So you write lyrics...but are you a real lyricist? I mean have your words been put to music? We all know that lyrics are the words of songs. So if your lyrics didn't end up as songs, it means that you have certainly wasted your time!! The question now becomes: What steps should I take to convert my lyrics into a full-functional song?
Well, there are two situations. First, you might be a musician too and then you have the choice of writing music for your own lyrics. Second, you might not be able to write music for your lyrics, which is OK, but you will have to work on your lyrics with a composer or a musician who is willing to write music for it.
Writing Music For Lyrics
Considering the first situation; being a musician besides being a lyricist, you first need to know how to write music for existing lyrics. Many musician songwriters compose some music first and then go ahead and fit some lyrics into it, but sometimes a composer might come up with nice lyrics and finds that he/she has to do it the other way around…
Writing music for lyrics is fairly easy, if you got enough will and patience. The idea is simply to keep reading your lyrics until you totally "absorb" the words and the rhythm already existing in them. Then, you start "trying to sing" the lyrics until you come up with some melody for the chorus. It may take you some time, until you finally find a melody that is good enough for your lyrics. There are no particular rules or steps to follow, although there are a couple of things to watch for...
1- Let the melody do the talking. If you come up with a song-worthy melody but there is a certain part of your lyrics which the melody doesn't fit exactly, then alter this part of your lyrics not the music. You will find that it's easier and makes more sense than changing the music to make it fit the lyrics. Always keep in your mind that music is more structured than words (although you may not notice it)…Playing around with words is surprisingly easier than playing around with music!
2- Don't settle with the first melody you get. The first melody that pumps into your head is usually imperfect and might sound to you a bit cliché. As your song develops more, you will definitely need to change a few things around to be satisfied with what you got.