Songwriting can be a pleasure, a chore, a outlet, a therapist, and so much more. Stop and think for a moment where you would be in your life without the great songwriters of our time. Even if it's a little diddy of a song, who's only purpose it is to make you smile, if it did that, it did it's job. Protest songs to make you think. Love songs to make you go ahhhh. Rap songs that make you want to shoot your radio. There's all kinds of human emotion tied up in songs.

Songwriting can be easy, hard, emotional, frustrating, and so many more things too. Here are some tips I try to use, that may be of help to you. If they are, send me a check, because I'm a broke songwriter too! (Just kidding).

The first tip is perhaps the most important, to me at least. Write about something you feel. Be it mad, sad, loving, hating, disgusting, whatever it is your feeling, write about it. One of the best quotes I ever heard was "How vain it is to sit down to write, when one has not stood up to live". When you feel something write about it. Even if it's bad...which leads to the second tip.

The second tip I have for you...is when you catch a line in your head that you've sprouted out, or made up write it down. I've lost thousands of good lines by not having a pencil around when I had 'em. A great tool is a pocket recorder, or just a pencil in your pocket at all times. Sure if you wear the pocket protector your indangering yourself. Geek status is hard to wash off. But the lines you capture may lead to a entire song being written. Hell, you may write the great ballad of our time by jotting that single line down someplace. Why?

Because ideas are catchy! Every idea you have, jotted down, that you see at a later time may lead you into a entire labarynth of ideas that build on your original. See "The Ballad Of Fifty Dollars" as a example. That song was born from one phrase..."you can't get much for fifty dollars these days". I jotted that down, and later, sitting around in a contemplative mode, I wrote that total story of fiction from just that one line.

One more tip for you before I shut up. When you see a old line, or phrase you've written, and you think "man, this is just nuts", and you want to toss it away...don't! I've redone songs I wrote years ago and stuffed away because I thought they were complete flops. Maybe they still are, in some respects, but in some instances as well they have given me some measure of success.

Now the most important thing about songwriting. Write...and then write. And after you get done write some more. The greatest songwriters in the world have written songs that have, and never will see the light of day. In the immortal words of Rodney Dangerfield grabbing his tie, "hey they can't all be gems you know". How true. But guess what. With more songs written, you have more chances to succeed. Plain and simple numbers. If you have five songs, and no one considers any of them good.... But, if you have twenty five songs, and two of 'em are considered to be good by someone you consider to be important, what do you have? Two good songs. It's more than you had with five. So let's modify my above quote a little bit.

"How vain it is to sit down to write a song, when you've lived thousands." That's not someone else's quote... that's Carl Henry's.

Here are a few of my songs.

Are They All The Same

Ballad Of Fifty Dollars

Last Of The Desperados

Joe Creed

All About The Money

I Wonder If I'll Ever Find My Home

The Old Five & Dime

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