Today's Topic ~ Rules?
It was great seeing all of you last night at the Songwriters Guild. I applaud you all for making that effort to learn and to
put your soul on the line. Showing your work in front of a group of other good writers is a difficult thing. To have it scrutinized and dissected, even harder. You are all brave and talented, and I thank you for your good natured reception of my ideas. Yesterday I was talking with Songwriter Giant, Ray Evans (Silver Bells, Mona Lisa, Tammy, Mr. Ed (!), Dear Heart, etc.) I had to laugh when he asked why we take class. He said " No one ever knows what "they" (the Industry) are going to like. There are no rules that make someone like something." Now I do agree... that's how some poorly written songs got to #1...we liked them so much, as a whole, that we forgave the bad form. Emotion is where a song starts, and if it provokes enough emotion, regardless of how well- or ill-written, it can be enough. My premise for teaching (and taking) class is that if we recognize the elements that live in Standards, recorded through time, and if we can incorporate them in our writing AND STILL KEEP THE EMOTION, those works will likely last through history, rather than this week's top ten. Plus, I think it's an incredible comfort when you never have to make any excuse for a song on any level.
Just as a note. The tapes I have been getting lately are all fairly good. They are nicely produced, some have moments of genius. However... I only sign what I LOVE. If your tape has been listened to, and not signed, don't take it personally. It might have been a wonderful song, but just one I could not place. (Or it might have needed a re-write.) Or maybe, I just didn't love it. At least you are sending and trying. Keep watching the calls listed here, and send only your most targeted, special things as called for. I am on your side!
Please join me for Song Review at the
Songwriter's Guild in Hollywood on Wed., Feb 17, at 7 pm, for
"Ask A Pro" event. Call them in Hollywood, or check our Affiliations page. These events are about the only place I have time to critique songs in styles that I am not currently looking for. Take advantage of them, if you can.
Also, those of you earning or about to earn Royalties, learn how to protect your future and how PRO's work to collect your performance royalties. The educational AACO hosts GEMA on Feb. 22, in Beverly Hills. See Affiliations page for link.
(C) 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 Goodnight Kiss Music, Janet Fisher -- No reprints without written permission.