Don’t Fall For These 6 Urban Songwriting Myths!

by Marty Dodson
May 18, 2024

1) I can write only 10 songs and have several hits in the bunch.

Songwriting is a craft that takes years to develop. No painter paints a masterpiece within his first ten pieces of art. Most people have to write hundreds of songs before they write a hit.

2) I can move to Nashville (Or LA or New York) for a year and get my songwriting career going and then I’ll move back home.

Most people I know spent 5-7 years trying to write full time in a music center before they succeeded. It’s not going to happen in a year.

3) If my co-writer signs a single song publishing deal, I have to sign it as well.

False. Your publishing is completely separate from your co-writer’s publishing. You can each sign them to separate publishers or one of you can sign and the other can keep their publishing. It’s up to each individual to decide what is best for their publishing share.

4) I have to write with an artist to get a cut.

False. I have over 100 cuts. Fewer than 10 are with the artist. Out of 6 #1 songs, only one was with the artist. It can be done. You just have to write better songs than the artist is able to write.

5) I can stay in Nebraska and just mail songs in when I get a great one.

Nope. Nobody does that. You have to come to a music center and build relationships. You don’t have to MOVE to one, but you do have to put in time there. Imagine saying that you are going to start a restaurant in a far away city, but you are never going to go there. That doesn’t work. You would go there, search for the best location, hire a great chef and manager, get things rocking and THEN maybe you’d move back to Nebraska. Any business you start is going to require time on the ground getting it going.

6) Getting one big hit makes it easy to get more cuts.

I wish! I still have to provide a great song every time. They don’t care what I did before, it’s all about the song I’ve got in my hand at the moment. A big hit can open up more doors, but it won’t get you more cuts unless you have other big hits to back it up.

Don’t get sidetracked by believing these myths. Keep working hard and making each song better than the last. That’s the secret to success! Write On!


Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson is a multi #1 songwriter, co-founder of SongTown, and co-author of  The Songwriter’s Guide To Mastering Cowriting and Song Building: Mastering Lyric Writing


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