Oysters and Muses

An oyster makes a pearl when some foreign piece of matter, like a grain of sand, has entered the oyster and he covers it with layers of nacre (mother of pearl). Basically, he’s sort of spitting at it because it’s an annoyance. I think songwriters are like that. If...

Why You Need to Find Your Target Audience

I discovered a long time ago that people would rather hear something mediocre in a genre they love than something exceptional in a genre they don’t like. It’s the same in films as well as in music. Think about it. When you’re looking for a movie and you like...

A Response Worth Waiting For

by Harriet Schock Have you ever submitted a song only to hear nothing back? Did you just assume either they heard it and didn’t like it, or they never heard it? Songwriters and actors get rejected more often than drunk guys with hackneyed pick-up lines. It’s just what...

Songwriting Tip: Gotta Love that Wrong Note

by Harriet Schock There’s a lot to say about “wrong notes” but I’m going to concentrate here on the good ones—the ones that you wait for in a song. They’re not really wrong, but they’re unexpected and give a color to the music that is rather magical. Some occur from...

Songwriting Tip: Songs Are Small Things

by Harriet Schock I tell my songwriting students this often. I tell myself this often. Songs are small things. Unlike a play or screenplay, songs can’t have a large cast or a bunch of subplots. If the idea of the song is “You are so beautiful to me…” then you simply...

Songwriting Tip: Your Art and Your Day Job

by Harriet Schock It’s almost a joke line, “Don’t give up your day job.” It usually means “Whatever you’re trying to do, you’re not good enough at it to make a living, so don’t give up your day job.” First of all, Charles Bukowski kept his day job at the post office...