• What Makes A Song "Good"?

    The following article will give you tips, ideas and advice from recording artists, and people in the music industry on what makes a good song.



    Doug Morris - Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group
    "The key is to be, you need to do what you do."

    Sharon Osbourne - Manager and Impresario
    "The first thing is if it's too generic, right now everything you get it white rappers coming through the door and it all sounds the same.

    It's somebody's voice, the tone of their voice or the passion in the music that gets me."

    Jimmy Iovine - Chairman of Interscope, Geffan, and A&M Records
    "I'm always interested in something new, something different, somebody who's just going on pure adrenalin and pure energy."

    Sheryl Crow - Recording Artist, Songwriter, and Producer
    "I think that if you're chasing what is happening at the moment by the time you actually get a record done and when they decide that they're going to put it out, and 6 months lay off time to promote it, you're already dead in the water.

    So you would serve yourself best if you create something that is original to you that is unique and sounds like you."

    Stewart Copeland - Recording Artist
    "There's something very scary about being unique, when you listen to the music that your band makes and it doesn't sound like anyone else, it's kind of unsettling cause you think "maybe we're kinda like in the wrong place".

    Well that could be good too because you're all on your own and you haven't got any competition, the problem is that you haven't got the security of a "scene" to exist within."

    Shaggy - Recording Artist
    "I'm a true believer in "it's not what you say but how you say it", and I damn sure know how to say it."

    Barry Gibb - Recording Artist and Songwriter
    "Hooks come by organic means, they just come into your heart or your head and it feels natural to you wherever you put them.

    To tell you what a hook is, I suspect that a hook is something that happens on a record that will happen repeatedly without getting in your face and if it happens enough you'll remember it, you won't forget it."

    Nelly - Recording Artist
    "The chorus, the thing that you hear over and over and over again that people latch onto first.

    That's what they do, they latch onto the hook first, once they find the hook then they might try to learn the verses, and before you know it they know a whole song.

    By then its six months old, I guess that's how some songs get the longevity like that, because like with Country Grammar, the first month everybody was trying to learn the hook, they loved the hook."

    Barry Gibb - Recording Artist and Songwriter
    "The human mind and the human heart remembers things in songs that you wouldn't think would be remembered.

    Not just the song but what goes on in the background."

    Nelly - Recording Artist
    "Well it's something catchy, people want to be able to feel that they are a part of the music.

    That's what I'm finding out as I go along, people want to be part of your song, and people want to feel like they wrote it.

    Or they want to feel like "man, I could've wrote that, that was hot!".

    Glen Ballard Producer
    I would say it's about always having a good idea, having a hook, there is nothing but short of a bad song having a hook, in other words; a scene that people can remember. Hear it one time and walking away going "I like that song about clouds" or whatever it is.

    Barry Gibb - Recording Artist and Songwriter
    "It can be sung and repeated, it can be an ad lib, it can be a guitar hook that you love to hear so you don't just want to hear it once, you want to make sure that you place it in more than one place and in a place where it belongs, not somewhere it doesn't.

    So when the singer stops, that's a better way of putting it. When you're making a record when the singer stops, something else has to take place of the singer."

    Nelly - Recording Artist
    "In St. Louis like in the summertime, you've got kids out to probably like three in the morning.

    You come out on your front porch, the whole block is just kids playing. Whether its kickball, hide and seek, whatever they are out there doing; jumping a rope or whatever the kids might be out by the corner on the side of the kerb by the street, or on the sidewalk or whatever it is, but they are out there playing and when I heard the beat for Country Grammar that's the first thing that popped into my head with the down down and down.

    I knew I was going somewhere, I just didn't know where, and I kind of put it together and it worked out for me."

    Sheryl Crow - Recording Artist, Songwriter, and Producer
    "You can write ten crap songs and get one brilliant hot song out of it or you can write ten crap songs and get an amazing section that becomes an amazing song.

    It may sound like a round-a-bout way to do it but to me it's like being a professional athlete, and the more you build your strength and the more you work those muscles, the stronger you become, the better of an athlete you become.

    To me it's sort of the same exercise and that is to address it every day, and to try to be open and disciplined about it."

    Glen Ballard Producer
    "If you sit around and wait to be inspired you could sit around for a long time.

    I think that you have to go out and create your own inspiration. There's inspiration around every corner and there's inspiration around the next chord change that you come up with, but you don't sit there and really do it.

    I think that it'll be like writing in mood swings, you'd wait for a good mood and then write a song but I feel like you can discipline yourself to get to that good stuff, more often than not if you get in there and you work hard for it."

    Gary Burr Songwriter
    "I work every day, I write five songs a week and I've done that for ten years.

    Every day by 4 o' clock I'm starting the demo of the songs I wrote that day and occasionally I write songs about myself, and I take more time with those.

    Those are the ones where I've got them on a pad and they're sitting, and when I walk in, I'll maybe have like three songs going at once. I'll pick one up and I'll work on it, even if I get two words of it, it's time well spent, and then I move on."

    James Newton Howard Composer
    "I am incredibly disciplined about it, I have to be disciplined about it.

    I get here at an early hour and I just start working, whether anything comes out of not I don't get out of the chair.

    I work and I play and I try to write, often times nothing happens for two or three hours but then a little door will open and all of a sudden it goes a lot more smoothly, and that's really what has to happen.

    It's just about sheer willpower, sometimes you just go to sit in the chair until something happens.

    I'm not along in there, I remember reading a quote from Hemingway that said he used to get up and write for three hours everyday, no matter what happened, and whatever he wrote he spent three hours at the typewriter."

    Glen Ballard Producer
    "For me part of the whole creative process is learning how to efficiently get to a creative place on a regular basis and that had a lot to do with I think; having the right environment, having the right gear and knowing that you've got to hunt it every day, you don't need any shortcuts."


    That concludes this how to become a recording artist article.

    You will be able to get help with becoming a singer by posting a thread in the Artist & Band Talk forum, and by asking other artists who post their music in the Audio Tracks & Songs forum.


    Disclaimer:
    The article above is merely a rough transcript from the video embeded at the top of the article. The video has been found freely available online, unless otherwise stated.
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