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From time to time, I repost my free “Songwriter’s Checklist“, a list of items that describes the main characteristics of successful songs from the past 5 to 6 decades. It’s meant to be applied to songs that you’ve just written, as a way of trying to sort out potential problems.
This kind of checklist shouldn’t be used for songs that are working well. That’s because some songs sound great even though they might defy conventional wisdom. But if you find that your latest song just seems to be lacking something but you can’t put your finger on the cause, this checklist might help.
Before you use the Checklist, you might play your song for others, particularly for other songwriters; they can often identify problems that you might be unable to see, due to their objectivity.
And remember: no good song will exhibit every one of the characteristics mentioned in this checklist. But you will find that the good ones will often show a solid majority of them.
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Gary is also the author of “Beating Songwriter’s Block: Jump-Start Your Words and Music“, published in hardcopy by Backbeat Books, and available from Amazon and any other online bookseller.