Tag Archives: Music Business

Happy Halloween! Beware of Songwriting Vampires, Zombies & Werewolves!

SWP 4

In the spirit of Halloween, I figure now is a good time to warn you about a few of the ghouls who prey upon unsuspecting songwriters. Beware of…

VAMPIRES

There are people out there who will suck the life out of your dreams. Dwelling in (and on) the darkness, these predators never see the bright side or the silver living. Little by little, their biting comments slowly bleed you of your hope and optimism (“What makes you so special?” “Oh, the music biz is rigged- you’ll never make it.”).

They might look like your friends, but they are dead inside. Avoid these vampires- once their negative, pessimistic attitude sinks its teeth into you, you start to become one of them.

ZOMBIES

They are among us, and their number is legion. They shuffle off to their soul-sucking day jobs like a mindless herd. They never dream. They just respond to whatever happens to be in front of them. They stagger back home and sit mindlessly in front of a TV or computer screen for hours feasting upon whatever catches their eye (“lightsss… sooo… preeetttyy…)

It’s easy to turn into a zombie because being a zombie means doing the easy, numb, thoughtless thing. Spend too much of your time with the zombies and you’ll wake up one day to realize you’ve been sleepwalking through life- just like one of them.

WEREWOLVES

If you want songwriting success, you must avoid running with a pack of werewolves. These are folks who only “turn into” songwriters about once a month. The majority of the time, you’d never suspect they have that hidden side. They think they can just go about “normal life” for a few weeks, then suddenly unleash their inner songwriter for a night or two and somehow make a killing in the music business.

No, the music biz is not so easily tamed. You can’t just go into beast mode on rare occasions and create a career. You need to run with a pack that is ALWAYS hungry and ALWAYS hunting. Don’t be a werewolf. Be a REAL wolf.

What about you?  What are some songwriting ghouls that you have encountered?  I’d love to hear from you!

And if you’d like to hear more about these monsters, Johnny and I dive into this topic on the newest episode of The C.L.I.M.B. podcast.  It’s available on iTunes and at TheClimbShow.com.  Check it out!

theclimbFINAL

Happy HOWLoween!

Brent

Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

 

Encore: The Band Is A Brand. Are You Brand Conscious?

Here’s an encore of one of my very first blog posts.  I’m sharing it for two reasons: 1) a lot of you have started following this website since it was originally posted (thanks!) and might find this post helpful, and 2) I need to lay low this week.  I’ve been getting so busy with Songwriting Pro stuff that I’ve neglected some very important things (namely Bible study and prayer time).  Plus, Emily and I are adopting and there is a TON of paperwork (and even more need for Bible study/prayer time).

Thanks for understanding.  I hope to be back in the swing of things next week!

God Bless,

Brent

Man vs. PRO

This is the part of songwriting I didn’t know I was signing up for- the business, strategic side of things. Sure, I have my MBA, but I really just wanted to write my songs and have them pitched by somebody to somebody and- whammo! Cuts. But the world is how it is, not how I wish it were. So now I think about artists as brands and try to act accordingly.

An artist is a brand, and they and their team (label, promotion, management) work really hard to position their brand (artist) into a certain place in the market. In business terms, they want to increase their market share- on radio and in our wallets. Everything supports the brand image: album artwork and photos, songs, videos, etc.

Artists are looking for songs that fit their brand.

Whether you are writing FOR or WITH a certain artist, it’s important for you to understand their brand. Ask yourself: who is their audience- who do they speak to? What message do they send to their fans? How do they deliver this message? How do they want to be perceived? This goes deeper than just “traditional country” or “pop country.”

If you can write a song that really fits an artist’s brand, you have a great opportunity. Think about “Real Good Man” for Tim McGraw. What a great song for him. Musically, it fits him well. Great feel, and Tim can sing it. Lyrically, that’s totally his persona- a real bad boy, but a real good man.

The artist is Coke. Their songs are Coke Classic, Cherry Coke, Coke Zero, Diet Coke, etc. They want songs that both reinforce and expand their brand. They may want Cherry Vanilla Coke or Raspberry Coke or something. Your song needs to fit on the same shelf. Your song may be the best $200 bottle of wine to be found, but it doesn’t matter. That artist is Coke.

Taco Bell doesn’t sell hamburgers.

My buddy, Tim Meitzen, told me one time, “They only have about three ingredients, but they keep putting them in different shapes!” That’s how some artists are. They keep giving you the same basic ingredients, but they put a little different spin on them. And when they do add something new, say, a Dorito as a taco shell, it still makes sense for the brand.

Luke Bryan is married with children. (So was Al Bundy, but that’s a different topic altogether.) Anyway, Luke has a family, but you wouldn’t know it from listening to his music. His music presents him as a Spring Breakin’ tailgatin’ good ‘ol party-boy who loves the ladies. I believe there’s only one song in which he has a wife and kids. But that was on his first album before he really found his image/voice/brand. And it wasn’t a single. Since he found his image, he has really stuck to it. And who can blame him? It’s working great.

It’s not about what you think an artist should sing or who they should be

… or where you think they should go as an artist. Unless you’re in their circle of influence, it doesn’t really matter what you want. Sorry.

I ran into a branding issue with Lady Antebellum.

Back before Lady A existed, I wrote a song with Hillary Scott, Casey Koesel, and Jon Armstrong called, “A Woman Scorned.” It’s a fun, rocking, fairly aggressive song that shows off Hillary’s vocals really well. Later, when she, Charles, and Dave formed Lady Antebellum, they started playing our song in all their shows (it’s on YouTube). They even cut it for their debut album. Score! Right? Wrong. When it came time to deciding which last couple of songs wouldn’t make the record, “A Woman Scorned” was reduced to a bonus track. That was disappointment with zeroes on the end of it. But after hearing their album, I understood why. It didn’t fit their brand. It was too aggressive. Even though the song had served them well and helped them get their deal, it didn’t fit the image. I couldn’t argue with that.

The lyric and melody BOTH have to work for the artist.

I’ve mainly focused on lyrical content, but the music has to fit the artist’s brand, too. Miranda Lambert isn’t likely to cut a song that sounds like Shania Twain no matter how well the lyric fits her. Ask yourself: is this song the right kind of pop? The right shade of country?

And it’s important to remember that these brands change over time. They aren’t locked in forever. Lonestar was one thing before “Amazed,” and another thing after. Toby Keith was one thing before “How Do You Like Me Now” and another thing after. Kenny Chesney had a slower, but no less important transition to beaches and nostalgia. So don’t lock a brand in your mind with super glue. Make sure to look for the shifts that are inevitable.

Agree? Disagree? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

God bless and enjoy the journey,

Brent

Beware of Songwriting Vampires, Zombies & Werewolves!

Man vs Row

In the spirit of Halloween, I figure now is a good time to warn you about a few of the ghouls who prey upon unsuspecting songwriters. Beware of…

VAMPIRES

There are people out there who will suck the life out of your dreams. Dwelling in (and on) the darkness, these predators never see the bright side or the silver living. Little by little, their biting comments slowly bleed you of your hope and optimism (“What makes you so special?” “Oh, the music biz is rigged- you’ll never make it.”). They might look like your friends, but they are dead inside. Avoid these vampires- once their negative, pessimistic attitude sinks its teeth into you, you start to become one of them.

ZOMBIES

They are among us, and their number is legion. They shuffle off to their soul-sucking day jobs like a mindless herd. They never dream. They just respond to whatever happens to be in front of them. They stagger back home and sit mindlessly in front of a TV or computer screen for hours feasting upon whatever catches their eye (“lightsss… sooo… preeetttyy…) It’s easy to turn into a zombie because being a zombie means doing the easy, numb, thoughtless thing. Spend too much of your time with the zombies and you’ll wake up one day to realize you’ve been sleepwalking through life- just like one of them.

WEREWOLVES

If you want songwriting success, you must avoid running with a pack of werewolves. These are folks who only “turn into” songwriters about once a month. The majority of the time, you’d never suspect they have that hidden side. They think they can just go about “normal life” for a few weeks, then suddenly unleash their inner songwriter for a night or two and somehow make a killing in the music business. No, the music biz is not so easily tamed. You can’t just go into beast mode on rare occasions and create a career. You need to run with a pack that is ALWAYS hungry and ALWAYS hunting. Don’t be a werewolf. Be a REAL wolf.

What about you?  What are some songwriting ghouls that you have encountered?  I’d love to hear from you!

Happy HOWLoween!

Brent

Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

 

Replay Wednesday: Bullseye

Replay Wednesday

(Here’s a Man vs. Row post from back in the archives.)

You walk into a room called “Country Music” and Mr. Music Row hands you darts.  He says, “These darts are your songs.  Hit a bullseye with a dart, and that song gets cut.”  You look at the wall on the far side of the room, and you notice that there are bullseyes of all different sizes.  Some are fairly large, and some are small.  Some are so small, you’re not sure they’re really even there.  It’s up to you to pick your darts and start throwing.

The room is also full of other songwriters.  Some are just lobbing darts in the air.  They don’t aim at anything, they just throw.  They figure if they throw enough darts, something is bound to land eventually.  Some songwriters throw dart after dart after the smallest bullseyes on the wall.  Some throw darts at blank spots on the wall, where they would like a bullseye to be.  Some are so busy aiming, that the dart never leaves their hand.

If your goal is to get a song recorded by major artist, your best bet is usually by throwing at “the big bullseye.”

Well, how do we do that?

We make choices as songwriters.  And the better we are at our craft, the more options are available to us.  For example, you can choose to write an idea as a slow ballad, or you can choose to write it as an uptempo (fast song).  The uptempo song is the bigger bullseye.  You can choose an idea that makes your singer look good (bullseye) or look bad (small bullseye).  You can write the song from the point of view of an 85 year old woman (small bullseye) or as a 21 year old girl (bigger bullseye).

How do you know what the big bullseye is?  Well, size of the bullseye is simply a measure of how much demand there is for a certain type of song.  This changes over time, so you need to be aware of the market.  Trends shift.  What was a big bullseye in the 1990’s might not be a big bullseye anymore.

However, one type of song always seems to be a big bullseye.  This is the “first-person uptempo positive love song.”  That’s not exactly shocking news, if you pay much attention to the radio.  This type of song is probably your best bet to get a cut.  I’m not saying, however, to never write a small bullseye.  Those can be hit from time to time- it’s just harder to do.  What I’m saying is to be aware of the realities.

Be intentional.  Be aware of the choices you make.

God Bless,

Brent

Brent is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ray Stevens, and more.  He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

Man vs Row

6 Resources That Helped Me Become A Hit Songwriter (And None Of Them Is A Guitar)

Man vs Row

Brent is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ray Stevens, and more.  He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

Here is my list of 6 resources that helped me become a hit songwriter.  Will merely using these resources guarantee that you end up with a top 5 Alan Jackson single like I did?  No, of course not.  But they were helpful to me, and I hope they’ll be the same for you.  Now, let’s get to the goods.

1. NSAI (www.nashvillesongwriters.com) 

NSAI, or Nashville Songwriters Association International, is a great organization with chapters across the world.  I attended Angie Owens’ workshop in Bono, Arkansas, while I was in college.  Not only were the lessons (and occasional pro writer) sent from Nashville educational, it made me feel that Nashville wasn’t so far away.  It made the dream more real.  I also used the Song Evaluation Service, where a published songwriter would listen to the song I sent in and give me their feedback.  It was both encouraging and educational.  NSAI also gave me a place to go on my 1st couple trips to Nashville- their office and their Thursday night workshop.  NSAI has a lot more services now than back when everything was off-line, so I definitely recommend checking them out.  There is also a similar, newer, organization called Global Songwriters Connection.  Check them out at www.globalsongwriters.com.

2. ASCAP (www.ascap.com)

ASCAP is a performing rights organization (PRO).  Basically, they collect airplay money from radio stations, etc. and send it to their writers and publishers.  I joined a few years before moving to Tennessee, and it gave me a place to play songs.  Now, I had to call early and often, but I was usually able to get a sit-down meeting with a writer’s representative, who would listen to my mediocre songs and give me advice.  There are two other PROs in the US- BMI (www.bmi.com) and SESAC (www.sesac.com).  Check each of them out, and get in where you fit in.

3. Songwriting books.

I read whatever I could find on songwriting and music publishing.  Not only did these books give me a lot of techniques and info which helped my writing, I learned a lot about the music biz.  That helped me look like less of a novice on my first trips to Nashville.  Here are some that really helped me out, along with links…

“All You Need To Know About The Music Business” by Donald Passman

“Writing Better Lyrics” by Pat Pattison

“The Songwriter’s Guide To Music Publishing” by Randy Poe

“The Songwriters Idea Book” by Shelia Davis

4. My Local Music Scene

I was living in Little Rock at the time, and there wasn’t much of a songwriting community.  But I connected to what I could find.  My cowriter (pretty much the only one I had at the time) played one of the rare songwriter nights in Little Rock.  (I’m a non-performing lyricist.)  This led to us meeting an aspiring music publisher, who introduced me to my first real live Music Row publisher in Nashville.  He was also the guy who first told me about Erin Enderlin, who would write “Monday Morning Church,” our Alan Jackson hit, with me.

5. An Organized System.

What good is an inspired idea or an unfinished lyric if you lose it in the back of a drawer or under the seat of your car?  I keep a “hook book” full of potential titles and song ideas.  I’ve kept the same list since I started writing songs back in 1994.  I only take titles off it when I write them.  That’s the one place I can go to sift through all my potential ideas.  I also have folders on my computer for “unfinished songs,” “finished songs,” “lyrics ready for cowriting,” etc.  I also have lists of potentials titles such as “beach ideas” and “gospel ideas.”  But everything goes on the master list.  Having an organized system allowed me to easily find “Monday Morning Church” when I was looking for lyrics to present to Erin.  The earliest draft of that lyric was 1 1/2 years old when I showed it to her.  That’s a lot of old notebooks to look through, if I would’ve even remembered to look for it.

6. A Talented, Connected Cowriter.

Songwriting is a team sport.  I was very blessed to be on a team with Erin Enderlin for “Monday Morning Church.”  I lived in Little Rock and really didn’t know anyone in the biz.  Erin, also from Arkansas, was going to college in Middle Tennessee and had been making connections.  And she’s a talented enough writer to take advantage of those connections.  A great idea and her talent and connections gave “Monday Morning Church” a real chance to go from a title in my hook book to a hit on the radio.

So, there you have it.  These are the 6 resources that helped me become a hit songwriter.  Everyone’s journey is unique- so your mix of talents and resources won’t be the same as mine.  But I hope I’ve given you some hope and some things to think about.  And thank you again for checking out Man vs. Row.  I hope it helps you become a more efficient, effective, and successful songwriter.

What about you?  What resources have you used or are currently using?  What results have you gotten?  I’d love to hear from you!

God Bless,

Brent

THE PRO KNOWS

To BE a pro, you need to THINK like a pro. In this complimentary report, learn the mindsets that help the pro songwriter get cuts, earn respect in the industry, and maintain long-term success in the music business. Just click on the picture below to download this complimentary report today!
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Brent’s Twitter: @Razorbaxter

Brent Baxter Music:  http://www.brentbaxtermusic.com

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What Songwriters Can Learn From “Burnin’ It Down” By Jason Aldean

Jason Aldean’s “Burnin’ It Down,” written by Rodney Clawson, Chris Tompkins, Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley is one of Aldean’s biggest singles to date. It’s (pun intended) burning up the radio, and fans are buying the heck out of it.

And most of you probably can’t stand it.

Am I right? Don’t you, as a songwriter, cringe a little at lines like, “I wanna rock it all night, baby girl, will you rock it out with me…” My wife feels dirty just listening to it (and not in a good way).

But if you want to get cuts…

DON’T HATE. INVESTIGATE.

Here are some lessons for us all:

Right beats great.

I’m sure none of the songwriters would hold this one up as their best work, as their greatest song. But it’s the RIGHT song for Jason and the right song for his audience.

It fills a gap in his brand.

Musically, it fits in beside “Dirt Road Anthem,” but the concept is very different. Lyrically, it’s closer to “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” but it’s way more sexual. It pushes the outer edge of Aldean’s catalog, taking it to a new place. He hasn’t quite done this song before, yet it’s undeniably a Jason Aldean song.

I probably couldn’t get this song cut.

This is where proximity wins. These guys could give it directly to Aldean. They didn’t have to go through several gatekeepers, many of whom might have either hated it or just not “gotten” it.  The fewer people who have to say “yes” to your song, the fewer people there are that might say “no.”

Those lyrics are… what they are… for a reason.

The songwriters on this song are real-deal writers. They aren’t just lucky hacks. No, they made those lyrical choices for a reason. They know Aldean’s brand, and they bet his audience would eat that mess up.

And they were right.

You might or might not think it’s a dumb song. But the writers? They’re definitely smart.  What do you think?

God Bless,

Brent

THE PRO KNOWS

To BE a pro, you need to THINK like a pro. In this complimentary report, learn the mindsets that help the pro songwriter get cuts, earn respect in the industry, and maintain long-term success in the music business. Just click on the picture below to download this complimentary report today!

The Pro Knows

Become an MvR VIP!

If you like this blog and don’t want to miss a single post, or if you want special discounts on Man vs. Row products and services, become an MvR VIP!  Simply enter your email in the “Become an MvR VIP” section on this page.  It’s either in the upper righthand corner or down below.   Also, please share this blog with anyone you think would benefit from it.  I appreciate it when you share it on Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else.  Thanks!

Brent’s Twitter: @Razorbaxter

Brent Baxter Music:  http://www.brentbaxtermusic.com

Brent’s Instagram: Man_vs_Row

Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

Why You Shouldn’t Trash Talk In Nashville

Man vs Row

Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

Imagine it’s your 1st month after moving to Nashville and you’re at 12th & Porter catching a local band. You strike up conversation with a guy by the bar. Of course, the conversation turns to music, and you comment how the band you just saw has songs a lot better than “that crappy song that just went #1.” The guy gets a funny look on his face and says, “Hi, I’m the guy that wrote that crappy song that just went #1.”

Think you’ll get a cowrite out of that?

Nashville is a big city, but Music Row is a small town.

If you walk around spouting off about how this hit is a piece of junk or that writer is a hack, it’s gonna come back around and bite you in the backside.

Even if you don’t insult the writer to his or her face, your comments might be overheard by that writer’s friend, publisher, or cowriter. It’s a relationship business, and badmouthing somebody or his work is no way to build strong relationships of your own.

If you want to point out how your music is different from what someone else does, that’s fine. Say how you’re different. But appreciate the success of others even if you don’t like their songs.

The fact is, like it or not, that writer and those songs have obtained a level of success that most never will.

Trying to learn how they got their success is going to serve you a whole lot better than hating on them ever will.

What about you? Have you ever learned from a song that isn’t your musical cup of tea? Or have you been like the poor soul at the beginning of this post who stuck his boot in his mouth?

God Bless,

Brent

THE PRO KNOWS

To BE a pro, you need to THINK like a pro. In this complimentary report, learn the mindsets that help the pro songwriter get cuts, earn respect in the industry, and maintain long-term success in the music business. Just click on the picture below to download this complimentary report today!

The Pro Knows

Become an MvR VIP!

If you like this blog and don’t want to miss a single post, or if you want special discounts on Man vs. Row products and services, become an MvR VIP!  Simply enter your email in the “Become an MvR VIP” section on this page.  It’s either in the upper righthand corner or down below.   Also, please share this blog with anyone you think would benefit from it.  I appreciate it when you share it on Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else.  Thanks!

Brent’s Twitter: @Razorbaxter

Brent Baxter Music:  http://www.brentbaxtermusic.com

Brent’s Instagram: Man_vs_Row

Boo! Songwriting Vampires, Zombies & Werewolves

Man vs Row

Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

In the spirit of Halloween, I figure now is a good time to warn you about a few of the ghouls who prey upon unsuspecting songwriters.

Beware…

VAMPIRES

There are people out there who will suck the life out of your dreams. Dwelling in (and on) the darkness, these predators never see the bright side or the silver living. Little by little, their biting comments slowly bleed you of your hope and optimism (“What makes you so special?” “Oh, the music biz is rigged- you’ll never make it.”). They might look like your friends, but they are dead inside. Avoid these vampires- once their negative, pessimistic attitudes sinks its teeth into you, you start to become one of them.

ZOMBIES

They are among us, and their number is legion. They shuffle off to their soul-sucking day jobs like a mindless herd. They never dream. They just respond to whatever happens to be in front of them. They stagger back home and sit mindlessly in front of a TV or computer screen for hours feasting upon whatever catches their eye (“lights… sooo… preeetttyy…) It’s easy to turn into a zombie because being a zombie means doing the easy, numb, thoughtless thing. Spend too much of your time with the zombies and you’ll wake up one day to realize you’ve been sleepwalking through life.

WEREWOLVES

If you want songwriting success, you must avoid running with a pack of werewolves. These are folks who only “turn into” songwriters about once a month. The majority of the time, you’d never suspect they have that hidden side. They think they can just go about “normal life” for a few weeks, then suddenly unleash their inner songwriter for a night or two and somehow make a killing in the music business. No, the music biz is not so easily tamed. You can’t just go into beast mode on rare occasions and create a career. You need to run with a pack that is ALWAYS hungry and ALWAYS hunting. Don’t be a werewolf. Be a REAL wolf.

What about you?  What are some songwriting ghouls that you have encountered?  I’d love to hear from you!

Happy HOWLoween!

Brent

THE PRO KNOWS

To BE a pro, you need to THINK like a pro. In this complimentary report, learn the mindsets that help the pro songwriter get cuts, earn respect in the industry, and maintain long-term success in the music business. Just click on the picture below to download this complimentary report today!

The Pro Knows

Become an MvR VIP!

If you like this blog and don’t want to miss a single post, or if you want special discounts on Man vs. Row products and services, become an MvR VIP!  Simply enter your email in the “Become an MvR VIP” section on this page.  It’s either in the upper righthand corner or down below.   Also, please share this blog with anyone you think would benefit from it.  I appreciate it when you share it on Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else.  Thanks!

Brent’s Twitter: @Razorbaxter

Brent Baxter Music:  http://www.brentbaxtermusic.com

Brent’s Instagram: Man_vs_Row

How To Keep Your Head In The Songwriting Game

Man vs Row

If you’re a professional songwriter living in Nashville, it’s pretty easy to keep your head in the game. It’s really easy to keep your goals in mind because it’s in your face every day.
That’s very much NOT the case if you’re working a regular job in another town. Add to that any family obligations you may have, and it can be pretty easy to stop thinking like a songwriter. One day you might look up and realize it’s been two months or more since you’ve really even picked up the pen or guitar.
Yes, there are natural ebbs and flows to the creative life. And, yes, there are times when family needs will limit your writing time (I couldn’t do any co-writing for about 3 months right after Ruby Jean was born and Emily needed me at home every night). Hey, stuff happens.
I suggest keeping your head in the game by appointment and subscription.

APPOINTMENTS:

Cowriting:

I don’t just start thinking about my cowrite as I’m walking in the door of the writer’s room. I’m thinking about it ahead of time. The appointment forces me to spend time gathering ideas, prepping, etc.

Solo Writing:

It’s very easy to skip out on solo writing in the midst of daily life. Try to have a standing appointment with yourself, even if it’s just every other week. Hopefully, you’ll find some other times, too. But if nothing else, you (and your family) know that “every other Thursday night” is your writing time.

SUBSCRIPTIONS:

Blogs:

Get informed, educated, entertained and inspired- all from your inbox. I humbly suggest Man vs. Row, but there are several other good blogs, too.

Podcasts:

I haven’t found an abundance of songwriting podcasts, but I can recommend Daredevil Productions and Life In The Woods. Podcasts are great for your commute to and from work.

YouTube:

Try Rick Barker’s “25 Minutes From Nashville.” It’s good stuff from a guy who has had a hand in a lot of success.  There are other channels out there, too.  Just look around.

Magazines:

Check out American Songwriter and Music Row Magazine, among others. Turn the hall bathroom into your own personal “inspiration zone.”

What about you? How do you keep your head in the game?

God Bless,

Brent

This Thursday- Learn How To Make Your Songs More Cut-Worthy!

You’re invited to be a part of an exclusive ONLINE Google Hangout I’ll be hosting on Thursday, October 23, from 8pm-9pm Central. That’s this week! In this live event, I’ll teach from my new book, “Cut/able: Lessons In Market-Smart Songwriting.” Not only will you receive a FREE copy of “Cut/able” with your ticket, I’ll answer your questions face-to-face as we discus how you can make your songs more market-smart. Space is very limited, so click on the image below to find out more! (Or click here.)

MvR Top 10 2

Become an MvR VIP!

If you like this blog and don’t want to miss a single post, or if you want special discounts on Man vs. Row products and services, become an MvR VIP!  Simply enter your email in the “Become an MvR VIP” section on this page.  It’s either in the upper righthand corner or down below.   Also, please share this blog with anyone you think would benefit from it.  I appreciate it when you share it on Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else.  Thanks!

Brent’s Twitter: @Razorbaxter

Brent Baxter Music:  http://www.brentbaxtermusic.com

Brent’s Instagram: Man_vs_Row

MvR Live Event: Cut/able Top 10 Workshop!

MvR Top 10 2

On Thursday, October 23, 8pm-9pm Central, I’m hosting a live Top 10 Workshop.  I’ll answer questions and share extra content from my new ebook, “Cut/able: Lessons In Market-Smart Songwriting.” You’ll get “Cut/able” FREE with your ticket (a $20 value), so you’re ready for the workshop ahead of time.  Oh, and there are only 8 spots available, so don’t wait!

SO, WHAT IS “Cut/able?”

“Cut/Able: Lessons In Market-Smart Songwriting” is four powerful lessons for songwriters who want cuts and hits, who want to learn how to write commercially marketable songs, and who want their songs to connect powerfully with both fans and Music Row pros.

“Cut/able” exists to help you write songs that fit the commercial market- songs that are “market-smart.” Each of these four powerful lessons challenge you to take an in-depth look at current and recent country hits and compare them to YOUR best songs.

WHO IS “Cut/able” FOR?

*Songwriters who want cuts and hits.
*Songwriters who want to better understand market-smart songwriting.
*Singer-songwriters who want their songs to connect more deeply and successfully with their fans and radio.

“Cut/able” isn’t about “___, ___ and ___ is popular right now, so write that.” No, it’s much more than that. It’s about teaching you how to study the charts and radio so you can identify what kind of songs are market-smart at any time.

Not only that, “Cut/able” helps you add the characteristics of market-smart songs to YOUR songs.

Cut/able WILL ENABLE YOU TO:

Connect on a deeper level with the artist and listener through effective use of imagery. (Lesson #1: W.I.L.L.power: Proving Personality & Emotions Through Your Lyrics)

Give the artists what they need, give radio what it wants, and give the fans what they like by learning the importance of writing positive, uptempo, love/depth songs. (Lesson #2: P.U.L.’D To Success: The Value of Positive, Uptempo, Love/Depth Songs)

Develop skills to identify an artist’s “brand” so you can write songs that fit that brand and speak to the artist’s core audience. (Lesson #3: Neighborhoods: Where Will You Build A Home For Your Song?)

Pinpoint areas of opportunity within an artist’s catalog- slots you can fill with your songs, songs that fit the artist’s brand without being just like what they’ve already done. (Lesson #4: Fill The G.A.P.S.: Growth, Achievement, Preaching/Positioning, Songwriting)

I’d love to have you join me at the workshop!  If you can’t make it, “Cut/able” is available for sale on its own- and it’s super-helpful all by itself.

So, if you’re interested, just click on the link below to find out more and purchase tickets.  Remember, there are only a few tickets left!

I’M READY TO WRITE CUT/ABLE SONGS!

God Bless,

Brent

ARE YOU READY TO MAKE YOUR SONGS “CUT/ABLE?”

“Cut/Able: Lessons In Market-Smart Songwriting” is four powerful lessons for songwriters who want cuts & hits, who want to learn how to write commercially marketable songs, & who want their songs to connect powerfully with both fans and Music Row pros. If you want those results, these lessons can help. To get a FREE EXCERPT of “Cut/able,” just click on the image below:

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Become an MvR VIP!

If you like this blog and don’t want to miss a single post, or if you want special discounts on Man vs. Row products and services, become an MvR VIP!  Simply enter your email in the “Become an MvR VIP” section on this page.  It’s either in the upper righthand corner or down below.   Also, please share this blog with anyone you think would benefit from it.  I appreciate it when you share it on Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else.  Thanks!

Brent’s Twitter: @Razorbaxter

Brent Baxter Music:  http://www.brentbaxtermusic.com

Brent’s Instagram: Man_vs_Row