More Songwriting Tips

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After the obvious "Don't give up your regular job," there are more tips on songwriting than a golfer has excuses. A few that come to mind are:

1. Make sure you've told the whole story.

A song should have a beginning, a middle and an end. For an example -- you did that, I did this, and now we're doing that and (INSERT YOUR HOOK HERE.)

A hook is the main idea of a song, and usually, but not always, is the song's title. Your job as the songwriter is to lead the listeners step by step through the story and deliver them to the hook -- totally involved and completely satisfied. Remember that songs generally are either a dialogue between two people or a narrative simply told. After you've written your song, look at it all. If you wouldn't have said it naturally to a lover, friend or enemy the way it's written, then it probably should be rewritten. Poems make very boring songs.

2. When you're stuck, try another angle.

For those of you locked in what professional writers know as "second verse hell," I will pass on a tip that a wily old writer told me some years ago. If you've completed your first verse and chorus, and there seems to be nowhere else to go because you've said everything you wanted to say, make the first verse your second verse and write a new verse (to explain how you got to the second verse). This tip works often enough to make it one of the most valuable tips ever given to me.

3. Know when to quit.

Finally, never overwrite. After you've told your story, hit your hook and get out. Too much will always be too much.

So, on those notes, I'm out of here...