Artist

Top Single of 2013 – “Home” by Phillip Phillips

thThis picture here reminds me of the home I grew up in Odessa, Texas. It was a nice simple middle class brick home built to withstand the West Texas winds.

I am so thrilled that this song has won the Billboard top single of 2013. It reminds of that home. I am not surprised this won, as the publisher has done an awesome job of not only promoting it as a single, but using it on a tremendous amount of commercials. For the first half of the year it was practically HGTV’s theme song! It just goes to show you as a songwriter that if you write good solid lyrics and music that marries to the lyrics, that pull the entire audience into your song, it’s applicable through all kinds of sources.

This song was written essentially in what I call Form B. (You can check that out on my videos series “Big Bold Songwriting” soon to be on this website.) There’s a bit of change in the formula, but these songwriters know how to write and can change a bit to pulled the whole audience in and keep us there, to the very last note! Congratulations to GREG HOLDEN, ANDREW PEARSON, DREW PEARSON the songwriters!

By |December 29th, 2013|Blog|0 Comments|

Lyric Trash

thChris Brown has a new single that just dropped. I HIGHLY recommend you do NOT download it, or even listen to it. It’s just trash. It’s stinky. Check out the lyrics on a site like lyricmode.com (which does not give him or his label any money). You can look up “Loyal” lyrics by Chris Brown. If you just read what he has written, simply, it’s unbelievable to me. Clearly, this man is not finished with anger management. He is so angry at all women. Obviously, he is using his bully pulpit to propagate his lack of character, hate and judgement of women. If Justin Timberlake wrote this, he would be banned from music, called a racist, chauvinist, and white extremist!! This kind of rap has no place is excellent songwriting or music. Chris Brown is a sad, sad excuse for a human. I pray that he turns his life around to admiring and appreciating women. He could so use his platform to do good and build up all humanity. Right now, it’s just pitiful in the end.

By |December 17th, 2013|Blog|0 Comments|

3 Steps to Shake It Up!

milk shakerOk, so you have written five songs before the holidays. The holidays were crazy with family, friends and lots of eating. Now, it’s the New Year and back to work. You go back and listen to those five songs and they all seem a bit similar.

This is an issue that comes up with the most experienced songwriters. It’s time to shake it up! What can you do to shake it up? Here are some suggestions.

1. If you just have to start with a melody and then write your lyrics, force yourself to write at least the chorus and then write the music or vice-versa. The object is to shift the writing process to cause your brain to think in different ways. When that starts to happen, new words pop up or different melodies will come as a result of words already being there.

2. Go to a different location to write your songs. If you are in a house, get out!! Many are relegated to a piano or some keyboard, go to a church. The other day I was doing a co-write with a writer. He’s from out of town and needs a keyboard, I am a lyricist. So, we just walked into a local big church and happen to meet the head of maintenance. He was so great, and was a creative guy himself. We told him that we were writing Christian songs and needed a keyboard. Well, it turned out they had a $230,000 Bosendorfer Baby Grand piano. My guy had always wanted to play one and that day was his day. We wrote such a great song because he was so inspired.

3. Challenge yourself to write in a completely different style than you normally would. If you write country, try writing pop. If you write jazz try writing country. Again, the object of the game is to get your brain moving in a different direction.

The object of the game here is to feel a little, if not a lot, uncomfortable. Challenge yourself in at least some kind of way. Try adding more visuals, if you normally write more emotionally or thought provoking. You can never have too many visuals in my book.

So, people, let’s start the New Year by shaking, rattling and rolling your brain and step into a Big Bold Level of Songwriting!

By |January 4th, 2013|Blog|0 Comments|

Christmas is EVERYWHERE!

ChristimasEveryone is busy during the holidays. But, immediately after, especially that week between Christmas and New Year’s there’s a lull in activity. This is the perfect time to write about Christmas. There are many, many issues that show up for us with our loves, friends and family. Christmas songs are the best, because if you write one good one, it can be cut over and over. It’s a challenge to write Christmas songs in March, it’s easier right now because you are in the middle of all the activity. But, if you can stop for just an afternoon and think through this season and hope that you have found through life, it will pay off as you try to write that hit Christmas song.

The key in all great Christmas songs is hope and joy. I’m a traditionalist and so I always want to encourage people to remember the true reason for this season. Christmas is more than giving gifts, eating and going back to hang with the family. It’s about the Baby Jesus being born and what that means for the world.

I just saw a sign that was posted in NYC that said, “Keep the merry, and dump the myth.” That made me as sad as some people will actually consider that suggestion. The fact that Jesus was born has been established over and over, it’s not a myth. The fact that anyone would try to mar this beautiful season by that kind of cynicism is disappointing. The way the cynicism can be discouraged is by writing great songs that express the love of God for all mankind.

So, look around there are hooks for your Christmas song everywhere. Write them down or log them on your smart phone ap. Make a concerted effort to notice the little things about Christmas. Pay attention to the little looks of a child, the small ornaments, what kind of story could be behind the mother and daughter walking down the aisle at the department store who is dressed in matching sweaters. Try to make notes why that hook caught your attention during this season. A great trick is to create the hook and use the opposite meaning to come up with a strong twist.

It’s Christmas and New Year’s..take advantage songwriters, take advantage!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

©2012 Lynn Barrington. All Rights Reserved

By |December 18th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments|

Building Bridges

Bridge Building picIn the music business, every second, minute and hour in your head can be about building a bridge. For in the music business, it’s all about the relationships you make and maintain. It can be the life or death of your career.

A good example of bridge building working in a big way is Ryan Seacreast. His mentor was Dick Clark. Mr. Clark taught him to build on each job he landed. He taught him to be nice, “”Little things really do matter”. That leads to creating a team to have a long term future, which Seacrest has already started by his own production company producing the Kardashians, and other huge hit shows. Those who desire to be successful over many years learn early on that building relationship to relationship is the key. Ryan Seacreast is the new Dick Clark. Right now, he working on a new game show experience, entering into even another television category!

An example that is not working for the bridge building concept is Lindsay Lohan. Though a wonderful child actress, and into her early 20’s, she continues to destroy one relationship after another. The bridges she built through her solid behaviors in her early career and personal life continue to dwindle. In the midst of the constant drama in her personal and professional life, eventually the drama will fizzle out and she will be left with no one who believes in her enough to risk the financial investment it takes to run the course of a project. The she will have burnt one too many bridges in the end.

The fact of the matter is you never know who you will be sitting next to at any given time. I cannot tell you over the years the number of relationships that I have had for 10+ years (some 30+) that I have developed from meeting person on an airplane, at a café bar, at the post office, grocery store, gas station, etc. Just being nice, friendly, or listening builds a bridge to a relationship.

If you will notice, in this picture it shows one bridge connecting to another. That’s the way a song is. That’s the way the music business is. Actually, that’s the way life is. My friends, get to bridge building!

By |November 29th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments|

THE DEATH OF THE LONG INTRO

sissors papersSnip, snip, snip. Yeah, doesn’t that feel better? I can hear that 30 second introduction cut down to 15 seconds.  It’s a nice smooth, hooky introduction.

The longer the intro the weaker the song immediately gets, and the sleepier the listener get. You want your intro no longer than 12 to 15 seconds. I have listened to songs that have 30 second intros, and I’m just done by the time I get to the first line. Done, done, done.  I have also listened to minute and a half intros. This kind of activity in a song immediately qualifies you as a beginner and a person who has not invested in themselves as a songwriter or their craft to know better. The intro is there to give a moment for the songwriter to begin the feeling of the song. It’s also there to give the listener a chance to breathe and to be drawn into the song. However, if you go too long in the introduction it’s akin to meeting someone for the first time that just starts talking INCESENTLY. You are immediately turned off because you realize they really do not want to truly communicate with you, they want you to listen all about them.  Great songs are a mutual communication between the songwriter and the listener.

Craft your introduction as you would craft and introduction to someone you really want to meet and already respect.  It will work out perfectly. Remember, you are introducing your special “baby” that means so much to you to the new potential friend you have wanted to meet!

By |October 30th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments|

3 Steps to Bonding With Your Audience – Step 2 ~ Stepping OUT of Your Songwriting Box!

steping outsideIf you look at nt hit artists, the majority of the top ten have the sense to not write all of their songs, including the Usher, Brittany Spears, Rhianna, Beyonce, Keith Urban, Faith Hill and many more . There are a few (Taylor Swift, being one), but they are in the minority, that do not perform others songs. I can tell you though Taylor eventually will record another songwriter’s song. Taylor’s already starting performing them on her tour (Nicki Minaj, Usher, etc.). Even if the hit artist is a songwriter, their team has the ability and responsibility to know a great song and that always takes priority over the artist’s songwriting. The long lasting artists learn quickly that if their songwriting doesn’t rise up to the hit level, it doesn’t get on the cd.

Many indie artists are singer/songwriter artists. Few of them, in my opinion, are true songwriters. One of the main reasons there are more songwriter artists is that they don’t have any way to get to the good, much less the great songs. So, they are relegated to writing their own songs. Then they get used to writing their own songs and develop an unhealthy pride about it, when the truth is they are a far better artist than they will ever be a songwriter. The bottom line is, most of the time, they fall into wanting the money from publishing not realizing their focus on that money robs them of their true focus of performing as a hit artist that will create the necessary bond with the listener.

Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s good to have some of your songs on your cds, but it’s important to stretch yourself as an artist to sing outside of your own writing, and still make it powerful. If you are a songwriter, then really study the art. There are many awesome opportunities to coach, read and go to seminars to become the best you can be.

Next is the final THIRD STEP…DON’T MISS IT!

By |October 18th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments|