Songwriting

Songwriters: Are You Thinking Like An Artist?

by Marty Dodson
Aug 12, 2017

If you are trying to write songs to pitch to artists, then you MUST learn to think like an artist. Here are questions that artists ask when they choose songs. They are also questions I ask myself as I’m writing to make sure I’m writing something an artist would want to say.

1) How does this song make me look? If a song makes an artist look bad, they will almost never record it.

2) What will this song do to my live audience? If it brings the audience UP, then you have a better chance of your song being recorded. If it brings the audience DOWN, then you don’t have much of a chance.

3) How would this song play on the radio? Radio is still the primary way a listener is exposed to new music. So, artists pay a LOT of attention to what radio will or will not play. You want to be on the “will play” side. Trust me!

4) Does this song fit my “brand”? Artists all have their own thing. If they are going to cut your song, then you have to write their “thing” better than they wrote it.

5) Will this song sell records? Artists make most of their money from live shows and record sales. They want song that will get people up off their butts and buying the music. You want to write songs that will sell.

6) Are there other uses for this song? Could it be a new NFL commercial? Could it be an ad for a product? Would it be a great slogan or picture on a T-shirt? If so, you increase your chances.

As you write, remain conscious of WHAT artists will or will not say. Ask yourself these questions and you’ll give yourself a better shot at a cut!

Write on! MD

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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