One of the most important jobs I have as a teacher is to identify and share the common elements I observe in successful songs while steering students clear from the pitfalls in songs that fall short. If you want to learn how to write a country song, here are some of the biggest lyric pitfalls to avoid. Read more.
Collaborating with another musician can produce great creative results. At the very least, working with someone new can take you out of your comfort zone, introduce you to new songwriting practices and ideas, and force you to up your game. For independent musicians, it can also be a boost of exposure. Read more.
Over the years we’ve posted songwriting advice that covers music theory, children’s music, interviews with hit songwriters, excerpts from books, songwriter’s block, and a variety of other topics that relate to the craft of writing a song. We’ve collected them here – check ’em out! Read more.
You’re writing a song, you’ve hit on a vocal melody you like and you’ve got a few chords, but you just can’t seem to finish the chord progression. You keep trying all the chords you know, but nothing seems to fit. After some frustration and failures, you put the idea aside, forget all about it, and another song bites the dust. Read more.
There’s an advantage to concentrating your live performance development in local music venues as you plan for future tours in new and wider territories. Start your career in a central place – your hometown or a town nearby – then expand outward from that central point. Read more.
A song demo is trying to accomplish one thing: sell your song to the listener. While there’s no magic formula for rising to the top, these 9 tips will help you avoid sinking to the bottom of the pile. Read more.
The ability to think creatively is a product of “divergent thinking.” That’s a term that refers to one’s knack for exploring several possible ideas or answers in the processing of information. Certainly to be a songwriter requires it, but the inability to compose songs should not be automatically interpreted as songwriter’s block. Read more.
In the broadest sense, a music publisher looks for music initially like an A&R rep at a label would. We’re searching for the best talent. We do differ in one significant way: talent alone can sometimes entice an A&R rep to sign an artist. With music publishers, that is rarely the case. Read more.
Most indie artists don’t have a lot of money in the bank, but if you’re going to spend your valuable savings, there may be alternative (I.e. less obvious) investments you can make to enhance your music career. What follows are seven ways to spend your money when you’ve got money to spend. Read more.
The 2015 Grammy nominees give a lesson on how to create children’s music that treats kids with respect, doesn’t dumb down the music, and keeps things fun. We’ve got videos and a breakdown of some of this year’s nominees. Read more.
In Part 2 of our interview, songwriter Ben Camp shares his perspectives on the art and craft of songwriting, including methods he uses to develop compelling song ideas. He expands on his thoughts about the importance of co-writing and why he believes it’s essential to build a network of talented collaborators while pointing out some of the common mistakes aspiring songwriters often make. Read more.
Ben Camp interview, Part 1. “Doubt is part of the creative process. Even people who are at the top of the songwriting game today struggle with the process. [One hit songwriter I know] has said that he’ll come up with 100 different melodies to find the one that sticks. So it’s essential to not be afraid to throw out those hundred until you hit on one that lights you up on the inside and you know, ‘Wow, that’s it!’” Read more.
When you’re set to start writing children’s music of your own, Gasoi recommends a little introspection. “Find that place within yourself that reminds you of your own childhood, that place of innocence, fun, and abandonment. Tap into happy memories from your own childhood, things that bring out that fun and exuberance. Regardless of the style of song, bring a joyful spirit to what you do.” Read more.
Five For Fighting’s John Ondrasik exploded onto the music scene with the release of “Superman” in 2000. Having written thousands of songs in his youth, the public adoration of “Superman” stunned his mother – a way to actually make money songwriting and playing music! Ondrasik’s father was less surprised, recognizing he had dedicated 45,000 hours into honing his craft. Read more.
One of the biggest mistakes I see in the studio is checking the mic with the artist behind it. It takes them out of the zone. I’ve seen engineers do it dozens of times and I see the look on the artist’s face when it’s happening. When the artist sets up behind the mic, he or she either has the mindset of being ready to give a great performance – or is scared to death and doesn’t need anything else throwing him or her off. Read more.