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).
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.