"Imagination running wild ever since I was a kid
I could tell you crazy stories about things I never did
Spinning tires, breathing fire, dancing on thin ice
You'd have thought I'd done it all and seen most places twice..."
When people enter the world of Nashville, and in fact pretty much all of music these days, particularly if you are trying to “up the level of your odds”, by expanding your chances, they find themselves in a co-writing session.
It happens a good deal. An old friend of mine contacted me about helping her with a song written by her husband, who passed away some time ago. It is a "Military" type song, and while I have not heard it yet, I am sure it is a very special song.
Last week, I posted five guidelines I share with people I work with about the demo (recording) process. For those of you interested, having children, relatives, friends, taking the plunge along the musical Yellow Brick Road, this might give you some things to think about.
It used to be that every writer would write songs, do rudimentary, work tapes, with an acoustic guitar, or piano, and be able to wander around the vaunted halls of publishing offices, playing either live, or their “tapes” (that’s how long ago that was), and artists, producers, or labels would hea
Throughout my 20 years as a professional songwriter, I’ve noticed there isn’t always a large difference in talent level among creative people. Why, then do some songwriters seem to have an over abundance of fans buying their music while others struggle to sell the first song?
I walked into my first writers round on my very first trip to Nashville eighteen years ago. There were four songwriters on stage in a line, and everyone was playing and singing together. I loved the energy and the way everyone's participation lifted the song.
Over the past two days I have written on the subject of the difficulty of getting major cuts in this day and age. It is hard even for "inside" writers and publishers to get them and ESPECIALLY hard for independent, non-connected, OUTSIDE writers.
No matter what it is you do in music - artist, songwriter, player - it's pretty likely that you know you could do more with your instrument. Maybe you're a singer that doesn't want to rely on hiring an accompanist or worrying about backing tracks (ugh, but that's just my slanted opinion).
Every year, kind of like clockwork, people go through their “NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS” and of course with songwriters, it always includes, “THIS IS THE YEAR TO GET MY MAJOR LABEL CUT!” I understand all the “Norman Vincent Pealeism’s” of “The power of Positive thinking, and all, and do understand th
This is going to be a little "suggestion lesson" that I want to mention to those of you who are in the LYRIC areas of websites, doing open mics, writers nights, trying to make your way in the new landscape of the industry.
Co-writing: The art of sharing your heart felt ideas with another person and trusting the two of you will create songwriting magic. This can be tremendously rewarding and often frustrating. But there are some guidelines to make this experience more often than not a great one.
By Gary Burr Songwriting Master Class • August 19, 2016
Writing a song is an amazing and mystical process. It's also roll-up-your-sleeves hard work and involves a great deal of headache-inducing staring at a blank page (or a computer screen for you "kids").
1) Verb tenses changing or going back and forth in a weird way. This is one of the mistakes I see most often when critiquing song lyrics. Switching between past, present and future can really mess your lyric up if you are not super clear about what is going on.
Throughout my 20 years as a professional songwriter, I’ve noticed there is not always a large difference in talent level among most creative people. Why, then do some songwriters seem to have an over abundance of fans buying their music and other writers struggle to sell the first song?
The landscape of the music industry, though constantly changing, remains steady on several key ingredients that consistently produce the songs we hear every day. Reversing the steps from songwriting to radio-ready, one element we tend to see commonly is the collaboration of several songwriters.
I’ve been asked several times about my experiences in Nashville. So, from the prospective of a fledgling songwriter, who lives 2500 miles from Nashville, and who tries to make the trek a couple of times a year, here’s what I discovered.
When you come to Nashville, if you want to make connections in the music industry, don’t go around handing out CDs of your music to anyone who will take one. It will make you look like an amateur and you won’t be taken seriously.
Seeking out criticism of your songs can feel like asking someone to trample on your dreams. Like, “Hey there, here’s something I put my entire heart and soul into. I’d love for you to tear it apart for me!”
Songwriting is such a tricky and elusive art to pursue and sharpen. It's an individual process, and there's no right or wrong way to write. Oftentimes, songwriters will find a process or writing style that works for them and stick to it.
As a songwriter, Leon's songs have hit the charts across all genres and have been covered by a diverse range of artists. Ray Charles recorded 'A Song For You', B.B. King had a hit with 'Hummingbird', The Carpenters with 'Superstar' and Joe Cocker with 'Delta Lady'.
I’m always looking for new creative solutions to common songwriting problems for my clients. Sometimes this takes me pretty far outside my own experience and beyond songwriting resources to explore how other creative types deal with their particular road blocks.
Here is a veteran songwriter Kurt Fortmeyer who was kind enough to sit with me and explain how songwriting really works in Nashville.
His story is of packing his things and coming to Nashville to write songs. Kurt has an earthy down home goodness to his soul.
Songwriter Colton Jones asks Music Row veteran Bobby Rymer, for some tips to help songwriters who want to make it their career.
This discussion is a wealth of information for the songwriter who wants to make it here in Nashville.