Wow Rand, thank you, what an honor. I just stole bits and pieces from everyone & everything I've ever learned about lyric writing & songwriting to make it what it is. Every writer needs a frame of reference.

You're right lyrics & melody makes a copyright.

What people hear on the radio is music, melody, & lyrics. I feel like melody is most critical, and sometimes there's really cool things in the music that makes a HIT a HIT. Ear Candy. Stuff people love to hear. Over & over. Mind Meth.

Like the cool signature licks:
the Bass line in Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wildside,"
The Instrumental intro of Shania Twain's "Man I Feel Like a Woman,"
The Guitar Riff in "Heaven" by Los Lonely Boys
Intro to "LaBamba"
Guitar Riff in Aerosmiths "walk this way"
Prince was great at this in many of his huge hits in the 80's
There's thousands I love.

You're right! Every song needs a concept, something that makes it stand up & be unique. The challenge we all face is every type of song has been written, we need to find new interesting ways to communicate something that millions of people connect with, with a unique distinct melody. No one has ever quite put it this way. Sometimes it's putting together 2 common things in a new way.

Taylor Swift is great at writing songs that connect with millions of teenage girls.

Katy's Perry's Hot n Cold tells off a wishy washy person in a super catchy way.

Rascall Flatts "What Hurts the Most" by Jeffrey Steele & Steve Robson is a thing of beauty with it's raw emotion & killer melodic changes.

I think Zac Brown Band's "Chicken Fried" is one feel good catchy song with a touch of Patriotism

I recently heard & really liked Pat Green's "What I'm For"
It fell into my Wow!-I-wish-I-wrote-that-song list

I look for how people (who know nothing about music & songwriting) react to a song. The true measure of a song is "Fan Reaction." Sometimes I feel songwriters can be unnecessarily overly critical about songs, especially their own.

Rand thank you for sharing your wisdom.
Folks oughta grab a copy of "Makin Stuff Up" by Rand Bishop

Ande Rasmussen

Originally Posted by Rand Bishop


Wow,you really know your stuff!

This is perhaps the most concise, complete and accurate list of songwriting tips I've ever seen. It took me more than 250 pages to say what you've summed up here. Of course, I included a bunch of song examples and more than a dozen stories of serendipity, self-destruction, recounting decades of close calls on my road to eventual victory (an experience, BTW, I wish on every creatively compulsive soul who applies him or herself to achieving songwriting success).

Anyway, I'd add only a couple of comments to your brilliant treatise.

First, songs (as copyrights) actually have only two essential components - music and lyrics. Music comprises the melody, the chordal context of the melody and the rhythm (including the relative length and dynamics of each note and the spaces in between).

Secondly, every song needs a "concept." That might be what you're getting at with your reference to "themes" and/or "ideas." By concept, I mean the characters, the story, the message, the point of view. A title is usually meaningless in and of itself. After all, what does "Yesterday" mean without that forlorn, heartbroken man longing for it?

So, as we keep our radar up and collect new song ideas and titles, we will need to paint them into a landscape that captures or re-captures a moment in time, or a period of time, or projects a wish upon the future, AND demonstrates a point of view. And, you are so right. Songs are, first and foremost, emotional things. That's how they communicate.

All in all, you have provided great wisdom in this post. As a pro in this biz for nearly 40 yrs, I take my hat off to the blogger from Texas.

Thank you for sharing this with the JPL family.

Rand Bishop
songwriter/producer/author - Makin' Stuff Up, secrets of song-craft and survival in the music-biz

Ande Rasmus sen
Ande R a s m u s s e
Ande R a s m u s s e

Texas Grammy Gov 06-08

Editor Of "Inspirations for Songwriters"
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