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Avoid Lyric Fail

Avoid Lyric Fail… Fix it before it can happen!

Lyric Fail = leaving weak lines in your song and calling it “finished”


Working on your next best song…but the second line feels uncomfortable. Instead of changing something, you ignore your own ears… and settle for good

instead of great!


When writing, especially free writing…using OK lyrics is a great tactic. Intuitive, first impressions are excellent, but not necessarily the final choices.


When editing, hunting for and changing so-so lyrics into song writing brilliance is all in a day’s work!


It is frustrating when you can’t find a way to make your good lines great… or push your great song to the next level!





It’s alright…

You’re on the right webpage!


Keep reading…



Avoid Lyric Fail





Hunting for Lyric Fails usually comes down to one of two questions:


  1. What should I change?

  2. What should I change it to?



Still with me?


Let’s go fix your song…



  1. What should I change?


Start with the message of the song

write it down, 2 sentences maximum.

Clearly state what you want to say.



Find the strong parts of your song…

Keep them


Circle anything that feels

  • uncomfortable,
  • boring,
  • distracts from the message



Uncomfortable, bored, uncertain are your feelings that something is wrong in your song







Lyric Fail-Quote



2. What should I change it to?

My Best Lyric Fail Solutions:



  1. Massage the lyric (small changes)

  2. Move the lyric elsewhere in the song

  3. Cut the lyric and use other words in their spot



Massage the lyric


Speak it, sing it, dance it…

Squeeze, stretch, pull…

  • find new words or phrases
  • find new images or metaphors
  • find new rhymes by changing the last word of ending of a line


Best Advice:

Sing it until it starts to work



Move Lyrics


Try words / lines / pairs of lines / entire sections

in new places in your song.



All of these have worked for me:

  • Make the second verse the first verse
  • Switch rhyming lines with each other
  • Make 2 verses into 4 verses
  • Make the first verse the chorus
  • Put the hook in a different place in your chorus
  • Repeat a line
  • Change the number of lines in a section
  • Changing the arrangement: verse, prechorus, chorus, bridge, refrain, transitions


The order you wrote it in is not always the best order for the song!



Cut Lyrics




Remove them… Find something new


Use place holder lyrics…

Listen to the rhythms and accents of the other lines.






Help others by adding your comment below:


What is your favorite way to find / fix Lyric Fails?


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© Trevor Dimoff,, 2019