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…)

Ask Joe #89 – Goals (and my 50-Song challenge)

In this week’s episode, I talk about my most recent songwriting goal, plus I answer some great questions about setting levels, using different types of EQ, and dealing with less-than-stellar recordings from clients.

Wanna submit a question for the podcast? Go here:

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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.


Because it’s complete nonsense. (more…)