baseball player - home run

Hit Songs and Home Runs

Songwriters sure can put a lot of pressure on themselves to be constantly great. Consistent excellence is in fact something I talk a lot about, and through this blog and through online sessions I try to help songwriters to achieve that goal.

But success can be measured in many ways. If a song needs to be a hit in order to be called successful, you’ve set an almost impossible task for yourself. It’s like a baseball player thinking they must hit a homerun every time they have an at-bat.

Writing a Song From a Chord ProgressionLike starting the songwriting process by working out the chords first? There are benefits and dangers. Read “Writing a Song From a Chord Progression” to get this process working properly for you.

The truth is, the best home run hitters in the history of baseball had a home run percentage of around 10 percent. That means they hit a home run once every ten times they had an at-bat.

But if you know baseball, you know that home runs are just one measure of success. How a player does in the field is arguably every bit or perhaps more important than how they perform at home plate.

So the question for songwriters is: how do you measure success? Because hit songs are the home run of songwriting, but there are other ways to be successful in songwriting, and they’re all a bit difficult to measure, but all tremendously important.

To get a better sense of whether or not you’re being successful as a songwriter, ask yourself this: Does my new song…

  1. express some part of who I am?
  2. create powerful images in the minds of my listeners?
  3. offer a unique musical journey to my listeners?
  4. keep my audience enticed to want to listen to the entire song?
  5. leave my audience wanting to hear the next song I write?

Just going back to the analogy of the home run hitter in baseball, you could say that the best batters in the world aren’t focused so much on home runs; they’re focused on training their bodies to make the hitting of a home run more and more likely.

In other words, they’re not focused on greatness. They’re focused instead on the things that will YIELD greatness, and that’s a bit different.

As a songwriter, focus less on writing hits, and focus more on doing the things that will yield greatness. The hits will come if you work to polish and hone your songwriting skills. Identify your weaknesses and work every day to turn those weaknesses around.

Gary EwerWritten by Gary Ewer. Follow Gary on Twitter

The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle“The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 10-eBook bundle includes several chord progression eBooks, including “Chord Progression Formulas”. Learn how to create chord progressions within seconds using these formulas.

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