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“Bring Me Something New”—What Song Publishers Really Mean

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From MusicWorld, posted 8.19.21 I recently forwarded three songs to a list of publishers who have agreed to listen to songs that I screen. One of the publishers responded, “This song is very well written and commercial. But I’ve already got this kind of stuff by the dozens. Seems that most writers are all… Read more...


What’s Hot—and What’s Not In Songwriting

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From MusicWorld, posted 7.23.21 I was recently asked how the tools and techniques I teach today differ from those I have taught in the past. Have I noticed any recent changes in successful songs and in the processes of writing them? I looked back over the thirty years that I have been teaching songwriting,… Read more...


Are Your Songs Too Repetitious – or Not Repetitious Enough?

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From MusicWorld, posted 5.21.21 If we were collaborating on a song and I suggested that one particular line of lyric – and the melody that accompanies it – be repeated eighteen times, would you think that would be entirely too repetitive to be successful? How about if, in the same song, I insisted that… Read more...


Which Recording Mixes Do You Need to Increase Your Odds of Getting a Song Cut?

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From MusicWorld, posted 4.22.21 Audio mixing can be defined as the process of combining individual tracks from a multitrack recording into a finished product. It includes determining the volume and adding effects such as reverb, delay, compression, and equalization to each track. In stereo and surround sound recordings, mixing also includes placing each track… Read more...


5 Tips to Help Find Good Homes for Your Songs

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From The Weekly, posted 3.16.21 Today, all four of the foster kittens I raised as a volunteer for my local Humane Society found wonderful, permanent homes. This happened less than twenty-four hours after posting the kittens’ photos and bios on the shelter’s website. This might not seem like much of an accomplishment, but there were… Read more...


5 Tips to Rebound, Reset, and Reinvigorate Your Songwriting

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From MusicWorld, posted 1.19.21 For most of us, 2020 will rank as one of the most tumultuous years of our lifetime. The restrictions, losses, and fears caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the emotions stirred up in the political and social arenas, touched virtually everyone—and creative people were hit extra hard. Songwriters, musicians,… Read more...


The Most Important Trait for Songwriters and Recording Artists - Persistence

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From MusicWorld, posted 11.19.20 During a recent workshop I was asked if I could identify the most important trait or skill for songwriters to possess. Was it an innate talent to craft a fresh, memorable melody? Was it the ability to craft a lyric that touched millions of hearts? Or was it something else?… Read more...


Using Chords and Modulations as Musical Hooks in Your Songs

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From MusicWorld, posted 9.24.20 The chords we choose to accompany our melodies not only contribute to the flavor of our songs, they can provide some of those magical musical moments that make our songs hooky, exceptional, and unforgettable. To keep our listeners’ attention we need to include hooks, elements that are catchy and memorable,… Read more...


The 5 Skills You Need to Be a Successful Music Publisher

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From MusicWorld, posted 6.25.20 Early on in my songwriting journey my goal was to have my songs represented by a music publisher—someone with the connections to get my masterpieces to the top artists of the day. I attended industry functions, networked, and took workshops where publishers screened songs, and … I received rejections from… Read more...


How (and Why) to Rewrite Your Melodies

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From The Weekly, posted 6.23.20 Imagine that you have entered a competition. The grand prize will be awarded to the songwriter who writes the most memorable, freshest melody—the melody that will jump out of the pile and convince a panel of music industry pros that they are listening to a future smash hit. The deadline… Read more...


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