Tips from Industry Professionals on a Career in Songwriting

Every once in a while, it feels great for me to remember that at this point in my career I’ve managed to surround myself with some of the most intelligent, thoughtful and accomplished industry friends a person could possibly hope for. Not only that, but they’re generous, too. I reached out and asked some of
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How to Handle a Songwriting Critique from a Group of Your Peers

If you live in one of the major music cities – Nashville, New York or Los Angeles – you’ll be surrounded by a large group of your songwriting peers. This can be a huge help as it’s always easier not to go it alone as you develop your songwriting skills. One of the many benefits
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Confessions of the Studio Pros

Not to put too fine a point on it but the recording studio, when people behave badly, can be a very stressful place. As a producer, I work VERY hard to make sure this doesn’t happen and it very rarely does but, on occasion, a client’s behavior – generally inadvertently – can sour an otherwise
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Three Things Not To Do For Productive Song Critiques

I’d like to start this article by saying that I think it takes real courage to submit your songs for a professional critique. As a songwriter myself, I understand on a gut level that this is like offering up your children to be judged by a stranger. That being said, if you’ve gone as far
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Four Reasons Why Writing Songs Gets More Fun The Longer You Do it

Don’t get me wrong, compared to most work in the world, writing songs is pretty great even from the first song you write. That being said, once you’ve made the decision to take your songwriting seriously, there’s so much more to think about than just whatever inspiration happens to provide on a given day. I’m
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Why Failure Is Your Friend in Songwriting

I’ve heard baseball described as a “game of failure,” which means that even the greatest batters in the game miss close to seven out of every ten tries. Well, using that same math, songwriting, too, is a game of failure where the greatest songwriters who have ever lived have had success with only a tiny,
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Six Things I Had To Do Before I Played the Grand Ole Opry

A few years back, I had a career moment when I was invited to perform a song I’d co-written on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. While, of course, I want to believe the song, “The Snow and Three Thousand Miles,” that I co-wrote with the evening’s performer, Mindy Smith, was well-written, it occurred
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What Making It in the Music Business Looks Like

Having written hundreds of songs over fifteen years before one of my songs was recorded by an artist on a major label, I had a lot of time to think about what “making it” in the music business meant to me. Looking back now, it’s easier to appreciate that even though the outside world couldn’t
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Why Songwriters Should Diversify

Looking back on twenty-five years as a songwriter, I’ve come to realize that a big part of the reason I’ve been able to do it for so long has as much to do with my ability to diversify my musical pursuits as it does with my songwriting ability. Another way to put this is that
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Three Situations Where Songwriters Should Think Twice

The blessing – and curse – of pursuing success as a songwriter is that songwriting success often represents the equivalent of a dream come true. While it’s wonderful that as songwriter’s we’re pursuing our dreams, the danger is that we’re often susceptible to less-than-well-intentioned people hoping to take advantage of our somewhat blind enthusiasm and
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