Recently, I heard my good friend and incredible songwriter Jason Ingram say how important it is for the lyric in a song to be like a "straight line". Meaning, that every lyric needs to stick to that line so it’s a clear message throughout the song. It’s easy to find ourselves veering off the “straight line” with something we think is cool or just a catchy phrase, but actually doesn’t serve the hook, and might even take away from it.
Here is another installment of the Songwriting Survival Guide. This time we’ll look at how to make the co-writing experience as productive and enjoyable as possible. Whether you are new to collaboration or have done it a million times, here are five tips to help you nail your next songwriting session.
In a recent consulting Skype session, we talked about the importance of embracing the re-write and having the courage to do it. For beginning songwriters, I’m all for writing quantity more than quality at first, to know the feeling of starting and finishing a song. But after a while, a switch needs to turn on in the songwriting process. There has to come a point when you set a new bar for your songs.
I know staring at a blank page or google doc with a guitar in your hand can seem intimidating. Even after all these years, it seems like a step of faith to make the leap from nothing, to inception, to a full-blown song. Here are 3 quick tips to keep the river of ideas flowing.
The idea of zooming up and out from anything is only a hundred year old phenomenon. Up until the age of flight, humanity was limited to whatever hill or mountain you could climb to get the best view of your surroundings. No window seats. No snapping selfies and sunsets at thirty thousand feet. Yet in the area of songwriting and the creative process, perspective can seem elusive.
In the past, we bought albums for the experience of entering into the world that our favorite artist created, consuming it from beginning to end. But with our social media attention spans, an album is like a novel you only read on vacations. As songwriters, I think we still have the album mindset.
Having been a part of countless writing sessions over the span of 20 years, I have found that not all co-writes are created equal. For the most part they are a great experience, spending a day in rooms with people I love (or have just met) going after the best song possible. But along the way there have been the kind that every co-writer dreads.
In mid 2017, I started a side project with my friends Ethan Hulse and Jordan Mohilowski. After writing songs for other projects, we started writing for us and IN PARADISE was born. We have had syncs with Dancing With The Stars, ESPN, TLC and more exciting things are in the works. Follow us on Spotify/ Apple Music, Instagram and head over to our website to sign up for updates for new music.