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Songwriting – Engage the Senses to Write Effective Lyrics, Part 3: Organic and Kinesthetic

In addition to the standard five senses, two senses which are often neglected, but very effectvie to incorporate are the organic and kinesthetic senses. Organic sense is your awareness of what’s happening in your body, like a heartbeat, the tense feeling in your fingers and forearm as you clench a fist, or sore muscles.

Kinesthetic sense is your relation to the world around you. When you spin around you see the world as a blur, while you get dizzy. An astronaut looking down on the world would certainly have his kinesthtic sense engaged as well. So would a snorkeler looking out into the vast, consuming ocean. An example of a line that relates to the organic sense would be this:

A felt a jolt in my chest as if lightning struck my heart

It explores what panic could feel like, since it hits us from the inside. The following lines are speaking to our kinesthetic sense:

I gripped the handrail of the roller coaster so tight

It was the only thing around me that didn’t appear blurred

It’s relating us to the world around us. These next two lines take into account both organic and kinesthetic senses:

The bad news seemed to slow time around me

As my heart decelerated to what felt like a beat per minute 

The world slowing is kinesthetic, while a reference to a heartbeat is organic. These two senses can be great tools to use to create specificity, in addition to the standard five senses. Have fun with them.

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