What is a Lyricist?

A Lyricist is a specialized type of Author. Also known as: Singer Lyricist, Lyric Writer, Jingle Writer, Songwriter.

A lyricist is someone who is involved in writing creative words that are used in songs. Many times, a successful lyric writer will work closely with a musical composer who can give feedback on how the written lyrics will work in conjunction with the music that will accompany them.

Sometimes a lyricist will be someone who can not only write the words to a song, but can also write the music. This is a definite advantage for any lyricist, because that way they are able to control both aspects of a song, ultimately achieving the artistic feel that they were aiming for. Even if a lyricist does not have the complete ability to write both the words and music-piece, it is an excellent idea if they are able to have a brief understanding of the musical aspect.

At times, a lyricist will write exclusively for one band or performer. Many performers or entertainers do not write their own material, but are backed by talented writers who are able to compose songs that compliment their niche in the industry.

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What does a Lyricist do?

Typically, a lyricist will be a freelance writer who submits their work to composers, record companies, or performers who are looking for words to put to the pieces of music they have written. It is not uncommon for a lyricist to have a musical recording submitted to him or her, and be asked to put together words to go along with it.

It is important that a good lyricist be able to work well with other people. Often, the work of a lyricist is scrutinized and edited in order to come up with a finished product. Communication and people skills are a must if you are going to be working with other composers or writers.

Sometimes a good lyricist is able to not only write the words to a song, but write the musical aspect as well, and perform it on their own. Some very successful artists and entertainers have mastered each aspect of song writing, and have gained wealth and notoriety because of it. Some excellent examples of this would be John Lennon, Fiona Apple, John Mayer, Elton John, and Jack Johnson (just to name a few).

What is the workplace of a Lyricist like?

There is not a typical or standardized work environment for a lyric writer. As mentioned above, many lyricists are freelance writers, and many of them work from home. It is also possible to rent out a studio space or office suite where you have a dedicated work area. This may help your concentration, as well as your professionalism when meeting with possible clients. It may be difficult to afford a rented office space when first getting started, but it would be a good thing to keep in mind for the future.



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Further Reading

  • Pop life: The Great Success Of Superstar Lyricist Tim Rice

    Rice, who has just turned 69, is in his attic office, an all-white room filled with light. Above the door handle is a sign that says "f--- off" in five different languages. Despite that, he greets me warmly and immediately asks about the cricket.

  • Don Black: Star Lyricist Puts A Productive Life Into Words

    As well as compiling his new late Sunday evening Radio 2 show, which is fuelled by the Great American Songbook, there is still work to be done on his latest musical, Stephen Ward.

  • Focusing Your Lyrics: Try Writing A Short Essay

    Writing a short story on your song’s topic is a great intermediate step for writing a good lyric.

  • What Do Lyricists Do?

    As a Lyricist, you put together words to help the less lyrically inclined express their love through song. You don’t just have to write about love though.

  • So You Want My Job: Songwriter

    Not all musical artists pen their own tunes. Often they record a song given to them by a songwriter or work with songwriters to craft a hit. What’s it like to work in this interesting part of the music business?

  • Inside Songwriting

    You've now reached a point where you can write perfectly crafted songs. So why aren't you having hits? Why are you still working a miserable day job? And what do you need to do to get to that next level?

  • 10 Tips On How To Become A Great Lyricist By ILLWILL

    In this article I am going to give you a few pointers from research and personal experience on how to become a first class lyricist.

  • The Lyricist

    A lyricist, also called lyric writer or wordsmith, is someone who writes the words to an original piece of music or adds words to already existing music.

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