Your (Not so) Concise Songwriters Guide

Your (Not so) Concise Songwriters Guide

The Tunedly Team
Being a songwriter has always been challenging, but even more so in today’s modern music business. According to acclaimed folk singer-songwriter, Mary Gauthier, in an article dedicated to young songwriters, "the struggle is the path, and there is no destination, only the path."

With that said, it is entirely possible to be a successful songwriter. Yes, it is possible to achieve the heights of people like Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Sia, Ester Dean, Erika Ender, and hundreds of other songwriters who have made and are still making their mark.

One of the secrets to being successful in the songwriting game isn’t a secret at all. It’s all about consistently doing the right things and continuously learning ways to enhance your craft. It’s also about trying new things, expanding your network, and connecting with the right people.

But with so many different variables to consider, it can be confusing, especially if you’re just starting out or have been at it for a while with not much to show for your efforts. Even if you’ve tasted some amount of success, there is still a chance that you might feel stuck, wondering what your next move should be to keep the momentum going.

We can't know all that you go through, especially with the songwriting life being so different and personal for each individual. But being a community for music creators from all walks of life, who have differing goals, and are at different levels in their careers, it puts us in a unique position to identify a lot of the challenges and opportunities for lyricists and songwriters.

That’s why we have spent time pinpointing some of the concerns that songwriters go through while navigating the ins and outs of the business, and put together this comprehensive guide that can help you become even better at what you do. It's broken down into several sections to match the different stages of songwriting. Are you ready? Let’s begin…

1. Song Idea Generation

We’re starting right at the beginning, which is a place where many lyricists and songwriters often get stuck - coming up with the initial song idea. This can happen in a number of ways, from having a conversation with a friend to listening to the news. But a great deal of the time, just coming up with a good song title can be tough.

How to Come up With a Title for Your Song

Yep, coming up with a song title is a challenge that possibly every songwriter has had to grapple with at some point, so don’t feel bad if you’ve ever run into this roadblock before.

The important thing is recognizing it for what it is and finding ways to mitigate the problem when it happens. After all, as they say, you only need to make the first step. There are a number of ways to do so. Here are a few tips on how to brainstorm the perfect title.

Write the Chorus First

Most often than not, the title of a song will be in its chorus. As a result, once you get the chorus down or even a hook, you’ll possibly take care of the song’s name, or at least a working title. For John Legend, he admits to coming up with a melody and hook first before knowing what to write about. "...the music tells me what to talk about,” he says.

Combine Nouns With Adjectives and Verbs

The subject of a song is usually a person, a place, or thing. Chances are you will be describing it in some way during the course of the song. To make it easier to come up with a title, create 2-3 columns on a piece of paper. In one column, write down the noun, along with its possible variations; in the others, write down all the adjectives that can describe the noun, as well as any suitable verb that goes with both. You can even pair nouns and verbs separately for even more naming options. Next, choose the option that you feel is most catchy and best captures the essence of your song.

Use a Song Name Generator

There are a number of websites that you can go to and plug in a few keywords or phrases related to your song idea. The song name generator will then give you a list of possible song titles to choose from. Note that the options given are often generic, so you might need to modify the chosen name somewhat, but at least it’s an option to consider if you’re fresh out of ideas.

Ask for Help

Although creating a song is an intimate, personal experience, you can ask a trusted friend or family member to help you out with a title from time to time. If you have an online following, you can even throw it out to your fans to name your next song.

A good song title can determine whether a song does well or not. As such, you should spend time making sure the one you choose will at least get the attention of listeners.

Now that you know a few ways to come up with song titles, let’s look at another crucial part of the songwriting process: coming up with song theme ideas.

Song Theme Ideas For The Motivated Songwriter

In addition to having a natural flair for writing, becoming a good songwriter takes time, patience and knowledge. It also means understanding people and what’s happening in the world, in order to use songwriting themes that listeners will find appealing.

Regardless of the genre, there are some song themes that can always be explored for new song ideas, and being aware of these automatically solves part of the puzzle of writing. So, what are some of the top song themes that can motivate you to write?

Well, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at the North Carolina State University and published in the Journal of Advertising Research, there are 12 main themes used in songwriting. These themes were found to be the basis of the bulk of the top Billboard hits covering the 50-year period from January 1960 to December 2009.

The 12 themes are: breakups, loss, pain, desire, rebellion, aspiration, inspiration, confusion, nostalgia, jaded feelings, escapism, and desperation.

Some of these themes are more popular in some genres and depend on what’s happening in the society at a particular time. However, some of them are timeless, of which we’ll be focusing on a few.


Love and relationships are undoubtedly the most written about topics in history. It follows, therefore, that most people will experience the pain of breaking up at least once in their lives. Whether you are writing about your own breakup or someone else’s, a messy breakup, an unresolved breakup, or a mutual breakup, you are bound to find that a wide cross-section of people will be able to relate to your song.

It’s even better if there is a tinge of melancholy in the lyrics or some amount of anger. Breakup songs are popular across all genres but especially in Soul, R&B, and Pop. Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable” is a popular song that uses the breakup theme but also serves to empower females at the same time. Many of Taylor Swift’s songs also seem to be about breakups, which are further heightened by speculation within the media as to which of her exes these songs are about.


Feeling wanted, especially in a sexual way, is another natural human emotion that most people can relate to. Sexy songs that speak about a certain level of appeal and confidence are highly attractive. When added to catchy beats and melodies, they have the capacity to become viral and are popular at clubs and parties to help set the mood.

Artists such as Usher and Kelly Rowland are well known for singing songs with themes based on desire. Usher’s “Love In This Club” and Rowland’s “Motivation” are good examples.


In general, people tend to view life as being filled with challenges and often need to be motivated. Inspirational songs have the quality of cutting across genres, religions, demographics, and even geographic locations because people like to feel inspired, whether it is for them to achieve something or make important life decisions.

As a result, this is also another theme that can spur the need to pen a song and many songwriters use their own personal struggles, those of their friends, or those of people in the wider society to pen songs that inspire. Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” and Kirk Franklin’s “Smile” are two very different songs that many people are inspired by.


Protest music, which is another form of the inspirational theme, is also a good motivator for writing songs. Songwriters are also seen as the voice of the people and many have used their talents to voice the concerns of certain segments of the society, including rebellious teens. Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” and Linkin Park’s “Numb” are two examples of popular songs with a rebellious theme. Not to be outdone is John Lennon, who, many believe, was instrumental in helping to bring the war in Vietnam to an end through protest songs such as “Give Peace a Chance.”


While this is closely related to the breakup theme, songs about loss go much deeper to include the passing away of a good friend, family member, or important person, or even loss of innocence. Everyone who has grown past a certain stage has lost someone or something close to them, so this is a theme that you should definitely explore if you’re thinking of becoming a serious songwriter. Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind”, which was about the death of Princess Diana, is one good example of a song about loss that became very popular.

Over time, it might become harder to pick songwriting topics and build themes around them. But as a motivated songwriter, you will eventually realize that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The truth is that almost everything you can imagine has been written about before, so coming up with fresh content requires creativity and imagination; examining what is already available and creating your own version. In the end, the songs you write should be on topics and themes that numerous people can relate to in order for them to have any value or a chance of becoming a hit.

2. Song Development

Up to now, we’ve looked at generating ideas for song topics and themes. Now it’s time to go a little more in-depth as it relates to writing and developing your songs.

Important Details That Make Your Songwriting More Credible

Whether you’re new to songwriting or an established professional, it is your job to make songs as believable and realistic as possible. If you want to write about a flower, for example, it’s often not enough to simply write about a flower, or even a rose, for that matter. You will need to get more detail-oriented and write as deeply and intimately as you can, in order to grab the attention of listeners.

It does not necessarily mean writing about every physical detail of a rose. In fact (and since we’re using a flower as an example), you should barely describe the physical appearance of the rose, but rather describe the emotional characteristics of it, or connect it to something else.

Not making sense to you as yet? No need to worry. This section is all about helping you to learn how to add little details into your songwriting that will make your songs more credible…and more memorable for your listeners.

Use Inside Details

What are inside details? This is a non-technical term that refers to the physical, emotional, and mental connections to words that people make with everything they happen to see, also known as the connotation of a word.

A word has two parts to it, the denotation and the connotation. The denotation is the actual, literal definition. For example, a rose is a flower that comes in varying colors and has thorns and leaves. This is one literal definition of the word. However, that is not the entire definition of what a rose is, considering its linkages to people, relationships, and friendships.

The second half of a word is the connotation, which is the implied meaning of a word. In the case of the rose, it can refer to love, lust, passion, and emotion, among other things. The connotation can be different for different people.

For example, a person, whose first main memory of a rose is seeing a bunch of them at a funeral, will likely grow up connecting roses to death, while a person who grew up with parents who were always sending each other red roses with little notes, will likely connect the flower to love and stability. The connotation is the part of the definition songwriters need to connect with and use in their songs.

Use Relevant Imagery

Just because you like a rose (continuing with the flower theme), does not mean you have to use it in every song, or that it is even suitable for every song. While you cannot control people’s specific connotations for words, you must be aware of the general feeling people receive with words and images.

As the lyricist/songwriter, you will need to be able to differentiate when you should use a word and why you are using it in the first place. If you are creating a love song, a rose will be perfect to get the right connotation across. A lily may not give the same emotional punch in that same situation but has its own uses.

It is the small details (color, size, weight, height, sound, etc.) in your songs that will take your songs from flat to dynamic. Picking the right words with the right meanings will allow your fans to better connect to the song, to you, and to each other, making your songs resonate more with listeners.

Be True to Yourself

Looking at the type of songs that regularly make the top 10 on the Billboard charts, as well as those that rank highly on Spotify or YouTube in terms of streams/views, it may seem necessary to change your approach and becoming more like the hit artist, and less like yourself. Sometimes a change is, in fact, needed to help you become more successful on a whole.

But if you lose sight of your own identity, your songs could end up falling flat and be easily forgotten by your fans. What makes any songwriter and musician a true success is when they are able to combine what makes them an individual with what the public at large wants to hear. This can be a daunting task, but it starts with you being, well, you.

As a songwriter, if you feel as if you want to write a song about a breakup, for example, do not try and copy Adele’s recent smash hit, rather write what you feel. What makes someone like Adele so accomplished, and what has allowed so many people to connect with her songs, is that she borrows from her personal experiences and writes exactly what she is feeling. She does not try to be like another songwriter or pretend to feel things she does not really feel. She remains true to herself, and to what her imagination is able to come up with. It may take time for your songs to become a hit like Adele, but by working and staying true to yourself as well, you will have a much greater chance at success in the long run.

Find True Inspiration

Inspiration is considered to be a blessing and a curse to songwriters. An inspiration can set your mind on fire and give you the ideas and the words to showcase everything you are feeling inside at that moment. It is the basic foundation of every song that has ever been written (even the horrible ones).

With no inspiration, there is no song. However, finding true inspiration can be extremely difficult. Something may spark an idea or a concept, but finding the words and the tools to combine those words may be beyond the capabilities of that inspiration. Do not let the frustration drag you down. On the contrary, that should drive you to find your inspiration, whatever that is.

By directly looking for an inspiration, you are much less likely to actually find one. Your mind is in the mindset of finding something to help you write a song and it can become too much pressure. Rather, you must let the inspiration come to you.

If you find yourself stuck on a song, and out of ideas, take a walk in the park, go downtown, visit places you haven’t been to in a while, or have never been. Get out and experience and enjoy life. If you are always trying to write, you will miss out on the very experiences that make your life and work so exciting. Songs that are based on real inspirations and events will always connect more with your audience than songs that are forced and created from fabrications. People can tell when something is real and will be able to hear it in your words.

6 Tips for Writing Creative Lyrics

It’s now time to get more into the meat of the matter; putting lyrics together. Lyrics are the wordy parts of a song that will be uttered (sung) to a rhythm, and what the audience will listen to in order to figure out the story or theme that is being brought across.

It’s not a cakewalk to reach deep into the confines of your mind and pull out an expression of yourself, your life, your experiences, or the greater human experience at large. It’s not easy to find the words to bring together the complex thought patterns happening in your mind at any given time. If you’re a songwriter and that’s what you love to do, you can succeed at writing exciting, reflective and creative lyrics. It just takes a lot of practice, and every once in a while, a clever exercise to keep your songwriting muscles sharp.

Lyrics that get really creative will cause listeners to pay more attention to what is being said than lyrics that are less creative. In addition, some genres are more reliant on creativity in lyrics than others; hip-hop, for example. However, creativity in lyrics is important across all genres. With that said, here are some tips to bear in mind, including a few that are completely off the wall.

Write Along With Your Favorite Artist

So what do we mean by that? We are not telling you to call up Bob Dylan or the Radiohead crew to help you craft your next hit.

Instead, take one of your favorite lyrical songs by one of your favorite lyrical artists, and bring your own twist to it. You could do this by alternatively rewriting every other line of your favorite song, or you could even try writing your own stanza or chorus.

The key, when using this approach, is that you are already stimulating the part of your brain attuned to songwriting when you bring your favorite songwriter into the picture. Inevitably this person is someone who greatly influences your own songwriting style, so using their work as an exercise to improve your ability to write your own pieces will have great payoffs.

Write With a Friend

A while ago, at a show, the first two performers both decided to play a song that they wrote “over a text message”. Yes, you heard right. Both of these performers had written a song by texting back and forth with a friend, one line for one person and the next for the next. The product was a beautiful bluegrass piece straight out of the heart of the Appalachian Mountains.

Utilizing another fellow songwriter’s or even a friend’s creative abilities will help you get your own creative juices flowing. When you hear their ideas and notice the connections they’ve made during the songwriting process, you'll begin to internalize their techniques and – consciously or subconsciously – add them to your own. In addition, having the pressure to write a new lyric in order to text back will force you to write in the first place, which just so happens to be many writers’ initial problem.

Write a Stranger’s Story

This is a fun exercise that you can do almost any time when you are out in public or even watching a movie or a television program. Rather than relying entirely on your own experiences to produce a great song, try imagining what a character you’ve seen on television or a stranger on the streets is going through.

This is all just a big thought game. You know nothing about this individual, but you can really get your imagination running wild when you try to use little context clues to decide exactly where this person is coming from, what their experiences are, and how they feel about their lives.

Using this exercise will help you get out of your own perspective and into the broader human perspective at large. It will expand your ability to dream up new scenarios and personalities for your songs, and this newfound territory in your imagination will show in the lyrics you produce.

Introduce a Different Attitude

It’s very easy to get stuck in a rut by writing the same lyrics over and over in different ways. If you find the last couple of songs reflect the same energy, such as aggressive, lovey-dovey, or reflective, maybe it’s time to introduce a new attitude. Experimenting with a theme or attitude you haven’t tried out could help you discover a new side you didn’t even know existed, as well as get fresh lyrics flowing.

Use Contrasting Themes

Your songs don’t always have to carry the same theme from start to finish. Trying to contrast the mood of the verses with the chorus, pre-chorus, or bridge, for example, can help break you out of a rut, especially if you’re stuck in the middle of creating a song. Consider Sia’s “Alive,” which has sad and reflective verses but a rather hopeful and energetic pre-chorus (“I’m still breathing…”) and chorus. Similar ideas include alternating between angry and calm, funny and serious, and light and dark.

Re-interpreting an Emotion

If you like writing about a particular emotion, you can learn new ways to express it so it doesn’t become monotonous. Yes, a good vocabulary is vital, so you probably need to start reading more, but this can also be accomplished if you have a good thesaurus on hand. You can also combine words, such as ‘mind-numbing pain’ or ‘head-spinning joy’ to emphasize their meanings. Heck, you can even create new words, as long as they make sense. An example of this is Toni Braxton’s smash “Unbreak My Heart,” where ‘unbreak’ is not an actual word but prevents the song from having a mundane title, such as “Take Away my Pain/Heartache.”

Generating new song lyrics, whether from your own experiences or by extracting details from external stimuli, can be difficult at times. But it's something you will need to keep doing in order to build a catalog of songs. Use these and other off-the-wall methods to help you on days when you feel stuck and to develop your skills as you learn how to be a better songwriter.

3. Putting the Life Back in Your Songwriting Career

This next section is all about your songwriting journey and the things you can do, or should be doing, to make it more bearable. By the way, how’s it been for you so far? Like the vast majority of songwriters out there, you probably believe that it could be better, right? And it should be…

After all, there wouldn’t be much of a music industry to talk about if there weren’t people like you writing and releasing good songs.

Yet, you constantly face a number of challenges that seem to be squeezing the life out of your career, especially the high cost of music production. It’s safe to say that you really love what you do. Otherwise, you probably would have given it up a long time ago, right? The challenges that exist in the music business often cause those who are in it for the wrong reasons to quit. Those who truly love making music usually stick it out through thick and thin.

Take The Beatles, for example, who hit a roadblock early in their career. The story goes that, after recording 15 songs, the group was dropped abruptly by their record label at the time and then told that “they have no future in show business.”

Imagine being told that your work had no place in the current music industry by people who are supposed to know best about what works and what doesn’t? It's reasonable to think that your feelings would probably be crushed. Still, if The Beatles had thrown in the towel when life gave them lemons, their names would not be recognizable now.

We know the sacrifices you have made – and are still making – in order to keep going after your dream. That’s why we decided to start a business that helps budding songwriters put back the life in their careers.

Tunedly came out of the idea that making music shouldn’t cost an arm or a leg. Since launch, hundreds of seasoned and aspiring songwriters have produced songs via Tunedly that they can not only be proud of but are also helping them uncover opportunities for exposure. As such, we have had several success stories.

Now, we know everyone loves a good story, so here’s one about Michael, who was able to revive his songwriting career (and how you can do the same if you’re bogged down by some of the challenges of the music business).

Michael’s Success Story

Michael’s a budding songwriter from Australia, who, after spending time and money writing and recording many songs, was struggling to get exposure.

His dream was to be as big as his idol and namesake, Michael Bolton. So he went looking to get his music in the hands of the right people, who could make ‘it’ happen. He tried everything to get even one song on the air, but nothing happened.

Eventually, like so many promising songwriters, Michael had to seriously start looking into other career choices to make ends meet. Sounds familiar to the stories of many songwriters out there, right? Anyway, he had to shelve his plans at that point in his career and his songs were left to fade away from memory.

Fast forward several years later and Michael has managed to get his life back together and is now a successful store owner. But despite his success, he felt like he was missing something. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it until a musician friend of his introduced him to Tunedly.

Suddenly, he remembered about his CDs with the songs he had recorded years ago but wasn’t able to get published. Joining Tunedly was a no-brainer, especially since he wanted to re-record his tracks to get the "nowadays" sound (plus, they sounded pretty amateur because he hadn't used a professional studio for the original recordings). The timing seemed right so he took the step of getting on board and the rest, as they say, is history.

It’s been only a few months but Michael hasn’t only managed to get one of his songs picked up by a major publisher, he’s had a #1 hit on the charts already. What’s more, he didn’t have to break the bank or sign a ridiculous deal that took away the rights to the songs he had spent so much time poring over years ago.

In his own words: “I wish Tunedly had been around five years ago, I would have accomplished so much more with my music.” Well, it’s never too late for a shower of rain, is it?

With that said, wouldn’t it be great if that was how your story turned out? Well, it can, and it’s easier than ever. If you haven’t yet, there is no better time than the present to start a new page with Tunedly. Michael and many others have benefited, now it's time to create your own success story.

4. Making a Plan

You’ve learned quite a bit so far in this guide, from generating song titles and theme ideas to enhancing your songs, and learning how to get your songwriter career on track, if it’s not going the way you want it to. What happens next depends on what you do with the information after you’ve digested it. The first thing we suggest that you do next is to come up with a plan to move forward.

And even if you already have a plan, it’s probably worth tweaking. You see, nothing in life is assured, so it is never wise to place all your eggs in one basket. Many songwriters ignore such sage advice and end up dropping the ball when it comes on to handling the business side of things; instead, pinning all their hopes on the dream of one day striking it big.

There is nothing wrong with being optimistic – in fact, you should be – but the unpredictability of the music business means that it’s possible you simply won’t make enough money. So, how do you bridge the gap between dreaming about reaching the stars and ensuring the bacon gets brought home at the end of the day? Well, that’s where transforming your talent into a full-fledged business comes in. In other words, you need a strategic business plan for success as a songwriter.

We’ve drafted a few basic steps you can follow. Feel free to tweak them according to your own goals and where you’re at now in your career. Here goes:

Create plenty of Material

The law of average as it relates to the number of songs that get picked up compared to those that are rejected is, in general, pretty low. Many successful songwriters have written dozens or even hundreds of songs and benefitted from 10% or less of the total.

In a Behind the Music article some years ago, for instance, it was pointed out that British songwriter Guy Chambers, who has written hit songs for Robbie Williams, had penned well over 1,000 songs over a 15 year period. Yet, only 21 of those songs had made it onto the top 10 on major charts, resulting in an average of one hit song for every 47 that he wrote.

Ester Dean has also lamented the high level of rejection in the music industry. She noted in an interview that a thousand songs get rejected for every song that gets picked up (by artists, for example) and that she has written many that have never seen the light of day.

As such, you need to write a high number of songs to increase your chances of getting even one through the door. Sometimes all it takes is one to break through that glass ceiling, but until you’ve found it, you need to keep creating.

Another reason to write a lot of songs is the fact that the more you create, the better you will get. According to research, it takes 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in any skill, which includes songwriting. This was illustrated in a book called Outliers, written by Malcolm Gladwell, which uses The Beatles as one of its examples, pointing out the long hours put in by the group; writing songs and playing in local clubs for years before hitting the big time.

Sign up with a PRO

Performing Rights Organizations allow many songwriters to earn whenever someone uses their music. Once you have a catalog of songs, say 10 or more, you should sign up with one of these companies to boost the potential for your music to make money for you. There are a number of PROs around the world and they all come with different advantages and disadvantages. The top ones that you should definitely look into include ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC, which are US-based PROs.

In other parts of the world, there is also SOCAN, which operates in Canda, SACEM in France, and IMRO, operating in Ireland, among others. No matter where you are in the world, you, therefore, should be able to sign up with a PRO in order to safeguard your future. Note, however, that all PROs don't operate under the same guidelines, so it's a good idea to research the ones you're interested in to figure out advantages vs disadvantages, before sticking with one.

Network non-stop

In music, getting from point A to point B is often based on the people you know and form networks with. Getting out and socializing with people from your industry will increase the possibility of you meeting important people who could open doors for you later on. You should also use up social networking channels to get closer to fans, artists, and other industry players.

Make Moves

You’re going to have to approach music publishers, artists, producers and other big players, once you have enough songs to pitch. Be prepared to hear a lot of ‘nos’ and excuses but always keep it professional. Even if you don’t get through one day, you could be called up the next.

Another avenue to explore is that of songwriting contests. There are quite a few on the calendar, offering everything from cash prizes to recording contracts.

One of the most recent is the Adam Levine-produced Songland Songwriters’ competition, which was initially delayed but is now promising to be the next big thing. It is a show that invites participants to submit original songs, with the winner getting the chance to have their entry performed by a well-known (unannounced) male superstar. Songland TV show auditions are now underway, so this is something you could check out.

Having an effective business plan can insulate you from the many pitfalls songwriters face, including deals that fall through and less than expected returns. If you haven’t yet thought about it, now is the time to create a plan, or update the one you currently have if it’s not getting you the desired results.

So, you’re almost at the end of this guide (thanks for sticking it out to the end), let’s finish it off on a light note.

11 Annoying Things People Say that Drive Songwriters Crazy

It’s something that possibly every songwriter can attest to – having to suffer mind-bending comments and questions from people who just don’t get it. While they should be forgiven for much of their utterances, it’s still a struggle not to get annoyed at times.

Among the crazy things that people utter in the presence of songwriters that we have heard include:

• “Oh, you write songs…will you write one for me too?” Sorry, don’t think so.

• “My son/daughter/brother/sister etc. is looking to get a big break, can you hook them up with…” As if you’re not trying to get hooked up yourself.

• “Wow, that song is going to be number one on the charts…I’m so proud of you.” While the positive reinforcement is good, you know better than to be over-confident, especially since you’re yet to get the song recorded much less played.

• “You write songs? You must be rich!” (Sighs and shakes head)

• “I would love to become a famous songwriter like you…Can you teach me how to write?” Sure, as long as relative obscurity is what you consider to be famous.

• “When will you be going on a world tour?” Um… • “Your song would be perfect for so-and-so’s radio show…why don’t you email it to them?” Says someone who definitely doesn’t know how the music business works.

• “You should understudy Taylor Swift (or some other popular artist). She writes her own stuff and look how famous she is.” Um…no! I can only write like me.

• “Don’t forget me when you hit it big…I was the one who was always by your side.” Maybe I need to get rid of you to see if my career can finally take off.

• “Why don’t you get a real job?” This is a real job!

• “How come I’ve never heard any of your songs on the radio?” Uh…how come I’ve never heard of you?

People can be inadvertently mean to songwriters with their ill-timed comments but don’t let it get to you. It’s all a part of the package. If you would like to add your own experience about being annoyed by people who simply don't get it, let us know by emailing us and referring to this article.


If you have hopes of becoming a songwriting great one day - probably winning a few awards and even getting inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame - you should first believe in yourself that it's all possible. Once there is self-belief, the rest of the journey becomes a little easier despite the challenges that do and will continue to arise.

Hopefully, you will find real value in this guide and take steps in matching the tips given to your personal songwriting goals. We're also happy to help you along the journey by providing world-class session musicians for you to collaborate with, as well as professional song pluggers to help give your songs a good shot at exposure. Good luck on your songwriting journey.