How Melody And Lyrics Work Together

Melody and lyrics play a key part in: (1) differentiating your song, (2) communicating your message, and (3) creating a compelling, memorable moment for a listener.  So how can you achieve all three each time your write?

Pat Pattison takes a look at a song by Ann Rapetti (with a live performance) and talks about melody and the lyric. As she plays through the song, there’s discussion around placing emphasis on key words throughout the melody, and how word choice drives at least part of the options you have for creating unique sounding melodies.

Creating a moment for your listeners during a live performance, especially if you’re a singer-songwriter, can be tough. I mean . . . unless you’ve got a tambourine strapped to one foot and a kick drum at your other, you’re using a guitar or keyboard and your voice to emote the song lyrics.

This video focuses on how to use the meter of the song to highlight what’s important when conveying your song’s meaning.

Sometimes we end up twisting words or creating odd pronunciations to make the language work with the melody line. The result is usually something that “bucks the listener off of the song” (to quote Eliza Gilkyson).
What does that mean? They’re no longer listening because they’re busy thinking about whatever just happened. That is no bueno!

Pat Pattison walks through a live example of what not to do, and how to fix it with your melody and lyrics.

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