SongTown: A No Guru Zone- Why We Created Something Real For Songwriters


Hey Everyone,

At SongTown, we’ve been pretty protective of our songwriting community. It’s a private community of some of the best up and coming songwriters around. Marty Dodson and I started it 3 years ago to help grow aspiring writers into world-class writers.

 A lot of folks in the music business asked us why we would even do this.

We’ve had collectively over 300 major artist cuts, 10 #1 songs, and still are cranking out 200 plus songs a year with major artists and producers.

We didn’t need the money, we have day jobs as pro staff writers for our respective publishing companies. We’ve been fortunate to have a resume of 100’s of major artist recordings.

For us, the bottom line is we love songwriters, songwriting, and great songs.

We love the energy that great songs bring to the world. And we were tired of seeing “gurus” popping up on the internet promising to show aspiring songwriters the way to songwriting success. Almost every one of these self-proclaimed “gurus” had zero success themselves or had a little success years ago. And the sad part is the advice and instruction they were giving out was just not applicable to today’s changing music scene. Much of it needed to be unlearned to achieve real success. Worse, they were telling aspiring writers what they “wanted to hear” to keep them coming back!

So Marty Dodson and I created a private community where we were honest with writers. If their songs sucked, we said so. AND we told them how to make them better. We gave them the tools to write good songs. As real pro songwriters, we know everything you want to do in the music business is all on your shoulders and how good your songs are. So we created a no BS zone.

I’m writing today to brag about some of our SongTown writers like Jon Decious, Ray Weaver, Mary Haller, Stevie Steeves… all have signed staff writing publishing deals! And the next crop of upcoming writers that are headed in that direction. SongTownians like Joey Ebach, Arkady, Khiana Myer, & Ryland Fisher.  And the “too many others to mention here.” All you guys and gals in SongTown rock!

As long as our members are game, Marty and I are going to continue waking up each day with the goal of helping aspiring writers write great songs.

Through our Members Only Website, Weekly Lesson Videos, and online CrashCourses, we put writers in real-world situations to succeed.


Cheers, Clay


Clay Mills is an 16- time hit songwriter and co-founder of

17 thoughts on “SongTown: A No Guru Zone- Why We Created Something Real For Songwriters

  1. You guys open the doors for songwriters and that is, well, i cant even explain how great that is. I’m so glad somebody out there knows how we feel. Its like the door is usually shut on us of ever fulfilling our dreams, and here you are, ready to help us achieve our goals in life. Thank you guys! You’re 2 in a million! ??

    1. Clay, is it okay to write verses and choruses that rhyme or is that cheesy? I realize that the ‘rhyme’ has to continue to incorporate the meaning or story of the song!

  2. I live in a small town overseas where the music scene is almost non-existent so Songtown has been a real blessing in my life. It’s allowed me to learn how to writer better songs from afar and collaborate with other songwriters. Thank you!

  3. I’ve been customer of a few (no, not quite several) of those other “guru” led business ventures. I have to say every word of this is spot on with my experience has been in SongTown.

    Thank You!


  4. When Quincy Jones produced “We are the world” back in 1985, he had a sign on the door that said, “Please check your egos at the door”. So true in helping to “keep it real”.

  5. In 10 months my songwriting has improved so much! My awareness of what makes a song great is one of the biggest things I learned from being a member of Songtown! Hard Work and writing everyday will hopefully get me to being part of the industry in some way!

    Thank You Clay and Marty and everyone in Songtown!

  6. I loved reading this. I feel like when the student is ready the teacher appears and that is exactly how I feel about Song Town. Just a lucky fluke for me that someone I know mentioned this site to me as I was ramping up my writing and setting my goals. So, so happy I found you guys!!!

  7. One thing’s incredibly clear about you and Marty — no matter what “success” we aspiring songwriters do or don’t achieve, you are truly giving us your coaching out of hugely sincere and generous hearts. I’m so thankful Marty told me about this community. Thank you both.

  8. I couldn’t agree more!! This avenue for songwriting is unlike anything else because there are real hit writers not only owning, but helping those of us trying to break into the business of professional writing. My mentor session with Clay is upcoming, and it will be a great joy to be helped, and learn from, someone with “real life” hit writing experience. I can’t thank Marty n’ Clay enough for this wonderful outlet!!!!

  9. I’ve gotten a lot from these articles. I am just a hobbyist. I write in my spare time. But I wrote for 20 years. I am in a local songwriters group of hobbyists – most of whom have no college training in music – just learned how to play an instrument. Our monthly critiques of each other are as much opinion as fact. I recognize your forum is best suited for pros or wanna be pros. We hobbyists can’t always write a song in a day or two so your classes may not work for us. Do you have any thing for the serious hobbyist? ALL the people in my group (about 15 of us) have been writing for years and decades. Sure we’d like to have a major recording, but we also want to just do the best we can. There IS a personal sense of gratification and accomplishment with each song. I am in upstate NY. The ride to NYC is not something I can do casually or often. And who would take me seriously for one-song contracts? Thank you Marty – and please keep the articles coming.

    1. Louis, While we do have members that would like to be pro songwriters, our website is first and foremost dedicated to becoming the best writer you can be. We have many members who are hobbyist. Because whether you want to be professional or hobbyist, learning to be the best writer you can be, make both journeys a lot more fun and fruitful! Also our members love the support they get from each other in our community. The have 1000’s of videos on our website that focus on writing better songs. And local SongCircles in many communities. As well as virtual SkyCircles for our members that don’t have local groups or looking for something SongTown style 🙂


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