You’ll Get Nothin’ and Like It

I sat down to write a song for my upcoming EP the other day. Put it on the calendar and everything. The day before I had written a pretty cool song, so I was confident I would have a repeat performance.

I gave myself an hour. That’s usually all I need.

60 minutes later? Nothing. No song. Four lines on a page, and I had jammed out to a metronome playing 130 bpm for the entire hour.

I had nothing to show for it. (more…)

You Should Write Bad Songs

Had a cool digital conversation with one of my VIP members the other day.

He told us he has a notebook full of song ideas, but that he has never finished a song. When he tries to write a song, it doesn’t go well. He doesn’t want to waste these good ideas on a bad song, so he waits.

It’s a common story, and I completely understand it.

That’s when I brought the tough love. Here’s what I wrote:

To be brutally honest, your ideas probably aren’t that good anyway. So take a chance. Write some bad songs. You’ll end up with some good ones anyway. And you can always steal an idea from a bad song to write a better song down the road. Right now you’re the guitar player who can’t play 4 chords but wants to learn every Van Halen solo. Gotta start somewhere.

Now before you write me off as an arrogant jerk-wad, I wasn’t just saying this to be a turd. I speak from experience: (more…)

6 Creative Block-Busters

Not Blockbuster like at the theater.

Something that busts creative blocks.

I’ve gotta write, record, and release an EP in the next week or so…and I got nothing. I’ve been legitimately busy, but the year is almost over, and I need to keep my commitment to release four EP’s this year. I released Someone to Blame, Rain, and Fighter. Now just one more…

I tried to come up with a few song ideas yesterday, and everything I wrote was lame. So today I’m giving myself some ideas of ways to bust through these creative blocks and crank out some songs. (more…)

Leggo me Ego

I had a great songwriting session yesterday. I’ve been trying to cowrite more songs lately, and it’s been such a cool experience.

Yesterday’s session was with my buddy Daniel. It was the first time we’d written together. It was so fun to experience how he writes. Daniel has a publishing deal. He’s written hundreds of songs in the last couple years alone.

There are two common (and surprising) themes to all the songs he’s written. (more…)

Putting the Guitar Before the Horse

I’m a songwriter. I’ve been writing songs since I was a teenager.

Imagine a 14-year-old version of Joe.

He walks up to his parents and says, “Mom, Dad, I want to start writing songs. I’m gonna need a $2,000 Gibson guitar to make that happen.”

What happens next?

Probably a lot of laughing.

Why?

Because it’s complete nonsense. (more…)