"Shirley Lindsay Reading" by Christchurch City Libraries is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Two songwriting tips I heard on ‘The Working Songwriter’ Podcast

Here are two songwriting tips I heard on ‘The Working Songwriter’ Podcast.
The first relates to that all too common situation where you can’t find a rhyme – other than one that is a bit awkward. It’s your ‘last resort’ rhyme; perhaps one you found in the rhyming dictionary. The tip was to switch your rhyming words around, i.e. put the awkward word first. That way the lines will sound much more satisfying (as you are ending on the better word) and you will look a genius to have found a rhyme for such a weird word.
The second tip relates to the ‘reading age’ of lyrics. Apparently the lower the reading age of a band’s lyrics the more successful the band is. The optimal reading age is between 7 and 9. I don’t know how scientific the research was but it certainly made me contemplate my own approach. I write lyrics with no thought to the reading age of my potential listeners.
In truth, it’s unlikely that I’ll change my approach – but if I was to learn from this tip – and reach a wider audience – I should ensure that I am only using simple words.
The photograph is “biology enthusiasts” by Christos Tsoumplekas CC

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