People often ask me to define the biggest mistake I see songwriters making as they chase that first cut. If I had to pick one BIG one, I would say that it is using out-dated language. Anyone who is over 30 years old has to continually be aware of the "slang" that they are using in their song. Using the wrong words can INSTANTLY get your song thrown out and get you labeled as an out-dated and out of touch writer.
Clay and I continually running into people throughout SongTown territories that have "write-up-itis." We can spot the affliction immediately, because we have both battled this dreadful and potentially fatal disease in the past.
As songwriters, we think of tempo as the most basic of basics. Tempo, or the speed at which we perform a song, is sort of the quiet engine, the driving force behind all our tunes; yet, because we consider it so "Songwriting 101," tempo can sometimes become songcraft’s sadly neglected middle child.
We all get ‘em. Those moments when inspiration doesn’t seem to come around. What do you do? Pound your head agains the wall? Maybe. How about a better strategy? Here hit songwriter Clay Mills shares his tips for bumping yourself out of that rut. Check ‘em out!
Is life really like a three minute pop song? Leann Womack has something to say about that, as well as social media. And in case you were afraid to ask what "Americana" music is, I asked Geoff Himes, music critique from The Washington Post, and boy does he know his stuff!
Lucinda Williams' songs are like horses that fly over the usual songwriting hurdles because they don't try to be anything more than what they are: simple truths, easy to sing (and remember) melodies, both set to smoldering grooves.
Every day I get to write, and to play music, is a great day, for which I am very grateful. I am a recovering lawyer, and while that was a great gig for me for a while (and while I cast no aspersions whatsoever on the noble profession), as a songwriter I am able to connect with my feelings of joy and gratitude more directly. Here's a story of how stepping away from my usual songwriting routine lead to a flash of inspiration.
People often ask me if they have to do full-production demos to present songs to publishers or major artist? I do a fair amount of full demos, but I also have had about half of my cuts from pitching home demos done on a very basic set-up on my mac laptop.