As musicians, especially instrumentalists, it’s easy to get caught up in thinking that the instrumental parts of a song are the most important. Although they are, of course, crucial to get right, the non-musician listener focuses mostly on the thing they can participate in – the singing.


Words are incredibly powerful, and writing songs gives you a platform that puts you in the center of the listener’s attention – so you’d better be ready with something good to say, and a musical, memorable, meaningful way to say it.

This is why writing great lyrics is so critical to the songwriting process. It’s the part that ANYONE can participate in – EVERYONE loves singing along to their favorite songs, screaming along full blast with the windows up on their way to work.

So here’s one absolutely bulletproof, simple method of mine to go from nothing to lyrics in just a few simple steps:

1. Write NOT Lyrics

Writing lyrics is hard. But writing just a sentence about something is easy.

So start by writing just one very matter-of-fact statement about something that’s going on in your life. For example, I had a bit of a fly infestation I had to deal with in my house this week:

“There are a lot of flies invading my house, no matter how many of them I kill there always seem to be more in my house the next day.”

Not much, right? But this has massive potential to become lyrics.

2. Chop Out The Crap

Lyrics aren’t like full sentences – they don’t follow traditional grammar rules and they don’t need a lot of the little connecting words that full sentences have – so we can say a lot more with a lot less.

So break your sentence up into just the most interesting and important phrases, and get rid of the rest. Like this:

“A lot of flies
Invading my house
No matter how many I kill
Always more”

Already quite a bit better. Not quite interesting enough to be lyrics yet, but now we have something that feels more like poetry and less like a dishwasher repair manual.

We don’t need to say “There are a lot of flies”. By saying “A lot of flies”, we say the same thing with fewer words. Same with “of them” – it doesn’t add anything, so we cut it. If we need to add more syllables back in later to hit a certain phrasing, we can add small words back in.

3. Replace Boring Words

This whole method we’re using here is something I created called “The Replacement Method”, from my course called “How To ACTUALLY Write Lyrics“. This part is why it’s called that.

We’re gonna replace all the boring words with some much more interesting and better sounding ones. First, we just make a list of as many as we can think of for each word or idea:

“A lot”:

Legion, Many, Myriad, Countless, A Swarm, A Horde, A Cloud, Endless, Scores


Pest, Insect, Drone, Vector


Lay Siege, Infest, Attack, Occupy, Overrun, Raid, Storm


Dwelling, Home, Abode – then more epic: Sanctuary, Castle, Citadel, Acropolis, Fortress, Stronghold, Palace, Tower, Keep, Nest

“No Matter”:

Although, though, despite


Slay, destroy, eradicate, annihilate, obliterate, massacre, crush, slaughter, exterminate (especially good because an exterminator is who you call for bugs)


Ever, unceasingly, endlessly,

“More” doesn’t have many cool sounding synonyms, so we’ll just leave it.

If you can’t think of any words that mean the same thing, you can use a thesaurus.

Then we can just mix and match the words and get a bunch of different options for each line :

“A lot of flies” becomes:

Legion of vectors
A horde of pests
Myriad insects
Myriad vectors
Countless insects
Endless pests

“Invading my house” becomes:

Overrun my acropolis
Infesting my stronghold
Lay siege this citadel
Acropolis stormed
Raiding my keep
Ravage my fortress

“No matter how many I kill” becomes:

Though legion I slaughter
Though countless are massacred
Though countless I crush
Despite the countless slaughtered
Despite exterminating myriads

“Always more” becomes:

Unceasingly more
Ever they come
Eternally more
Eternally they spring
Forever respawning
They respawn eternal

4. Pick and play

The next step is picking out versions of each line you like best, and then playing with them to create full stanzas of lyrics. This is where you have to start considering rhyme, and rhythmic phrasing, and how each phrase flows and if it sounds how you want it to sound and says what you want it to say.

Here’s a few variations I put together from the above lines, with some changes to make them flow better:

A vector swarm
Acropolis stormed
Though legion I slaughter
Eternally more

Infested by a vector legion
Fortress stronghold overrun
Despite the countless slaughtered
Endlessly the swarm still comes

You don’t have to keep any of them in the format you wrote it above, these are all just starting points. Play around with the order of the words, add and subtract words or put more than one of the same kind of line together to make longer lines – this is where you get to be REALLY creative.

Countless hordes, on zephyrs borne
Legion horde, a vector swarm
Lay to rest the scores of pests
Still they will refill the storm

A horde of insects, countless pests
Overrun my fragile nest
Though I slaughter clouds of vector
Still my citadel infes

There are so many combinations of words that could deliver the same message, and how you choose to arrange them in rhyme schemes, song structures, phrasing and all that is the art part of writing. Those are all decisions that you have to make for yourself – this will just get you started with LOTS of options.

This is just one way of going about it, and just a small part of becoming a great lyricist. Lucky for you, I’ve compiled all the methods, theory, and secret tricks of pro songwriters into one place – my new course How To ACTUALLY Write Lyrics.

In the course, you’ll learn:

– Concrete methods and tools for turning ideas into lyrics quickly
– Capturing inspiration in the moment and sustaining it
– Curating your ideas
– Lyrical phrasing and rhythm
– What makes something catchy and how to create hooks
– How to avoid writing cringey lyrics
– Different kinds of rhymes and rhyme schemeshow to use them
– How to write each part of a song – versechorusprechorusbridge
– Using metaphorsimile, and symbolism to create vivid and evocative imagery
– How to tell the most compelling stories with your songs

Save yourself years of wasting time on trial and error, and learn everything you need to start writing the best lyrics of your life today!

Written by

As Editor-in-Chief of Gear Gods, I've been feeding your sick instrument fetishism and trying unsuccessfully to hide my own since 2013. I studied music on both coasts (Berklee and SSU) and now I'm just trying to put my degree to some use. That's a music degree, not an English one. I'm sure you noticed.

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