Is your music writing missing something? Do you wonder why other people don’t like your songs as much as you do?
As a musician that has made a living helping others get their songs performed and recorded, I find that the end results are often less satisfying for the team of musicians, engineers and studio staff than for the artist.
It seems that 99% of the time, the artist is thrilled with the final product. The rest of the group, unfortunately, is not.
Everyone is pleased that the client is happy, of course, but they are also, painfully aware of problems and limitations with the songs themselves. What’s going on? I think I can point you to several common problems and then offer solutions.
First, I believe Technology has outrun talent in music writing today.
We’ve got computers with programs for music writing, recording, editing, sampling and correcting even the weakest of lyricists, musicians & singers.
But what if the SONG isn’t worth fixing? The result…? Songs that don’t work.. but sound great.
Secondly, I see that many aspiring songwriters do not have CLEAR GOALS for writing a song. They don’t lack confidence or ego, but they…
Lack of Musical Understanding.
Their music writing ends up like a buffet assortment of parts, grooves, words and licks… without a blueprint in sight.
It would be like me going to LOWE’s or HOME DEPOT, seeing all the cool stuff and deciding to build a house. I’ll take a few windows, those doors look nice, I need some toilets and pipes, maybe a few boards, grab some electrical cable from over there and I’m off to build a house. Good luck!
Lastly, we’re Afraid to be Simple. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen songwriters bring in tunes that were most effective with only them and their guitar. Nothing else was needed. But, they were convinced it needed all sorts of additional parts, and would not listen to experienced opinions.
Sadly, the customer is always “right”… so we made them sound like everybody else.
Let’s change gears for a minute to something totally different.
Why do we sing the song,”Happy Birthday” to someone on their birthday?
To celebrate their birth. d-u-h-h—
Why do we always sing THAT song and why aren’t there lots of OTHER birthday songs to choose from?
If you’ve been losing sleep over this, let me help you out.
1. It Works.
No electricity, marketing or musicianship needed.
2. Clear Goal.
No deep, hidden meanings. Obvious and to-the-point.
3. It’s Simple.
It was originally written (with different lyrics), for children. Easily sung & quickly memorized.
So with all the songs and songwriters in the world, the best we can come up with is…
A four-word sentence… HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
Repeat it… HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
Repeat it again with a variation… HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR FRED
Repeat it one more time. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
What have you got….?
One of the most popular songs ever.
Now I’m not suggesting that writing a song should always copy this model.
Although, I can think of a hit song that uses this exact form . “You Are So Beautiful”, written by Billy Preston, recorded by Joe Cocker. Check it out. (And it is soooo beautiful!)
Simplicity is appreciated everywhere, in business, in economics, in education and in life. The most bang for the least buck…it’s what we all want.
Simple, Easy,and Memorable Music Writing.. How difficult can it be?
Piece of cake, right?