Unloading trains was work. Checking groceries at Waldbaums was work. My father cutting cardboard boxes in a factory was work. Although I work hard at songwriting it never feels like work.
There is no ABC of songwriting, no empirical formula that is guaranteed to work. Be inspired. Work Hard. Write, Write, Write. Learn from listening, collaborating, and doing. Let your idiosyncrasies loose. Write a fifteen-minute song if you feel inspired but never forget that you are working in a popular medium and one of your desires is to be a communicator. We all want to write songs that affect an audience. Very few songs affect every audience. There are billions of people in the world. If a song sells ten million copies then most people in the world have not bought it. There are amazing artists all over the world, most of whom we have never heard. You want to be heard and we are privileged to live in an environment that allows for that possibility. It is not our birthright to have an audience but it is our good fortune to have that possibility. So perhaps it is incumbent upon us to not waste the opportunity.
In the decades I have spent making music it has never been easy to carve out a career as a songwriter and although it might have been easier before the digital age to have a realistic dream of your song being on a platinum album, it never felt or was ‘easy’. However, it was easier to: record a basic song demo (piano, guitar, vocal) and have an artist listen and record it; get paid by a club owner for performing; and make a living as a... Sign In to Keep Reading