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Visit the active LitNet platform at www.litnet.co.za

Sing ’it > Tips | Wenke

Sing ’it: Karen Zoid’s advice for writers

Karen Zoid - 2011-09-07


Where do you begin writing a song/finding lyrics for a song? The chorus, the first line, the overall theme, etc?

The great thing about songwriting is that you can start writing from any angle. A little one-liner or even a cool word can be enough to set you off. I surround myself with beautiful guitars and then I feel compelled to play them. I often search for a bass line on my piano and start writing songs from that point. I recently bought a baritone guitar – also a wonderful tool when it comes to writing songs.


What does a typical song structure of yours look like – how many lines, where does the chorus fit in, etc?

I purposely vary song key and structures in my work to create distinct differences between tracks on my albums. The ones that I use the most are: verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus; or verse/climb/chorus/verse/climb/chorus/bridge/chorus or AABA.

How do you know when a song’s lyrics are complete?

When it stops sounding stupid.

What do potential songwriters need to keep in mind when writing a song for the competition?

Say what you mean and mean what you say. Bring the message across as clearly as possible without overselling by underestimating the listener. Don’t be too clever, just be smart.

What's the one topic you've always wanted to cover in a song?

Plastic shopping bags.

>>> Read some more answers by Karen Zoid here.