Lyric Exercise #4 – Contrasts
Contrast is a powerful tool in the songwriter’s arsenal. With it, we can create amazing imagery through combining opposing elements together. In this article, we’ll discuss why contrast is important and study how it’s used in songwriting.
This article is a summarised transcript of the fourth exercise in our video “5 Simple Songwriting Exercises to Transform Your Lyrics”. Click here to watch the video for more details, explanations and examples.
What is Contrast and Why is It Important?
Contrast in songwriting is combining two opposing ideas or images in the same line of lyric or in close proximity with each other. So, for example, contrasting ideas such as day and night, good and bad, hot and cold, or questions and answers.
The use of opposites is appealing because the contrast usually serves to amplify the idea by spotlighting it.
To learn more about how to write great lyrics, download this free PDF eBook on “The 5 Best Songwriting Exercises for Writing Great Lyrics”:
An Example of Contrast in Practice
Below is an excerpt from the song “She Burns” by Foy Vance:
The usage of contrast – cold and hot, frozen and burning – really serves to amplify the hook of this song which is “She burns”.
Conclusion: Lyric Exercise #4 – Contrasts
Contrast in songwriting isn’t limited to positive and negative emotions. It can also involve contrasting perspectives, ideas, or even the juxtaposition of unrelated but evocative images. Experiment with this technique to infuse your lyrics with depth and resonance.
Level up your songwriting with five radically practical exercises used by professional songwriters around the world: