You wrote 100 songs in a year? What kind of fried cat #### must those sound like?

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Apr 24, 2018, 12:04 AM

Something I’ve wondered about over the years when I’m reading about songwriters, is how some claim to write a song everyday or close to it.  It seems to me when I was growing up most full length albums had maybe 1 or 2 hit songs, and a whole lot of “filler.”  So it makes me wonder, if the artist had 80 percent really bad songs on the finished album….what must these songs be like that did not make the album?  What are these 100 songs written in only a year?  Do they sound all very similar?  I am not a person who experiences life anything like this.  For me if I came up with a song on average of one every 2 months? 3 months? I would feel lucky.

 
     
mattmaves2018 Joined Apr 18, 2018
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Apr 24, 2018, 11:17 AM

Lol, you’re just going to KEEP ON stomping this issue aren’t you! :)

 
     
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JAPOV Joined Jul 02, 2006
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Apr 24, 2018, 04:16 PM

Ah come on mm2018, enough of the Little Mr. Bad Atty-Tude come on now impress us, show us what you got, other than your opinion:)

Music is an international language, say it with a song.

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Deacon Joined Aug 30, 2009
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Apr 24, 2018, 05:18 PM

I think Matt may be right. I have often been told that the biggest contribution I could make to music would be to write fewer songs.

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Apr 24, 2018, 05:47 PM

Really Gav,

And all this time I have held you in the highest esteem, hung on every lyric you put out there, lay awake at night wondering “how does he do this?  I have a picture of your Avatar over my laptop adorned with silver and gold Christmas tinsel, there is a constant background loop with all your songs playing on my computer, (I am particularly fond of the song about Daisy and how your tattoo quivers when you - well you know what).  Say it ain’t so Gav, the world with less of your music???  Tell who said this to you, I will hunt them down like a rabid dog.  Best wishes,

Speak soon,

Music is an international language, say it with a song.

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Deacon Joined Aug 30, 2009
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Apr 24, 2018, 05:56 PM

If you promise to hunt them down like a rabid dog, I’ll say it was Tony.

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Apr 24, 2018, 06:02 PM

You’re working on percentages. You write ten songs you throw away to keep one. The Beatles discarded hundreds of songs that just never measured up to the standards they required. As a matter of fact, George Harrison’s first solo album, “ALL THINGS MUST PASS” was a three album collection (about 33 songs) that were rejected from the Beatles years. And was the most successful of all the solo Beatles albums.
In Nashville you are not even considered a writer until you have written over 100 songs. The reason is that you learn with each song. You do things that work and a LOT of things that don’t work.
And many of those “lame songs” that you speak of are from people that DON’T write that many songs, and have very low standards. Since the industry standard is SINGLES, you have to go through a lot to get the perfect song, and then you have to get TEAMS of people to agree on which songs are best. and all that is SUBJECTIVE. So you are going to get things that were written with certain people that might not should have been on a project.

Baseball hitters don’t hit a home run or score each time up. That is why they have BATTING AVERAGES. And why only about two people in history have ever hit more than three times out of ten at bats.

Everything is about averages. The more you do something, the better you are at it. The people who write “Three or four” songs every few months, are really not even writing. It’s about discipline. It’s about learning. It’s about technique. If you can’[t write four songs a month, you are not even in the ball park.

Give yourself a test. Go for a month that you write four songs a month. (one a week.) Then do that the next month. In your third month, write 8 songs. (double your output). Then see what you think of your overall quality. Pick three of those. See how hard you can be on yourself and get actual critiques on your top three.

If you are writing professionally, you turn in dozens of songs. Only a few are taken by publishers. You write for position, which means you are writing with a lot of people to get songs into projects. writing with artists. Writing with established writers. Writing on assignment. This is a business, not the “business of I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it.” You have other people you have to please outside yourself. And most stuff is shot down really quickly. You start working with other people, producers, labels publishers, band members, industry insiders, press, social networks, etc. and you find out that what you think is GOLDEN, is mostly average by the people who you have to please to get it OUT there (funding what you do) is barely mediocre.

Real easy to sit by yourself with no outside influences and say “I write great. I only have to write a few songs.”

I hear those people all the time. Sounds like they just wrote a few songs. A few bad songs. A lot more to it.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Apr 24, 2018, 06:04 PM

By the way, the AVERAGE Nashville writer (those that have deals) are at between 125-200 songs a year. 50-75 different co-writers. Two-three appointments a day. It’s a job. And takes a WHOLE lot to qualify.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Apr 24, 2018, 06:36 PM
Gavin Sinclair - 24 April 2018 05:56 PM

If you promise to hunt them down like a rabid dog, I’ll say it was Tony.

I said, “fewer country songs!”......... Phffftth, “voted for Hillary Clinton…..........”

 
     
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JAPOV Joined Jul 02, 2006
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Apr 24, 2018, 06:42 PM

MAB knows what he’s talking about, but it seems to me that he’s talking as much about how the business of writing has evolved in Nashville as about the “best” way to write songs. If you want to have any success there you have to follow established practices.

If you’re not in Nashville or aiming to establish yourself in that part of the business, there may well be other, maybe even better ways to approach songwriting.

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Apr 24, 2018, 07:14 PM

Gavin,

Actually I’m thinking about the guys who were here in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s as well as the new era we are in. Remember that I have been here since the 80’s but also got to know hit writers, artists, musicians producers, publishers and label people from all those eras. I have a friend. Sherrill Blackman, who was a song plugger and gofer in the late 70’s. His job, when he started working, was to go through the songs of Kris Kristofferson. He would go through hundreds of songs and could always tell when Kris had written songs over the weekend. Those were the biggest pieces of crap he had ever heard. Hung over or drunk, Kris turned out dozens of really pieces of garbage. At the same time he had these songs.
SUNDAY MORNING COMING DOWN (Johnny Cash number one)
HELP ME MAKE IT THROUGH THE NIGHT (Sammi Smith number one)
ME AND BOBBY MCGEE                 (JANIS JOPLIN classic number one)
I NEVER PROMISED YOU A ROSE GARDEN (Lynne Anderson number one)

He had written those, turned down by every publisher in town. Borrowed and landed a helicopter on Johnny Cash’s front yard, got out and played Sunday Morning Coming Down and that began his career.

So I am not just talking about current Nashville. This goes to George M. Cohen, Irivng Berlin, Rogers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter, in to Neil Diamond, Carol King, Elton John, Bernie Taupin, and pretty much every professional writer in history. You write a BUNCH OF SONGS to get just those few really special ones that stay up there. I’ve had friends and conversations with people from the Brill Building days of the 50’s and 60’s in New York, the Beach Boys, Wrecking Crew Era of the 60’s and 70’s, the Motown years, the 70’s and 80’s rock and pop era in both New York and LA, the rock eras of the 90’s and country of all those decades.

It’s a little like the WIZARD of OZ. The more you pull back the curtain. The less you want to know.

MAB

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Apr 24, 2018, 08:23 PM

Tony?  Gulp….  But he’s bigger than me, are you really sure Gav?

Music is an international language, say it with a song.

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Deacon Joined Aug 30, 2009
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Apr 24, 2018, 09:20 PM

Matt said “if I come up with a song on average of every 2-3 months I feel lucky.” I can relate to that…... Honestly, I really don’t think about it much; I just write as I am inspired. But then songwriting has never been my job lol. On the other hand, if statistically 90% of what a pro writes is crap then what’s the point of so much writing? I guess it depends on why you write and who you’re writing for. However, when I consider someone like Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, John Denver, those guys with their very unique styles…. I don’t imagine them ever writing just for the sake of writing. In fact, it occurs to me, that the whole reason the occupation of songwriting even exists these days is to keep the “headliners” working and fulfill contracts. Being truly original and cranking out hit after hit is a very rare thing….... so I guess what I’m trying to say is, those truly gifted and original talents, can probably tell when they’re writing crap! And probably don’t waste their time with it.

 
     
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JAPOV Joined Jul 02, 2006
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Apr 24, 2018, 09:24 PM
Deacon - 24 April 2018 08:23 PM

Tony?  Gulp….  But he’s bigger than me, are you really sure Gav?

Don’t worry Ron, the only threat I make these days is that I’ll go down swingin’  ;)

 
     
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JAPOV Joined Jul 02, 2006
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Apr 24, 2018, 10:24 PM

It’s another aspect of actually getting to know these people you are talking about. And in many cases, I have. Or know people who worked with them. Almost every name you named, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, John Denver, Mac Davis, Randy Newman, I have had personal contacts with. They not only owned up to their really bad songs, they did routines and interviews about them. They would play some of them live to show how far they had come. There is actually a show in town with some really huge writers called THE FIRST BAD SONG. It is on April Fools day and done for charity. It is all these monster writers playing the first songs they ever tried to pitch in town. The rule is they have to be HORRIBLE. And the audience votes on the worst one. And they are REALLY BAD.

The key is that they ALL wrote complete crap at one time or another. Some that even got cut. One of the fun things I have been able to do is play in the rounds with some of these people. Chas Sandford (I ain’t Missing you At All) Earl Bud Lee (Friends in Low Places), Jim Peterik (Eye of the Tiger, Hold on Loosely, Rocking into the Night) Tommy Shaw (Styxx), John Ford Coley (England Dan and John Ford Coley), Russel Smith (Third Rate Romance, Low Rent Rendevu) and hundreds of other writers and artists. It is an ongoing joke. ” I can’t believe I wrote such crap!” But that is how you get to the great stuff. You don’t do it just by writing once and a while. The only way you get good is to write a bunch of garbage so you know the difference.

The point of writing is to get BETTER AT WRITING. And the only way to do that is to DO IT.

But like everything. You have to do what fits you. Just remember, your competition all do the same things. WRITE A TON. So if you don’t want to, that is fine. The rest of us do.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Apr 24, 2018, 10:43 PM

In all actuality, what I may post here are lyrics I need feedback on, the supposed lyrics that “suck”.  I have binder upon binder of lyrics finished and unfinished that I either have determined weren’t viable, or which may at some point be viable.  What no one here will ever likely see are lyrics and songs I have written and farmed out to a few local artists and writers, sorry, I might be holding back on SW101 friends, but at this time it is a path I have chosen to take, one or more of them may be an ace in the hole found nowhere on the net.  I’m no pro writer, what I write and pass on either here or to the locals, I like those songs, what sits in the binders, I might like someday, but not yet.  Do I write 100 songs in a month?  Not even close.  100 songs in a year?  Yep, 1976 over 100, two ended up being recorded, one ended up on a 45 in 1977 on the B side.  These days, maybe 5 or 8 a month, they usually end up in the binders, every now and again 1 on SW101, and 1 or 2 to the local talent.  Lately I spend more time composing music and doing collabs, this is enjoyment to me.

Music is an international language, say it with a song.

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Deacon Joined Aug 30, 2009
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