What Does A Songwriter Do?

As their job title suggests, songwriters are professionals who write songs for solo artists, bands and other performers to interpret. They may also be asked to come up with jingles for commercials or advertisements. Songwriters who happen to be singers write the music that they themselves will be singing, recording and performing to their fans.

The process of songwriting entails many different tasks. Songwriters typically write the lyrics and put melodies on it. They may also need to make tracks to back the music. This entails knowing how to play keyboards, drums, guitars and other instruments. They may also have to collaborate with other songwriters, composers and singers in creating a single song. After writing the songs and putting the melody to it, songwriters then produce demos of it. This is a recording of the song that the songwriter will use to be able to pitch the material to music publishers, producers or singers. If a publisher likes the song, he will purchase the rights to it and have a singer interpret it. The songwriter’s income will come from the royalties earned when customers buy the singer’s record or download the music from the Internet. Another source of earnings for songwriters is the performance royalties that come with live shows and concerts where the songs are performed.

Songwriters are typically thought of as having the chance to work their own hours at their own homes. While many songwriters are freelancers and write their songs when and where they want, there are also staff writers who work exclusively for a music publisher. This type of arrangement is popular in Nashville. Contracted staff writers work regular hours in their office and devote their time to writing songs. The advantage of this working arrangement is that staff writers are able to concentrate on their job because they are paid regularly and won’t have to worry about getting another job to pay the bills.

When they are not writing songs, songwriters are engaged in the business aspect of the job. That means networking with singers, publishers and producers in the industry who might be interested in their songs. This is not easy, especially for someone who is new to the scene, but with creativity and business savvy, it is possible to be connected with the movers in the music industry. Thus, meeting with record label producers and managers are also going to be part and parcel of the job.

Music producers and publishers hire songwriters for their ability to write songs that will turn out to become chart topping hits. This means that even if a songwriter knows how to write good songs, this does not necessarily mean that music executives will immediately become interested in their material. Thus, it is also part of the songwriter’s job to study the songs that have become hits and analyze why they have become such. Knowing recent trends and understanding the psyche of consumers are also important factors that will allow them to create music that will earn them fat paychecks.

Aspiring songwriters should understand that this is not an easy profession to break into. It takes a lot of dedication, hard work and perseverance. They should grab the chance to attend musical events and gatherings that will allow them to network with industry executives.

Career Spotlight: Songwriter



A songwriter writes the songs that singers, bands and other performers will sing. You could find yourself writing the melody and lyrics of songs or you may also be asked to come up with the tracks tha[...]

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