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Best of ‘MusicWorld’ 2019

Posted in News on December 30, 2019

MusicWorld rocked with unbeatable tips in 2019. Here are our top 10!

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5 Things to Do in the First 30 Seconds of Your Song

During a recent song critique, I turned off the recording after listening to the first verse and chorus. The writer protested, “But you’ve got to keep listening. It all comes together in the bridge and then the last chorus explodes!” That might have been the case, but the chances are miniscule that any busy professional will listen to your bridge (or anything beyond the first chorus) unless you have captivated them with your first verse and chorus. Read more...

What Makes a Song a Hit?

When I worked in the A & R Department at a major record label, and later, as production coordinator for albums by hit artists, in many cases, my ears were the first barrier that had to be crossed when a song was submitted for those acts. Almost all the songs I screened had been written by pro writers and submitted by their publishers. There were no “bad” songs; every one of them checked off all the right boxes. Read more...

10 Tips for Bridging the Gap Between Amateur and Professional Songwriting

Above and beyond the inspiration that often serves as the seed for all songwriters, there are lots of significant things to consider when it comes to refining your songwriting craft. Here are a few tips and things to keep in mind if you’re wondering how to make the leap from your early songwriting efforts to writing the kinds of songs that are commercially successful. Read more...

Breakthrough Hits and Signature Songs: What Can They Teach Us?

I still recall chatting with a twenty-something guy who stood in front of me in line as we waited to attend the taping of the David Letterman Show. The guy was excited because his brother Adam would be performing on the show, along with the band he fronted. It would be their first major television performance as they ramped up for the release of their debut single. Read more...

5 Tips for Songwriting Success in Today’s Music Industry

To keep up with the ever-changing music and business of making music, some of my advice to songwriters and recording artists has changed, as well. Here are five pieces of advice to help you navigate the latest version of the music business. Read more...

Tips for Writing Songs About Anything… But Love

When I find songs that I believe are competitive with those being written by today’s top hitmakers, I forward them to ten music publishers who have agreed to listen. After the last BMI Workshop, I forwarded two songs to the publishers. One of the publishers replied that although it was a good song that deserved to be cut, they had hundreds of love songs already and didn’t need another. Read more...

10 Ways to Push the Creative Envelope With Your Songs

Sometimes, playing it safe is the most dangerous thing we can do. This is especially applicable when our goal is to write songs that rise above the competition; songs that become artists’ signature songs; and songs that impact audiences and propel artists to a next level. Read more...

The Art of the Edit: How to Bring Out the Best in Your Songs

Like any kind of writing, songs in their rough form can often benefit from a little judicious whittling—a trimmed intro allowing the vocal to arrive sooner, editing out entire verses if need be—just to keep things good and tight from top to bottom. Read more...

Tips for Using Reverb and Compression Effects on Your Songs

Almost from the start, two of the most frequently used effects in recording have been reverberation and compression. And with good reason—perhaps more than any other sound enhancer, each one has the ability to transform a bare-bones demo into a pro-leaning product. There’s a flip side, however. Some of these processors are so seductive that it’s easy to abuse them, leaving you with a final work that lacks definition and sounds, well, fake. Read more...

5 Ways to Be a Better Collaborator

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” (African Proverb)

Not every great song is the result of collaboration, but a look at recent hits by artists such as Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Keith Urban, Imagine Dragons, Luis Fonsi, P!nk, Adam Levine, Kenny Chesney and Ludacris reveals that the overwhelming majority of today’s hits are co-written. Read more...