A (Brief) Lesson in Working Smart I used to buy $5 sunglasses from the guy at the flea market. He wasn't even the guy near the front entrance with a huge booth and three employees. (They were more expensive and did not have my FAVORITE style.) After leaving a few expensive pairs here and there – I finally wised up!
whole brain songwriting: achieving soul-flow
Have you noticed that we use the terms "Theme and Variation?" I've heard a lot of great up and coming writers who have enough excellent material in a single piece of music to build several songs. In other words they have several inspired themes going on in the same song. The problem is that these competing themes effectively cancel each other out.
The brain craves to hear the same theme patterns over and over again with brief variations for contrast.
Jumping in With the Sharks
Here's the typical situation. You find your music starting to make waves. Maybe just locally: but you are starting to get attention. Your manager makes some calls and important people start showing up at your gigs. The thrill of fame and fortune seem to be knocking at your door.
If you really care to know the dirty details about how the big business music machine operates, go ahead and get a copy of "The Hitmen" by Frederic Dannen".
In summary, it's impossible to get any kind of serious radio airplay unless you are prepared to pay several hundred thousand bucks per song. In the industry these fees called PROMOTIONAL EXPENSES.
The Creative Building Blocks
Have you read our Whole Brain Songwriting concept?
Well lets say that you took the opportunity to let your creativity simply pour out of you: unobstructed by the analytical side of your mind. Ideally when you are finished you should have lots of separate little phrases of inspirational music. These are the raw building blocks which your analytical mind can use to build a coherent song.
Experienced "ears" in the business are those executives who are able to "hear" a hit. A big part of it is the spirit and intensity of an artist. But even more so it's the fundamental STRUCTURE of a song. To be honest: if a song has the right structure even a kid on the street can pick it out.
Those golden ears often prefer to hear a song in it's raw form without a fancy demo to obscure the underlying inspiration. An acoustic guitar or piano and a vocal should be enough. Even in electronic music: LESS is more when showing off the underlying strength of your songs.
If you song doesn't pull in the listener in its most basic form then it probably won't be a hit.
Your own CD factory
The Business of Expression Can Equal Serious Cash – Examples One rapper-kid I spoke with never sells less than 300 CDs per night at $5 each. His following has grown to the point that anything he puts for sale on MySpace sells at least 900 units! ( Online his CDs go for $12 each. I'll let YOU do the math. SERIOUSLY! Get out your calculator now. ) People in his home region meet him in the street and ask for autographs. This guy lives in a relatively RURAL area. Not in a big city where performance options abound. Other local musicians now come to him for production help and he gives them exposure by including their material in his own recordings.
Musical Excellence through Teamwork
Songwriters need to recognize that much modern music ( including the Beetles sound ) is the result of a committee-style creative process. The guys from the band would come up with the brilliant stuff and their producer George Martin would structure it into a coherent musical statement. Neither could exist without the other.