"Write a Song Everyday?"
The Boss [Dec] in Action
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From an original piece by Jim Cristaldi.
With comment and additional material by Dec Cluskey and the Makehits Team 2013
Sounds like a crazy idea? But learn how it can work for you.
This is a short article on how it all really works ... perhaps you are frustrated with your efforts so far? This will help, I promise you. And if you are a member of The Serious Writers Guildthen you know you can just pick up the phone and call me ... straight to the phone on my studio desk.
Over to Jim Cristaldi Nashville Song Service
I work out at a nearby gym and was surprised to see the gym twice as busy than normal in the last couple of weeks. I commented to my trainer about this and he jokingly called them resolution people. He went on to add that this time of year is always busier due to people making "work out resolutions", which only last a month or so.
This got me thinking about my own resolutions in the past. I made a resolution many years ago to work on writing a song a day. I may not finish it but at least I put some effort every day into writing a new lyric. This did a couple things for my writing. First it made me write more which helped hone my crafting chops. Also it made me realize that everything I wrote wasn't all that good. Only a few gems popped through the muck of average songs. So this brings me to the point: Knowing when to give up on a song.
Most professional writers in Nashville have written over 1000 songs
I know many hit songwriters and they all have written bad songs. In fact most professional writers in Nashville have written over 1000 songs. Not a hundred but a thousand. These are just songs that they have finished and doesn't include the ones that were started and not finished. And out of that any writer is lucky to have 5-10 top ten hits and 50-100 album cuts (songs on the CD that don't get airplay).
Dec Says: Yep! About right ... 500 start points a year will result in around 50 near completed, 10 recorded and approx. 3 that make money.
Why so many songs that go un-noticed and why do they "throw away" songs before they finish them, or even after they finish them. The 1st answer is easy, there's only so many slots to fill so only their best songs get cut. The second answer is trickier and has a lot to do with experience. Why start a song and not finish it, or throw away a finished song?
Dec Says: Can't wait for the answer to this one?
Simply put, professional writers have written so many songs, they don't waste their time on a song that doesn't stand out or takes too much effort to write. That's not to say they're lazy, but their experience has taught them when to spot a bad song before they finish it.
Dec Says: Brilliant point.
In fact most hit writers won't write a song unless they have thought their way through the whole song to make sure it's lyrical structure and content are workable. If they find a hitch in the story or find they can't write a second verse to carry the song along, they just ditch it and move on to another idea. Whenever I approach a top writer to write with, I come armed with at least 5 titles and premises that I have mentally thought through. That way we don't end up with a dud and the writer will most likely want to write again if we come up with a great song.
One of the biggest things I see in non-professional writers is the inability to ditch a song
I've seen them struggle for weeks, even months, to only end up with a weak song. I've done it myself in my earlier years. Once I started writing more, the less likely I was to hang on to a song idea that wasn't strong. I had so much material to choose from, I just let the cream rise to the top and put my efforts into crafting those songs. When I didn't have many ideas to choose from, I hung onto my bad songs determined to "make them great". Unfortunately this usually ended in frustration when I realized I had devoted many hours to a song that never did come together properly.
Dec Says: I always advise not revisiting a song but keep the ideas and good parts in mind for the next song
So I'm challenging you to make a resolution to write every day. Even if it's a song title or a continuation of a song you've been working on. You'll be amazed at how many songs you'll have after only a few months. The good one's will become apparent and it will be easier to throw away the ones that are not as good.. In the end you'll end up with better songs and less frustration.
That's all for now. Happy writing and feel free to enter our free monthly lyric contest.
Jim Cristaldi Nashville Song Service
Nashville Song Service
PO Box 210831
Nashville, TN 37221
Dec Says: Whew! Pretty good thinking? A lot of good stuff from Jim?
I can honestly say that I am not a total songwriting person. I write when I have to, as simple as that. But what I have is a very skilled listening brain that will analyse and evaluate a song very quickly.
That means that when I write, I write to a formula. So the song has an instant commercial feel. More than likely it is based on a current or recent track that I like. This is an old trick and a very valued one. "Don't write mediocrity when you can steal genius" ... or as Stephen Fry famously put it:
"Bad artists copy - great artists steal"
The entire hit catalogue of PWL and Stock, Aitken, Waterman was created on the idea of basing songs on current hits .... no one noticed, no one cared ... they were just great sing-along, buyable, songs.
Write every day .... just like a brain surgeon performs operations every day.
When I am writing a book I write from 4pm to 7pm every day .... on the day after each writing session I correct what I wrote yesterday and then continue on. that way I edit as I work and never suffer from writers block as today's writing will flow effortlessly after correcting yesterday's.
So there is a good work ethic.....
A few points:
1) Don't ever think that you can be a 'one man band' .... check out the number of collaborators on an average chart song
2) Don't ever think that you can write one song, send it to a Record Company and relax on the beach for the rest of your life collecting royalties
3) Don't ever think that songwriting is a recipe for the easy life writing just when you feel like it.
luck with your project ... with the ideas
above there is no excuse ... oh, except that you
have to know what a hit record is and how to
write it and produce it .... where do you learn
that? The Serious Writers Guild ... membership
simply by purchasing "How
To Make A $Million From Your Music"
Jim Cristaldi is the boss of Nashville Song Service
They are Nashville's premier songwriting and artist development company. Located in the heart of Nashville, they are just a stones throw away from the movers and shakers in the Nashville music industry. They work with all styles of popular music with a concentration in the country industry.
Nashville Song Service
|Dec is Dec Cluskey, Multi Million selling recording, Live. TV and Film star.
His ' Serious Writers Guild' has propelled many into huge music careers.
Check out "How
To Make A $Million From Your Music" the entry point for membership of The Serious Writers Guild. Simply purchase this award winning ten month distance learning course and get automatic lifetime membership of the Guild.
Our difference is that we really care.
Regards from Dec [email me?]
idea for this article on 'Write a song Every Day' was from songwriting
and music making members
of The Serious Writers Guild. It
gives an idea of the benefits of
belonging to the Guild. You can
join simply by purchasing the ten month
programme 'How to Make A $Million From
Your Music' at www.makehits.co.uk/swgappsecure.htm
was written by Dec Cluskey from an original idea by Jim Cristaldi
a question? firstname.lastname@example.org