Transcribe

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 lyrics, even when a section is repeated
All the sung or spoken lyrics should be transcribed. Even if a line or a group of lines is repeated several times during a song, you should type out all of the lyrics each time.
The lyrics will be synced in time to the music, so don’t use multipliers (e.g. “X4”) in order to help them with the line by line synchronization.
Wrong
Wait for me to come home (X4)
Good
Wait for me to come home
Wait for me to come home
Wait for me to come home
Wait for me to come home
If you’re transcribing a live version of a song, don’t forget to add also the spoken parts.
Wrong
Soy el más poderoso de todos
Y y yo nunca ando de presumido
Los dólares a mí me protegen
M, me los mandan de Estados Unidos
Aquí en Culiacán, yo soy el Rey
Y y por mi Sinaloa, me paseo muy tranquilo
Good
Quéde en Barraza que está su amigazo El Fantasma con la famosa banda
Ahí que vayan y digan
Continuamos con el corridón que se llama "El más poderoso"
Márquele compa' Palacios
Compa' Gualo, compa' Erin
Ahí fue el toro


Soy el más poderoso de todos
Y y yo nunca ando de presumido
Los dólares a mí me protegen
M, me los mandan de Estados Unidos
Aquí en Culiacán, yo soy el Rey
Y y por mi Sinaloa, me paseo muy tranquilo
4. Transcribe the lyrical audio content only
All filler parts (eg. "Ohh", "Ahaaha", "NaNaNa") should be kept.
Good
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 add any comments about the structure of the lyrics ("intro", "verse", "bridge", etc) while transcribing. That information has to be added only on Desktop App and only while you are working on the Structure (check the section in the Guidelines).
Wrong
[Chorus]
When you feel my heat, look into my eyes
It's where my demons hide, it's where my demons hide
Good
When you feel my heat, look into my eyes
It's where my demons hide, it's where my demons hide
Avoid repeating the artist’s name and the title of the song.
Wrong
"Shape of You" by Ed Sheeran
The club isn't the best place to find a lover
So the bar is where I go
Good
The club isn't the best place to find a lover
So the bar is where I go
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.
Wrong – 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 is sung in two (or more) languages, the lyrics must be transcribed in both corresponding languages
Wrong
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
Good
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

1. Format lyrics following the song structure
Break transcriptions up into individual lines
Good
Despacito
Quiero respirar tu cuello despacito
Deja que te diga cosas al oído
Para que te acuerdes si no estás conmigo
Despacito
Separate sections with double breaks
Wrong
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
Good
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)
Wrong
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
Good
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
Wrong
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)
Good
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
Good
I'm way too good at goodbyes (I'm way too good at goodbyes)
I'm way too good at goodbyes (I'm way too good at goodbyes)
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 of, 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
Wrong
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
Good
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
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 the sync with the instrumental intro
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.
Wrong
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
Good
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
Wrong
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
Good
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.
Good
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

#INTRO
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

#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

#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

#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
#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
Do’s and Don’t
Do start every song with a Tag
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
Do maintain consistency: please make sure to use CAPITAL LETTERS for the tags (see the examples below)
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
Do leave a space between the end line of a paragraph and the tag corresponding to the next one.
Don’t leave a space when an INSTRUMENTAL is preceded by a #CHORUS
Check the example images