Choosing the right song to record can be tricky business, but Tim McGraw has found a formula that works for him, looking for the best mixture of melody and lyrics.

“For me, the perfect combination -- and what you strive to find as an artist -- are those songs that have both of those things involved," he tells CMT. "It’s lyrically spot-on perfect, and the melody is something that just sings itself practically.

“You don’t always find those," McGraw adds. "Sometimes they lean a little more this way or a little more that way."

That perfect balance can be hard to come by, and while McGraw has had good luck finding those songs in his career, he says that sometimes, one aspect of a song is so good that the other parts end up being less important.

"It has to hit you right away," he says. "Melody’s a big thing for me, but it can go either way. Look, sometimes a song is so well written and the words are so beautiful, you really don’t care what the melody is. Conversely, sometimes a melody is so good that you don’t really care what the words say. It happens both ways."

The 'Shotgun Rider' singer will be sharing some of his "perfect combination" songs on the 'A Very Grammy Christmas' TV special on Dec. 5.

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