Be Honest When You Are Song Writing (This is a actually a money-making tip).

Song Writing - Write from the Heart

I hated myself a little bit for starting a blog with a title that included “honesty” and “song writing”. I was worried that no one would bother even reading this far in to the first paragraph. The web is overflowing with song writing cliché’s like “write from the heart” or “song writing is pure and comes from the soul.” That’s why I had to add the bracketed part of the heading; to make myself feel better.


The part that fills me with self-loathing is not the fact that these are awful cliché’s but with the fact that they are true.


Now, I’m not here to write paragraphs of soppy song writing tips about accessing your inner emotions with your song writing, and connecting with your feelings in order to express them in the music. Everyone knows these things, and being able to express yourself through your craft is what every artist aspires to – that’s where the real art form lies. If you are a serious songwriter, as I hope everyone reading this blog is, you should be on the path to doing this anyway.


But why will this make you money? After all, isn’t this website aimed at helping you monetize your craft, not only on developing it?


Here’s the rub: the key to success in this songwriting business is ‘uniqueness.’ Always remember that there are 500 000 songwriters out there who are better songwriters than you. You’ve got two ways of standing out from them :


1)   Be the best songwriter in the world (good luck with that)

2)   Be yourself


When you write about real things that you feel passionately about, or that you feel genuinely about, your work automatically becomes unique. No one else can write about you. Only you can. Everyone can write about heartbreak but only YOU can write about your heartbreak. Your audience can usually hear when you are not being genuine, and it bores them. Believe me when I tell you that this little tip can change your whole songwriting career.

Songwriting business heartfelt singing

After years in this business, this is one of the most valuable lessons I have learned when it comes to song writing : be yourself. Being genuine helps you avoid all the millions of song writer cliché’s (Examples include “I’m down on my knees, begging you please.” Or any song that compares tears to rain!!!) that will undoubtedly contribute to your song feeling cheesy.


It’s very difficult. And it takes years of experience. When you are new to songwriting, it’s almost impossible not to sound exactly like those that inspired you and possibly even to write about similar experiences that you’ve never had. Sometimes new writers write songs about what they assume “what people write songs about.” It’s a deadly songwriting trap.


If you can start developing the art of letting your true self come through in your song writing, your songs will stand out and you will be on the path to financial success! Guaranteed.


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10 Responses to “Be Honest When You Are Song Writing (This is a actually a money-making tip).”

  1. Mikhail says:

    Hey, sorry Jon if I’m only writing stuff or commenting now. I agree with what you’re trying to give to people and in my own band we’ve actually though I don’t know if it’s embarrassing or well professional. We’ve scrapped aaaallll our songs. People like the songs and after gigs people would come up to us what’s that song’s name ect again ect. But what we’ve realised is that sometimes one makes these songs too complicated, though they sound really good live or perhaps on a CD(whenever someone will give us the money to record at a decent studio) it sounds awesome and impressive…. But! It’s with that, that we realised something… The moment you’re done with writing a song and I mean completely done you don’t chop and change anything the song is done and is played and sung the same way over and over that it should after 4 listens be stuck in a person’s head after the 3 listen they should want to hum or atleast try to sing along, at the 4th listen they should be able to sing along to choruses or verse lines and with that I realised problems in our songs. VOCAL MELODY is your bread and freaking butter!!! Forget lyrics for get your crappy little words that you suck out of your thumb and then sing to people, if the vocal melody isn’t easy or even catchy and flows without difficulty from your diaphragm up to your vocal chords and through your mouth then you’re pretty much screwed and no amount of intellectual lyrics can save your ass… I learned this from listening to music that’s not in any languages that I understand and I find myself wondering why am I trying to sing along when this guy could b

    e singing about how he is going to do my mother and girlfriend at the same time in front of me… That’s when I realised that finding a pure honest vocal melody to fit with song is the most hardest thing to do… It should be so easy that the most crappiest singer can sing the notes, be atleast a little bit in key but for the most part have no problem or difficulty singing the song. No wonder stuff like baby baby baby oh by justin bieber can stuck in ones head when you wake up in the morning so you feel guilty for singing along… I also realised if you write your songs in such a way that only really technical people can sing it then you’re screwed because people will get bored, also if you have difficulty singing your own songs, need I say more… A lot of singers get blamed for not being able to sing songs when perhaps one of the band members or a song writer gives a song to them, sometimes it’s not the singer that’s talentless or just completely suck, sometimes it’s because the song structure at hand is just completely chaotic and doesn’t flow anywhere from beginning to an end. So I guess that’s me blabbling finally on your page. I as a musician appreciate what you’re trying to do Jon and if I may i’ll try to comment when I can and if I have decent things to say that you might agree with or that’ll help with the cause. Goodluck with everything.

    • Jon Savage says:

      LOVE this comment!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!

      You are 100% correct and I’ve got a whole blog post coming about this topic!!! Thanks Mikhael! You rock.

  2. It’s true, most artists start out writing for themselves, the ones who fail at it, immediately write what they think would sell. It’s a pity.

    I have personally never liked rnb, I felt it was the most cliche music on the scene. Each artist was doing the same thing. My genre has also been rock, although these rockstars very often lose the plot, I think they are the closest to being true. Well them and old rappers.


    • Jon Savage says:

      Thanks for the comment Shameez!

      It’s such a fine line! And there are loads of artists that both prove and disprove the rule. But i usually find on a any top 40 chart around the world – number 2-40 are some pop generic stuff, but number ONE is usually something real and genuine.

      It’s telling.

  3. marc says:

    Totally Agree, anything else just never works for me.. if its not real it lies around and nothing happens with it!!

  4. This is the truth nothing but the truth!

  5. peter says:

    I found this to be very relevant, never forget that you are forging a career while balancing still being relevant and genuine.

  6. Damien Lindecke says:

    Very cool tip there Jon, thanks.. A REVELATION has just been had!!!! 😉

  7. Mel Stevens says:

    Hi Jon.

    A BIG A+ to both you and Mikhail and thanks very much. Only on one point did I tend to disagree with Mikhail, and that was the changing of a song after it’s done.
    This was the case with LOVE and PEACE. When written in 1981, it was a peace song for the world. After “We are the world” was recorded, I scrapped the song, but when Madiba was released from prison I pulled it back out and found a way to change just 2 words, which South Africanised it and it is currently in JHB, being considered.( Jon – I’ve given up with PJ and asked Si Anne to sing it. She has agreed to. Busy working on L’loyd Cele now, so half way there and half way to a Guiness World record, hopefully)
    So there are times when a thrown away song can be re-worked, to a songwriters benefit. Another point that has to be made, is persaverance guys. Imagine how many good songs have been lost to the cause, due to lack of this. A guy gives up, when just around the corner one of his songs could suddenly make it for him. If I manage to achieve the record, it breaks the exsisting record of 30 years, that a songwriter waited to be published. The song. “Macarena” I believe.
    To ALL Songwriters, NEVER GIVE UP. The huge hit could be only weeks away from happening.
    Finally, Hi to Damien Lindecke. Nice to see you have got involved in this brilliant idea and site of Jon’s

  8. Josh says:

    Great post Jon, and great comments from everyone else as well. Before I really started being honest while writing songs I would often just give up work on a song – mainly because whatever I had written didn’t make sense to me, I couldn’t really relate. Earlier this year my band was considering doing a cover of Depeche Mode’s ‘Enjoy the Silence’ for our live repertoire but after a few rehearsals I realised I didn’t wanna sing it anymore. Granted it’s a great song, but I wasn’t interpreting the lyrics and it didn’t move me – the rest of the guys agreed to drop the song as easily as we had considered it at the beginning.

    Now, when I write songs I usually compose the music on piano/guitar before the lyrics come and we now have a really great potential song (which our ‘producer’ has assured could very well be a hit) but no lyrics! And I haven’t been able to come up with meaningful lyrics for it either. So far, we haven’t played it live in its entirety due to the honesty factor not coming through as strongly as I would like.

    What I’m trying to say is that this is very relevant and often overlooked for the sake of being too hasty to get a band/song out there. So thanks for this post! Looking forward to newer stuff!

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