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What Skills Do You Need to Be a Successful Songwriter?

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From MusicWorld, posted 11.28.18 An aspiring songwriter recently asked me several intriguing questions: “What abilities do I need to write songs? Do I need to be able to read and write music? Play keyboards or guitar? Sing in tune?” He followed up by asking what additional skills he would need in order to record… Read more...


Country Music: What’s New—and What’s Next

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From The Weekly, posted 11.06.18 Music in all genres is constantly evolving, and that is certainly evident on today’s country music charts. Hits by artists such as Keith Urban, Florida Georgia Line, Carrie Underwood, and Thomas Rhett bear little resemblance to those by country music legends who paved the way, such as Willie Nelson, Dolly… Read more...


Are Your Songs Too “Rangy” for Today’s Singers?

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From MusicWorld, posted 9.19.18 At the beginning of my career, I had a song go on hold for a female country music star whose singles regularly went to #1. The head of her record label said my song was a “must-cut” situation, and I was faced with a daunting decision: should I buy a… Read more...


How to Write a Song That’s Fun to Listen to—and Fun to Sing

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From MusicWorld, posted 7.19.18 When it was suggested I write about songs that are fun to sing, the jukebox in my brain instantly thought of “The Name Game” (recorded by Shirley Ellis, written by Lincoln Chase and Shirley Elliston). Anyone of a certain age remembers plugging his or her name into the… Read more...


How to Write Songs That Are Both Personal and Universal

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From MusicWorld, posted 6.15.18 Most of us who are in the business of creating songs are aware of the importance of writing lyrics that have universal appeal, lyrics that connect with millions of hearts. We have also heard about the importance of writing songs that emanate from our hearts, from personal experience. On the… Read more...


How to Write Non-Visual Lyrics That Engage Listeners

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From MusicWorld, posted 4.12.18 “Show—Don’t Tell” is one of the basic tenets taught in almost every songwriting class. Writing cinematic lyrics—lyrics that incorporate visual imagery that listeners can envision like a movie in their minds—is often thought of as one of the most effective ways to connect with audiences. Cinematic lyrics do not spell… Read more...


BMI Bulletin Board: April

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From MusicWorld, posted 4.12.18 WORKSHOPS Jason Blume Songwriting Workshop: Nashville BMI’s popular Songwriters’ Workshop Series in Nashville is held monthly under the tutelage of hit songwriter and best-selling author Jason Blume. When: April 17, 2018, 12:30 - 4:30 PM Where: BMI’s Nashville offices (10 Music Square East, Nashville, TN) Who: Aspiring… Read more...


The Most Important Lines of Lyric

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From The Weekly, posted 3.19.18 Of course, every line in a lyric is important, but are some more important than others? Let’s examine several lines that serve special, unique functions because of their locations within a lyric. These are lines that can propel a lyric from “good” to “wow.” Opening Lines We get only one… Read more...


BMI Bulletin Board: March

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From MusicWorld, posted 3.14.18 WORKSHOPS Jason Blume Songwriting Workshop: Nashville BMI’s popular Songwriters’ Workshop Series in Nashville is held monthly under the tutelage of hit songwriter and best-selling author Jason Blume. When: April 17, 2018, 12:30 - 4:30 PM. Where: BMI’s Nashville offices (10 Music Square East, Nashville, TN) Who: Aspiring… Read more...


Do Your Songs Sound Like Today’s Hits…or Tomorrow’s?

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From The Weekly, posted 2.26.18 At lunch recently, a songwriter asked me, “What’s the biggest mistake songwriters make?” I told him that I often hear songs in my workshops that are perfectly crafted; songs that check off all the boxes—they have rhymes in the expected places, the lyrics make sense, the melodies work well, they… Read more...


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