The Dos and Don’ts of Co-Writing

Looking back over twenty-plus years to my first songwriting efforts, I remember my creative process as so personal and fragile that I was dead certain I would never open it up to another person. This would have seemed like co-painting or more like co-dating…just not going to happen. However, two things DID happen. One, I
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The DIY Guide to Pitching Songs to Anyone in the Music Industry

So you’ve written a great song, made a fabulous demo and now you’ll live happily ever after, right? Well, kind of… This article is the official “chapter after” you’ve written and recorded your song. There’s no doubt that being a great songwriter and having beautifully recorded versions of your songs is an admirable goal in
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The Benefits of Stripping Down Your Song Demos

Let’s begin at the beginning. You’ve written a song and, hopefully, you’re thrilled with it. So thrilled, in fact, that you want to record it right away and use every instrument in both the Western and Eastern musical traditions on the song demo. I don’t blame you one bit. There’s nothing more fun than dressing
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Four Practical Dos and Don’ts for Different Songwriting Methods

“Which do you write first, the music or the words?” This is the classic question that all songwriters get asked. In my experience, there’s no easy – or correct – answer to this one. Sometimes it’s the music, sometimes it’s the lyrics and, often, it’s some mystical, organic combination of the two. More importantly, there
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Charting A Music Career: Good, Fast, Cheap – Pick Any Two

Charting a music career is a complicated endeavor to say the least. It’s doubly so given that you’ll have to make not only musical decisions but also critical business decisions along the way. I heard an expression a few years ago that really stuck with me as it outlines the reality of the choices we
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What Do Music Producers Do?

Working as a producer for the last twenty-five years, I’ve recorded all kinds of artists from “fresh off the boat” newbies to artists whose experience in the world of music doubles my own. In every case, my role as a producer stays essentially the same. It’s that role that I’m going to describe in this
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How To Write A Hit Song in 30 Years or Less

This guest post is from my friend and hit-songwriter, Fred Koller. Enjoy! _____ 1. At a very early age you should start listening to the radio every waking minute. If the radio station offers charts of the latest hits, these charts should be studied like you’re a biblical scholar searching for minute details. Calling request
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Four Simple Tricks For Rewriting A Song

As songwriters, we so often get bogged down in the micro-details of our songs (whether to use “and” or “but,” should the last note of the chorus melody go up or down, etc.) that we tend to overlook the big issues that can help us tighten, streamline and otherwise improve our songs in major ways.
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A Primer on Professional Demo Studios for Songwriters

Who’s the expert here? You’re a songwriter. It’s what you do. It’s what you’ve trained yourself to do through countless hours of study, practice and effort. Your songs are yours and no one can write them for you. In other words, you’ve become an expert at writing your songs. That’s how it should be. However,
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Three Tips for Writing Better Song Intros

In an era of significantly shorter attention spans and increasingly distracted listeners, you, as songwriters, have an even greater responsibility to grab your audience as quickly as possible. The first and best place to do this is in your song’s intro. This can be done partly in your songwriting and partly in the production of
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