Moving From Amateur to Pro in the Songwriting World

New songwriting eBook: “From Amateur to Ace: Writing Songs Like a Pro”

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Download “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6-eBook Bundle, and take advantage of a 56% price reduction, plus a FREE OFFER.
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"From Amateur to Ace: Writing Songs Like a Pro"This past winter I’ve been working on a couple of writing projects, and I’ve just completed one of them. “From Amateur to Ace: Writing Songs Like a Pro” is a companion text to “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6-eBook Bundle.

In the coming days, this 82-page eBook will be sold through “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” purchase page at a price of $11.95. However, if you purchased the 6-eBook Bundle in March or April of 2013, or are deciding to purchase that bundle right now, it is being offered to you as a FREE eBook.

If you qualify according to the stipulation in the previous paragraph, please contact Pantomime Music Publications, and request your free copy. (Please give your name and the date of purchase of the 6-eBook Bundle in that email.)

If you purchased the bundle prior to March 1, 2013, it will be offered to you at a reduced price ($3.99) starting Monday, April 15. Please watch this blog for more news about that.

Here is an excerpt from the Preface of “From Amateur to Ace: Writing Songs Like a Pro”:

You may have been writing songs for years now, but lately you’ve noticed a change in your attitude. Though you’ve been completely ensconced in the amateur world ever since you’ve called yourself a songwriter, you’re starting to get that feeling that now is your time. You want to know if you’ve got what it takes to make it as a professional songwriter.

You may have noticed that anytime that you’ve mentioned your desire to transition to professional songwriter status, there’s always someone who says, “Well, that’s really hard to do.” Of course it is. But there are lots of things people do in life that are “really hard to do,” and someone’s doing them. And to be honest, if you’ve got talent as a songwriter, writing the music may not actually be all that hard for you. Getting attention for your music is the hard part.

This eBook is full of prerequisites for making this happen. There are no guarantees, of course. It’s not like being a doctor, where as long as you complete all the courses and get high marks, the letters M.D. appear after your name, and you’re a doctor, ready for patients. The songwriting business is tricky to break into, and there is no guarantee for success. Like many things in life, you can do everything right and still not get the big break.

But there is one thing, more than anything else, that’s an absolute must for becoming a songwriting professional: you need to be able to write excellent music, and you need to be able to do it consistently. That point is going to be made several times in this eBook, particularly in the last chapter, “How Do I Sell Or Market My Songs?” You’ll be told several times that bad music doesn’t sell. And frankly, good music doesn’t sell either, because being good in the songwriting business isn’t enough to help you stand out from the rest of the pack. To get attention for your songs, they need to be exceptional. So if you aren’t writing excellent music on a fairly consistent basis, that is going to be your biggest hurdle.

This eBook answers 12 “How Do I” questions; professionals know the answers, and it’s vital for you to know them as well. Several of the questions deal with important structural elements in music. Many of you, for example, are wasting a lot of time looking for the killer chord progression, and you need to know that killer chord progressions by themselves don’t really exist. That’s Chapter 1. Some of you aren’t aware that choosing a key for a song involves more than just finding one that makes it comfortable to sing the melody. That’s Chapter 2, and dealing with that question will help you as you put a demo recording together. The chapters that follow will deal with things you need to know to make a song work: how to write a hook, how to write a great melody or lyric, ideas on how to create nice backing vocals for your songs, and much more. You’ll also read chapters that deal with writer’s block, and give you solutions to the “How Do I Keep Going After the First 8 Bars of Music” problem that many songwriters (even professionals) face.

The final two chapters deal with business issues vital to your plan to become a professional songwriter. Chapter 11 discusses the important topic of how to protect your music. That’s crucial if you’re going to be shopping your songs around. And Chapter 12 is probably the most important one: “How Do I Sell Or Market My Songs?” People don’t hire a songwriter out of the Yellow Pages like they hire a carpenter, so who’s buying music, and how do they let you know they’re looking? And how do you become the go-to songwriter that fills their needs?

Sometimes the only way to know you have the talent necessary is to dive in and try to make your dream happen. So… DIVE IN!

“From Amateur to Ace: Writing Songs Like a Pro” is available FREE to purchasers who buy the 6-eBook Bundle starting on Tuesday, April 9. Visit the purchase page here, and click on the red banner for more information.

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Gary Ewer

Posted in songwriting and tagged , , , , , , .

4 Comments

  1. Someone wrote in a Songwriter book that notes close together in a melody were easier to
    remember, he was quoting semi tones, I would say that was nonsense, A study of Memorable songs will show it’s more a balance between memorable leaps and small steps

    Jimmy Web States In general a third is not recognised as a leap more of a step.
    even so thirds can also be memorable in a tune

    “Yesterday” uses mainly thirds and forth leaps, in the whole tune , but the emotion of this song lies in the kernel of a descending whole tone, re Yest -er -day ,Far- a -way
    and Here- to- stay. the words to the song could be considered over simplistic
    but personally I feel that’s it’s appeal , and the song was written fifty years ago.

    Take “My WAY” the recurring leaps of a sixth, are the memorable parts of the song
    but of course the Emotion of the English words contribute immensely to the overall
    effect that this song has on our psyche.

    I would say half tones are instantly forgettable because they are too close to everyday speech.

    There are always exceptions to the rules, but in general great melodies must have at
    least a few fourths sixths and octaves, to make us want to hear them again.

    The other thing to consider is the melodic contour of the complete song.
    If every melodic phrase descended . it would become too repetitive, a balance
    between descending , ascending, and arches, as well as horizontal lines, seems
    to be the way to go. and of course creating the unexpected .

    Peter Jenkins P.J.XANADU MUSIC PUBLISHING U.K.

    • Hi Peter:

      I think you’ve hit most of the important parts of what makes melodies memorable. I’m not sure, however, that I completely agree with the statement that great melodies must have at least a few fourths, sixths and octaves to make us want to hear them again. I think that requires making a distinction between what we think of as “good” melodies, and what we think of as “beautiful” ones. A beautiful melody will usually incorporate the larger leaps more easily because in music we tend to think of beauty emerging in slower, not faster, songs. So while some songs are beautiful and memorable because of their exquisite contour and internal structure that usually uses at least a few larger leaps (“Somewhere Over the Rainbow”), other melodies (the ones I describe as “good” but not necessarily “beautiful”, like perhaps “Free Fallin'”, “Born in the U.S.A.” and/or “Lady Madonna”) are all excellent melodies because of how they contribute to the entire package. In those cases, the melodies are good because they form strong part of a crucial partnership between melody, chords, lyrics, tempo, instrumentation, and so on.

      I completely agree with your point about the need for balance between ascending and descending phrases, and this is a vital characteristic, even though most listeners are unaware of its importance. I did an analysis of Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me”, in which it’s clear that the verse phrases are comprised of descending figures, which then switches to pre-chorus phrases that are mainly ascending. The balance works even though it does its work in a mainly unnoticed way.

      Thanks so much for your very interesting thoughts on this.

      Cheers!
      -Gary

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