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So You Want To Be A Songwriter?

October 12, 2018

So you want to be a songwriter? I have given this refrain to hundreds of people throughout the years; it is my opening line to would-be songwriters everywhere.

Song writing is an art but it is also a craft and that implies patience and practice. Those are two qualities that are often lacking in new songwriters. This business is a bitch and impatience and a lack of fine tuning your craft can only lead to disappointment. Goals need to be defined early on and they need to be realistic. Nobody and I mean nobody  ever sat down and wrote their very first song to see it become an immediate hit.

If you are serious about songwriting, I have a few suggestions:

1. Write from the heart. Don’t let someone else’s idea of what’s important to say superimpose itself on your own voice. Be your own person with your own person with your own voice.

2. Learn the basics of composition, melody and lyrics. These are things that can not be bypassed, no matter what you have been told.

3. Acquaint yourself with popular song styles and how they are composed. Remember the 3-20 rule. Songs that run over 3 minutes and 20 seconds are apt not to get airplay no matter how great they are. (Established artists are an exception.)

4. Songwriting is a business. Treat it as you would any other business. Things like profit and loss, revenue, taxes and expenses are not mere words – they are real components of the business.

5. Develop a network of other artists. Develop another network of fans and yet another for collaboration. Strong songwriters need all three to survive.

6. Write material that others are capable of singing, keeping things relatively simple enough so that others can pick-up on it easily. Write melodies that can’t be sung by singers with a normal range ( 2 octaves).

7. Surround yourself with good musicians, be it for live gigs or recording and remember you get what you pay for.

8. Copyright all of your songs and keep a record of each in terms of when written, to who it was pitched and its licensing and revenue particulars. Again, this is a business folks!

9. Accept constructive criticism and suggestions for improving your creations. Seek out experts in the field and listen to what they have to say.

10. Be persistent and true to your passion. Define what success means to you and follow that path.

So you want to be a songwriter? Go for it!

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Read author Allen E. Rizzi’s latest books available at Amazon.com

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From → Music, Writing

2 Comments
  1. Sound advice! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. KiM permalink

    Most of your sound advice could be used for many creative works. Did you happen to watch the movie I Can Only Imagine?

    Like

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