I reckon I’m going to open a can of worms with this next statement but, I think that as songwriters we can’t really determine with 100% accuracy whether a song we write is a hit or not.

I mean, isn’t determining whether a song is a hit or not the job of the listening public?

We can have all of the right components in place, a catchy melody, a good story, a tasteful musical arrangement, a flowing rhythm and a song form that makes sense but, if there’s no-one around to listen to your song…

As songwriters, our job is to keep on writing songs and that we are true to ourselves and our songwriting process at the same time. No matter what happens around us.

A song, like the human soul, is an intangible commodity. You can’t see it and you can’t touch it, so how then can anyone say that they can manipulate their songwriting process to achieve a predetermined result, such as reaching the top ten for example?

No-one can predict an outcome like that.

Personally, I think that any songwriter has the opportunity to get their song out into the real world however, some songwriters are more skilled at getting their songs noticed than others.

There are songwriters that seem to have the Midas touch such as Diane Warren for example, but I reckon that for every hit that she has written there are many, many other songs that haven’t seen the light of day.

For songwriters like Diane Warren, writing songs is a numbers game. The more songs she writes, the more songs of hers get picked up by other artists or placed in films and TV..

Think about it, for a song to be heard on radio or put onto CD there are so many other steps in the song marketing process that need to take place. As a songwriter, our sphere of influence is pretty much limited to the beginning of the song marketing process.

Granted, Ms Warren has an amazing reputation so her influence is much, much greater however, she still writes every day with the knowledge that the process of writing songs is more important than anything else.

The next song that you write maybe the best song ever written, but if your song is not recorded, picked up by an artist, packaged and marketed, played on the radio, distributed in a retail environment, advertised through the media and purchased by the general public then how can you or anyone else claim that your song is a hit?

Forget about writing hits and just concentrate on writing songs. If you want to write for the commercial environment make it your goal to learn as much as you possibly can about it.

Another thing to remember, Diane Warren, for all of her successes had to start somewhere.

Where you are now is where she was at one stage in her life. Therefore, where you go from here is up to you and you can be 100% certain of that.

Until next time, keep on writing,

Corey Stewart
All About Songwriting