What REALLY Makes A Song A Hit

People often ask me if I KNOW that I've written a hit song when I finish it.  The answer to that is a resounding "NO".  I generally know when I finish a song whether it is great or just good.  Beyond that, so much goes into what makes a hit song that is out of my control.  So, all I...

Why A Hit Songwriter Had To Learn To Eat Humble Pie!

  After writing my first hit song I thought I had arrived but songwriter humble pie wasn't far behind... About 11 years ago, when my son was eight, I was fortunate enough to have a new single on radio. I had moved to Nashville at 32, and eight years later, it was finally paying off with a song called "Fall," sung...

The “Songwriter Chord” –Are You Using It?

Want to make your songs contemporary but also not lose that classic feel of great songs? Follow along as Clay Mills shares his secret weapon –the songwriter chord. This two-fingered major and minor 10th chord voicing has  been used on many mega hits throughout the history of recorded music. So, Grab an instrument, your idea pad, and get some pro inspiration for...

The Different Types of Songwriting Publishing Deals

There are two common types of songwriting publishing deals that publishers make with writers. But, you don't have to limit yourself to those two options if you can think outside the box.  Here are the two common types of deals plus some ideas for creative options: 1) Staff Writer Writes exclusively for one publisher. Has a quota of songs per year that...

5 Simple Ways To Boost Your Creative Songwriting Power

As a professional writer, learning to boost my creative songwriting power was crucial to my success. I am asked often how I walk into a co-write with superstars like Darius Rucker, Little Big Town, or Lady Antebellum and create songs “on-demand?” Well, I didn’t start out doing this, but I’ve learned a few tricks over the years that’ve allow...