5 Things To Do Before You Pitch Your Song

Pitching songs that are not ready or that are not in the ballpark for the artist you are pitching to is one of the fastest ways to burn bridges.  In fact, doing either of those things is effectively pouring gasoline on the bridge.  Way too many people pitch songs prematurely and significantly hurt their chances…

Read More

The 10 Co-Writing Commandments For Songwriters (Revised for 2022)

Co-writing: The art of sharing your heartfelt ideas with another person and trusting the two of you will create songwriting magic. This can be tremendously rewarding and often frustrating. But there are some guidelines to make this experience more often than not a great one. If Moses came down from the mountain with a tablet for his…

Read More

Turning Time On Your Hands Into Better Songs

Years ago, I had a big write scheduled and it got cancelled the morning of the write. One of the biggest writers I had ever written with traded me for a co-write with Cher. I couldn’t blame him, but I was very let down. My publisher said “Turn time on your hands into better songs.”…

Read More

How Songwriters Get Paid: The 5 Minute Overview Of Songwriting Income Streams

Several people have asked about the different ways songwriters get paid. So, here’s the 5 minute overview: Publishing Draws for Songwriters. This is a monthly amount a publisher pays to a writer that is on a staff publishing deal. These are really advances on royalties that have to be repaid out of incoming royalties. Once your catalog…

Read More

The #1 Rule Of Songwriting – The Song Is King

If you’ve been hanging around SongTown for a while, you’ve heard Clay and I talk about the idea that “The Song Is King”. When we say that, we mean that, when we write, we are there to serve the song, NOT to serve our own interests. I believe that music and songs have a “life”…

Read More

Free The Angel: Supporting Your Song’s Big Idea

There is a famous quote by Michelangelo that says “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” That is a beautiful description of what songwriters must learn to do. We get a song’s big idea and we see the “angel” inside it. So we carve and carve until the…

Read More

The Magic Behind One-Chord Songs

behind-one-chord-songs-songtown

I’m obsessed with looking under the hood of great songs to figure out what makes them hum. If we listen closely, some feature cool rhythm patterns in the melody, others defy the norms of form, while other songs showcase unique chord progressions. But, what kind of voodoo pulses through the veins of one-chord songs? Let…

Read More

Don’t Be This Co-Writer: Mistakes Every Songwriter Should Avoid When Co-writing

Early on in my songwriting career I had enough bad/weird co-writing experiences that I acquired vast database of material to draw from for co-writing no-nos. So here is my list of things NOT TO DO in a co-write… 1. Write down ideas that your co-writers throw out so you can use them later. When you throw out…

Read More

Does Your Songwriting Focus Need Tweaking?

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over my songwriting career is that my songwriting focus constantly needs tweaking. It’s easy to lose sight of the important foundational things and veer off into the worlds of negativity or procrastination. So I have a short checklist of things I remind myself of daily… No matter what…

Read More

4 Ways To Keep Your Songs Fresh

The longer I write songs, the more I realize the importance of keeping your songs fresh and mixing things up from time to time. Here are some ways that I do that: 1. Booking 2-way co-writes with my regular co-writers. Then, I always look for new 3rds to add to the mix. That way, I…

Read More