Songwriting Straight Line Lyric

Here’s a quick lyric tip that I think can help in the writing process.  

Recently, I heard my good friend and amazing songwriter Jason Ingram say how important it is for the lyric in a song to be like a “straight line”.  Meaning, that every lyric needs to stick to that line so you maintain a clear message throughout the song.  

It’s easy to find ourselves veering off the “straight line” with something we think is cool or just a catchy phrase, but actually doesn’t serve the hook, and might even take away from it.

I think the “straight line” idea is a really helpful way to stay on point as we work on lyrics.

I also like to think of a lyric hook as a standing coat rack.  What are you hanging there and does it serve the main theme of the song?  

If you see a coat rack in the corner, you’re going to expect coats and jackets to be hung on it, maybe even a hat and umbrella.  But you definitely wouldn’t see clothes from your closet, towels or an apron filling up that space. 

In each section, aim to make the verse, pre-chorus, chorus, and bridge all hang on your hook so that it flows together and makes perfect sense, like a coat rack full of coats in the corner.

As you start writing your lyrics in a “straight line”, you WILL become a better lyricist and help the overall clarity of your songs.