LYRIC FORMATTING GUIDELINES FOR SUBMISSION

TO A

PUBLISHER
OR

WHY YOUR LYRIC SHEET LOOKS LIKE AN AMATEUR’S

Shane Adams
Page 1 of 9

the Title Line should be 20 in size. and bridge 12 in size. if your song still doesn’t fit on one page after it is down to size 10. Make the verses.The lyric sheet you just handed to me looks horrible. but Book Antiqua looks bettertrust me!). body & contact info using font sizing • Make the title line 20 in size. nor & to. writers. Uncapitalize the small linking words. =) It has so much potential. of. articles or prepositions (unless they are the first or last word of the title). Make your contact line 10in size. for. Make the writer line 14 in size. but or. a. keep shrinking the font by . For example: the. THE TITLE LINE: • • • This most important part of your lyric sheet should stand out As mentioned before. and. as. this is how: FONT TYPES: • Your font type is an important choice Use Book Antiqua as the font for your lyric sheet. your song is WAY TOO LONG!). (If your song doesn’t fit on one page.5. FONT SIZE: • • • Set Your Title. choruses. it looks great and is easier for us to read (Times New Roman is okay. an. make it look like a million bucks. Make the Title Line bold (this is the only line that is bold). Page 2 of 9 .

click Font.ADVANCED: • Using Small Caps to make your title look even cooler! Change your title to small caps. This is in the format drop down menu of your word processing program. select Format from the drop down menu at the top of the window. the second one is with small caps selected): I’m Gonna Miss Her I’M GONNA MISS HER It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere IT’S FIVE O’CLOCK SOMEWHERE It Doesn’t Mean I Don’t Love You IT DOESN’T MEAN I DON’T LOVE YOU Can’t Hold a Halo to You CAN’T HOLD A HALO TO YOU Page 3 of 9 .THE TITLE LINE . and select the “small caps” button. You highlight the title. This is what it looks like (the first example is without small caps selected.

Do not use the phrase ‘words and music by’. (the one beneath the question mark on your computer keyboard that looks like this: / Don’t use a comma or the word “and” to separate the co-writers. or forgets your name in a meeting – it happens. he (or she!) will not embarrassingly call you by the name only your mother and the phone company uses. they will figure it out that the names under the title wrote the song.) Co-writers separate their names with a forward slash mark. Publishers are not idiots (well most of us!. (So if a publisher calls you. Having the word “and” between the names is distracting. Do not use just the last name.) Do not use an initial (for the same reasons just stated).THE WRITERS LINE: • The second most important line of the lyric sheet • • • • • • • Use the name you would use to be introduced. Anything other than the names of those who wrote the song are distracting. (The only thing you want us to see is your name. Do not put the writer(s) in parenthesis Do not put the writer(s) in italics Page 4 of 9 .

do this: She said. commas. Do not use punctuation (i. (comma) I’m not using quotation marks around what I’m saying. They are hard to read and it looks like shouting. If your song has someone saying something. etc.e. Some publishers still do it out of habit. so they would hold down the shift -lock key on their typewriters to avoid making mistakes while typing. If you are listening to a song and there is an instrument playing when nobody is singing. had the Pac Man pattern memorized And I’ve seen the stuff they put inside Stretch Armstrong • Did I mention: NEVER type your lyrics in ALL CAPS? • • • • • • Page 5 of 9 . Do not CAPITALIZE the title of the song when it appears in the body of the lyric sheet. Never submit a lyric typed in ALL CAPS. the second one isn’t (also notice there is no punctuation at the end of the lines): I saw Star Wars at least eight times. That goes for bolding the title or italicizing it. question marks. 99% of the time it’s too long anyway.THE BODY OF THE SONG: Prepare it so it is easy to read • • Start your lyrics three lines below the writer’s line (so that there is two lines of space between the writers and the body of the song). Even if the person can’t quite put a name on what’s happening. to separate a phrase it sounds like two lines but is really one line. IT’S DISTRACTING TO THE REST OF YOUR SONG. Use a comma. That way if your song does not fit on a single page. (This way of writing lyric sheets started because songwriters are notoriously bad typists. I prefer the entire song completely written out. If you have a computer you have absolutely no excuse. It still looks horrible. For heaven’s sake don’t do all three.) No need to indicate a musical solo on a lyric sheet by using the word SOLO.: periods. it’s pretty obvious that it’s a solo. Never use quotation marks on a lyric sheet. especially the old ones.) at the end of the lines of the song. Here is an example from Nineteen Somethin’ by Chris DuBois and David Lee – notice the first phrase is separated by a comma. This is the single worst thing you can do. There is some debate whether to type the entire song or leave out the second and third choruses by writing: CHORUS or REPEAT CHORUS. exclamation marks.

=) Do not use the word “email” before your email address. It’s obvious that the words connected with the @ symbol is an email address. a dash and four numbers is the phone number. EMAIL. two dashes are fine. CH 1. 555-555-1234. Do not put a copyright symbol and year. You are using tabs instead of the following words (or their initials) which should never appear on your lyric sheet: VERSE. if it’s a local call for the publisher. REPEAT CHORUS. BRIDGE. VS 1. yourname@yourprovider. Tab each line of the chorus over once using the tab button (not the space bar). Do not use the word “phone” before the phone number. an area code is not really necessary). publishers will never in a million years write or fax you. Don’t use parentheses around your area code. It is obvious that the three numbers followed by a dash. still only use one number. One phone number is preferred. CHANNEL. if you absolutely have to have two phone numbers.com Do not put your address or fax number on a lyric sheet. use this: Contact: Your Name.THE BODY OF THE SONG II THE TAB BUTTON IS YOUR BEST FRIEND: Use tabs to set your song sections apart • • • • Leave the verses where they are. Tab each line of the bridge over twice using the tab button (not the space bar). SOLO. TAG. PRE-CHORUS. WORDS AND/& MUSIC BY. =) • Page 6 of 9 . PHONE. ADDRESS THE CONTACT LINE: Keep it simple • • • • • • Center the contact information on the last line of the lyric sheet. followed by three more numbers. CHORUS.

615-259-9460.com Page 7 of 9 . shane@seagayle.VERSE CHORUS BRIDGE First Name/Second Name Verse regular (12 points) Verse regular (12 points) Verse regular (12 points) Verse regular (12 points) Chorus (12pts – indented one tab) Chorus (12pts – indented one tab) Chorus (12pts – indented one tab) Chorus (12pts – indented one tab) Verse regular (12 points) Verse regular (12 points) Verse regular (12 points) Verse regular (12 points) Chorus (12pts – indented one tab) Chorus (12pts – indented one tab) Chorus (12pts – indented one tab) Chorus (12pts – indented one tab) Bridge (12pts – indented two tabs) Bridge (12pts – indented two tabs) Chorus (12pts – indented one tab) Chorus (12pts – indented one tab) Chorus (12pts – indented one tab) Chorus (12pts – indented one tab) Tag line same tab as chorus Tag line same tab as chorus Contact: Shane Adams.

shane@seagayle.VERSE WITH PRE-CHORUS First Name/Second Name Verse regular (12 points) Verse regular (12 points) Verse regular (12 points) Verse regular (12 points) Prechorus line one Prechorus line two Chorus (12pts – indented one tab) Chorus (12pts – indented one tab) Chorus (12pts – indented one tab) Chorus (12pts – indented one tab) Verse regular (12 points) Verse regular (12 points) Verse regular (12 points) Verse regular (12 points) Prechorus line one Prechorus line two Chorus (12pts – indented one tab) Chorus (12pts – indented one tab) Chorus (12pts – indented one tab) Chorus (12pts – indented one tab) Bridge (12pts – indented two tabs) Bridge (12pts – indented two tabs) Chorus (12pts – indented one tab) Chorus (12pts – indented one tab) Chorus (12pts – indented one tab) Chorus (12pts – indented one tab) Tag line same tab as chorus Tag line same tab as chorus Contact: Shane Adams.com Page 8 of 9 . 615-259-9460.

did I look cheesy But I wouldn’t trade those days for nothin’ It was nineteen eighty somethin’ Now I’ve got a mortgage and an SUV And all this responsibility makes me wish sometimes It was nineteen eighty somethin’ in the world that I grew up in Skatin’ rinks and black Trans Ams. 615-259-9460.NINETEEN SOMETHIN’ Chris Dubois /David Lee I saw Star Wars at least eight times. big hair and parachute pants Lookin’ back now I can see me and oh. shane@seagayle. man. man. bell bottoms and eight track tapes Lookin’ back now I can see me and oh. man. did I look cheesy But I wouldn’t trade those days for nothin’ It was nineteen eighty somethin’ Contact: Shane Adams. watched MTV all afternoon And my first love was Daisy Duke in them cut-off jeans A space shuttle fell out of the sky and the whole world cried It was nineteen eighty somethin’ in the world that I grew up in Skatin’ rinks and black Trans Ams. big hair and parachute pants Lookin’ back now I can see me and oh. had the Pac Man pattern memorized And I’ve seen the stuff they put inside Stretch Armstrong I was Roger Staubach in my back yard.com Page 9 of 9 . did I look cheesy But I wouldn’t trade those days for nothin’ It was nineteen seventy somethin’ It was the dawning of a new decade when we got our first microwave And dad broke down and finally shaved them old sideburns off I peeled the stickers off of my Rubik’s cube. had a shoe box full of baseball cards And a couple of Evil Kenevil scars on my right arm I was a kid when Elvis died and my momma cried It was nineteen seventy somethin’ in the world that I grew up in Farrah Fawcett hairdo days.