Monday, October 29, 2012

Don't Get Lost

Sometimes as songwriters, it's easy to get lost in the process.

We try to get just the right guitar or piano lick, or fiddle with our fancy toys that we bought because "it will make songwriting so much easier!" Yeah, about that. We spend more time trying to figure out how to turn off something in Pro Tools, or find just that perfect sound on our keyboard, than we do thinking about lyric and melody.

Best tech setup for songwriting? A guitar or piano, and you alone in a room!

And therein lies a problem. Because every Mac has Garageband, every keyboard plays itself, and free software is everywhere to play along with, many people believe themselves songwriters. But what is songwriting?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Song Title 101

As a Christian songwriter, you were probably brought up with either hymns or worship songs, and are used to those kinds of songs. Those songs often have titles that make you scratch your head. Either the title is the first phrase is the title (even though that's not what we really know the song by), or it has some other random word as the title, which also isn't the chorus or hook of the song.

But guess what, wrong as it may be, we won't be changing the title of Blessed Assurance any time soon (even though for some odd reason the title is just the first two words of the song).

However...this does not mean you should title your newest hit record anything you dang well please!

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Strong Hook, and Why You Better Have One

OK, I've written alot of posts for Soul of the Songwriter, but if you never read another post, blog, micro-blog, or even a silly status, read this!

If your song doesn't have a strong hook, it might as well not have been written. This goes for publishing, performing, or just for the sake of the silly thing's existence on God's green earth.

With Gospel and Christian music I see alot of other problems (with often times the villain being either the dreaded cliche, or the same old tired subject matter), but the one thing that dooms any song (of any genre) is a lack of a strong hook.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Solutions for Non-Playing Songwriters

An age old problem for some songwriters has been an inability to play guitar or piano to accompany themselves. The find they have things to say lyrically, but without tracks, they can't show off the song other than singing the melody a cappella into a recorder of some kind.

Through the years we have worked with many songwriters who deal with this problem, and have seen several ways to overcome it. 

(These may seem very steps for some of you more accomplished songwriters, but if you deal with this particular songwriting problem, this could change your life.)

Monday, May 28, 2012

5 Steps to Getting Your Music Published

Step 1. Write Great Songs

This may seem like a silly step. But it is actually the most important one. It’s also the hardest one to get right.

Writing a great song is more than just a nice poem you wrote and kind of hummed a melody to. It’s more than just copying the latest worship hit with some similar “worship-ish” words.

A great song that will be published has to be hit material. It has to have melody that soars. It has to have a hook, or three! It has to have words that speak, and not just rhyme.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Craft of Christian Songwriting, by Robert Sterling

I have had the pleasure of knowing Robert Sterling for many years going back to my GMA Academy days, and he was always a helpful, caring guy who just happened to be one of the top producers, songwriters, and arrangers in the Christian music industry.

Recently, I've had the opportunity to work with him on some arrangements for a client's album, and it was great fun. He is a gifted guy!

Robert has written a book that should be on the shelf of every self-respecting Christian songwriter, especially those of you who are just starting out or trying to grow your success as a writer.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Curious Case of Fanny J. Crosby

OK, so she's a little scary...
but she wrote great songs!
I work with songwriters all the time, especially songwriters who are writing Christian or gospel songs, hymns, or worship songs. Many start after a conversion, or a significant faith change in their life. And many start later in life to try to get their songs out to the world.

Fanny J. Crosby, was no different, except that she was very different!

She is most likely the most prolific hymn writer in history. She didn’t start writing hymns until she was in her thirties, and didn’t get started really publishing them in a big way until her forties! She was also blind almost since birth.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Dread Pirate Cliche

No this isn't a blog about pirates. It's a villain far more insidious and worse than that to the ports of songwriting worldwide: It's the dreaded cliche, and it permeates Christian music like the black death.

Love from Above like a Dove. Really?

You sneak lines of Amazing Grace or Blessed Assurance into your new song. Oooh, that’s really clever.

About Me

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Eric Copeland is an author, producer, keyboardist, songwriter, and president of Creative Soul Companies. What is Creative Soul? Our main goals are to inform, encourage, and assist Christian creative folks in ministry, no matter where they are in their journey. Thanks for reading! Find out more about us at