Christmas Holiday workshops now open for bookings!

Write a Christmas smash hit with our professional songwriters!

Where?  West London & Winchester

WEST LONDON at The Holy Trinity Church, Brook Green, Hammersmith, W6 7BL

Monday 19 (2-6pm) & Tuesday 20 December (2-5pm)

WINCHESTER at The Railway Inn, 3 St Pauls Hill, Winchester, SO22 5AE

Tuesday 13 (1-4pm) for 8-11 year olds

Wednesday 14 December (1-4pm) for 12-16 year olds

Who?  Two groups: 8-11 year olds and 12-16 year olds

Join our dynamic & spontaneous songwriting & singing workshops over the Christmas holidays.  Our vibrant groups of young songwriters collaborate on writing & producing an original song with our hit songwriters across two afternoons with a performance at the end.

We develop participants creative lyric writing skills, improvisation of melodies, harmonies and rhythm skills, and composition of instrumental parts/riffs and solos. Participants choose the style of music – rock, country, jazz, pop, rhythm & blues, hip hop, urban, latin, electronic, folk or a new mixture! Those that play an instrument can bring it along and those that don’t can focus on creating the vocal harmonies.

£95 for two afternoons (7 hours) with a performance at 4:45pm on the second afternoon for friends & family

£35 for the one afternoon (3 hour) workshops in Winchester, with a performance at 3.45pm.

To enquire/book – click here for the online booking form.

or email contact@songacademy.co.uk or text/call 07710 023743.

“Lets their musical and creative side run free” – Jo, Mother

“It’s awesome creating a song from scratch with professional songwriters!” – Amy, 14 years old

“Inspirational” Charlotte, Mother

 

Tips for getting started with writing lyrics

Study something you love:

For example; take one of your favourite songs and look at how it has been written.

Eg: what is the rhyme scheme?

Are there other devices being used (and how)? Alliteration, metaphors etc

Then copy the structure and write on a topic of your choosing, anything you like, but sticking to the structure from your favourite song!

Line swap:

Sometimes you already have all the material that you need, you may just need to rearrange it!

For example switching lines 2 and 3, or deciding to use what you had written for the chorus and as a verse.

Some examples of great lyrics to check out:

And the smell of the smoke and the lay of the land

and the feeling of finding one’s heart in one’s hand

From ‘On the 4th of July’ by James Taylor

You were the one who said forever from the start

And I’ve been drifting since you’ve gone

Out on a lonely sea that only you can chart

I’ve been going on, knowing that my heart will break,

With ev’ry breath I take.

From ‘With every breath I take’ lyric by David Zippel

We were married on a rainy day

The sky was yellow, and the grass was grey

We signed the papers and we drove away

I do it for your love

From ‘I do it for your love’ by Paul Simon

All the things I thought I’d be

All the brave things I’ve done

Vanish like a snowflake with the rising of the sun

From ‘I will go sailing no more’ by Randy Newman

But it don’t snow here, stays pretty green

I’m gonna make a lot of money and then I’m gonna quit this crazy scene.

From ‘River’ by Joni Mitchell

How can I write good lyrics?

“How can I write good lyrics?”

The answer seems simple: write about something that inspires, touches and moves you. That’s the fundamental factor that will make things easier and allow you to write a great and heartfelt song.
But even then, how can we make sure our lyrics are not boring or predictable? After all, songwriters from all over the world have been writing songs for centuries…

A good way to achieve that is to find new ways to talk about “old stuff”.
If you’re going to talk about love, for example, you may want to find a better line than simply “I love you”, “your eyes are beautiful”, etc… John Mayer came up with “Your Body Is A Wonderland”, a sweet and interesting way to express his love towards his girlfriend. And that song won Mayer a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance in 2003!

A great tool available in literacy to make our lines interesting is figures of speech, which is “figurative language in the form of a single word or phrase”. It usually takes longer to explain them than giving few examples, so here are a few of them that I like to use.

One of my favourite figure of speech is the metaphor. Do you remember from school what a simile is? Something like “You’re beautiful like a flower”? Right, the metaphor is the same thing but does not use “like” or “as”.  In this case, it would be “You’re a flower”.
An example may be “Love is a razor and I walked the line on that silver blade” from “The Evil That Men Do” by Iron Maiden. What better way to say that love hurts and the main character of the song is heartbroken?

Another popular figure of speech is the oxymoron, which puts together two contradictory elements, like Simon & Garfunkel’s famous song “The Sound Of Silence”. How can silence make any sound??

The number of figures of speech available to us songwriters is huge. Just have a look at some of them and get inspired: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Figure_of_speech
You may also find unusual and clever images to describe a specific situation or topic.Take “Hide And Seek” by Imogen Heap for example. Take the line that goes “The dust has only just begun to fall, crop circles in the carpet, sinking, feeling”. I remember my songwriting teacher saying that line refers to when Imogen broke up with her boyfriend, who then moved out from the house they used to live in. Those circles are the marks left by the furniture, which prevented the dust from falling on some portions of the floor. Now the furniture has been taken away and those circles are visible on the floor, which tells us somebody has moved out. WOW!

Good songs often picture images that strike people’s imagination.
Think of Mayer’s “Slow Dancing In A Burning Room”, which gives a strong and vivid idea of what the relationship between the author and her girlfriend feels like.

And what about Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”?”We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl”… That line always made my imagination take over!

Let’s keep in mind that all these devices are just “spices” that you want to put on top of “good food”, that is a good story that moves you, to make it “tastier”. If the food is “bad”, as in if you don’t feel inspired or don’t know what to write about, just take the time to listen to and get inspired by a great song like the following, where all the elements we’ve seen today have been used:

Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah (originally written by Leonard Cohen)