Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Writing Tools - Microsoft Word

For the last 7-8 years I've been in Nashville, Microsoft Word has been my go-to for typing and organizing my lyrics.

Here's an example of how I structure a lyric:

SONG TITLE                                                                                      DATE OF CREATION





I use all-caps because it's cleaner and less confusing than trying to figure out which letters should be capitalized. During my college internship at EMI and when I did some temp-work for Universal Music I learned that this practice is pretty standard.

In order to keep the song on one page, I use the tab function to set the chorus apart and only type it once (some people put the chorus in bold instead). The bridge (if there is one) is offset twice as far.

Of course, this style of typing only works for songs that fit this common song structure, so however you type your lyric should be determined by how the song should be written first.

Here's the lyric Melinda Schneider and myself wrote that Olivia Newton-John ended up singing:

Once you have written songs with multiple people, it's important to keep things organized. I have an overall folder entitled "lyrics" with sub-folders labeled with co-writers' names. Within each co-writer's folder, I have every song we've written.

One thing I'm interested in is the potential for Google Documents. It boasts many of the features of Word, but allows you to access your documents anywhere you can get Internet access.

Keep writing (and typing),


1 comment:

  1. I am a songwriter and was just on writer's den's web site and found your blog. As I am going through all your entries I found this one particularly inspiring. It has nothing to do with how you organize all your lyrics in your computer or how you type them, it is basically the song that you posted. I am a high school senior and am seriously considering going to Belmont to major in songwriting (against everything my parents say). The song you wrote inspired me because, knowing that my parents don't believe in my dreams and I won't receive any support, that "every step is the same whether in the sunshine or in the rain." "you may be feeling scared and want to run away, but if you choose to look fear in the face, you will have better luck."

    Thank you so much for these inspiring lyrics, they are really helping me through this tough time in my life.

    Randi Leigh Decker
    Mertzon, Tx