1. Add concrete details and imagery in your verses.

2. Confirm every line of your verse furthers your song’s story.

3. Make sure your chorus lyric is your song’s theme/main message.

4. Put your lyric hook at the end (and possibly also the beginning) of

your chorus.

5. If you’re using a metaphor, be certain that all your imagery is


6. Check that your words sound good sung (a lyric isn’t just poetry).


7. Make sure your melody is unique but not overly complicated.

8. Differentiate your verse and chorus melodies.

9. Structure your melody so it rises in pitch in the chorus.


10. Cut your song’s intro in half. Get right to the point.

11. Make sure your rhyme scheme is the same in similar sections.

12. Confirm that your bridge is taking a new angle on your song’s

lyrical and melodic message.

Bonus Tip: Remember less is more so when in doubt, remove words,

lines and even entire sections.

*Hat-Tip* Cliff Goldmacher - songwriter, music producer and educator with recording studios in Nashville, TN and Sonoma, CA.

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