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Top Tips From 2021 That Can Put You on the Road to Songwriting Success in 2022

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From MusicWorld, posted 11.19.21. The end of a year—and the beginning of a new one—is a perfect time to reassess our goals and recommit to them. I hope that revisiting the excerpts that follow will help you all attain a successful 2022. Excerpt from “Bring Me Something New—What Song Publishers Really Mean” … Read more...


How to Place Outside Songs

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From The Weekly, posted 11.09.21. At a recent songwriters’ workshop, prior to critiquing a song from each participant, I asked the writers to let me know their intention or their hope for their song. For example, are they a recording artist and are planning to record and release the song themselves? Are they intending to pitch… Read more...


5 Steps to Getting a “YES” from Music Publishers

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From MusicWorld, posted 10.23.21. When I find an exceptional song at one of the workshops that I teach online, I forward it to up to ten publishers, depending on the song’s genre. I emphasize to prospective students that to maintain my credibility, I must be extremely selective about the songs that I forward. Perfectly crafted,… Read more...


4 More Tips for Instantly Better Lyrics

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From The Weekly, posted 10.05.21. Good lyric writing is, most often, a deceptively simple endeavor. When a lyric is at its best, it seems to effortlessly tell the story of your song using memorable imagery, great details and an unforgettable message. The reality, however, is that there are lots of factors at work “behind the scenes”… Read more...


5 Mistakes to Avoid When Casting Your Songs

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From MusicWorld, posted 9.24.21. While a film or TV show’s casting director is tasked with finding the right actors for a given role, those of us who create and represent songs have the job of identifying the ideal artists for our songs. Whether you are a songwriter pitching your own material or a music publisher… Read more...


“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 caught… Read more...


More Quick Mix Fix Tips

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From The Weekly, posted 7.27.21. When it comes to prepping our masters for public consumption, the tendency is to focus on the obvious issues—the sound of the lead vocal, the timbre of the drums, an errant guitar chord. However, addressing some of the smaller things, be it talking between vocal takes, stick clicks during the fade,… 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, and… Read more...


Secrets From The Shaman: An Exclusive Conversation with BMI Icon Donovan

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From News, posted 7.19.21. Donovan is a songwriter for the ages. Releasing his first single, “Catch the Wind,” in 1965, the aspiring, 18-year-old Scottish folk troubadour swiftly defined himself as a prolific writer, welding elements of traditional acoustic folk music with groundbreaking elements of pop, rock, jazz, classical and the burgeoning psychedelia of the Sixties.… Read more...


Making Mixes That Matter – How to Create Distinctive Master Recordings of Your Songs

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From MusicWorld, posted 6.25.21. Whether it’s switching microphones or switching off reverb, one thing I try to do is avoid using the same recording mechanics from song to song. This is particularly true of mixing—if the tendency is to have nearly identical ingredients in the same spot on every track, your album is likely to…well,… Read more...


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