Most writers have, at some stage, had to endure the hurt and disappointment of having songs rejected by music publishers or record companies—and ended up asking themselves: “Could I have done more to make my songs better?”.
This book aims to help writers recognise any weaknesses in their songs, so that they can re-work them, make them stronger, and hopefully achieve the breakthrough that they’re striving for.
The music industry has been going through major changes in recent years. It is now a ‘singles market’ again. As a result, there are now even greater opportunities for new writers who are capable of crafting potential hit songs with memorable melodies and lyrics. But competition is intense. So it’s more important than ever for writers to make sure their songs stand out from the pack by avoiding the traps and pitfalls that many inexperienced songwriters fall into.
Written in an easy, non-technical style, the book identifies many frequent causes of songwriting problems—from common mistakes in basic song structure … to having the wrong mental attitude and an unsatisfactory songwriting environment. From getting the blend of core ingredients wrong … to flawed choices when it comes to titles, melodies, lyrics, hooks, choruses, intros, bridges, pre-choruses—and even the song demo itself.
The book’s author, Brian Oliver—an experienced music publisher, songwriter and music consultant—warns that aspiring writers’ chances of success could be hampered if they fail to spend enough time polishing their songs and eradicating weaknesses in their songwriting.
That’s why this book sets out to help new writers develop their own unique writing style while avoiding fundamental errors at each key stage in the song development process. It includes important tips on fixing and strengthening songs, along with a detailed checklist of 101 common mistakes that writers can measure their own songs against—no matter how ‘finished’ they think their songs are.