Why Co-Write At All?

It’s a valid question. Why co-write at all?  I mean, you know how to write songs, and other people sort of get in the way of your ideas anyway. Valid . . . but . . . co-writing is a way for you to progress quickly with your songwriting. And, if you plan on being...

Co-Writing 101: Getting Started With Co-Writing

I get a lot of questions about co-writing and how co-writing happens in the room. The biggest question is what should I expect to happen when I’m co-writing with someone else, especially if I’ve never met them? I think what’s really being asked is...

Beats Per Minute: Online Tools

Beats per minute (BPM) is a major component of your song. It’s basically the tempo of your song.  It helps set the overall tone of the message, creates the baseline for a groove, and provides one of the first dynamic elements you’ll need in writing a song....

Songwriters’ Notebooks: Nashville Pro Writers

Songwriters’ notebooks are the holy grail of ideas, titles, hooks and great phrases. Afterall, a songwriter’s notebook is a key piece of how things get done on a daily basis for many songwriters. Having a “system” for keeping track of...

Songwriter Craig Wiseman

Craig Wiseman is one of Nashville’s pre-eminent songwriters. He’s had more than a dozen songs reach number one on the country charts. His most recent include Blake Shelton’s “Boys Round Here,” “Gonna” and “Came Here To...

Organize Your Hook Book

Organize your hook book! It’s one of the best things you can do to make sure you’ve got ideas and lines at your fingertips when you’re working toward your 300 song goal. It’s also handy to have something ready to toss out as a starter when...

Pro Tip: Having A Songwriting Life

I was recently in Nashville recording a demo at The 515 Studio, and got to know Chip Hardy, a long-time music industry producer and songwriter. Chip’s been a producer or composer on albums for Loretta Lynn, Reba McEntire, Conway Twitty, T.G. Sheppard, Lee...

Songwriter Ashley Arrison

Below are excerpts from an interview with Ashley Arrison on Rob Brayl’s BeyondBeyonce.com back in January of 2011.   Q  So I know that “Caged Bird” is your genuinely personal song with regards to domestic violence. Has music always been a cathartic...

6 Tips To Make Your Songs More Commercial

Guest Post By Brent Baxter   If your goals are like mine – getting cuts, hits, etc., then your best bet is by writing well-crafted COMMERCIAL songs. Here are six simple (though not always easy) ways to make your songs more commercial.     6 SIMPLE WAYS TO MAKE...

Original Demo: “Bette Davis Eyes” Bluegrass

The third best-selling song of the 1980’s sung by Kim Carnes was a originally a pop ballad appearing on Jackie DeShannon’s 1975 album New Arrangement. Written by Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee DeShannon and her writing partner Donna Weiss in 1974, the...

Songwriter Lori McKenna

Lori McKenna is one of my favorite songwriters on the planet – Janet (sorry – just a habit from the 80’s). You may know her songwriting from recent country hits by Little Big Town (“Girl Crush”), Hunter Hayes (” I Want Crazy”)...

Original Songwriter Demos

Hit songs come from the original songwriter demos being pitched to different publishers in Nashville. Ever wonder what your favorite country songs sounded like before the stars cut them? How they sounded when someone heard what came out of a cowriting session, and was...

Songwriter Lance Carpenter

I met songwriter Lance Carpenter (@LanceCarpenter) because he had volunteered to kick off NSAI coordinator training. He ended up spending his morning with the group talking about how he went from FEMA employee to Billboard Charting songwriter. My biggest take away...

CMA Songwriter Series Interviews

On its 10th anniversary, interviews with founder Bob DiPiero on why he started the series as well as perspectives on participating from several of Nashville’s biggest stars and songwriters.   Full story: CMA Songwriting: Chats With Bob DiPiero, Billy Currington,...