Guest Blog: How to Find Your Songwriting Zone While On The Road

unnamed (1) Brett Jones has been a professional songwriter for more than 25 years and is responsible for seven #1 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. His most recent chart-topper was Justin Moore’s “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” in 2011, and previous #1s include “Crazy Town” by Jason Aldean and “That’s How Country Boys Roll” by Billy Currington. Over 150 of Jones’ songs have been featured on major label recordings, and more than 1,400 total recordings of his songs have been published. I’ve been a songwriter for over 25 years (I’ve always been one, that’s just when they started paying me!), and I’ve been on the road with artists ranging from Ronnie Milsap to Billy Currington, and I can tell you that being on tour can be tough on your pen. One night you’re in Cincinnati, OH; the next night you’re in Spokane, WA; and the whole time you’ve got tour managers in your ear about radio interviews and other ways to draw a bigger crowd, crew members coming in and out with their own problems, it’s just chaos. So what do you do when inspiration strikes and you need a moment alone with your guitar. Up to this point, I’ve just had to learn to block out the distractions. My approach to songwriting is a bit old-school: just me, a guitar, some paper, and a pen (and in recent years, an iPhone). I’ll start with a title or a basic idea, then try out a few different feels to find out whether it should be in a minor key, whether it’s going to be a happy song, etc. I continue to dig until a memorable melody surfaces, and then it’s all about free flowing until I’ve got a solid first verse and chorus. Of course, this all takes a fair amount of concentration, and you don’t get that luxury on a tour bus. So you do what you... Sign In to Keep Reading

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