Song Doctor Blog
Read about how to write better songs
Image by Bruce Mackay
Part of becoming a better songwriter is playing your songs live. It contributes hugely to your development as a writer, partly by building relationships with other songwriters and performers, but most importantly by connecting with an audience.
This is in addition to having an online presence - also critical. Yes, you should have a website and a social media profile with whatever platforms you can stomach. But online doesn't supplant live performance. More people will buy your music because they actually saw you play your songs live in front of a crowd, than if they watch a live stream from your lounge.
When you start playing 'out', the shows are usually small and it can be the first chance an audience has to easily meet you post show, and give you direct feedback. They may be the first fans you ever have! If they like your songs, they can tell other people, come to another show, buy physical product and still download or stream anything you have online. The reaction can be immediate and ongoing.
Being in the room with punters and fans also allows you to see and hear in all dimensions whether your songs are having an impact on listeners - whether in fact people are listening at all! It's a critical part of the feedback loop on your material, vital for its immediacy.
It puts you right in the middle of the river instead of just watching from the banks. There's a much stronger connection between live performers and their audiences - it really is a two-way street.
So, write the best songs you can and find any chance you can to play them live. Take any stock you have and sell it. Starting talking to and with your audience. If you're not a great performer, invest some time and energy in getting better. It helps the delivery of your songs. If you haven't already, develop your online presence, and use it to let folks know about your performances and recordings.
Finally, use the opportunity live work gives you to get informal, often really constructive feedback from other more experienced songwriters on the bill with you, and directly from the reactions of your audience. If a song isn't landing quite how you'd like it to, you can always rewrite it. You're the boss!
SONGWRITING RETREATS COMING UP!
In response to feedback, dear readers, there will be three songwriting retreats over the spring/summer months. The previous retreats I've run at Tahora, brilliantly supported by Kerry and Debb, have all sold out, so here's something for everyone I hope and no one need miss out!
First Level - for anyone who hasn't done a songwriting retreat before or who wants to deep dive into their songwriting hard out. All welcome and the bookings are open.
Next Level - this will suits songwriters who have already had a release, who have been playing their songs live or who have been studying songwriting online or irl and want a more interactive experience. (please email me to inquire or apply)
Stage Level - this is a new retreat on offer for songwriters who want to develop their live act for regular pro/semi pro/ 'serious' amateur performance level. ( please email me to inquire or apply)
with very best wishes
ps Songwriting School is opening up one more online songwriting class This will be the last class on offer for the year. Sessions on online via Google Meet and run a set curriculum each week are presented live by me. A great way to keep on track and up to date. Email or ring to inquire or to subscribe.