Wednesday, April 11, 2007


After the media launch, I have received quite a number of emails and enquiries regarding my lyrics course. I was really really touched, actually, to know that there are still so many friends interested in writing lyrics.. especially when there is a common mispreception of Singaporeans having very bad language skills.
I have looked through most of the lyrics sent to me, and read through carefully what your concerns are. Here are some hints to you. (And for those who have learnt from me, here's a reminder to you too!)

1) You can scribble all you want and hope that one day someone will write a melody to your lyrics.
But this industry does not work in this direction. Melody comes first. Therefore you will have to learn how to Tian Ci (fill in the words) to a melody.
Thats why lyrics writing can be taught.

2) Lyrics with exotic scenery descriptions and cheem words is not equals to good lyrics. Feelings are more important. (this applies to some of my dear students who still think that writing like Vincent Fang will definitely make you a good lyricist)
Sometimes,usage of simple words which can convey the message more accurately is more effective.

3) Lyrics are like diaries, something for you to express and document a relationship or a past. BUt it is NOT a complaint letter. Self pity and whinniness puts your audience off.

4) Attitude is very important. You can have very good language skills, but it doesnt mean you will make a good lyricist. A good lyricist comes from Practice! Practice! Practice! and should be able to take lots of criticism.

So Aspired lyricist! Take note!


leafie said...

I'm an amateur.
I've never tried writing lyrics.
But i listen to Chinese Pop 99% of the time and i do agree with what 小寒 mentioned.

A good lyrics is not about having cheem words. Simple yet meaningful lyrics that touches the listener's heart is what is most important. That's also the reason why i love lyrics from 小寒。

After the success of Jay Chou leading to Fang Wenshan's popularity, a lot of people think that by writing like Fang Wenshan, it means you write good lyrics; which is totally not true. What works for one may not work for all. Fang Wenshan's language skills is excellent but I have difficulty understanding what he is writing 70% of the time.

On a side note, i think Penny Tai (戴佩妮) is a good lyricist and musician too. I've been listening to her songs since she started out. She never write songs with cheem words or phrases that we can't comprehend in this century. She always keep her lyrics comprehendible and her lyrics writing skills needs no second mention either.

My two cents worth. Keke ;)

白風 said...

i love Penny also!

Lehlioman said...

Hi Xiao Han,

Got to know bout your blog after reading Uweekly. I love the lyrics you have written. Xuan Wo is a great piece of work. I am keen about the lyrics-writing class at FM Music, but not sure if I am up to it.

Heres something I have written recently. Care to give your comments?

Thanks a lot..


小寒 said...

Hi Ivan
Yes you r welcome to join my class (starting in mid May), if you are interested. (you can email or simply leave your email address (if you dun mind) here.
My criteria is very simple: as long as you know how to read and write chinese.
Will go to your blog as soon as I am free-er.
Thanks. Hope to see you in my class!

eivhet said...

what if i'm a musician that would rather write music to other people's lyrics? cos sometimes i find it easier to write the melody when i have an idea of the words...