Listening to AI music in the rain

· By Will Harken

AI Generated Song Lyrics: Pros & Cons

AI's writing song lyrics now. Feed tools like ChatGPT a simple concept, and BAM, you've got yourself song lyrics. We're seeing lyrics that rhyme, make sense, and could easily be mistaken for human work. The question is, where do they fit in the music space?

Fun fact: the first AI lyric generation tool (that I'm aware of anyway) was Botnik, which I used to create my song, "Was that Real," in 2020. At the time, the tool was being used mainly to generate parody content like Harry Potter books that didn't make sense.

Using AI: The Pros 🔥

For one, AI lyric generators are a treasure chest of inspiration. Stuck? Give the AI a theme, and watch it work its magic. They're an absolute god-send for people with writer's block.

Speed is another winner. Why agonize for hours when AI can get you 80% of the way there in minutes?

For example, Suno.ai can serve as both a songwriter and producer. It can create "demo" quality songs for you with nothing but a concept.

Then there's inclusivity. AI lyric tools let anyone craft a song, no poetic genius required. If you really want music that's done well without all the effort, check out my custom music service that allows you to change lyrics to popular songs and create original music.

Using AI: The Cons 🙈

A lot of the time, AI lyrics are not very good out of the box. They often overuse hard rhymes, don't properly leverage repetition, and come out very cliché.

👉👉 Generally, the easiest approach to get "good" ChatGPT lyrics is to have it modify the lyrics of a song you already like with new concepts. Here’s a good prompt:

Please modify the lyrics below to make a new song.

IMPORTANT: Make sure your new lyrics match the original song's rhyme scheme and syllable count.

The final song should incorporate the following themes, emotions, and ideas:

[Insert theme/emotions/lyrics here]

Here are the original song lyrics:

[Insert original song lyrics here]

 

Originality also takes a hit with AI lyrics. Can you truly say it's your song if AI put in most of the legwork?

Dependence is another trap. Lean too much on AI, and you might forget how to flex your own creative muscles. It IS tempting though, right?

And the soul? Critics argue AI can't grasp the emotions, the human essence behind a song. After all, isn't music supposed to resonate on a personal level?

For the record, I have serious doubts about how much “AI” most of the generators use. Technically anything a computer does can be considered AI. But I’m referring to the definition where machine learning is used to process a large amount of data and predict a result. Further, many of them are just a user interface that has ChatGPT running in the backend anyway.

Striking a Balance

So, is it cheating, or just another trick up the sleeve? It boils down to balance. AI is great for sparking ideas or busting through writer's block, but the heart of your tune? That's on you.

I do think a really effective AI lyric generation tool is LyricStudio. I would say that this tool falls more into the AI-assisted category, but basically, it will try to predict the next lyric after a lyric you provide. And it can also give you ideas if you're just starting from scratch.

At the end of the day, if a song captures emotions, does it really matter if AI lent a hand? What counts is the vibe and results.

Conclusion

AI-generated song lyrics are stirring the pot in music, no question. They're a dynamic, intriguing, and often divisive tool.

But, as with any tool, its value lies in how you wield it. Wield AI with respect for the art of songwriting, and keep pouring your soul into your music.

The human element is what turns a decent track into an anthem. AI can assist us in reaching those heights, but it can't mimic the raw emotions and experiences we embed in our work. That's a uniquely human privilege.

Keen to dive deeper into the world of music tech? Check out my AI Vocal Engineering Series.

Wondering about AI's role in the future of music? Discover its impact here.

And if you're aiming to amp up your music production game, snag our tips for crafting a low-budget music video here.

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