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Our Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries

Song Writing Tips


Getting started is often the hardest part of the songwriting process. Developing your song’s main melody or central chorus is considered by some to be the best place to begin writing your next track. Once you’ve got your hook or key chord progression, you can build the rest of your song around it. But don’t worry if you're struggling to find the perfect melody straight away, this method isn’t for everyone.

Starting with your song’s main riff or hook isn’t ideal for every songwriter. Some songwriters prefer to start at the beginning of their track by writing a killer intro, which will lead them naturally into the rest of the song, while others will get the lyrics down first, and then worry about the tune afterwards. There’s no rule when it comes to writing a new song. It’s down to the songwriter, the song and the original inspiration to determine your starting point.


Unless you're producing instrumental music, the lyrics are arguably the most important part of your song. Lyric writing can often be the most frustrating and difficult aspect of the songwriting process, especially for amateur songwriter's lacking in experience.

Having a clear idea of what your song will be about is a good start. You could write down exactly what you want to get across in your lyrics, then play about with the rhythm, structure and cadence of your words to fit them around your melody. A solid lyrical hook for your chorus is particularly important, while the verses and bridge can be built around your central theme.


There’s nothing worse as a songwriter than coming up with an amazing melody or riff, only to completely forgetting what it is an hour later. Forgetting your ideas can be really frustrating, so it’s important to make a note of your idea while it’s fresh in your mind, even if it’s just recorded quickly on your phone or scribbled on a scrap of paper. You’ll be glad of the reminder later when you return to continue working on the song.


As obvious as it may sound, some of history’s greatest songs are about personal experiences, with artists drawing on real-life events and traumas to spark their creativity. Whether you’ve been through hard times or great times, you can use your life experiences to great affect. Put those feelings into a song you can be proud of.


Keeping your track as simple as possible at first is an excellent way to accelerate the songwriting process and work out the structure of your song. Many complex songs from 5 or 6-piece bands started life as a few chords strummed on an acoustic guitar. Once you have the basis of the song in its simplest form, you can go about adding drums, strings, brass or any other additional elements afterwards. Don’t make things harder for yourself by over complicating your track right from the beginning.


Writing a song from scratch can sometimes be frustrating and mentally tiring work, especially if the ideas aren’t flowing as easily as you’d like. Often a 15-minute break away from your instrument or lyrics pad can help get the creativity flowing and stop your mind from becoming too clouded to see the ideas and inspiration you’re searching for. Whether it's written in two hours or two months, the final product is all that's important, no matter how long it takes.


Musicians and songwriters are often our own worst critics. If you judge your own songs too harshly you’ll never get anything done, so it’s important to keep an open mind, and while it’s great to take your time and carefully consider each facet of a new song, it’s often easier to get things done when you let the songwriting process flow, stop worrying and just get on with it. Overthinking can be your worst enemy. Get the basis of your song down, and you can always go back and change things afterwards.


It’s easy to lose sight of how good or bad your song is after you’ve spent hours and hours working, changing and creating it by yourself. So find someone you trust to give honest advice, and who’s opinion you value, and ask them to critique it for you. You might find they have some fantastic insight into how it could be improved. Don’t just play it for someone who might be afraid to hurt your feelings - you want honest opinions, not just yes men.

What The Artist Needs To Know Before Entering The Studio

There are two sides of recording music, the engineering and the performance. Typically the performer is coming into the engineers ‘space’ or ‘world’ in order to capture as best as possible, their art.  That being said, and myself having played both roles, I am confident that if you take these suggestions into consideration the next time that you record, it will go much smoother for everyone involved.

Show Up Rested

If you were going to give a public speech, or maybe if your team had a game, you would surely make sure you were rested and prepared for your big day. The same goes for the studio.

Master Your Material

That is to say, know your music. Practice until it is perfect and only then is it time for you to try and record it.  It is a waste of time and money for everyone involved.

Leave Your Ego At The Door

If you have taken my advice and ‘mastered your music’, ‘practiced for the two days before recording’, when you step into the studio, you should be able to knock it out.

What you shouldn’t be doing is arguing between each other(like all bands do) in the studio. Save that drama for your mamas basement.

The studio environment needs to be relaxed and creative, not stressed and tense.

Relax and Have Fun

After all these ‘rules’ it might seem like recording isn’t any fun at all. Quit the contrary, when all parties involved are aware and comfortable with these ‘rules’, the recording process becomes a very special time.

Without having to worry about being in tune, people chatting away or being distracting in the background, rushed for time, etc., you are allowing yourself to let loose. This gives you the opportunity to really let this music you have been working so hard on, really shine.

Digital Distribution

Music distribution is how music gets delivered to the listener. Traditionally, distributors enter agreements with record labels to sell to stores. However, digital distribution changed all of that by cutting out the middleman—allowing artists to distribute music directly to online stores while keeping 100% of their royalties.  Distribution is a crucial part of music promotion.  As an artist, digital distribution has become a must in order to reach all your potential fans. Smart distribution grows your visibility.  It gets your music into as many ears as possible. And it helps you get paid for your music.  Traditionally, distributors got records into stores and labels got people to go buy them (through promotion). Along the way, each of these middlemen took a percentage of the revenue.

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Music Publishing

When music is used commercially (whether sold, licensed, or publicly performed), the songwriter and copyright owner is owed royalties. A music publishing company can offer multiple services for songwriters. As a ‘publishing administrator’, they administer the copyright – protecting the use of songs as well as collecting royalties owed from use. On the creative side, some music publishers focus on the use and exploitation of the copyrights they administer by securing opportunities in the form of ‘sync licenses’ for film, TV, ads, video games, etc. Additionally, these creative teams play an active role in setting up co-writes and pitching songs to artists and labels to be recorded for the first time.

Most deals with larger music publishers see copyright owners receiving 50% of all royalties the music publisher helps generate. At the end of the day, the songwriter still “owns” the song, but working out licensing, pitching to music supervisors, and collecting royalties is a lot of work.


In short, songwriters should keep in mind that each song they write and record exists in two forms: the composition (underlying melody, lyrics, and music) and the sound recording (also known as a ‘master’, it is the recorded version of the composition). Each of these properties has rights – meaning those who own them have can decide who can use them and how.

If Artist B records a ‘cover’ of Artist A’s composition, Artist B only owns the rights to that recorded version of the composition. Artist A owns both the composition and their own sound recording of the composition.


Performance Rights Organizations (or as they’re commonly known in the industry, PROs) help songwriters, composers and artists collect performance royalties. They exist all over the world and are designed to pay local performance royalties to copyright owners wherever they are.

Performance royalties are paid to the copyright holder whenever a composition is performed publicly – recorded or live, on radio, television, digital outlets, concerts, and other music services. PROs are not responsible for collecting the mechanical royalties that are generated when a song is purchased, downloaded or streamed.

Think of registering your compositions with a PRO (in the United States, your options are ASCAP, BMI or SESAC) as your initial, ‘bare-minimum’ foray into covering your music publishing basics.