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John Mayer's Secret to Writing Catchy Song Lyrics

John Mayer's Secret to Writing Catchy Song Lyrics

by Kapa Freeman 

John Mayer's Secret to Writing Catchy Song Lyrics

Why are John Mayer's song lyrics so easy to remember? It comes down to human psychology. I am notoriously bad at remembering song lyrics, except for John Mayer's Songs.
Other artists may write a song I remember here or there, but John Mayer does it consistently.


I discovered the reason when I was working full-time as a teacher. Teachers can always tell when they're losing students. When those eyes start to glaze over, when that one eyebrow raises in confusion and someone yells out... "I don't get it!" 

I got those a lot when I first started teaching. Talking to other teachers, I soon discovered why. I was giving too much information at once. I would vomit these elaborate explanations, thinking that more information would help clear things up... But they just got confused.

Talking to my teachers reminded me of lessons I'd learned while getting my teaching degree: 
"People remember info best in small chunks."

That's why John Mayer's songs are so easy to remember! He doesn't write song lyrics like an essay. He doesn't have a whole sentence on each line. Sometimes he only has one sentence that he split up over several lines.

"Daughters" is a perfect example:

know a girl....
who put the color...
inside my world...."
The longest line was four words...

No wonder they're so easy to remember! So if you want your songs to be more memorable, give your listeners less to remember. Of course that's not the only thing that makes John Mayer's lyrics memorable.

Actually, there are more factors that make John Mayer's lyrics  so easy to connect to. And guess what they all come down to? Human psychology! 

And that's good news, because that means that they will work in your songs too. But this is just part of what makes a song catchy. This will give you a great start, but there are other ingredients you need in your lyrics and in your melodies... 

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Kapa Freeman is the Founder and Songwriting Coach of The Intentional Songwriter, whose goal is to help musicians become publisher-ready songwriters so they can access songwriter-only income streams that pay more money for less of their time.

After taking an "assembly line approach" to songwriting, Kepa added consistency to his songwriting and went from song rejections to publishing deals over the course of a year. Now he uses this same approach to help musicians go from beginning to publisher-ready songwriters in a matter of weeks.