Lyric generators are one of the internet’s favorite past times. I can remember experimenting with them as a kid in the 90’s, decades before artificial intelligence would enter the picture. Websites offered a “Mad Libs” approach to lyric generation that songwriters used to overcome writer’s block.
Then, in December 2022 a user-friendly, AI-powered interface called ChatGPT was released into the world and everything changed. Musicians started using it for song and lyric generation. As a chat bot, you could focus on specific themes and request variations.
At the time, AI lyric generators had to be manually paired with text-to-speech sites like Uberduck. Influencers started generating rap lyrics and passing them through celebrity AI voices to create viral social media content.
During 2023, ChatGPT became the preferred AI lyric generator and AI music services started rolling lyric creation up with AI voice generators. Sites like Splash Music, Chirp, and Riffusion can generate lyrics, create instrumentals, write a vocal track over the instrumentals using your lyrics, and mix it all down onto a single track.
In this article, I’ll share some of the most popular apps and how they can act as a co-writer to guide your songwriting process.
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Unlike old school “mad lib” algorithms, these AI tools let you enter your own lyrics and will try to preserve your tone of voice. You’ll rarely get a hit song on the first try. The apps are more like a collaborator that helps you find the right words to express yourself.
ChatGPT: Best free AI lyric generator without music
During September 2023, OpenAI announced some exciting new ChatGPT features, like text-to-speech. Users can now speak into their phone and the AI voice will respond in turn.
OpenAI released another product in November called GPT builder, allowing users to create and customize fictional characters who mimic expertise in any topic.
So where AI song lyric generators are concerned, ChatGPT is now capable of creating a bot that acts as your full-time, creative collaborator. Set up its personality with the right parameters and you can ask it anything. Get songwriting tips, try them out in a new song, and get help with AI generated lyrics when you need them.
In this quick tutorial, I’ll show you how to use GPT builder to create your AI co-writer.
Setting up an AI-Powered Lyricist with GPT Builder
To get started, you’ll need to sign up for ChatGPT and log into your account. In the upper left corner of the app you’ll find an “explore” option. Click on this to reveal the list of apps available to you and select “Create a GPT” at the top.
From the GPT Builder dashboard, use the Create option. You can paste in this phrase to prime the system or make any necessary tweaks: “I want to configure a music collaborator who can help me with songwriting tasks like writing lyrics, chord progressions and melodies”
The bot will continue to ask you questions and help refine the AI lyricist. You don’t need any technical knowledge or programming skills to set it up. Continue to refine its personality in the left panel while you interact with your AI bandmate in the right panel.
ChatGPT provides four prompt suggestions to get you started. Click on any of them and watch it write original lyrics on the spot. We built the bot to include suggestions for chord progressions and melodies, so along with the lyrics it shared this tip:
“For the musical aspect, consider heavy, powerful guitar riffs and a driving drum beat to match the intensity of the lyrics. The verses can have a slightly slower tempo to build up to the explosive energy of the chorus. Let me know if you need any adjustments or additional verses!”
Suggestion: ChatGPT has a tendency to think that writing lyrics means rhyming in two-line stanzas. If it starts doing this, respond with the prompt “I don't want the lyrics to rhyme” or specific instructions like “Write three line stanzas and rhyme the second and third lines only”. In my experience this will fix the issue.
Jarvis AI Song Lyrics generator (GPT alternative)
A year prior, during August 2021, an AI copywriting site called Jasper released a side product called Jarvis Lyrics. They marketed the service to songwriters who wanted to write creative lyrics for their own, original songs.
Jarvis Lyrics will try to generate lyrics in the style of famous artists from any genre or period in history. Choose a topic for the song and decide which part of the song you're writing for (verse, chorus). Then type up some lyrics to kick it off:
If you want lyrics in something other than English, pick from 40 different international languages.
In the demo below, we asked for a 2019-era Kendrick Lamar chorus about picnic tables. The opening expression "I'm off the dole" is a British saying. That misses the mark. But the last line "A couple more summers, that's all the believe in" does sound like something Kendrick might say.
The real question is, what's a songwriter supposed to do with a single sort-of Kendrick type one-liner? Everyone's got their own creative process, but we'll share some anecdotes from history that might light up your imagination.
Earlier lyric generation methods (Pre-GPT)
20th century artist groups like the Dadaist and Beatniks were involved in a kind of random lyric generation technique, nearly a century ago. As absurdists and experimental artists, they cut up newspapers and shuffled the text around, searching for new ideas and phrases to inspire their art.
Author William S. Burroughs coined the phrase cut-ups to describe this method. It became popular during the 1960s and during one BBC interview, David Bowie explained that he had used it to write some of his own hit songs.
David Bowie cut-ups and lyric generators in mid-1990s
In 1995, Bowie released a computer program called the Verbasizer. It was one of the first ever "mainstream" lyric generators. A few years later, in 1998, a website called Song Lyric Generator went online. It's still up today!
Song Lyric Generator: The Mad Libs approach
The Song Lyrics Generator web app has been around since 2008. It uses a "mad libs" type algorithm to create song lyrics based on lyric templates and user input. No artificial intelligence is involved. Several other sites, like Masterpiece Generator and Lyrics.com, offer similar online tools for writing pop music and rap songs.
These Lyrics Do Not Exist (Website)
These Lyrics Do Not Exist is a popular, free AI lyric generation website that launched in 2018. Users pick from a music genre and lyrical mood, enter a topic for the AI to write about, and hit generate.
The site offers a clean interface that's easy to use. It's good for a laugh. I chose a random topic like "riding a zebra" and asked for very happy country music. You can see what it came up with below.
AI Lyric Writer on the App Store
AI Lyrics, also known as the AI Kittens Song Generator, is a quirky iOS app powered by GPT. Users pick an artist or band, a lyric genre, a song name, keywords, and a template for the song structure. AIl Lyrics includes a free option and could be a convenient AI tool for mobile users.
Best AI lyric generators for creating full songs
Near the beginning of this article, we mentioned Splash Music, Chirp, and Riffusion. These companies have recently combined AI lyric generation with AI music generation to create full songs from a single prompt. Most of them include AI rappers and melodic vocalists.
The video below offers a demo of how Chirp's lyric-to-song generator works:
Text-to-song software is trending towards user-friendly interfaces for the general public. Don't expect them to crank out your next hit song on the first try.
Musicians can leverage AI generated lyrics and melodies to come up with new song ideas. Learn more about the latest AI music apps here on the AudioCipher blog.