How to Write a Song Using Imagery: 9 Songwriting Tips from Andrea Stolpe | American Songwriter

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It’s easy to see the imagery that songwriters use in the lyrics of country music, but in other types of music, it’s a little bit more difficult to pin down. In this free songwriting tutorial, songwriter and Berklee Online course author Andrea Stolpe covers 9 ways to use effective imagery in your song lyrics, no matter what genre of song you’re writing. Working from the age old “show, don’t tell” school of songwriting, and encouraging innovative experiments that range from sensory writing to changing the lyrical perspective of your song, Andrea uncovers a number of effective ways to keep your listeners engaged in your lyrics. She also offers tips on how to get past the hurdle of the second verse, and how to write through a lens.

00:00 How to Create a Stronger Song with Imagery
4:54 Verses Carry the Story / The Chorus Carries the Main Message
8:25 How to Create Imagery for Songs
15:23 Weight and Pace
18:47 How to Use Imagery to Write a Verse
23:55 How to Use Toggling and Imagery
28:08 Writing through a Lens
31:02 Writing the Second Verse
33:35 Polishing Techniques for Lyrics

About Andrea Stolpe:
Andrea Stolpe is a multiplatinum songwriter, performing artist, and educator. Her songs have been recorded by Faith Hill, Julianne Hough, Jimmy Wayne, and more. She has worked as a staff writer for EMI, Almo-Irving, and Universal Music Publishing. Her books, Popular Songwriting: 10 Steps to Effective Storytelling and Beginning Songwriting: Writing Your Own Lyrics, Melodies, and Chords detail a unique process for uniting your artistic voice with the commercial market. Andrea has taught melody, harmony, and lyric writing courses for Berklee Online for more than a decade. She authored the Berklee Online course Commercial Songwriting Techniques, which she teaches. She also teaches Lyric Writing: Writing from the Title, and Lyric Writing: Writing Lyrics to Music for Berklee Online.

About Berklee Online:
Berklee Online is the continuing education division of Berklee College of Music, delivering online access to Berklee’s acclaimed curriculum from anywhere in the world, offering online courses, certificate programs, and degree programs. Contact an Academic Advisor today:
1-866-BERKLEE (US)
1-617-747-2146 (international callers)

Andrea Stolpe | Songwriting Tips | Free Songwriting Lesson | Online Songwriting Lesson | Songwriting Tutorial | American Songwriter | I Create Music | Berklee | Berklee Online | Berklee College of Music


Smith says:

Thanks Andrea 🙂

chachodci says:

tons of tips and ideas here

isaac jacobo says:

Thank you. Great stuff!

calohtar says:

Unbelievably helpful. Some of this stuff I already knew, some of it is obvious, but it makes a difference to hear these concepts linked together in a coherent framework. A lot of times the challenge isn't in learning new things, it's in accessing and making sense of what you already know.

Bailey Richardson says:

this lady is legendary

Damon Medek says:


Rasmus Kærsgaard says:

Thank you so much Andrea- this was really helpful, especially with 2 verse issues. You are amazing!

Sincere Nokwaree says:


R mz says:

I'm a songwriter for pop artists
You have to pick a very strong title so the public stick in their heads and it has to be easy to Google , it can be weird title but Don't pick too weird one.

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