Gary Ewer

Published on Jan 16, 2019

See Gary Ewer’s songwriting ebooks:…. And check out “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” blog at

If you check out “Greatest Songs Ever” lists, you’ll almost always notice that the majority of the songs are there, at least in part, because of their excellent lyrics. In this video, we take a look at five characteristics of what makes a lyric great. You’ll learn about style of writing, emotional content, imagery, and much more. If you feel inspired to take your lyric writing to a higher level, start with the basics as described here in this video.

“Each of us has his own alphabet with which to create poetry.” Irving Stone, writer

via “Each of us has his own alphabet with which to create poetry.” — Art of Quotation


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I’m pleased to announce that I’ve just completed

a new eBook for songwriters entitled “Use Your Words!

Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process.”

It’s available right now at the online store

as a free add-on to the 10-eBook Bundle.

(It will also be available as a separate sale item

in the coming days.) For a limited time,…

via New eBook: “Use Your Words! Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process” — The Essential Secrets of Songwriting


Berklee Online 

Published on Sep 10, 2015

Download our free Songwriting Degree Handbook:
Learn Songwriting Online with Berklee:
In this free tutorial, Berklee Online instructor Andrea Stolpe shares how to write a song using tips and techniques that will help you to write lyrics to music and convey your message to your listeners.

Placing that perfect lyrical idea into a melody without it sounding unnatural is a common obstacle to many songwriters. An unfortunate setting of a word or phrase can sink the emotion of the song, calling your listener’s attention away from WHAT you are saying to HOW you are saying it. Writing Lyrics to Music analyzes a variety of song forms to instruct you on key lyrical and melodic components: stressed and unstressed beats, rhyme positions, melodic sections, and tone. You’ll work through different musical feels and time signatures, and discover how the natural shapes of the words follow the shape of the melody, ultimately creating a much more expressive composition. This is a “can’t miss” course – it’s bound to take your writing to the next level. It will also make you a more valuable co-writer.

Enroll in Writing Lyrics to Music now:

For more songwriting tips and techniques watch these free tutorials:
How to Write A Song: Sensory Writing Tricks
How to Write A Song: Use Critique to Improve Your Songs

Want more? Learn songwriting online with Berklee:
Learn techniques for writing original songs in a variety of musical styles—techniques that have propelled Berklee alumni to write number one songs and win Grammy Awards. In this program, you will develop skills to create song structures, harmonies, melodies, and lyrics that support and enhance the ideas that you want to express. Through listening and analysis, you will be able to recognize and discuss quality elements in musical and lyrical structures. You will learn arranging techniques that support the style and structure of a song with appropriate instrumentation. You will develop your own voice as a songwriter and learn to write more effectively and efficiently, whether by yourself or in collaboration with other songwriters.

Andrea Stolpe is a multi-platinum recorded songwriter, performing artist, and educator. She has worked as a staff writer for EMI, Almo-Irving, and Universal Music Publishing, with songs recorded by such artists as Faith Hill, Daniel Lee Martin, Julianne Hough, and others. Andrea is the author and instructor of the course Commercial Songwriting Techniques, part of Berklee Online’s online songwriting program. Recently released in fall of 2007, her book Popular Lyric Writing: 10 Steps to Effective Storytelling describes how to apply a unique process for uniting our artistic voice with the commercial market.

Andrea graduated with a degree in songwriting from Berklee College of Music. She continues to tour and promote her solo release, “Breaking Even,” and serve as a guest clinician nationally and abroad. Andrea lives in Los Angeles with her husband, recording engineer Jan Teddy.

Enroll in Commercial Songwriting Techniques now:

How to Write A Song | Songwriting | Tips & Techniques | Free Tutorial


Gary Ewer


If you’ve never written lyrics before, it can be overwhelming to imagine where to start. From my online students, I often hear how relieving it is to bring structure and tools into the mix as we delve into lyric writing. Within the first 4 weeks, most students have much greater clarity about what makes a good…

via 5 Steps to Start Writing Lyrics — Berklee Online





GARY EWER   –   Getting the Most Out of a Bridge Lyric



Verse lyrics set the stage, recount details of a story, describe characters, etc. It lays out the narrative, the storyline or general song topic.


Chorus lyrics describe an emotional reaction to the story. Chorus lyrics usually don’t add much in terms of the details of the story, but they certainly make it clear what the singer’s reaction to the story might be.


And then we get to the bridge. As you likely know, a bridge section will take a song a bit further afield by bringing in new melodies built upon new chords (and generally, chords that take the song in a new direction). As an audience hears the bridge, they are usually aware that this new section is temporary; they expect to hear a return to the chorus, or a third verse (particularly for songs in verse-bridge format).



Andrea Stolpe

Andrea Stolpe
 Andrea Stolpe teaches songwriting at Berklee Online and the University of Southern California. Her songs have been recorded by Faith Hill, Julianne Hough, and Jimmy Wayne. She is also the author of Popular Songwriting: 10 Steps to Effective Storytelling.


As songwriters or producers, it is our job to make an artist look good. In other words, we need to capture with sound what makes that artist unique and appealing. I’d like to share some techniques I have found work well when songwriting with a recording artist who may or may not be a songwriter at heart.

Sometimes performing or recording artists are vocalists or instrumentalists with very little songwriting knowledge.  In a collaborative situation, it is the songwriter’s job to take the lead and help the artist to verbalize with music and words elements of who he or she is as an artist.  This can be a daunting task unless we break it down into smaller steps.

Some of the best lyrics can be found by truly listening to the artist talk about what is important to him or her. Getting to what’s important sometimes takes some digging. It is up to us as the writer to ask the right questions to reveal these good lyrics. We start in conversation, listening closely to what comes up. When something does come up, such as a memory of a situation, a person, or a pivotal experience, we can investigate that with the artist. The moment that holds the well of emotion is the moment the song should capture.  Pretend you’re a journalist, and you are interviewing the artist. You might ask, what really hit you at that moment?  What do you believe now because of that experience? What do you want people to know about you because of that time in your life?

Follow your instincts, and when you ask questions take the stance of someone who is truly curious to understand the person inside the artist. As you do, record the exact words the artist says.  Using the artist’s language ensures that the artist feels he or she had a major part in writing the song. This gives you a better chance of seeing your song chosen for the performance or the record.

We can also use this technique writing with other songwriters. It’s a kind of collaborative object writing or destination writing. It also helps us to see eye to eye on a song idea, getting us on the same page from the beginning of the song.  It’s not uncommon for collaboration to feel difficult or even uncomfortable at times.  Having some tools at hand to keep the session lively and productive can alleviate our fears and result in some great songs and relationships.

Happy writing,


How to Write a Song with UltimateSongwritingLessons

Gary Ewer   –   Secrets Of Songwriting   –   LESSON 1: Focusing Your Lyrics


Music Plus presents the first in a series of music tutorials. This first video will concentrate on songwriting and features Robert Shields (Finding Albert) who will go through his approach to working with: Chords, Melody, Lyrics and Structure.

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Starting With Lyrics

Creating Melody

Creating A Structure

For many people often the most difficult task of songwriting is lyric writing. And with lyric writing often the most difficult part is knowing where to start. In this video I give you one technique I’ve found useful: Start at the end!

Also I consider the features of language itself that we need to take into account as we try to shape words into lyrics.

Harvey, instructor of our online courses Creative Writing: Finding Your Voice and Creative Writing: Poetry on May 10th.

Caroline is an Assistant Professor in the Liberal Arts department at Berklee College of Music, as well as an online instructor for Berkleemusic. An accomplished writer and performer, she was hand-picked by Professor Pat Pattison to teach his newest online courses, Creative Writing: Finding Your Voice and Creative Writing: Poetry.