On Songwriting Pt. 4
By J.P. Kallio
How about songs as a personal snap shot? You know I have talked about the famous songwriting techniques especially popular in Nashville and well documented in the Ralph Murphy’s wonderful book “Murphy’s law on songwriting”. I studied this book over again and again. Now I believe if you know the rules well, then it might be ok to break them. The whole point of the book is how to write a hit song. How to get those everyday people during their morning commute to work to buy your music.
Now after nearly a year of writing and releasing a song every week, I am starting to see my songwriting in a little bit different light. Look, I know this sounds like a cliche, but I’m not in it for the money. I do still need to feed myself, pay the rent and have enough money left to release the next song or get to my next gig. But outside of that if this year has taught me anything (in fact it has taught me so many things…), it is that I get much more gratitude from hearing that my song reached someone, or it helped them in tough times than if someone buys my record. Don’t get me wrong, it is a pretty fantastic feeling when someone buys your album. It’s not just a “sale”. It means people like your music enough to make the effort to purchase your music, it means they have faith in you, it means your music to them is worth something.
But even beyond that there is that feeling when you know you have done something to someone through your music. Your music has helped them when they were down, your music has distracted from a constant pain they are struggling with, it has given them hope, or even made them feel that they are not alone. This is a feeling no money can buy
So I have learned that there is more to songwriting than trying to write a hit. There is more to songwriting than trying to shift units. You can make a difference to someones life with a song. Not everyone is going to like your song, but why not make sure that the ones who do like your song really get something out of it. Write from your heart, not from your wallet. Happy (song) writing.
J.P. Kallio is a singer/songwriter