How to Write a Rock Song Lyrics

So you're an aspiring rocker looking to pour your heart out and let the world know about the things you have to say?


So you’re an aspiring rocker looking to pour your heart out and let the world know about the things you have to say? That is amazing, and we wholeheartedly salute you, my friend! And to reach the greatest heights, you will need to use magic and find your own way, but there are things where you can get some help and guidance.

And that’s where we’d like to hop in with a brief guide on how to write a rock song lyrics. Once again, this journey belongs to you, but these tips should help you find the right path.

Write about what matters to you

Don’t write about the ladies if you aren’t inspired by them, it’s as simple as that. Rock music is about conveying a message to the listener, and the only right way to do it is to write about what genuinely inspires you. So put your thinking cap on and see what mood flows the best with you.

If you can’t find something to inspire you, you are in bit of a pickle, my friend. But don’t get desperate just yet, as there is a whole wide world for you to explore out there. So go, watch, learn, make mistakes, learn, fall in love, fall out of love, just live and the inspiration is bound to come one way or another. But when it strikes, be well prepared.

Rock Lyrics

Know your chords, know your melody

To express yourself in the realm of rock music, you will need to know some instrumental basics as well. Rock is not primarily driven by lyrics, but by guitar and drums, and you should know how to utilize those instruments to your advantage and create a sonic landscape that fulfills and backs up your words.

So get yourself either a guitar, or even better – a piano. Tweak with different scales, modes and all that jive, see what fits your lines the best. Remember, it’s all about the experimentation and the adventurous spirit.

Read and Work on Your Vocabulary

Masterful rock lyrics don’t revolve around the world “baby,” so you will need to work on your vocabulary a little bit. Read books that intrigue you, that is the best choice because books can also inspire you to write, and not just enrich your vocabulary. You shouldn’t really focus on guides like this, to be perfectly honest, but wander into uncharted waters and fascinating realms of amazing stories. If you look at such masters as Bob Dylan and Neil Young, they are often story tellers, even if their stories are intangible and odd sometimes.


Keep an Open Mind, Don’t Get Pigeonholed

Many rock lyricists get stuck in a rut with the same ole, same ole routine, or the same ole blues as JJ Cale put it, and you should avoid it. If you’re repeating yourself too much, it’s either because you don’t have anything new to say, or because you’re forcing yourself to make the same thing over and over again, none of which are a good option. So keep an open spirit, don’t be hostile towards new things, but don’t become susceptible to the latest trends either.

Avoid Cliches, or Reinvent Them

In a world packed with copycats, you will want to stand out of the crowd by saying something new. But on the other hand, you don’t want to force originality either, because nobody likes forced out lyrics about something the author is genuinely uninterested about. So unless you have original music or production to back up the lyrical cliche, you will want to avoid them at all cost. If you are delving into a cliche topic, then find ways to make it your own and put your own stamp to it. Only then will you score true success.


Conclusion – How to Write a Rock Song Lyrics

Thus, in a nutshell, these are the basic guidelines of how to deliver top quality rock lyrics. Needless to say, the final, and the most difficult step is yours, the one that requires you to turn your inspiration into a timeless rock classic, or even two for that matter. So, always keep an open mind, know your music, know yourself. Now get rocking, young padawan, the guitar realm awaits you!


  1. HAHAHA I love that pic for the honesty part!!! 😀 😀 But seriously, this is a good guide, I’m forwarding it to the guys in my band right away. All points hit the nail in the head, now I just have to do the difficult part – get off my ass and start improving myself : ) ) ) ) )

  2. Yes, melody! People these days can’t seem to find a good melody, they’re all about this annoying super-perfect production that isn’t perfect at all, but overproduced and boring as hell. We need to get back to the part where music was about expression and emotions and not stupid “modern production values”