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Marty Dodson

Guitar World Member For: 1 year 25 weeks
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SongTown USA: Write About Just ONE Thing

I work with a lot of songwriters on through SongTown USA that are trying to turn their hobby into a profession. The most common mistake I see in those aspiring songwriters is that their songs tend to wander around. They start strong with the first verse. It tends to stay on topic. By the time they get to the chorus, they are chasing a couple of rabbits down different trails. The second verse is where it usually falls apart. By the time they get to the bridge, there are rabbits running everywhere.

Favorites of 2013: Charlie Worsham's 'Rubberband'

My favorite acoustic-based album of 2013 would be Charlie Worsham’s Rubberband. Mississippi boy Charlie Worsham was a child prodigy. Before he went through puberty, he had already played banjo on the Grand Ole Opry stage with Earl Scruggs. His guitar skills are unmatched among modern country artists. He is one of the rare artists who actually plays lead guitar while singing. If you go to a Charlie Worsham show, it will be Charlie, not a hired gun playing the solos for each song.

SongTown USA: Forget Finding Yourself - Create Yourself!

I don't know how many times I have heard someone say, "I'm trying to find myself." It amazes me how many of our thought processes put life firmly OUT of our own control. If it's possible to "find myself,” that means that the REAL me is out there somewhere waiting on the imitation me to find him.

SongTown USA: Plan B

If you ask any successful person if their career has gone exactly as they planned it and I doubt you would get one affirmative answer. Careers (and life in general) are really hard to plan out and structure to our liking. There are too many variables that are out of our control. My theory is that successful people succeed, in large part, because they are able to react and respond well when something unexpected happens. When something doesn't go according to plans, they don't give up. They evaluate their new options and then pick another road to take.

SongTown USA: Preparing for Luck

I have had people describe some of my successes as "luck." I suppose there is some truth to that, but I prefer to think that I have put myself in a position to be lucky time and time again.

SongTown USA: All You Need Is One Believer

I was 11 years old when I started writing songs. The only person I trusted enough to play my songs for was my mom. Before I even realized that she was hearing them, I had found that my favorite songwriting location was the staircase going to our basement. I would sit on the steps with my guitar, a pencil and paper as I crafted my first original pieces of music.

SongTown USA: Hibernating Dreams

I grew up in Nashville. It was a very intimidating place to grow up if you aspire to sing or make music. Nearly everyone that ever came to work on our air conditioner was trying to be in the music business. Most of the waiters and waitresses were, too. I saw lots of people TRYING to be singers and songwriters, but I didn't know anyone who was actually doing it.

SongTown USA: Facing Insecurity

As a whole, writers are not the most secure people in the world. Many of us battle insecurity daily. Maybe it’s because we have to put ourselves out there in a vulnerable position any time we let someone hear our songs.

SongTown USA: No Rich Relatives

I used to sit around and daydream about having a rich relative that would pass away someday (sadly) and leave me a fortune. When I began to look around at my relatives, I realized quickly that I had better start buying lottery tickets if I wanted a windfall like that. I figured out that any money I was going to fall into was likely going to be the result of really hard work on my part. Sobering, but true. Here are the lessons I learned in regard to a big windfall as a songwriter...

SongTown USA: My First Love

My first date with a guitar was on my 11th birthday. I opened a beautiful, electric, brand you never heard of guitar. There was an instant attraction. I played until my fingers bled. Sometimes I would take my cheap little amp out on our front porch and blast the neighborhood with my “music. One day, I asked my mother to take me to a music store. That’s where I fell in love. I picked up an Ovation 12 string guitar and strummed it...