Match The Lyric is an easy game to play and takes advantage of the play-along attraction of interactive games. It works for almost all stations in any format.

In this article, I explain how to play Match The Lyric. Including:

  • Details on how to play the game.
  • Variations to keep it fresh and exciting.
  • Tips and Best Practices.

Match The Lyric

The game is a bit like Name That Tune or the Who Sings It game, which works for the same reason Shazam and other song identification apps are popular.

The premise is simple:

  • Identify a theme. For example, 80s songs.
  • Read one obscure line of lyrics from the song. Make it difficult.
  • Provide the contestant with at least three choices of songs.
  • Listeners try to guess the song and artist from the choices given.

This is harder than it sounds. It will drive them crazy trying to figure out the actual song.  To make it more difficult (a bonus round for an extra prize or tie-breaker), ask a question without the multiple choice options.

See also  Feature: Explain Yourself

Playing Tips

  • Play with listeners as contestants or among cast members on a multi-personality show. It’s more fun with listeners, mostly because personalities tend to know the answers more than the average listener. It is frustrating to those playing in the car when the answer is given before they get it – every time!
  • Ask several questions to each contestant. A good way to play is to award a prize if they guess 2/3 or 3/5 correctly. Keep playing until there’s a winner.
  • It’s always best to play with one contestant at a time. Multiple listeners competing against one another is confusing, especially when also playing song hooks.


  • Designate a show music expert in any category of music. Let listeners challenge that person to a head-to-head battle. This adds drama and may not even require a prize. If someone beats the “expert” award them an official “I beat (name) at Match The Lyric”  coffee mug.
  • If playing across multiple genres, it may be fun to theme the game (one-hit wonders, Hits from the 90s, Motown, etc.). It sounds great to have three categories and let the contestant choose which they want to play. You can also play it based on the season. For example, a Christmas or Halloween version.
  • It also works to play with a specific artist and go a little deeper in the library. For example, a Classic Hits station could play a Billy Joel episode or Bruce Springsteen Match The Lyric game.
See also  Game: All In


  • Take care that the songs you play are familiar and not too difficult for a typical listener. When they can’t guess because they have never heard the song, it’s not much fun to play.
  • Many listeners will recognize the lyrics, but can’t quite place the song. That’s typical, and it’s part of the fun of the game. For best results, make the song choices (in multiple choice) very similar. This makes it more fun when the answer is revealed.
  • At the end of a game, it can sound good to play the last song in the feature. This can also add depth to the station’s music image. This works particularly well when paired with features like Throwback Thursday.


Games are fun to play on the air, and Match The Lyric is a winner because it’s easy and nearly everyone can play. You probably don’t want to play this every day and maybe not even each week. Put it in your tool kit and use it as it fits.