Songwriting may seem like it’s hard, but believe me, it is a lot simpler than you might think. If you can deconstruct the rhyme structure of a Dr. Seuss book, you are well on your way! Here are some tips, by genre, to help you write the best lyrics possible:
I got lots of money: check.
I got lots of women: check.
I talk about how much I don’t care about the haters, even though my lyrics make it painfully obvious that I do, in fact, care about them: CHECK.
“OK guys, I think we got a hit!”
METAL: The most important thing to is touch into the “pain inside”. This pain could stem from being picked on as a child, being an outcast, or having a contractor screw up the construction on your mansion. Once you have touched upon your inner victim, feel free to add other things, such as excerpts from science fiction books, the love of Satan, the hatred of God, and various “UGGGHHHH” and “AGGGHHHH”s to break up the lyrical monotony.
COUNTRY: Country music might seem simple, but it really is quite lyrical. These songwriters have mastered the usage of metaphors, especially for their trucks (“Truck Yeah, “What The Truck”, “I Don’t Give A Flying Truck”). Even though this is considered a family-friendly genre, feel free to add as many lyrics about drinking alcohol as possible. And always remember to sing about how much you love the U. S. of A., even though your blue-collar fans are the first ones to get screwed by Democrats and Republicans alike.
POP: Pop music subscribes to the school of “Keep It Simple, Stupid”, with a special emphasis on stupid. Go look in your child’s nursery rhyme book for added lyrical inspiration, and feel free to take bits and pieces of lyrics from other genres, since your music will most likely be ripping off other genres, too.
HARD ROCK: Sex, drugs, and rock + roll. Remember these three things, and you will do fine.
HARDCORE: The most important thing is to show love for your crew, which should have a catchy acronym such as DMS, FSU, or WTF. Your crew is your family, and should be sung about as much as possible. You should talk about how much you do for the scene, even if it is just renting out the local VFW hall once a month for you and your friends to put on poorly attended shows. Remember to remind your listeners that you will always catch them if they fall, but only in the figurative sense. And, maybe in the literal sense, if some jackass stumbles off of your stage riser.
INDIE / ALTERNATIVE: See “POP“, but instead of a children’s nursery rhyme book, look in a Chuck Klosterman book or at Pitchfork.com for added inspiration. Also, this genre has the added bonus of not requiring lyrics to rhyme, and it even encourages nonsensical lyrics.
ADULT CONTEMPORARY: What used to be derisively classified as “soft rock”, now has an ultra-cool name. The music and lyrics are still the same. Try to be as sincerely cheesy as possible, and picture yourself singing to a single woman in her 40’s who loves American Idol, Applebee’s, and romantic love songs. Then inject that awesomeness into your lyrics.
RAP / R + B: Nowadays, rap music and R + B are completely interchangeable, since rappers think they can sing as well as they rap, and r + b singers think they can rap as well as they sing. Actual skill is not important, and keeping it real is not important either. It doesn’t matter that you live in a studio apartment in the suburbs, so make sure you rap about living in a mansion, in the middle of the hood. While driving around a car that actual multi-millionaires can’t even get due to their rarity. Also, rap / sing about dealing drugs, your sexual conquests, haters, and make sure to write one song about how you’ve “changed” and aren’t the same person anymore. Hypocrisy is a very important part of this genre, so have fun with it!
With these tips, you will be writing musical hits in no time! Remember to upload your songs to YouTube, because once you get 1,000 hits on your video, you can start calling yourself a star. That’s how things work in the music industry nowadays, so live with it. And, pro tip: if a major label offers you a 360 deal, do a 180 and get the hell out of there.