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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Four Indicators of a Successful Co-Write

For those of you who are relatively new to co-writing or haven’t yet co-written, it can be difficult to know what to expect when you get together with another songwriter to collaborate. As a veteran of over a thousand songwriting collaborations, I thought I’d put down a few of the indicators you should be noticing
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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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Five Things I’ve Learned About Songwriting from the Masters

One of the more daunting things I’ve come to realize in my years of writing songs is that when it comes to getting cuts, you’re not only competing against all the songs being written currently but also against every song that’s ever been written. Fortunately, to balance that out, we also have the opportunity to
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A Primer on Tension and Release in Your Songwriting

Tension and release in songwriting uses the same mechanics as good joke telling. The way you let your story – in your song or joke – unfold is what sets the table for a satisfying hook/punchline. The difference is that songs not only have words to do this but also a melody. When lyric and
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A Few Tips on Writing Lyrics to An Existing Melody

More often than not, songs seem to come together as a gradual and simultaneous creation of lyric and melody. Maybe a snippet of melody has been running around in your head with a bit of lyric attached. Or maybe you’ve got a title or hook idea that has a bit of melody to go with
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A Few Tips on Writing Your Second Verse

A friend of mine once said she’d have a lot more hit songs if they didn’t require a second verse. For anyone who’s ever written a song, this should make perfect sense. There comes a moment in the process of writing a song where you find yourself wondering how to follow up your first verse
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Three Ways to Know If You’ve Written a Good Song

I feel it’s important to remind ourselves as songwriters that a song’s quality – like any art – is subjective. Ultimately, time and the long view will provide a clearer perspective on whether your work is solid. Even the most successful songwriters face a lot of rejection and an almost endless supply of others’ opinions.
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