Any time people complain to me that they aren’t having the success that they want with their songs, I tell them to “write better song”. I’m not trying to be cute or clever when I say that, either. Writing better songs is the ONLY answer I know to lack of success as a songwriter.
Whenever I’m frustrated with my own lack of activity with my songs, I remind myself that I need to buckle down and write better songs.
I recently found out that I had a song recorded by The Texas Tenors. I didn’t try to write a song for them. I had honestly never heard of them. And, no one I knew had a connection to them at the time. The day I wrote “I Don’t Want To Let You Go” with Jennifer Hanson and Andreas Stone Johansson, we were just trying to write a great song. We didn’t worry whether or not it was country or pop. We didn’t agonize over who might record it. We just wrote the best song we could write that day.
Fast forward about two years. Jennifer’s dad got hired as the guitar player for the Tenors. And, he happened to mention that his daughter wrote songs. They asked to hear some and Jennifer wound up with the title cut, “Rise” and our cut. The cut had nothing to do with having a publisher. It didn’t matter that we had previous hits. They just liked the songs and cut them.
Numerous times in my career, I got a cut “out of the blue” just by focusing on writing better songs and showing up to write day after day after day. That’s the ticket.
Do you want to enjoy songwriting more? –
Are people not jumping up and down over your songs? – Write better songs
Are you STILL trying to get that first cut? – Write better songs
Do you pay to pitch to publishers over and over without getting anywhere? – Write better songs
Did you ALMOST get that big cut you were after? – Write better songs
The answer to almost every complaint in the music business for a songwriter is “Write better songs”. If I write better songs than the ones the artist has, I’ll eventually get some of them cut. If I’m not getting them cut, it’s because mine are NOT better than the ones the artist has. Mine might be as good or almost as good, but they have to be BETTER to get cut.
When you get frustrated, don’t complain. Don’t blame it on your connections. Just write better songs. If you keep doing that over time, you will see better results with your music.
Write better songs. And write on!
Co-Founder SongTown/Multi-hit Songwriter/Producer