• The Truth About “First Use” Song Licenses

    Lately, I've run into several interesting situations with "first use" song licenses, so I thought I'd try to educate and enlighten just a bit here.  Copyright law allows the copyright owners to control the FIRST recording of any song.  After that, a compulsory license kicks in.  After the first...

  • Songwriters: You Fail Only If You Stop Writing Songs

    Hi, are you a songwriter? I’ve had people come up to me and introduce themselves in a setting where I suspected that they were also songwriters. When I ask if they are songwriters they say, “Not a real songwriter – I’ve never had anything recorded”. That always breaks my heart. I believe...

  • Who Can Stop You From Writing Songs?

      "Who can stop you from writing songs?" I think that's a valid question for every songwriter to ask themselves from time to time. On occasion, I hear songwriters say things like... "It's not really worth writing a song if I can't get a publisher to listen." Or "Why bother writing another song...

  • The Mindful Songwriter

    The world we live in is full of distractions.  With an unlimited supply of entertainment and information in our phones, it is becoming more and more rare to see someone just sitting, thinking and being fully present or mindful. We walk in restaurants and 100% of the people sitting alone are...

  • Songwriters: Ordinary Is The Enemy

    I can't count the number of times I have had songwriters tell me that the music business is "trying to keep them out" or that they can't break into the "cliques" in Nashville, LA, or wherever they are trying to break in. I'd like to give a different perspective on all...

  • Songwriting From My Other Self

    Writing From My Other Self Here are some ideas for writing from your other self. Use these exercises to stretch your writing boundaries. 1) Write songs from the point of view of the opposite gender from time to time. Trying to write something that feels honest and real for a woman to say...

  • Is Your Song Idea Unique?

      It takes a unique idea and a unique angle on that idea to get attention for your song. Here are some questions to ask yourself  to see if you have a unique song idea:  1) Have I heard this before? If I'm already aware of another...

  • Great Songwriting In Any Genre

      As co-founders of SongTown, Clay and I have had a lot of success as writers in the country genre. Many people assume that we are "country songwriters" and that what we teach only applies to country music.  This is a false assumption.  (Watch "The Bad News Bears" for more info on...

  • 7 Positive Thoughts For Songwriters

    I'm a big believer in positive thinking. Here are some positive thoughts for songwriters that can help keep you moving forward and help you enjoy the journey. 1) The only person I have to beat is me. If I continually work at writing a better song than I wrote yesterdat, then I...