Guidelines

Here you'll find all the guidelines for creating perfect lyrics
Check the Help Center for further information about our Guidelines

Transcribe

Certain guidelines differ between languages. Please make sure to always refer to the guidelines of the language in which you are transcribing.

1. Always listen to the song
Before transcribing, editing or syncing lyrics, you must first listen to the song from a reliable audio source.

2. No copy/paste
Copying lyrics from other websites or apps is not allowed – make sure that you only add lyrics that have been transcribed by yourself.

3. Transcribe all lyrical content
All repeated parts should be transcribed. Do not use multipliers.
Incorrect
Wait for me to come home (X4)
Correct
Wait for me to come home
Wait for me to come home
Wait for me to come home
Wait for me to come home
In live versions, make sure you transcribe introductions, greetings and spoken parts.
Incorrect
It's what you do to me
Woah, woah, woah
Woah, woah, woah
Correct
It's what you do to me
(Stay with me)
Woah, woah, woah
(Can you guys clap your hands along to that?)
Woah, woah, woah (do not stop clapping)
(Whatever you do, keep on clapping)
Make sure to transcribe any names, producers and/or record labels which are included as part of the song.
Incorrect
(Sang by Cardi B) ***
Bardi (Cardi)
He said he wants to touch it, and tease it, and squeeze it
Well my piggy bank is hungry, my nigga, you need to feed it
If the text ain't freaky, I don't wanna read it
And just to let you know, this punani is undefeated

*** Here the bracketed line does not directly reflect anything said/sung within the song, and so is incorrect.
Correct
Bardi (Cardi) ***
He said he wants to touch it, and tease it, and squeeze it
Well my piggy bank is hungry, my nigga, you need to feed it
If the text ain't freaky, I don't wanna read it
And just to let you know, this punani is undefeated

*** Here, ‘Bardi (Cardi)’ is included, NOT because Cardi B is singing the section, but rather because she says her own name as an introduction to her verse.

4. Transcribe the lyrical audio content only
Transcribe filler parts when necessary.
Correct
Oh, I'm in love with your body
Oh-I-oh-I-oh-I-oh-I
Oh, I'm in love with your body
Oh-I-oh-I-oh-I-oh-I
Do not label the song sections unless you are tagging (see Structure guidelines) and, as mentioned above, do not include the artist name or title of the song unless it is part of the lyrics.
Incorrect
(Imagine Dragons) [Chorus]
When you feel my heat, look into my eyes
It's where my demons hide, it's where my demons hide
Correct
When you feel my heat, look into my eyes
It's where my demons hide, it's where my demons hide

5. Transcribe lyrics in their native scripts. NO romanization.
To help people who cannot read the original scripts, the romanized version of Indian languages, Japanese, Korean, Chinese lyrics, is available as a translation inside the translations list.
Incorrect – Romanization
muneul bakchamyeon modu nal barabom
gudi aesseo noryeok an haedo
modeun namjadeureun kopiga pangpangpang
Good – Original Script
문을 박차면 모두 날 바라봄
굳이 애써 노력 안 해도
모든 남자들은 코피가 팡팡팡
When a song features lyrics in multiple scripts, the transcription should reflect this, with each language presented in its native script.
Incorrect
Aaj kii shaam lage picture kaa scene koi
Picture kaa scene koi picture kaa scene koi
Main hero jaisaa or tu heroine koi
Tu heroine koi tu heroine koi
Correct
आज की शाम लगे picture का scene कोई
Picture का scene कोई, picture का scene कोई
मैं hero जैसा और तू heroine कोई
तू heroine कोई, तू heroine कोई

Format

Certain guidelines differ between languages. Please make sure to always refer to the guidelines of the language in which you are formatting.

1. Format lyrics following the song structure
Break transcriptions up into individual lines
Correct
So many nights to find the one
I had them on repeat
Right when I thought my days were done
You showed the sun to me
Separate sections with double breaks
Incorrect
I tried so hard and got so far
But in the end, it doesn't even matter
I had to fall to lose it all
But in the end it doesn't even matter
One thing, I don't know why
It doesn't even matter how hard you try
Keep that in mind, I designed this rhyme to remind myself how
Correct
I tried so hard and got so far
But in the end, it doesn't even matter
I had to fall to lose it all
But in the end it doesn't even matter

One thing, I don't know why
It doesn't even matter how hard you try
Keep that in mind, I designed this rhyme to remind myself how

2. Make the format clear and homogeneous
Capitalize the first letter of every line and any proper nouns (e.g. a person, place, or thing)
Incorrect
yeah, this is for the ones who stood their ground
for tommy and gina, who never backed down
tomorrow's getting harder, make no mistake
luck ain't even lucky, got to make your own breaks
Correct
Yeah, this is for the ones who stood their ground
For Tommy and Gina, who never backed down
Tomorrow's getting harder, make no mistake
Luck ain't even lucky, got to make your own breaks
Do not capitalize each word or unnecessarily use uppercase in the sentence
Incorrect
The Looking Glass, So Shiny And New
How Quickly The Glamour Fades
I Start Spinning, Slipping Out Of Time
Was That The Wrong Pill To Take? (Raise It Up)
Correct
The looking glass, so shiny and new
How quickly the glamour fades
I start spinning, slipping out of time
Was that the wrong pill to take? (Raise it up)
Background vocals should be transcribed in parenthesis
When using parentheses, use capital letters only in the following instances:
Following question marks and exclamation marks
To start a line
Proper names

Incorrect
I'm really hungry (Oh yes I am)
Are you hungry? (let's have some cake)
He's hungry (Really, really hungry)
Correct
I'm really hungry (oh yes I am)
Are you hungry? (Let's have some cake)
He's hungry (really, really hungry)
Numbers as words except for content listed here
Examples
From 1 to 10, numbers should be written out: one, two, three, etc...
Above 10, numbers should be written numerically: 11, 12, 13, etc...
If there are too many numbers in a line, write numbers numerically
Use numerals when exact times are emphasized: 9:30 a.m.
Use lowercase a.m. (ante meridiem) and p.m. (post meridiem)
Spell out words/phrases that do not include actual numbers: half past, quarter to, midnight, noon
Dates should be written as numbers instead eg. 1987
Decades should be written like this: '60s

3. Respect the punctuation rules
No end-line punctuation except for question and exclamation marks where needed
Incorrect
Girl, it's easy to love me now,
Would you love me if I was down and out
Would you still have love for me girl

If I fell off tomorrow would you still love me
If I didn't smell so good would you still hug me
Correct
Girl, It's easy to love me now
Would you love me if I was down and out?
Would you still have love for me girl?

If I fell off tomorrow would you still love me?
If I didn't smell so good would you still hug me?
Always write contractions using an apostrophe (')
Examples
ballin', not ballin (contraction of “balling”)
‘til, not til (contraction of “until”)
'em, not em (contraction of “them”)
‘cause not cause
don’t not dont
Use a single hyphen (-) or ellipsis (...) when there is an unfinished word or sentence
A single hyphen or ellipsis can also be used in cases where a curse word has been removed in a censored version of a track.
Correct
Their sh- ain't regular rich, so they end up in a ditch
I'm not a regular b-, so when n- see me, they jump on my d- (uh)
He not a regular shooter, so when you see me, saluda
Ain't got a knife in my hand, but I'm choppin' it up with some n- from Cuba
Direct Speech
When direct speech occurs in a track, it should be given within speech marks (") following a comma. The first letter of the direct speech should be a capital one.
Incorrect
My friend got busted just the other day
They said don't walk, don't walk, don't walk away
Correct
My friend got busted just the other day
They said, "Don't walk, don't walk, don't walk away"

4. Use standardized spelling for rap songs
Here’s a list of common American slang words and phrases and how to spell them
Examples
Tryna (Trying to)
‘Til (Until)
‘Cause (Because)
Finna (I’m fixing to)
I'ma (I am going to)
Turnt (Turn up)
Gon' (Going to)
Outta ('Out of')
E'ry (Every)
Nah mean (Know what I mean?)
Lil' (Unless a proper name)
Cuz (When referring to a cousin, or brother, friend, comrade, etc and NOT abbreviated "because")
Ya (Should be used when in place of “You”)
Yah (Should be used when in place of “Yeah/Yes”)

Sync

1. Synchronize each line in time with the music when the first letter of the line is sung (or less than half a second before)
Don’t start or finish the sync with the instrumental tag
Complete the sync (by syncing the “END” line) right after when the last sung line ends.

2. Never synchronize a line in delay
When you’ve made a mistake and your synchronization is out of time, correct it!
Desktop app: adjust the beginning of the line using the +/- buttons. If you find that the sync is completely wrong you can reset it by selecting the “More (...)” button. From here you can start to sync from scratch.
Mobile apps: click on the back button and correct the last synced line, continuing synchronization from there

3. Verify the accuracy of the sync
Whether you synchronize from scratch or are simply proofreading a synchronization, remember to always check the accuracy of the sync by playing each line (purple play button) through the desktop app.

4. Set a line as instrumental when there are no lyrics (or singing) in a song for longer than 5 seconds
Click on "Set Instrumental" to mark the part as instrumental and sync this line as usual with the "Sync" button.

5. When a song contains multiple voices and choruses at the same time, sync the main vocals only

Translate


1. Don’t copy/paste. Do not use machine translation websites and services
It is not permitted to copy translations from other websites or apps. Ensure you only add lyrics translated by yourself.

2. Translate line by line
Focus your translation on the related line only. Do not translate two or more lines into one single line.
Incorrect
The club isn't the best place to find a lover
La discoteca no es el mejor lugar para encontrar a una amante así que, al bar
So the bar is where I go
es a donde voy
Correct
The club isn't the best place to find a lover
La discoteca no es el mejor lugar para encontrar a una amante
So the bar is where I go
Así que, al bar es a donde voy

3. Respect the Musixmatch Writing Guidelines regarding “Transcribing” and “Format”

4. Do not translate in romanized version. Always use the original script
See the examples
Incorrect
My mother said I'm too romantic
Okan ga itta boku wa romanchikku sugiru tte
She said, "You're dancing in the movies"
Soshite "Anata wa eizō no naka de odotteiru no ne" tte
I almost started to believe her
Boku wa hotondo sore wo shinji hajimete ita
Then I saw you and I knew
Sokode kimi ni atte wakatta n da
Correct
My mother said I'm too romantic
おかんが言った 僕はロマンチックすぎるって
She said, "You're dancing in the movies"
おかんが言った 僕はロマンチックすぎるって
I almost started to believe her
僕はほとんどそれを信じ始めていた
Then I saw you and I knew
そこで君に会って分かったんだ

5. Always consider the meaning of the sentence and the topic of the lyrics

6. When a word is untranslatable, keep the original word
Do not translate the lyrics if there isn’t a proper translation.
Correct
Diet Mountain Dew, baby, New York City
Diet Mountain Dew, tesoro, New York City
Never was there ever a girl so pretty
Non c'è mai stata lì una ragazza così bella
Do you think we'll be in love forever?
Pensi che ci ameremo per sempre?
Do you think we'll be in love?
Pensi che ci ameremo?

Structure

Desktop App Only
What does “structure” mean?
In this context structure refers to the act of defining every part of a song. All songs are divided into sections, and every section has a name, function and specific meaning.
This new, additional step will allow for the recognition of all sang and spoken parts of all songs using this simple formula.

This new function is currently only available only on the Desktop App.
Adding the song structure doesn’t change the existing editing guideline

Which are these sections or parts?
Please note that not every song will have all of the above, but may contain only some. It’s important not to force anything in order to include them all. Kindly, make sure you tag what you think is right, the song will speak to you.
Lyrics with Structure Tag
Explanation
#INTRO
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh, oh-oh-oh
Caught in a bad romance
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh, oh-oh-oh
Caught in a bad romance

#INTRO
This is located at the beginning and introduces the song.

- The intro to a song doesn’t have the same melody as the verses and choruses. It may also introduce the performers, especially in rap songs. 

- The intro of the lyrics should include words and should
not be confused with the instrumental intro.
#HOOK
Rah, rah-ah-ah-ah
Roma, roma-ma
Gaga, ooh-la-la
Want your bad romance

#HOOK
Rah, rah-ah-ah-ah
Roma, roma-ma
Gaga, ooh-la-la
Want your bad romance

#HOOK
Very repetitive and catchy part of the song, usually its most memorable component, not to be mistaken with the chorus

- You can find it before the chorus, at the beginning of the song, before or after the bridge



#VERSE
I want your ugly, I want your disease
I want your everything as long as it's free
I want your love, love, love, love
I want your love

#VERSE
I want your psycho, your vertigo shtick
Want you in my rear window, baby, you're sick
I want your love, love, love, love
I want your love (love, love, love, I want your love)



#VERSE
- The verse roughly corresponds to a poetic stanza and can often be structured according to rhyming schemes.

- When two or more sections of the song have almost identical music but different lyrics, each section is considered one verse.

- Generally, there are multiple verses in a song, and they usually have different lyrics even though the melody will likely be the same.



#PRE-CHORUS
You know that I want you
And you know that I need you ('cause I'm a free bitch, baby)
I want it bad, your bad romance



#PRE-CHORUS
- This is an optional section, sometimes included between the verse and the chorus

- Musically it functions as a melodic, and often dynamic, bridge from the first part of the verse into the heights of the chorus.
#CHORUS
I want your love, and I want your revenge
You and me could write a bad romance
I want your love and all your lover's revenge
You and me could write a bad romance

#CHORUS
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh, oh-oh-oh
Caught in a bad romance
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh, oh-oh-oh
Caught in a bad romance

#CHORUS
- This is the part of a song which is repeated after each verse  

- The chorus contains the main theme of what is being expressed lyrically and musically. It is repeated throughout the song, and the melody and the lyrics rarely vary.

- In many cases, it contains the song title



#BRIDGE

Walk, walk, fashion baby
Work it, move that bitch crazy
Walk, walk, fashion baby
Work it, move that bitch crazy
Walk, walk, fashion baby
Work it, move that bitch crazy
Walk, walk, passion baby
Work it, I'm a free bitch, baby

#BRIDGE
I want your love, and I want your revenge
I want your love, I don't wanna be friends
J'veux ton amour, et je veux ta revanche
J'veux ton amour, I don't wanna be friends

#BRIDGE
No, I don't wanna be friends (caught in a bad romance)
I don't wanna be friends, want your bad romance
Caught in a bad romance
Want your bad romance



#BRIDGE
Departure or release from the rest of the song

- It is the connection between the last chorus and the previous one (which is usually the second, but not always

- It could be very similar (or even identical) to a verse, or instead introduce new chords and change rhythm instead

- It can provide a peak moment or a turning point in the song

- Occasionally it can be instrumental



#OUTRO
Rah, rah-ah-ah-ah
Roma, roma-ma
Gaga, ooh-la-la
Want your bad romance



#OUTRO
- Takes a song to its conclusion with a flourish
- Comes after or repeats the last chorus

Dos and Don’ts
Do start every song with a Tag
Do maintain consistency: please make sure to use CAPITAL LETTERS for the tags
Do leave a space between the end line of a paragraph and the tag corresponding to the next one.
Do start every part with a tag, or it’ll be signed as #VERSE by default. It also counts for parts that are following an INSTRUMENTAL
Don’t confuse the already existing “Instrumental” and “End” with Tags
Don’t change the stanzas structure: there can be two verses before a chorus, tag them #VERSE and #VERSE avoiding numbers
Don’t leave a space when an INSTRUMENTAL is followed by a tag