Your Friends Will Lie To You – Songwriting Business Tips


You know how I know that I’m a better artist than Picasso? Because I made this amazing painting and I showed it to my mother and she told me right there and then! She said, “Son, your art is better than Picasso’s” ! Woohoo! I’m phoning the Louvre right now!


Ok, so what am I saying about the business of songwriting?


When it comes to songwriting, you can not trust your friends when it comes to getting feedback for your songs. Your friends will lie to you. Maybe not on purpose (although if you are really bad, they might), but your friends love you and if they love you, they genuinely believe in you so they can’t help themselves. When your best friend shows you her new-born baby, you will tell them you think he’s beautiful, regardless of what might really be going through your mind, right?


This is life. They can’t help it! They care about you and it’s not easy to tell someone the work they have spent hours, weeks or sometimes YEARS creating, is just not good enough. But getting feedback is part of the songwriting process and needs to be done!


So how do we do it?


First of all, the easiest and best route is to start a band. If you are in a band of people who all take their songwriting careers seriously, you will have a workshop environment in which people can give each other critical feedback in order to shake up a song and make it better.


This process can be very difficult to begin with. When I first started Cassette, we spent a LOT of time fighting about songs. And, at first, when someone in the band would tell me that my song was weak, my feelings would be hurt and I thought it was an insult aimed at me. Ego is the best friend and the worst enemy of a songwriter (but we will talk all about that later).

Cassette on Studio 1

But after a few years of that, I hardened up fast and now when someone suggests my song isn’t strong, I go home and work on the song and pull it apart and figure out how to come back and blow everyone’s minds! It was a VERY fruitful process as you learn fast and furiously, and we had a lot of single success on radio stations all over as a result.


But what if you’d don’t have a band?


I’d suggest that you need to form friendships and partnerships with other songwriters. And they need to be honest and professional relationships, where you offer each other the same service. If someone can’t be honest about your song, then you will not get the benefit that you really need from the involvement.


I’d like to suggest that I also set up a members-only section of this website – a forum for serious songwriters from all around the world – where we can bounce ideas off of each other, facilitate a culture of professional songwriting, and give value to the craft by raising the bar of all our songs.


I would really love a ll your suggestions, feedback and comments on how a forum like this could work and if it would be worthwhile to even start it?


Come back to me using the comment section below!


Until then, happy songwriting.



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8 Responses to “Your Friends Will Lie To You – Songwriting Business Tips”

  1. Shanna says:

    “now when someone suggests my song isn’t strong, I go home and work on the song and pull it apart and figure out how to come back and blow everyone’s minds!”

    Great advice dude!

  2. marc says:

    I think its a good idea in a way- The Songwriting section, the thing is though everyone has different types of songs, i have a whole pile that im working on, but the thing is they’re really suitable for an artist or band and not necessarily for a pop genre or an artist trying to capture a top 40 hit, my idea was to start a solo project , but i dont think that’ll ever happen, so have them just sitting there..sad

    • Jon Savage says:

      Then a forum like this might be a great place for your songs, Marc? My songwriting business strategy is not aimed at having a Top 40 hit, it’s aimed at another part of this business entirely, and having a catalogue of songs – as you do – is a perfect place for you to start making some good bucks off those songs.

      On another note, would be an honour if you’d consider even writing a post for this blog – if you have any ideas about songwriting that you’d like to share, write a 300 word blog post and I’ll put it up here. You have a WEALTH of experience in this department.

      Thanks for the comment!

      • marc says:

        Cool Mate, well count me in!! ill have the Post up for you soon, and yeah i would like to make some money from them, but also just to have someone who can actually sing to communicate my thoughts .. just that would be cool!

      • Mel Stevens says:

        Hi Jon.
        Presume ur well boet. This is a wonderful idea bro and just reading through, one can see how this will be beneficial to ALL songwriters, the old boys like me (heehee), present and future. Exactly what I was trying to do with my Songwriters Group. I’m all for it brother and there is no doubt in my mind that it will be a huge success.

        I’m pretty much in the same situation as Marc, with songs just sitting there, but I’m trying to do something about it now, by joining hands with Zane Lawrence and hopefully in the near future Andy Griffiths (250 songs, including 3 CD’s that he did on his own, but like me with 36 songs, nothing accepted)and this would also be the nucleas of a band. We would come together to work on songs, but could also higher out to fund what we want to do. Will be meeting with Zane soon and my sound engineer(35yrs experience) friend Shaun Herbert (Playhouse Theatre, Durbs)who did the demo Love and Peace, to discuss the way forward. Andy is the difficult one. When I approached him 3 to 4 yrs back to come in with me, his exact words were “Your songs are yours and mine are mine. You show me something and I might consider it”, which is what I’m trying to do currently. So basically, if I get a song published, then I could bring him in.

        Lastly Jon, since I joined up with you (I’m not to kosher on the computer side of things yet and still very much in the learning mode still), I have been saving ur mails in my Drafts. I would love this link to you to be appearing in my Songwriter Group. After all thats what my original intention was, to help songwriters avoid making all the mistakes I made over the years, including SAMRO registration. How can we affiliate the two my mate?? Would love to be getting your link appearing regularly in my Songwriters, so all my members (Currently 63, since starting with 3, end of Feb, can log on to you and join up with you.

        Again, thanks Jon for creating this forum, as my Songwriters has grown so much, I can only see THIS, doing exactly the same and I wish you much blessings from God in this venture of yours.

        Very best wishes.
        Mel Stevens.

        • Jon Savage says:

          Hi Mel
          Thanks for your comments and wishes of support!

          Good luck with everything and keep your eye on the blog :) Good things still coming.

          PS. Sorry don’t know how to make it appear in your group?

  3. Josh says:

    Count me in for the forum. It’s a great idea!

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