It’s not about you. It’s about the listener. What’s in it for the listener?
As we began discussing last week (READ IT HERE), successful songwriters know it’s not about us- it’s about the listener. When it comes to your song, what’s in it for the listener? What’s going to make them stick around till the end and hit “repeat?”
If your song doesn’t have something in it for the listener, there’s no money in it for you.
Yep. I just said that.
So, for the next few weeks, I’m going to be pointing out some things you can build into your song that can connect with your listeners. So let’s dive in.
“It’s what I want to hear!”
Back when the Steve Holy single, “Good Morning, Beautiful” was climbing the charts and getting a bunch of radio spins… I didn’t quite get it.
I mean, it was okay, but I didn’t really get what all the fuss was about. So I asked a female friend of mine, Heather, why she liked it so much. She just smiled and said, “Because it’s what I want to hear somebody say to me.”
Ooooohhh… (I’m a little slow sometimes.)
So a singer directly addressing the female listener and telling her something sweet that she wants to hear… makes her want to listen. (Note to self: Try this on my wife.)
So one way to make your song more “cut/able” is to have your lyric say something the listener wants to hear. Tell her she’s pretty. Tell him you want to kiss him. Yes, I know this should be pretty obvious, but if you’re like me… sometimes the obvious isn’t so obvious.
So here’s your homework. Turn on the radio or your favorite playlist. Find a song or two that answers the question, “What’s in it for the listener?” with “It’s what I want to hear!” (Either you yourself as the listener or what a listener of the other gender would want to hear.) Please leave a comment and let me know what you discovered!
If you’re interested in learning other ways to make your songs more “cut-able,” check out “Cut/able: Lessons In Market-Smart Songwriting.” It’ll give you a ton of valuable insight into writing the type of commercial songs that artists want to record and audiences want to hear!
If you want to become a songwriting pro (in how you think, write songs or do business), then a great place to start is RIGHT HERE. I want to help you on your songwriting journey. I’ve been in the music business for years, and I’m here to help you get the cuts – and avoid the bruises. CLICK HERE TO START HERE.
God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,
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.