Exploring The Idea Of Self-Imposed Limitations In Your Songwriting

[caption id="attachment_205887" align="aligncenter" width="533"] Nashville songwriter Steve Leslie[/caption] In this series of articles, we’re exploring the idea of self-imposed limitations. This is an important thing to remember as songwriters, and even more important as story-tellers. We touched on this notion as it applies to writing songs for commercial country radio, and I’d like to explore this idea a little further in this article. Writing uptempo songs was always a good idea for pitching to artists for singles on country radio, but even more important today as the full-length CD goes the way of the cassette. Record labels spend a lot of money on research which  indicates that the primary listeners are of a certain sex, age, and economic demographic, and they want their radio to rock rather than to roll. This may be an over-simplification, but ask any song-plugger in town, and I bet they would agree: Ballads are harder to get cut (unless the artist himself/herself is a cowriter). I keep a playlist of uptempo songs and ones with unique “feels” as a reference when beginning a cowrite. Listening to just a few seconds kicks me out of my pretty-chord-mid-to-slow-tempo sandbox, and into the world of the more commercially…

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