Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.
You should probably be writing more uptempo songs than you already are. Why? Let me tell you.
Tempo is the speed of your song in beats per minute, or bpm. As a general principle, uptempo songs are in higher demand than midtempo or ballads. Therefore, your best bet to get a cut is by writing great uptempo songs.
Knock knock. Who’s there? Math.
Look at the albums by the top artists. Most of their songs are mid- and uptempo. There’s usually only one or two true ballads on most albums these days.
Radio mostly plays uptempo and midtempo. They want the listeners to feel good and stick around through the commercials.
And, finally, artists want their shows to be fun- they want the crowd on their feet, singing along and having a great time so they buy a T-shirt at the merch table.
An artist works hard to get everybody on their feet at a show. Then he plays a ballad. What does everyone do? They sit back down. Now the artist has to work hard to get them on their feet again. Because of this, most artists don’t play many ballads in their shows.
Shows, radio, and records all rely on tempo.
Therefore, it’s wise give your song, if possible, in a faster tempo. Here’s another reason to lean toward writing tempo. A lot of people listen “beat first.” This means they don’t pay attention to the lyrics of the song at first. They listen for a good beat first. Then, if they like the beat (or groove), they MIGHT get around to connecting with the lyric.
Your song might have a great idea and a powerful lyric, but “beat first” listeners will likely never know. Writing songs with a good beat and a good lyric helps your song connect faster to both beat-first and lyric-first listeners.
Knowing simple things like this is how you write market-smart songs (songs that have a competitive advantage in the market). If you want to learn more about how to write market-smart songs, check out my ebook, “Cut/able: Lessons In Market Smart Songwriting.” Click on the image below or click here to write market-smart songs.