Using Literary Devices

Advanced Techniques

Using Literary Devices

As magical and unique as music is, lyrics are at their core words and part of our written and spoken language. So, when looking strictly at lyrics, we can use many of the same literary devices as we would in any other creative writing exercise.

What are literary devices?

'Literary devices are ways of taking writing beyond its straightforward, literal meaning. In that sense, they are techniques for helping guide the reader in how to read the piece. Central to all literary devices is a quality of connection: by establishing or examining relationships between things, literary devices encourage the reader to perceive and interpret the world in new ways.'

Imagery

Imagery is the use of vivid descriptive language, which appeals to the human senses, deepens listener understanding and adds interest. When we use imagery, we can evoke a more meaningful sensory experience for the listener. This enables us to add more depth of expression to our lyrics, as well as aid the listener’s understanding of the stories, situations, emotions and messages we’re trying to convey.

You might be writing about something that has been written about many times before, or which many people have experienced themselves — what makes it interesting to the listener is how you tell the story, and how you express emotions, experiences, and your reactions. That’s why use of imagery is one of the most powerful tools that we can employ to add interest and identity to our lyric writing.

Types of Imagery

  • Simile – a device enabling us to paint a picture through comparison
    • ‘like’ – her eyes were like twinkling stars
    • ‘as’ – her eyes were as bright as stars
  • Metaphor
Metaphor

Imagery is the use of vivid descriptive language, which appeals to the human senses, deepens listener understanding and adds interest. When we use imagery, we can evoke a more meaningful sensory experience for the listener. This enables us to add more depth of expression to our lyrics, as well as aid the listener’s understanding of the stories, situations, emotions and messages we’re trying to convey.

You might be writing about something that has been written about many times before, or which many people have experienced themselves — what makes it interesting to the listener is how you tell the story, and how you express emotions, experiences, and your reactions. That’s why use of imagery is one of the most powerful tools that we can employ to add interest and identity to our lyric writing.

Types of Imagery

  • Simile – a device enabling us to paint a picture through comparison
    • ‘like’ – her eyes were like twinkling stars
    • ‘as’ – her eyes were as bright as stars
  • Metaphor