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Marty Dodson

Guitar World Member For: 1 year 38 weeks
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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.

SongTown: You're Not Even in the Ballpark

One of the first things I did when I began to seriously pursue a career in writing was to attend NSAI's Song Camp. It was an eye opening experience in every way.

SongTown: Things I've Learned The Hard Way

1) There is no substitute for a GREAT song. A great sounding demo and lots of connections won't help you get a weak song cut.

SongTown: Do It Afraid

In the first half of my life, fear was the enemy. It limited what I did and who I was. As time has gone by, I have come to understand that fear can be a friend that brings about positive change and enriches my experience on this planet.

SongTown USA: Want to Succeed? Make a Plan

When Clay, Danny and I do mentoring sessions, we always try to come up with an individualized "plan" to help the writer get to the next level, whatever that might be.

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.