New! Masterclasses

How to Write Song Lyrics to Fit Your Melody

There’s no use writing a great lyric and a great melody if they don’t work together. An unfortunate setting of a word or phrase will sink the emotion of your song, calling your listeners’ attention away from WHAT you’re saying to HOW you’re saying it. This master class will show you how to get the most out of what you have to say by combining your lyrics with your melodies accurately and effectively. We’ll begin by looking at examples of songs gone wrong, then explore components of musical and syllabic stress. Towards the second half of the session, we’ll practice setting lyrics to simple melodies, and wrap up by having you match lyric phrases with melodic phrases.

  • Thursday, February 23, 2023 7:00 PM ET
  • $99

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    What You’ll Learn

    • How to identify syllabic rhythm and melodic rhythm
    • How to successfully set lyrical rhythm to melodic rhythm
    • How to better match lyric phrases to melodic phrases
    • How to maximize emotional impact of your lyrics and melodies

    Meet Your Instructor

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    Pat Pattison

    Pat Pattison is a professor at Berklee College of Music, where he teaches lyric writing and poetry. In addition to his four books, Songwriting Without Boundaries (Penguin/Random House), Writing Better Lyrics, 2nd Edition (Penguin/Random House), The Essential Guide to Lyric Form and Structure (Hal Leonard), and The Essential Guide to Rhyming (Hal Leonard), Pat has developed several online courses for Berklee Online. He has written more than 50 articles for various blogs and magazines, including American Songwriter, and has chapters in both The Poetics of American Song Lyrics (University Press of Mississippi) and The Handbook on Creative Writing (Edinburgh University Press).

    Pat continues to present songwriting clinics across the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. His students include Grammy-winners, professional songwriters, and major recording artists, including Gillian Welch, John Mayer, Tom Hambridge, Joelle James, Karmin, American Authors, Ingrid Andress, Liz Longley, Charlie Worsham, Greg Becker, Justin Tranter, and many more.


    Suggested Prerequisite Knowledge and Materials

    • Interest in writing better songs
    • Some experience writing song lyrics and melodies recommended

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