The Creative River Series: What’s Stopping You?

  I remember sitting in a Mexican restaurant a couple years ago with the late songwriter Tim Johnson. We were preparing to play a benefit that evening for a local high school. “What’s stopping you?” Tim asked. You see, I’d just told him that I’d always dreamed of playing the stage at the legendary Ryman Auditorium. So many of my musical heroes...

7 Books Every Songwriter Should Read

Writing and reading lessens our isolation and prods our imagination. Music makes our souls dance, and great art leaves an impression that lasts for centuries.   Over my 23 years as a professional songwriter, I’ve read just about every book on creativity I could get my hands on. Though I’m convince I will never fully understand this magical, mythical experience of creative...

The Nail in the Wall

  I'm a very goal oriented person. I need to see the end goal so that I can figure out how to get there. I like to break down my big goals into bite sized pieces and check things off my list. There are so many elements of getting a song recorded that are out of my control. So, I have to...

Why Do You Write Songs?

  Almost all of the people I write with are trying to get their songs recorded and make a living by doing so.  It is easy to get so caught up in the pursuit of something commercial that I lose sight of the reasons I started writing songs in the first place.  Those reasons, if lost and forgotten, take away the...

Songwriters: You Must Bring Something New to the Party

I've played this song for several publishers and they all said it sounds like the radio, but not one took my song...‰ Recently, while doing a mentoring session, a talented SongTownian prefaced her song she was about to play with these words, "I've played this song for several publishers and they all said it sounds like the radio, but...

4 Songwriting Tips From Seasoned Pro Marty Dodson

  I've been a professional songwriter for more than 20 years.  In that time, I've learned a lot by making lots of mistakes.  Here are some tips that can help you learn to write better songs WITHOUT making the same mistakes I made. Write From Your Heart - Edit With Your Head If you try to write from your head, you'll have a...