Making your lyric conversational is the key to a natural sounding song. Songwriting pro Cliff Goldmacher says that when the lyric is written like people speak it's easier to listen to and less distracting. This songwriting tutorial explains why conversational lyrics are easier to connect with and more enjoyable to hear.
- Rule #1: Make Your Lyric Conversational. The whole concept of a conversational lyric is that it sounds like people speak. There are a couple of reasons for this: one, it makes it easier to listen to, it makes it easier to connect with, and it's less distracting. In the song example, one of the things that we did is chose a line to open the song that was actually a direct quote from a conversation I was having with my co-writer at the time.
She sat down and one of the first things she said before we started writing was, "I'm a little bit tired of singing about love." To which my response was, "That sounds like the first line of our song." So now, let's listen to a little audio snippet to give you a sense of what a conversational lyric sounds like. (gospel-flavor organ and guitar) ♫ I'm a little bit tired ♫ of singin' 'bout love ♫ So there you go: a very simple, relaxed opening line to a song that feels, at the very least, conversational.
Now, for our Grammy Award-winning song example, there is nothing more conversational or relaxed than "Don't Worry, Be Happy" the way Bobby McFerrin did it. So take a look at your Spotify playlist, find "Don't Worry, Be Happy" and give that song a listen. I guarantee you'll find that lyric to be very conversational.
- Writing lyrics that are conversational and natural
- Making every line count
- Putting your song's hook at the end of a chorus
- Creating simple and unique melodies
- Keeping song intros short and longer verses at the beginning of a song