Welcome to Rog Blog #1. I’ll be posting up a weekly item and I hope you’ll find this a useful and thought provoking addition to your week. I’m going to cover songwriting, recording and production, the state of the music industry in general and folk and country music in particular.
Let’s talk about songwriting firstly. I have a deep love of the craft and I have been responsible for many recorded songs. Some are OK, some good, some even great!! So what I’m going to do with this blog is to share my experience and expertise with you to help you get a little further along the road and how my knowledge has helped hundreds of songwriters achieve their goals.
So…..in Australia we have a very healthy music industry machine which has been grinding away here for a long time. The way Australia works is that we are very much a ‘vehicle’ based system. To become a professional songwriter you simply must hitch your songs to a successful ‘vehicle’.
Acts, artists, bands, entertainers, singers, pop stars, rock bands and so on are all what I would class as ‘vehicles’. For you to become a successful songwriter in Australia you’ll need to form or find a successful vehicle for your songs.
Vanda and Young started the Easybeats in the 60’s and then formed a recording, publishing and management empire based on the creation and exploitation of successful vehicles.
Don Walker is a great songwriter, absolutely no doubt, but with the immense power and success of the Cold Chisel ‘vehicle’ his songs are massive huge hits, ensuring a stream of ‘horizontal money’ for the rest of his life.
Paul Kelly has taken the slightly different route of becoming his own vehicle. The success of his songs are fuelled by his success as an artist. He’s had many incarnations and style changes but remains interesting and successful.
Right now the favourite model seems to be the ‘singer-songwriter’. Sometimes though, the job of creating a ‘vehicle’ dominates the original idea of becoming a pro songwriter. The art/craft often gets watered down in the quest for recognition and may use up all your time making the whole project suffer.
So if you want to be a songwriter, as so many students at music colleges, schools, courses, seminars and even at my workshops seem to want to be, then my advice today is: think about the ‘vehicle’.
- Is your vehicle going to be you?
- Should the vehicle be someone else?
- Are you going to invest a massive amount of time and money into becoming a better vehicle?
- Are you looking for a better vehicle?
- Have you even thought about developing another vehicle?
If you want to become a successful songwriter you’ll need a successful vehicle for your songs. I’ve worked as a record producer for many years and have had the opportunity to write and co-write with many artists and to watch them become great vehicles for my songs. It’s a wonderful feeling to hear your songs performed on stage, radio and TV and reflect on the reasons they are successful.
So climb into the driver’s seat and let’s hit the road. You can download my FREE songwriting resource full of great songwriting tips and tricks, HERE
Next week: Building a better vehicle.