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Marty Dodson

Guitar World Member For: 1 year 34 weeks
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SongTown: 4 Ways a Song Becomes "Better"

Whether you are trying to write songs for the commercial market or are just writing songs for your own pleasure, here are some things that I think make a song “better.”

SongTown: The Biggest Mistake

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.

SongTown: Beyond Dreams

On Friday, my first publisher, Kim Williams, called me to congratulate me for getting to play the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday. We talked about the early days when Kim, Ron Harbin and I each wrote 2-3 songs per day. We were putting out an insane amount of music.

SongTown: The Anatomy Of A Love Song

Musical trends come and go, but the one thing that NEVER seems to stop working is the love song. In the midst of any musical trend, a great love song will still pop through with regularity.

SongTown: Do You Have Write-Up-Itis?

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.

SongTown: Why I Write

Every now and then, in the crazy, competitive world in which I live, I have to remind myself WHY I write.

SongTown: Scars on Hearts and Guitars

On September 11th, 2001, I was in our publishing company office writing. I had brought my only decent guitar — a Taylor 310 that sounded AMAZING and that I cared for like one of my children...

SongTown: What Are You Shooting For?

Clay and I do a lot of mentoring sessions through Songtown.com. One of the big discoveries we have made in those sessions is that people have all kinds of different goals for their music. And we have discovered that almost every answer to every question people ask us depends on THEIR answer to the question, "What are you shooting for?"

SongTown: Follow the Song

More and more, I realize that, at my best, I’m following the song, not leading the song. Once we land on an idea, the goal becomes getting out of the way and letting the song say what it wants to say. Sounds easy, but it’s not.

SongTown: Significant Others

There is a standard joke in Nashville that goes "What do you call a songwriter without a wife or girlfriend?" The punchline is "homeless." There is almost always some truth in a joke. The truth in this one is that most of us - me included - need some support, both emotional and financial, early in our careers if we hope to succeed.