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Marty Dodson

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SongTown USA: Traits of a Successful Songwriter

I have a degree in Psychology and I love to observe people. It’s fun to try to figure out what makes people tick. It’s also interesting to me to study successes and failures to better understand what causes one or the other. Here are my observations about successful songwriters.

SongTown USA: Which Artist Gets The Song?

One of our Songtown citizens asked the question "How do you decide which artist to give your song to?" So, I thought I would answer that one to the best of my ability. Sadly, in my experience, it doesn't happen too often that multiple artists are fighting over the same song. I wish that happened more. But, most often, you have one artist wanting to cut your song.

SongTown USA: Tips on Writing Faster

I write very quickly. Not by design. It just generally happens that way. When I first began trying to write professionally, I realized that I wrote slowly and methodically. In fact, sometimes I was so slow that I would have to book another day with a writer to finish the song. It took a while to realize that this frustrated some of my co-writers and cost me some co-writing relationships.

SongTown USA: How Long Should It Take?

When I began writing, I gave myself two years to make it happen. I was thinking to myself that if I couldn't succeed in two years, I needed to try something else. Two years came and went like lightning. And, no success. None. Not one independent cut, even. I don't think I even had one HOLD after having written for two years full time.

SongTown USA: The Day You DON'T Write a Hit

There are not many guarantees in life, but I'm willing to make this guarantee. The day you don't write is a day you WILL NOT write a hit. There have been countless days when I didn't feel like writing. I had too much going on, I was distracted, worried about the kids, going through a divorce, not feeling well, you get the idea. On most days I did it anyway.

SongTown USA: Getting in the Game

Most of our Songtown citizens are actively trying to "get in the game." They (you) want to get songs recorded, hear them on the radio, see your name in the writer’s credits on a CD, etc. The trick is figuring out HOW to get in the game.

SongTown USA: Right Song, Right Place, Right Time

People often ask me what it takes to get a song cut. The answer, as I have thought about it, is "Right song, right place, right time."

SongTown USA: The Power of Simplicity

There is power in simplicity. When you write something in simple, conversational language that nails people right in the heart, the listeners have this "aha" moment where they slap their head and say "That's exactly how I felt when..."

SongTown USA: Overnight Success

I read an interview with the lead singer for a band that just had their first big hit single. The person doing the interview (out of ignorance) said, “What’s it like to be an overnight success?” The lead singer’s response was priceless. He said, “That was one hell of a night.”

SongTown USA: Failure to Failure

Many of you have heard me tell that I have demoed over 6,000 songs and have around 80 cuts. That's not a great cut to demo ratio. I don't even want to know what percentage that would be.vBut, I have discovered that one of the keys to being successful is failing a lot while keeping your enthusiasm up.