Also check out these related CleverJoe articles:
How To Make A Living Writing Lyrics
I received another email question from a young lady
who is a poet and a lyricist. A lyricist is someone who writes the words to
songs. She does not sing or play an instrument, and wonders if she can make
a career out of being strictly a lyricist. By the way, I want to
congratulate her on knowing so early in life what it is she wants to do.
O.K., first off, I would advise her to follow all the same advice I outlined
in the article How to Find a Music Publisher.
Now, can someone make a career as strictly
a lyricist? Yes. Here in Nashville I write with some people for whom
writing lyrics comes much easier than writing music. Indeed, some of them
have written #1 country songs. Obviously if you write lyrics only, you need
to find someone who writes music that you can collaborate with. It may take
time to find people whose music you think compliments your lyrics and
someone who thinks your lyrics compliment their music. Be patient! If
you truly commit to the process of finding these collaborators (as outlined in
the above mentioned article), you'll find them. They are out there,
Also, I trust you know the difference between poems and songs --
and there is a big difference. A good lyricist must still understand the
phrasing, meter, mood, etc., of music, even if they can't write it. The more
they understand of what the melody writer has to contend with, the better a
lyricist they will be. Also, consider this...it really ain't that hard to
learn to play the guitar or piano!
Let me rephrase that. It ain't that hard
to learn to play the guitar or piano enough to write songs. I have
personally sat and listened to some of the most successful songwriters in
Nashville play their hits -- and they only know a few chords! (And a lot of
them can't sing, either, but they don't have to be able to! That's the great
thing about songwriting!)
Anyway, you'd be surprised how much the world of
melody would open up to you with just 4 or 5 chords. Maybe you should give
it a try! You might surprise yourself! Good luck!
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Austin Smith is trekking down the songwriter's path
in Nashville, Tennessee. Austin will be contributing regular articles to Cleverjoe's until
he finally gets that elusive recording contract, at which point we hope he won't forget
the little people.
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