Songwriting

Quantity Leads To Quality Songwriting

by Marty Dodson
Jun 16, 2016

When I got my first songwriting deal, my publisher, Kim Williams and our other songwriter, Ron Harbin would write 2-3 times a day. Every day. The volume of out put from our office was crazy. We were cranking out between 30 and 45 songs per week between the three of us.

I had nothing to compare it to, so I didn’t think much of it. I thought every writer in town was working that hard and writing that many songs. As time went by, I discovered that most writers were NOT writing that much. I asked Kim and Ron why they wrote so much. They told me that they wrote a lot because they wanted to increase their chances of getting a cut AND because they wanted to have songs to pitch to every artist. And, they believed that writing more improved your writing exponentially.

Kim explained it this way. He said that he estimated that he got 1 out of every 20 songs he wrote cut. He generally got 1 single for every 12 cuts he got. If you do the math, that’s approximately 240 songs written for every single. And this is from someone at the top of his game. Most of us don’t even have those numbers.

To survive, writers have to get singles in today’s market. So, you can see that there is power in quantity. Just as you don’t start playing golf and make the PGA tour the first year you play, it takes a lot of repetitions. It takes a lot of practice to get to a pro level at anything you try.

So, when people tell me they have written 25 songs and still don’t have any cuts, I tell them to write more. A LOT more. Writing a lot more songs is probably the best way to move forward toward a career as a writer. Those songs are your practice swings.

The more you practice, the better you get. That’s the way the world works. So, if you want to get cuts, start writing more. Challenge yourself to double your output by the end of 2016. Write on. Then write on some more.

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson

Marty Dodson is a multi-hit 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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