- BE IN IT! You've got to be in the place where the music is happening, be where the center of the genre is that you’re in. If it's country, you're in Nashville. Pop you'd probably be in LA, New York or London. Whatever pertained to the style of music that you're doing. You’ve got to be around the center of the activity and the action where all the new artists, the established artists, are all hanging out making music because you can befriend those people, hanging out with them. You’re finding your peers. You’re finding all these people that you work with who know a million different people. It’s all a big network. You’re trying to get to one person to another person to write the songs you want, but to also get more aligned into the kind of place you want to be in as a writer. For everyone this might look different. Maybe it's making regular trips to that city, or maybe it's picking up and moving. It needs to be what makes sense for you in the moment and place you are in.
- KEEP YOUR ARM READY! Write a song that is head and shoulders above what everybody else is writing, all the time! Okay, so maybe you’re not going to do that all the time but the way I approach that for myself is to crank as much as I can just to keep my chops up and to stay in the game. I’ve always made the analogy of a pitcher in a bullpen getting ready to come into the game. He’s got to keep his arm warm so when his moment comes he’s able to throw a one hundred miles per hour fastball over the plate. Just keep working at what you do to make your songs different. Tweet: Just keep working at what you do to make your songs different.
- WRITE YOUR SONG! Be yourself, and write your story and your music. Nobody else can do that and nobody else can do that the way you do it. So you go to every extreme to be that person, to be that person you are to write that song; to write those stories in your life, those moments in your life, or those things you’ve observed over your lifetime. Reading all the time helps. Learning the ways to twist phrases that you’ve never twisted before. Creating your own thing, There’s really nobody writing anything different it’s just the freshness of how they’re writing it and how they are doing it.
Bottom line: There are always extras like, hanging around the right people and going to the right gigs. That stuff always plays in. For example you can go to the number one party where there’s going to be fifty million songwriters, fifty million publishers, standing in the same room together. You just shake hands and get to know somebody. It’s like in any business. You’re trying to meet people and let them know about what you do; giving out your business card in a way. But, it’s all about your music at the end of the day. When somebody hears your song it has got to be head and shoulders above everything else they have been hearing. It has got to be fresh. It has got to be something that turns somebody’s head and goes “that’s my next thing.” That is the eternal quest of a songwriter.
Now get to work!
1. Figure out where you need to be based on the genre you want to write for.
2. Make it a habit to be writing all the time.
3. Start writing YOUR songs, YOUR way.
4. Get some inspiration from our FREE PDF "Anatomy of a Song" where Jeffrey Steele breaks down some of his biggest hits!
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