In the world of professional songwriting, good means you aren’t rising above the rest.
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In my eBook “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting”, I draw an analogy between writing a great hit song and playing a game of football. In that description, I make the point that it’s possible for a football team to do everything right and still lose the game. That’s because in football, sometimes the ball just bounces the wrong way.
But that’s not to say that winning a football game is a totally random circumstance. Even though you can do everything right and still lose the game, some teams are more likely to succeed than others. It comes down to two important things:
- Individual talent.
- How well the team plays together.
Success in songwriting also comes down to two things:
- Individual talent.
In reality, success in songwriting often requires several other important factors:
- An ample collection of good songs.
- Well-recorded demos.
Point # 1 in all three of the lists above are the most crucial points in the complex formula that makes up the songwriting business world. It needs to be said loud and clear: An excellently recorded demo will mean nothing if your songs are not consistently good.
That is why I’ve spent the vast majority of my time on this blog addressing the nuts and bolts of songwriting. If your desire is to make it in the music business, it takes a tremendous amount of hard work, patience and timing.
But none of those things matter if your songs are flawed. In fact, you really should read this great article by professional songwriter Jason Blume, who recounts the story that at first, his songs were rejected mainly because they were good, but didn’t rise to being exceptional. To be successful in the songwriting business, it’s not good enough to be good.
Somehow, your music needs to go beyond good; it needs to become exceptional. The first step in that direction is to get a handle on how the best hit songs of the past 6 decades became exceptional. It’s why I wrote “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting.” True, it pre-supposes that the reader has some talent for songwriting, but I’ve always believed that even a bit of talent can go a long, long way.
If your dream is to break into the business world of songwriting, the first step is to become better than good. You need to become an exceptional songwriter, and you need to be writing exceptional music with some measure of regularity. You need to be a writer of dependable quality.
Improve your songwriting technique, and you’ve got a fighting chance!
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