The C.L.I.M.B. #89: Brent Blacked Out During A Cowrite

Yep.  I pretty much blacked out during a cowrite- and you won’t believe why!  Scary thing is, these blackouts seem to be contagious.  I want to keep it from happening to YOU.  Plus, check out this week’s Song Title Challenge!

If you’re a singer, songwriter or indie artist who wants to grow your career, THIS is the podcast for you!

The C.L.I.M.B. Podcast is live and ready for download!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON ITUNES

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON STITCHER (for Android)

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN ON THE C.L.I.M.B. WEBSITE

The C.L.I.M.B. stands for “Creating Leverage In The Music Business,” and that’s the goal of this podcast- to help singers, indie artists and songwriters like YOU to create leverage in the music business.  What is leverage?  It’s “strategic advantage; the power to act effectively.”  We want to help YOU make stuff happen in the music biz.

It’s exciting to see how folks are digging the show- and being helped on their CLIMB.  If YOU like it, we’d really appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave a rating or review on iTunes.  Positive ratings and reviews help us to climb the iTunes rankings so more people become aware of the show and we can help more singers, songwriters, and indie artists like you make The CLIMB!The CLIMB iTunes review 3

CLICK HERE TO LEAVE AN iTUNES REVIEW

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON ITUNES

If you aren’t on iTunes, you can listen to the show at our website:

TheCLIMBshow.com

If you have an Android phone, you can subscribe to the show on:

Stitcher

Thanks for your time. It means a lot to me, and hopefully it’ll be a lot of help for you!

God Bless and keep C.L.I.M.B.ing,

Brent

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.

Don’t Write With Artists That Do These 5 Things (Even If They’re Great Singers)

Album credits make one thing perfectly clear – it’s smart to write with the artist.  There’s no denying that.  However, not every artist is worth your time and creativity.

Here are 5 red flags that mean you should probably NOT write with the artist.

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To BE a pro, you need to THINK like a pro, and this FREE ebook will help transform your thinking, your songwriting, and your success.  Get it today!

Click Here For The Book

_________________________________

Okay, if the artist is already a star and cuts their own songs, you should definitely write with him or her if you get the chance.  Do it, be thankful for the opportunity, and bring your best work.

However, most artists are NOT stars.  They’re unsigned artists who hope to become stars.  And maybe they look great and even sing great.  I know in those cases it can really be tempting to go “all in” with those artists in the hopes that they’ll make it big – and take you with them.

But most artists never become stars, and here are five reasons many of them are doomed.

If your artist cowriter (or potential cowriter) is doing any of these things, consider it a major warning sign.  These artists probably aren’t going to make it.  Sorry.

1. Doomed artists disregard their fans (or potential fans).

In the old music biz, maybe you could get away with being mysterious and aloof.  But in the social media age, you can’t be too cool for school.  Look at Taylor Swift.  She’s one of the biggest stars on the planet, and she built her career by LOVING her fans.  She surprises and delights them.  She cares about them.  In return, they care about her.

If your artist expects their music – and ONLY their music – to build a legion of raving fans… they’re sadly mistaken.

2. Doomed artists are waiting for a hero.

Is your artist friend waiting around for someone else to make their dreams come true?  Are they just killing time until they get discovered by a manager, booking agent or label who will do all the hard work and open all the right doors?

The artists who are likely to make it have an incredible work ethic.  Their attitude isn’t “who’s going to let me?”  It’s “who’s going to stop me?”  They get off the couch or out of the studio, and they hustle.  They book their own shows, they connect with fans.  Those are artists who are likely to be discovered – because they’re discoverable!

3. Doomed artists treat music like a hobby.

This is similar to the previous red flag.  But while the last type of artist really wants to succeed but has given away their power, this artist either doesn’t really want success or is just plain lazy.  This artist is probably naturally very talented and hasn’t had to work that hard to get some attention.  As a result, maybe they’ve never learned how to grind.  Or they just aren’t willing.

Either way, their lack of work ethic means they’ll probably never become a star.

4. Doomed artists act entitled.

I don’t care who your artist friend is, the world does NOT owe them success, or even attention.  Just because they care about their own music doesn’t mean that anyone else has to.  Why should anyone treat them like a star when they are NOT a star?

Also, entitled artists usually don’t have as much hustle because they feel like success and attention should be handed to them by the mere fact that they want and expect attention and success.  That kind of attitude will turn off folks in the music biz, and it’ll eventually turn off fans, too.

5. Doomed artists radiate bitterness or negativity.

Believing that you won’t succeed is a self-fulfilling prophecy.  So if your artist friend believes he or she is being “held down” by gatekeepers, publishers or record labels and THAT is what’s keeping them from success… run away.

This negative, bitter attitude gives away the artist’s power and ownership over the situation.  They’ve allowed themselves to become a victim.  This attitude will also repel real music biz pros.  And even worse… it’s contagious.

You do NOT want to catch a negative attitude from the artist.  Before you know it, you’ll start seeing all the reasons you CAN’T succeed, and you’ll stop seeing all the reasons you CAN succeed.

There you go.  Five warning signs that you should not be writing with an artist.  Now, if you write amazing songs with this person, it might be worth it to keep writing with them- IF you treat them like a non-artist cowriter.  In other words, don’t wait around for that artist to take those songs to #1.  If they’re great, pitch them to other artists.

If your cowriter doesn’t want you to pitch them anywhere, use these cool songs to get new cowriters.  Then move on.

I know this may be hard to hear.  I know it may force you to confront an uncomfortable truth you’ve been ignoring.  But I’ve personally wasted too many songs and days on artists like the ones on this list.

I want you to avoid my mistakes.

If you want to dive deeper into this topic- or any other songwriting problem you might have, it’s time to sign up for a coaching session.  These sessions are personal (1-to-1), confidential, and it doesn’t matter where in the world you live.  We meet online, so it’s like we’re in the same room (only you don’t have to wear socks and shoes).

This is your chance to ask me YOUR questions, work on YOUR songs, pick my brain, etc.  Basically, it’s my time to serve you however I can, on a comfortable one-to-one basis.

You can learn more or sign up for a helpful coaching session HERE.

God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,

Brent

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. SWP 4

Wordplay Thursday #210

Welcome to Wordplay Thursday!

Here’s a line to get you started. Feel free to use it to start off YOUR song.  It could be the first line of your song, or not.  Feel free to change the line up some.  Whatever gets you going!

“They got married, got plates and blenders

I’d love to hear what you come up with, so please share in the comments. Oh, and please keep your posts below an R-rating. It’s a family show, after all!

Wordplay Thursday is a fun way to generate new song ideas- and who doesn’t need more song ideas?  If you’d like MORE “creative kickstarters,” join the Frettie.com community today!  In our private Facebook group, I share a handful of creative kickstarters every week.  Plus, there’s plenty more cool stuff for Frettie members!

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT FRETTIE!

God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,

Brent

Are you missing out on THIS valuable resource?

Did you know I have another blog, too?

You might’ve heard me talk about Frettie before.  It’s an online songwriter community I have the honor of leading.  It’s cool.  Anyway, I’ve also started blogging over there, and I wanted you to know about it.

The blog posts tend to be shorter than over here at Songwriting Pro. If you’re looking for some quick songwriting nuggets, that’s a great place to go.  I post on Wednesdays.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE NEWEST POST ON THE FRETTIE JOURNAL.

Thanks.  I hope it serves you well!

God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,

Brent

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. SWP 4

The C.L.I.M.B. #88: You’ll Die If You Get Hung Up On The “How”

Being a “good researcher” is awesome… until it becomes an excuse for not taking action.  Execution is king! In this episode, learn how to focus on execution and create real momentum.  Plus, check out this week’s Social Media Tune-Up!

If you’re a singer, songwriter or indie artist who wants to grow your career, THIS is the podcast for you!

The C.L.I.M.B. Podcast is live and ready for download!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON ITUNES

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON STITCHER (for Android)

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN ON THE C.L.I.M.B. WEBSITE

The C.L.I.M.B. stands for “Creating Leverage In The Music Business,” and that’s the goal of this podcast- to help singers, indie artists and songwriters like YOU to create leverage in the music business.  What is leverage?  It’s “strategic advantage; the power to act effectively.”  We want to help YOU make stuff happen in the music biz.

It’s exciting to see how folks are digging the show- and being helped on their CLIMB.  If YOU like it, we’d really appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave a rating or review on iTunes.  Positive ratings and reviews help us to climb the iTunes rankings so more people become aware of the show and we can help more singers, songwriters, and indie artists like you make The CLIMB!The CLIMB iTunes review 3

CLICK HERE TO LEAVE AN iTUNES REVIEW

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON ITUNES

If you aren’t on iTunes, you can listen to the show at our website:

TheCLIMBshow.com

If you have an Android phone, you can subscribe to the show on:

Stitcher

Thanks for your time. It means a lot to me, and hopefully it’ll be a lot of help for you!

God Bless and keep C.L.I.M.B.ing,

Brent

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.

Advice From A Hit Songwriter

Buckle up, songwriters.  I’m about to throw a bunch of songwriting advice at you.  Gather ’round, y’all.

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To BE a pro, you need to THINK like a pro, and this FREE ebook will help transform your thinking, your songwriting, and your success.  Get it today!

Click Here For The Book

_________________________________

Opportunity is attracted to activity.  If you only write songs every now and then and you never leave your bedroom, you are not going to get many opportunities.  But if you’re writing a lot of songs and building relationships, more opportunity will find you.

Nothing is sadder than writing songs you don’t even like because you’re aiming for a hit – and then failing, anyway.  Write something you love.  If you fail, at least you still have songs you’re proud of.

Write with people you can be honest with.  How can your song be honest and deep if you and your cowriter can’t even be honest and deep with each other?

Keep writing.  Your best songs are ahead of you.

If an unsigned artist isn’t working hard, working with them is probably a waste of time.

Songs are about communication.  If you aren’t clear about what you want to communicate in your song, you will probably only communicate confusion.

One quality of a great lyric is that it is SINGABLE.  A singer should enjoy singing your words – they should feel natural.  In short, if it won’t sing, it won’t get sung.

There is no one path to songwriting success.  Everyone’s path has its own twists and turns.  Don’t worry if your path isn’t like everybody else’s.  Make a new way!

Whether you write for hits or for personal enjoyment, be sure and have fun along the way.  You can have self-enjoyment without hits, but you probably won’t write hits if you don’t enjoy yourself along the way.  So have fun!

Each of your songs has value – even the so-called “bad” ones.  After all, without the bad ones, how do you ever get to the good ones?  You have to write THROUGH the bad songs to get TO the good songs.

It is vital that you have a positive attitude – protect it like a mama bear protects her cubs.  A positive attitude helps get you through the inevitable discouragement, heartbreak, and long periods when it feels like nothing is happening for you.

Avoid “work for work’s sake.”  For example, checking your email 50 times a day might make you busy, but it won’t make you productive or successful as a songwriter.  It is better to do something effective for one hour than to do something busy for eight hours.

Before spending your hard-earned money on a demo, ask yourself: “Does this song beat out what I’m already pitching?  Is it something I don’t already have available to pitch?  Honestly, will I pitch it enough to justify the financial investment?”

The first line of your song is extremely important.  If the first line is a boring cliche’, you’re in danger of losing the listener right off the bat.   But if your first line is fresh and interesting, odds are the listener will stick around a while.

If you’d like to sit down with me (online from anywhere in the world), I have some coaching slots available.  This is your chance to ask me YOUR questions, work on your songs, pick my brain, etc.  Basically, it’s my time to serve you however I can, on a comfortable one-to-one basis.

You can learn more or sign up for a helpful coaching session HERE.

God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,

Brent

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. SWP 4

Wordplay Thursday #209

Welcome to Wordplay Thursday!

Here’s a line to get you started. Feel free to use it to start off YOUR song.  It could be the first line of your song, or not.  Feel free to change the line up some.  Whatever gets you going!

“I know they’re waiting on me

I’d love to hear what you come up with, so please share in the comments. Oh, and please keep your posts below an R-rating. It’s a family show, after all!

Wordplay Thursday is a fun way to generate new song ideas- and who doesn’t need more song ideas?  If you’d like MORE “creative kickstarters,” join the Frettie.com community today!  In our private Facebook group, I share a handful of creative kickstarters every week.  Plus, there’s plenty more cool stuff for Frettie members!

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT FRETTIE!

God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,

Brent

The C.L.I.M.B. #87: STOP Ruining Your Love Life With Songwriting!

Are you choosing love songs over… love?  Are you cheating on your spouse or significant other with your music?  It sounds silly, but the consequences sure aren’t.  In this episode, Johnny and I discuss the danger of letting your priorities get out of whack, and we try to help YOU learn from OUR mistakes and heartaches!

Plus, check out this week’s Song Title Challenge!

If you’re a singer, songwriter or indie artist who wants to grow your career, THIS is the podcast for you!

The C.L.I.M.B. Podcast is live and ready for download!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON ITUNES

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON STITCHER (for Android)

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN ON THE C.L.I.M.B. WEBSITE

The C.L.I.M.B. stands for “Creating Leverage In The Music Business,” and that’s the goal of this podcast- to help singers, indie artists and songwriters like YOU to create leverage in the music business.  What is leverage?  It’s “strategic advantage; the power to act effectively.”  We want to help YOU make stuff happen in the music biz.

It’s exciting to see how folks are digging the show- and being helped on their CLIMB.  If YOU like it, we’d really appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave a rating or review on iTunes.  Positive ratings and reviews help us to climb the iTunes rankings so more people become aware of the show and we can help more singers, songwriters, and indie artists like you make The CLIMB!The CLIMB iTunes review 3

CLICK HERE TO LEAVE AN iTUNES REVIEW

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON ITUNES

If you aren’t on iTunes, you can listen to the show at our website:

TheCLIMBshow.com

If you have an Android phone, you can subscribe to the show on:

Stitcher

Thanks for your time. It means a lot to me, and hopefully it’ll be a lot of help for you!

God Bless and keep C.L.I.M.B.ing,

Brent

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.

Change Your Songwriting Story To Have More Success

Songwriters are storytellers.  We love to tell our listeners about the world as we see it- what makes us laugh, what makes us cry, what we believe in, etc.  But the most important story you will ever tell as a songwriter… is the story you tell YOURSELF.

________________________________

To BE a pro, you need to THINK like a pro, and this FREE ebook will help transform your thinking, your songwriting, and your success.  Get it today!

Click Here For The Book

_________________________________

The story we choose to tell ourselves will have a huge impact on our growth, creativity and success as songwriters.  I know they have in my career.

I figured out early in my songwriting that I wasn’t any good at writing melodies.  I’ve never been a good singer, and melodies are frustrating.  But the words?  Words have always been my thing.  I’ve always loved playing with them- and I have a knack for it.  Along with this realization of my strengths and weaknesses came a choice.

What story will I tell myself- about myself?

Will I tell myself that I’m “only half a songwriter?”  That I’m “not a real songwriter?”  Will I tell myself it’s not fair that life didn’t hand me all the talents I’d like to have?  Will I tell myself that no “real” songwriter would want to write with “just a lyricist?”

As you can probably guess, that’s NOT the story I told myself.  I told myself, “I’m a lyricist.  I’m  a specialist.”  I told myself myself that country music loves great lyrics – so I do something valuable.  I told myself I don’t have to be great at everything.  I told myself that as long as I’m great at one thing, I’d have a seat at the table.

This self-story has made an incredible difference.

It has allowed me to act from a position of confidence instead of doubt.  Instead of approaching potential cowriters almost apologetically like “I’m sorry, but will you please write with me?  I’m only a lyricist,” I could look them in the eye without shame and say, “I’m a lyricist, and I have some ideas I think you’re gonna love.”

What story do you tell yourself?

Do you tell yourself that it doesn’t matter how good your songs are because “you gotta know somebody?” Or do you say “I’m GOING to make it- and the better my songs are, the easier it’s going to be to get to know somebody?”

Do you tell yourself that publishers are stupid for not liking your songs?  Or do you tell yourself that publishers NEED great songs and you just have to write better ones?

Is your story that you were born in the wrong PLACE to be a songwriter because you’re hundreds of miles from New York, LA or Nashville?  Or is your story that you were born at a great TIME to be a songwriter because you can use the internet to connect with the music business from anywhere in the world?

The story you CHOOSE to tell will either help or hurt your chances for success.

Is your story “you gotta be lucky to make it, so it doesn’t matter how hard I work?”  Or is your story “luck loves songwriters that are serious and work hard, so I’m gonna work harder?”

Your story matters.

It’s time to do a check up from your neck up.  Be honest with yourself about your story.  Are your stories helping you or holding you back?

Does your story tell you why you CAN, or does it tell you why you CAN’T?

Listen, I’m not into fru-fru ya-ya mumbo jumbo.  I don’t believe success is attracted to me just because I tell myself I’ll be successful. No, if I believe I’ll be successful, I’m more willing to put in the work and take the chances that make success more likely.  My story doesn’t change the universe.  My story changes me.

If your story is that music publishers don’t know what good music is so they won’t like your music, you know what will probably happen?  You’ll probably play songs for one or two publishers – just enough to prove yourself “right” – and then just quit calling publishers.

However, if your story after one or two rejections is that you just haven’t found the right publisher yet, you’ll keep trying.  And that alone increases your odds of success.  Or if your story is that you just need to write better songs, you’ll stay in the game, writing, getting better, and building publisher relationships.  And then you might just get that big hit.

And THAT will be a great story.

If you’d like to sit down with me (online from anywhere in the world), I have some coaching slots available.  This is your chance to ask me YOUR questions, work on your songs, etc.  Basically, it’s my time to serve you however I can, on a comfortable one-to-one basis.

You can learn more or sign up for a helpful coaching session HERE.

God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,

Brent

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To BE a pro, you need to THINK like a pro, and this FREE ebook will help transform your thinking, your songwriting, and your success.  Get it today!

Click Here For The Book

_________________________________
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. SWP 4

Wordplay Thursday #208

Welcome to Wordplay Thursday!

Here’s a line to get you started. Feel free to use it to start off YOUR song.  It could be the first line of your song, or not.  Feel free to change the line up some.  Whatever gets you going!

“It must be true, I saw it on the news

I’d love to hear what you come up with, so please share in the comments. Oh, and please keep your posts below an R-rating. It’s a family show, after all!

Wordplay Thursday is a fun way to generate new song ideas- and who doesn’t need more song ideas?  If you’d like MORE “creative kickstarters,” join the Frettie.com community today!  In our private Facebook group, I share a handful of creative kickstarters every week.  Plus, there’s plenty more cool stuff for Frettie members!

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT FRETTIE!

God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,

Brent

Helping songwriters turn pro.