How do songwriter’s place or write lyrics over a rhythm pattern?

In the English language words with more than one syllable will have an accent that stresses that syllable. When matching words over a rhythm pattern make sure that the stress falls in on the strong beats in measure. The accent stress and unstressed syllables create a rhythm.

In poetry these are call “feet” Each line in a lyric will also have what is called a meter count. This is the number of syllables in the lyric lines. As a starting point, there is what is called common meter. The meter count per line goes like this: 8, 6, 8, 6. The first line has eight syllables. the Second line has six syllables. In most common meter the stress pattern used is called Iambic and can be represented like this: * = unstressed and / = stressed. Iambic meter for goes like this:

* / * / * / * /

to sound it out would be something like this : da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM.

Of course this is just a starting point that can be an abundance of different patterns. In music it is important that there be some level of repetition in the rhythm pattern. To give you some idea of songs written in Common Meter is his a short list

  • Amazing Grace
  • Yankee Doodle
  • America the Beautiful
    The Marine Hymn
  • I’ve been Working on the Railroad
  • Giligan’s Island
  • House of the Rising Sun
  • The Yellow Rose of Texas
  • Joy to the World
  • Auld Lang Syne
  • Beverly Hillbillies Theme
  • Ghost Riders in the Sky
  • Stairway to Heaven

To write a lyric over a rhythm pattern first establish the syllable count for each line of lyric then determine the accented beats. Then match that with your lyric.

Posted in . Bookmark the permalink. RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

Comments are closed.

  • Products

  • Mastering Melodies Online Course

    Mastering Melodies - Online Course for Music Composer
  • Free Special Report

    Inspire Your Songwriting Fun and Practical Tips
    Get this free special report with information that will help inspire your songwriting.

    By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Mediatunes, 445 N Cuyamaca St, El Cajon, CA, 92020, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
  • Songwriter Tip:

    An extension to the journal tip is to keep all your old songs. Keep the music and lyrics every time you decide not to use a song. You may often find a use for it later when your skill has improved. You may find when reviewing all the songs you wrote and tossed aside that some ideas that you had years ago are actually quite relevant now. Use the old riffs and scraps of lyric to break whatever ‘block’ you may be experiencing, or reconstruct entirely new songs. In many cases, you will find that they are much better than their predecessors are.