The line between pro songwriters and aspiring pro songwriters is primarily a line of thought. Pro songwriters learn to think differently as they write. That different line of thinking usually involves a series of questions that they keep asking as they write. Those questions cause the song to be more commercial than it would have been without them. Here are some of primary questions a pro asks while songwriting.
Music History is filled with great songwriting collaborations. John Lennon-Paul McCartney, Elton John-Bernie Taupin, Mick Jagger-Keith Richards, and the list goes on. Two heads can truly be better than one when writing a song, but only if it’s the right match! And finding that right match can seem impossible at times. Over the years I have written with many artist, producers, and writers; some went great and spawned multiple hits while others were a dud. Here are some of the qualities I look for in a co-writer.
The Definition of Songwriting Insanity. I’ve read that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. I believe there is a lot of truth in that statement. If you want something you’ve never had, then you are going to have to do things you’ve never done. It’s shocks many people to learn that I am a shy person by nature. I’m very introverted and, given the choice, I would almost always choose to hang out with my inner circle – my girlfriend and a handful of close friends. It is totally against my nature to play shows in front of hundreds of people, to speak before a large group, or to “work the room” at a party and talk to strangers. I really struggle to get out and “network” in the music business. I don’t like going out and making small talk with people I don’t know very well.
Where should I take the second verse? Should I switch to first person? What is the chorus missing? Is my set-up line better using the opposite technique? Songwriting choices. Many are conscious, and many are made so fast we don’t realize we’ve made them. But no song can be written without making choices. Many writers approach writing by intuition, without making conscious decisions: whatever comes out they insist is “great” and “perfect,” inspired, perhaps, by a life event. It feels real to them. They spill the words out on paper as if writing a diary entry and wouldn’t dream of changing a word.
I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked this question literary from everyone, family and friends to fellow musicians! And, the answer is ever changing. More and more writers and artists are finding creative ways to get paid for their music. I’ll start off with the simple answers and move on to some of the more creative ways people are finding.
You've spent a lot of time songwriting, brainstorming production ideas and many hours in the studio recording your babies (aka your songs). You think the work is finally over, but you're far from the finish line. It has just begun, and now it's time to prepare for your successful release. You've worked hard on the creative side of your music, but the only way to make music your career is to have a strategy and business plan in place. I'm going to give a few tips that will help with a successful release as an indie artist. These are all the things I've learned from mentors along my journey to releasing my albums and EPs. We'll start with promotion and the truth is, it begins months before a single hit the airwaves or internet. This is a long thought out process that goes past the isolation rooms and mixing boards.
It seems like so many songwriters and in general a huge number of people in music industry have egos that are out of whack in one direction or the other. I personally take these egos as syndromes some people have and treat them as if they are sick. Not only me but I think most people in professional music industry do the same, even the same people who have such huge egos. Even they don’t like others to show them their ego and attitude! Run through this list every now and then to make sure you are staying cantered.
There are many different song “forms” that writers use. I have three that I lean on more than others. Obviously, the forms with a big chorus are more “commercial” and radio friendly, but there are times when the song just needs another form to do it justice. So, this post is just about creative writing. We’re not worried about radio or artists here. These are my favourites. In all of the forms, I will call the verses “A”, the chorus “B” and the bridge “C”. I will call an instrumental “S”.