Category Archives: Best Posts

Stephen King’s Nail

When Stephen King decided he was going to be a writer in his teens his first milestone was sending off a story to a magazine he hoped would publish it. As you might expect he got a rejection slip. No … Continue reading

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Writing Songs With – Charles Dickens: What Would Dickens Say?

With downloading we listen to everything in bits. Could you imagine what Charles Dickens would say if you said, ‘Could I just have one chapter?’ You’re creating a short story culture. What happened to narrative? Tori Amos: Mojo Magazine May … Continue reading

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Three Chords And The Truth: The Importance Of ‘Fact Checking’ Your Songs

Many years ago, I heard that legendary guitarist Ry Cooder was going to be doing a live taping at BBCs White City studios. As my sister lives nearby I felt we had a shot of getting a tape right into … Continue reading

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Naming Your Band – In 10 Easy Steps

Having been through the naming process so many times, with my own bands and ones I’ve taught, I’ve learned that trying to find THE GREATEST BAND NAME EVER is a fool’s errand. The best you can hope for (and what … Continue reading

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Do You Have To Suffer To Produce Great Art?

Beethoven was my homeboy growing up. Every artist has a ‘narrative’ and Ludwig’s was suffering made him a great artist. The 5th Symphony was him shaking his fist at the lightning, cursing fate. The world seemed to say, “You think … Continue reading

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Three Things Every Musician Should Be

A big welcome if you’re visiting from CD Baby – you probably want to jump straight to the application, right?… I’m a guitar teacher by trade. Sure I write songs and perform, but if you met me at a party … Continue reading

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Steve Jobs And The Rewind Button

I got the biography of Apple founder Steve Jobs for Christmas. I was hoping for some insight on how to be a creative thinker but it’s actually a pretty depressing read and there is little in the way that Jobs … Continue reading

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You Need Deadlines (Slight Return)

  My recent Ben Folds post got me thinking about how helpful deadlines really are to the songwriter. Q: Do you sit down to write or do you have to get struck by [inspiration]? Ben Folds: I have to get struck … Continue reading

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A Classic Song Finishing Tool – The ‘To Do’ List

In the realm of personal management it doesn’t get any more basic than the humble to-do list. But for me this little fella has made all the difference between a song getting lost in development hell and actually making it … Continue reading

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The Big Fat Lie That Most Musicians Believe

Once in a while a post comes along that kicks your butt like a Bruce Lee/Jet Li tag team. Bill Renfrew’s post Who’s Ready To Work?, the spinning roundhouse kick to my overblown metaphors, crystallized my thoughts here.  No matter how rational … Continue reading

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