20 Hit Songwriting Tips from the 2015 ASCAP EXPO

I went to the 10th annual conference of songwriters in Los Angeles last week and was so inspired. Here are 20 Hit Songwriting Career Tips from the 2015 ASCAP EXPO! Even though I reference many current hits, the concepts, I believe, are ones that will last. They don’t have to do with formulas for what hits are but rather the strategies you’ll need to excel in a career writing music. As for hits, who knows if you will achieve those (or even if that’s what you want to achieve), but all this advice comes from a stellar lineup of songwriters: Claudia Brant, Aloe Blacc, Richard Marx, Bill Withers, Sevyn Streeter, No I.D., Judy Stakee, Savan Kotecha, Kevin Cronin, Avicii, Ashley Gorley, Quincy Jones, Ingrid Michaelson, Paul Williams, Anton Monsted, Darrell Brown…

Here is the report on copyright and the music business I mentioned: http://copyright.gov/docs/musiclicensingstudy/copyright-and-the-music-marketplace.pdf

Here’s the Natalia Jiménez video I mentioned: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2zOb0HGdxg

1. Everything takes a long time.
2. Cowrite, cowrite, cowrite! Put your ego aside and find the best vehicle for your melody or lyrics by collaborating.
3. Go where the music business is.
4. Stand up for songwriters. Support the songwriters equity act.
5. Understand the industry. Understand business or work with someone who can take care of that for you (like a publisher). Understand copyright.
6. Perform “self- A&R”.
7. Use your PRO (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC).
8. Find the ambitious, productive people and work with them.
9. Don’t go to clubs to hustle, write songs.
10. Do your homework and ask smarter questions.
11. Believe in yourself.
12. Bill Withers: “Don’t fake the orgasm.” Enjoy what you are doing!
13. The hardest thing to do is be profound and simple.
14. To get certain things done you will need a team and representation.
15. Don’t be good, be great.
16. Feed yourself. Respect your dry spells and mistakes.
17. Be humble.
18. Write at 10 and then back it off. Dont’ try to creep up from zero.
19. You are special.
20. The state of the music industry is that opportunity is at an all time high.
Video Rating: / 5