Sunday, December 8, 2013

Repeating Yourself (The Importance of the Hook)

Without a doubt the hardest thing to teach songwriters is the thing that should be the most obvious: You have to have a hook. For many reasons, a repeated, catchy hook is what separates the successful songwriters from those who just can't seem to get any traction.

The definition of a music hook seems to be "a musical and/or lyrical phrase that catches the ear of the listener". So the word hook comes from "hooking" them as they listen, so they'll want to sing along on the next chorus, and then of course listen repeatedly to our genius creation.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Getting Started as a Christian Songwriter

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started." - Mark Twain

One of the first questions I get from new songwriters is "How do I get started as a Christian songwriter?" to which I reply, "Well, have you written anything?"

If the answer is no, then we move to Step One.

Step One. Write something.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Income Streams for the Working Songwriter

"All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty." - Proverbs 14:23 (NIV)

One of the many questions we get is how to make income as a songwriter. Well my dear, like any business you choose to get into, it takes this little thing called “work”. We songwriters tend to talk a good game, but like the verse above says, we can't just talk about it, we have to work at it!

"Nothing will work unless you do." - Maya Angelou

In reality, it's really very simple, and being the solutions-oriented, plain-speaking company we are, we're gonna break it down to very simple components for ya.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Write, Show, Repeat

"You cannot set art off in a corner and hope for it to have vitality, reality, and substance." - Charles Ives

So what's the magic formula for success as a songwriter? It's actually pretty easy.

Ever read the back of a shampoo bottle? The instructions aren't difficult.

"Lather, Rinse, Repeat."

Three things to do so anyone can get it done. Put the shampoo in your hair, rinse it out, repeat again or the next time.

The only worse instructions on something is a wet nap, which I always found hilarious that we had to be told to "Tear open packet, and use." Use? Really? We have to be told to use it?

But in many ways that's the purpose of this blog. I am going to give you three simple instructions to get your songs out there, and it's up to you to follow the very simple directions. (So scroll, read, and use ;)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Steal Like an Artist

"There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

"What is originality? Undetected plagiarism." - William Ralph Inge

As songwriters, especially in the Christian/Gospel domain, it seems increasingly hard to come up with something new. Biblically, we have a finite amount to work with (although I would say there is still alot to say). But it's easy to feel like you've heard chords, melodies, and especially the cliched topics, lyrics, and images we Christians have written about for hundreds of years.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Do Something Different!

Isn't it time to get out of the box?
Tired of writing the same song over and over? I know I am.

There's only one thing to do: Radically write something different. Use another instrument or program or process, but write something completely unlike you.

Right now I am working on a song that sounds like the 1920s, a full album of Latin songs, and some classical things. You HAVE to push yourself creatively into other areas or you will stagnate where you are.

Today, or this week, join me in my little movement for change. Even if they are little things, do them differently. Buy a new shirt. Eat at a new place. But above all, find a way to make new music.

Then tell us about it below. Maybe you've started this movement without me. Great! Share what you did below or at our Facebook page "Christian Songwriter's Challenge". There will be a new challenge there too!

I'll be there with you in spirit and in action.

So what will YOU write different?

Eric Copeland is working hard to walk backwards, wear new clothes and write something different. If you need more inspiration and ideas, find out more at

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Songwriting on an Island

So you're stranded out there somewhere, and you're writing songs, but there's one problem: There's no one to give you any real constructive criticism or help. Now, I’m not talking about friends and family listening, then telling you are great and they are oh so proud. I’m talking about someone to tell you when that verse section goes on too long, or when the hook just isn't hooky enough, or that this one is just okay, and maybe you should ditch this idea for now and work on another.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

If Only Someone Would Listen…

Isn't this the main problem we have as songwriters? Even if we've had some success, it’s still nice to get people to hear what you have made. Not to make a million dollars, nor for fortune and fame, but just to know that somewhere out there, people are listening with interest to what you write. And maybe it made their day better.

That’s the appeal to me of Airplay Radio (formerly called Jango). We’ve been using it for our artists music and they are finding fans all over the world. Every time someone hears your song, with one touch they can say they liked it, and you get an email telling that person from wherever they are, likes your song. It's just feels good. It's confirmation that someone got something from it.

Monday, January 21, 2013

How to Find an Audience for Your Songs

Songwriter Stephen Bautista
"An artist's sphere of influence is the world." - Carl Maria von Weber

"My music is best understood by children and animals." - Igor Stravinsky

So, you’re a songwriter and you work weekly if not daily on your songs. You toil, you suffer, you pull your hair out for the right line or melody or hook. Then you finish and think, “OK, so now what?”

You may look for and find a mentor, a songwriting pro, or musician and get a stamp of approval, but this isn’t always necessary. Sometimes, it’s just nice to get it out and see what people think. And that’s easier than ever with the tools we have at our fingertips (including the one you’re reading now!)

First things first: Demoing the Song

OK, now for artists and many songwriters, I usually suggest a well produced demo to help most in getting things moving, but for the purpose of just getting people’s thoughts, let’s keep it simple.

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