Are my pronouns consistent and clear? If I have more than one female character in the song, is it clear each time I say “she” or “her” which character I’m talking about? The same goes for pronouns referring to male characters and objects. Pronouns can be tricky and confusing. I always give them a last-minute checkup.
Is my grammar correct? There is nothing more turn off in a song for me rather than looking at some lyrics and find grammar mistakes, specially from native English speaking writers. There is one writer I am working with and any time he is pitching any song, there are at least 10 grammar mistakes in his lyrics. Huge ones. He always comes up with the greatest melodies and messages a human can possibly think of, but these grammar mistakes turn his songs into something near garbage! Some example of his mistakes are, “you was hold my both hand” or “you says to me”. There is no excuse for these mistakes specially when he is a native English speaker. Always go through your lyrics and fix any of these kinds of mistakes.
Did I write to my hook? Many times, we tend to wander. Especially in second verses. We say everything we can think of to say about our hook in verse one and then we just make up something in the second verse. I check every piece of the song to make sure it points to and supports my hook.
Does anything in my song work against my hook? You’d be amazed how many times I critique a song and there are lines that actually say the opposite of the hook. That makes your song confusing. If your song is about how much you love someone, it doesn’t need to say, “I hate you sometimes”. Make up your mind and decide what direction your song is supposed to be. Keep that direction in your hook and build the rest of the song based on your hook.
Do I have any extra or useless words? If a word doesn’t add to the song, I try to take it out. Do I really need that “and”, “but”, “just” or “cause”? If not, it goes. The quality of a song is not determined by how many words you have written. It’s about how efficient you can deliver your message. The best songs always minimize the number of words and tell the story in the most efficient way possible.
Do I have any lines or words that are hard to sing? If so, I try to fix them so that the song sings easily and naturally. Singers pay close attention to this, so writers should too. You want to write something that people can sing along and enjoy it when they hear it rather than send them to find a dictionary and try to look up what you just said. Nobody does that, and if you try to use words too big people just give up on your song. Also, if you use the words that are not easy to pronounce for an average person, they wouldn’t be able to sing along, therefore they won’t remember your song and that exactly is the opposite of what you want.
Hangi Tavakoli is our in-house established and professional music producer with 20 years of experience in songwriting, music production, mix and mastering. He has written and produced more than 5,000 published songs to-date, including some major hits in international scale.