The Police

Some Thoughts on Targeting Your Audience

If you’re a songwriter, you’re targeting an audience, whether you do it intentionally or inadvertently. You may favour country music, for example, and so if you put your songs out there for others to stream, it’s country music lovers that will be listening to them, whether you purposely target that demographic or not. “Use Your […]

Oscar Peterson Trio

Fixing Songwriting Errors Before Recording

If you ever listen to an old 1950s-era recording of jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, you’re probably hearing him with his trio which included Herb Ellis on guitar and Ray Brown on bass. No drummer at that time, but the three of them played with such a powerful sense of beat and rhythm that you don’t […]

George Martin, producer of The Beatles

Great Songs Are at the Core of Any Successful Singer-Songwriter Career

You know that in the pop music genres, stardom is fleeting. Look at the bio of any successful artist, and you’re seeing a rise, then a fall, in popularity. Sometimes, if you’re a songwriting member of a group like, say, the Bee Gees, you might see that rise and fall happen twice – an early […]

Producer David Foster

Success Starts With the Song

This past Friday, producer David Foster did an interview with Tom Power on the CBC Radio show ‘Q.’ Toward the end of that interview, this was said: DF: “Well, you know, Quincy Jones, what he said about having a hit record? ‘Quincy, what’s the three elements you need for a hit record?’ ‘Well, let me […]

Phil Collins

Getting Beyond the Labels

Putting a label on something is usually meant to be a help. You might put an address label on a package you intend to mail, for example. That’s obviously helpful. You might, after years of aches and pains, discover that you have arthritis. Labelling your aches and pains gives doctors a clearer path to treatment, […]

Kacey Musgraves

Writing Songs Reminiscent of an Earlier Time

You hear a lot of criticism these days about pop music, and how everything sounds the same. Not enough creativity, no one going out on a limb. In reality, pop music — at least the kind that makes it to the Billboard Hot 100 — has always been populated with songs that sound the same. […]