finished lyric, just ideas are fine, although finished lyrics are welcome. I am sending you this email because when you joined our MeetUp you mentioned you write lyrics and want to collaborate. Well here ya go!

If you can join us Wednesday bring some printed copies of your lyrics, or lyric ideas. If you can't make it Wednesday send me your lyrics in an email with your contact info on the page. I will hand them out for you.

It's that time of year; the title lends itself to Holiday Songs. You may be able to send an mp3 of your new song out for the holidays this year.

Questions or comments? Let me know by clicking reply. Also, see a brief tutorial on writing lyrics below.



A Brief Intro to Writing Lyrics by Cliff Keller
San Diego Songwriters MeetUp 5/2011

How lyrics are different from Poetry:
• Lyrics usually rhyme. Rhymes can be "soft" or close (ie., find and line, move and soon).
• Follows a format involving verses, choruses, and sometimes bridges. See below for more details.
• Lyrics work with the cadence or rhythm of the melody, and have a compatible line length and number of lines in each section of the song.
• Most popular music uses lyrics that are "natural" and contemporary. Archaic, formal, or overly ambiguous lyrics are less typical.
• Collaboration with musicians can motivate and stretch your creativity.

Typical structure of a song for popular music:
• Each verse is usually 4 to 8 lines long, tells the storyline or narrative of the song. In a 3 minute song there are usually 3 to 5 verses.
• Chorus is usually 2 or 4 lines long and repeats between the verses. The song title is usually in the "hook" of the chorus.
• A bridge is a musical and lyrical departure in the song for contrast. It usually happens just once in the song.
• A typical format for a song would be verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, verse, chorus. But variations are common. Read your favorite band's lyrics to study the structure. See Johnny B Goode example:
• First Verse
• Deep down Louisiana close to New Orleans
• Way back up in the woods among the evergreens
• There stood a log cabin made of earth and wood
• Where lived a country boy named Johnny B. Goode
• Who never ever learned to read or write so well
• But he could play the guitar just like a ringing a bell
• Chorus
• Go go, Go Johnny go (repeat 3 times)
• Go, Johnny B Goode

Tips for collaborating with Songwriters:
• Be flexible, most songwriting collaborations require the lyricist and songwriter to make changes to make the lyrics and melody fit.
• Provide printed lyrics.
• If you have a melody or arrangement in mind- share it, but be open to the songwriter's ideas.
• You can have multiple songwriters working with the same lyrics, but let them know.
• Be open, don't let fear keep you back. It is easy to copyright lyrics at
• Check out for info on copyrights, Songwriting Collaboration Agreement, Rhyming tips, and lots of other useful info.
• Consider taking guitar or piano lessons, it will help you become a better lyricist if you know the basics. SDSongwriters MeetUp can recommend teachers.

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