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Getting a Handle On the Business of Songwriting

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.


If you read my blog regularly you know that I deal mainly with the structure of songwriting. I think of songwriting in the popular genres as being not much different from musical composition in any genre.

So for me, I use the same musical techniques and approaches when I analyze a classical symphony as when I analyze a hit song by Bob Dylan. To me, Beethoven and Dylan were both trying to do the same thing: take their listeners on a coherent musical journey. They simply use a different “language” to communicate their ideas.

That also means that the things you learn about one song and one songwriter can be used to help you make sense of other songwriters and their songs, most of the time regardless of genre. It’s all part of what every songwriter should be doing: contrasting and comparing music in a bid to make your own music better.

The Business Side

But there’s a whole other side of being a songwriter, if you have any interest in someday making it your career, or at least turning it from being a hobby into something that could make you some money: the business side.

When it comes to the business world of songwriting, I love reading what Cliff Goldmacher has to say. He’s a songwriter/educator, with studios in Nashville and Sonoma, California, and he’s got great advice for songwriters looking to enter the professional songwriting world.

Cliff wrote an article for BMI (in 2018, so the information is still current), in which he answers questions about:

  • how songwriting partnerships work
  • how to pitch a song to a publisher
  • how to pitch song demos

…and more. I really recommend that you give that article a careful read if you are considering taking your songwriting to the next level — the professional level:

Top Songwriting Workshop Questions – and Their Answers

Cliff Goldmacher answers 9 burning questions about the music business, co-writing and the demo process


Gary EwerWritten by Gary EwerFollow Gary on Twitter

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2 Comments

    • Hello Cliff:

      Thanks for writing, and thanks for the good work you do for songwriters. I’m always happy to recommend your excellent articles.

      All the best,
      -Gary

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