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Lyrics Or Melody?
July 31, 2018
So, which one is the most important part of a song? The lyrics or the melody? To give you the short answer, they are both extremely important and do different things for a song.
Now for the long version...it depends. It depends on the type of song and what you are trying to convey. If it is a song that you want to be played in clubs and you want people just to enjoy it and dance to it - then absolutely the melody. But, if it's an emotional song that you want people to connect with, then you've got to create lyrics worth connecting with.
In my opinion, the lyrics are the message of a song and the melody is the medium through which it is delivered. So, you have to think what you want people to get out of your song.
Now, I'm am definitely a lyricist first and foremost. I listen mostly to the lyrics of a song, I care most about the lyrics of my own songs, and typically I will think a song is good if the lyrics are clever. So, you can know that I am not being biased in the slightest when I say; the melody is more important. It's an ugly truth and one I've been in denial about, but a song that's going to make an impact is one that has a good melody that is catchy and will get stuck in your head. That's not to say the lyrics aren't important at all, they are just as important but just in a different way.
At the end of the day, people will judge a book by its cover - it's human nature. And the 'cover' of a song is its melody - the lyrics are the content. So if you haven't got a melody that hooks people, chances are they won't be fully impacted by the song.
So, which should you focus on first? Well, I think this is down to personal preference and something you should definitely change up every now and then as a songwriter. It doesn't matter if you do them together, the lyrics first, the melody first...as long as you keep both in mind the whole way through. As long as you check that the lyrics are strong as well as the melody - the method in which you do this is your own creative process.