Nashville Songwriters

  Song Critiques & Evaluations

                          Write & Re-write Self-Critiques 

        "You Gotta Have Some Professional Feedback To Go With Those Clever Lines"

        Find out if your song stands up to the competition with a song critique.  Today's song market is very tough.  You must have professional feedback to make you song as strong as possible.  You need someone to make  suggestions on how to improve the melody and lyrics.  It's best to strengthen your lyrics & melodies before getting a professional demo of your song. We don't own a song critique company or a demo recording studio. We can recommend Nashville recording studios, music attorneys, publishers, musicians, sheet music producers, song critique companies and local record producers that we have used, but we're not trying to sell you anything.  

        I've pitched my songs to record companies, music executive, A & R directors, record producers, music attorneys, publishers and artists now for many years.  I pitched songs to Loretta Lynn while fronting local shows for her during the Coal Miner's Daughters days and to many music business executives along the way to today.  I'll still pitching my songs today. I try to do a little every day for my songwriting, whether it's finishing a line, working on the melody or finding that correct rhyme. I try to only have one or two songs I'm pitching at one time. These two songs will the absolute best songs I have, and my success depends on the merit of these two songs. Don't waste record executive's time (or yours) with a dozen songs. Put your best forward and spend the time making sure these two songs are skillful crafted with a killer demo.


      How To Self-Critique & Evaluate Songs

   By following the suggestions below you will learn to self-critique your own songs


        Song Critique and Evaluation Parameters

   "I'm a songwriter, but I'm also a watercolor artist, a science fiction writer, a photographer and an avid tennis player. I may have a very unique prospective on songwriting because of this. I'm amazed at how many common elements I find in these varied activities. Especially if you want to do them well and compete on a National level. To write a great song you have to have a absolutely brilliant idea! Don't waste your time constructing and re-witting a bad idea. Few poor ideas will make the cuts in today competitive songwriting market no matter how technically savvy the song may be or how great the production on the demo is. Techniques alone won't write a hit song, but they'll help turn a great idea into a hit song."

     The same is true about painting a watercolor masterpiece. No matter how technically skilled you may be, a great painting requires having the technical skills and a well designed composition. The secret to painting watercolors is not so much in the technical skills as starting out with a strong initial composition of the scene you're about to paint. I always do a small value sketch of my scene (or idea) first to make sure it is constructed and balanced correctly first. Then I lay on the watercolors.

     This also applied like I said before to photography. You can know how to use the camera, and how to select the correct lighting situation with the perfect exposure. But if you're photographing nature you have to be careful and compose the correct composition of the scene first. A technically perfect photo of a very uninteresting subject is boring. So you again have to have a great idea for a photo first. Such as the way a branch brushes against a sand bank with the wind and puts marks in the sand. Constructing a technically perfect photo of this could make for an interesting and unique photo.

     The same is true of writing science fiction short stories, tennis and many other activities that I participate.

                   What Is A Song Critique

 A song critique will help you determine the weak spots in your songs and where you need to focus. Writing a hit song can take several song critiques and song evaluations before you get it right. Don't get to focused on the rhyme in the song at first and even later while writing a song. Write down your thoughts as they come to you. They don't have  to be in order either. You can sort through them later and move them around to make them work with each other better. Definitely garb all the free flowing lines you can while you can. When these easy lines stop you have to go to work finishing the song. The same applies to the melody. Record on a basic tape recorder all the different melodies you are hearing with the song. You can also sort them out later and use only the strongest parts. Don't automatically accept any lines of lyrics or notes of music though until you evaluate them to see if they are as strong as you can write.

           The ABC's Of Writing A Song

            "How To Write A Song"

                             A.   Start With A Great Idea

   So try to start off with an interesting and unique idea or hook for the song.  There will be times when you write a melody and most of the lyrics before you develop your hook, but writing a strong idea first will usually result in a stronger song to pitch. So, what is a great idea. A great initial idea is stating something that has been said many times before but in a new and interesting way. It need to sound unique. The same applies to the melody. You don't want your song sounding like Reba's last hit, you want to write something new and different from that all together. Don't think up a melody and a few lines and think they are as strong. You have to try different version of the words and the melodies. Switch it around some and see if it sounds better and more unique. You may have hit lines that you haven't even thought of yet. Also check out this valuable resource page on How To Write Songs.


                            B.   Use The Correct Song Structure


  Lay out a song structure for your song as soon as you can in the process. Usually a combination of Verses, Chorus and a Bridge like this:

                                                               "Title Of Your Song"

                                                                       VERSE 1


                                                                       VERSE 2




   Nothing kills a song quicker than an unorganized song structure. This is the one part of the writing process where you need to stick to the rules. There are a few generally accepted song structures that you should become familiar with, but many modern hit country and pop songs have used the structure above.


                      C.   Connect The Lyrics With The Hook

   Each verse and chorus should have four or five lines. The bridge will usually have an odd number of from three to five lines. These lines need to be well constructed and should support and add information to the hook or title of the song. Really it needs to connect to great idea we talked above. Connect means supporting, explaining and building upon the information in the great idea or hook of the song. You need to use proper grammar unless you're doing it for effect like "ridin' the wind". Make each line of text as clear and focused as possible toward your great idea. Each line must give the listener more details about the great idea or hook (or title of the song).  Don't repeat information you've already introduced in the verses. Each verse should focus on moving the song story forward. The Chorus is the only place you want to repeat lines over and over to help the listener remember the punch line or hook (your great initial idea).

      Each line of the lyrics should point back to the title or idea of the song.  If a song can make it without a line in the song, then its to weak.  Every line in the song should be necessary for the development of the song title. The melody and tempo should also use variety and be interesting. Try to evoke pictures or images in the song. Show (not tell) something happening that pertains to your idea. Use more imagery in your writing.
    Also, don't make your lines the same length, etc.  Use more variety in the length of the lines to keep it interesting. Variety is the spice of everything nice.


                     and D.   Write & Re-Write Until It's Right

 When you are writing your lines use picture evoking words instead of telling the listener what's happen. Try to evoke an emotion in the listener.  See the example below.


                                                         Song Critique Example: 


                                  Just an example of showing instead of telling your listener:
                                                 She reached for the umbrella as we ran for the car
                                                 Cos she had spent the afternoon making up her hair
                                                 It was our third anniversary and she wanted everything just right
                                                 On this very special Saturday night

     These lines paint pictures in your mind and also emotions of rain, humidity, running makeup, a weekend with your wife. I didn't say all this but I made you see it in your mind. This is how to write powerful lines in a song. Remember you only have 20 to 30 lines in a song and many of these are repeated. So you will only have about 10 to 12 unique lines in a song. You have to make every line count. If a song will stand without a line you need to cut that line or write a stronger line, before you pitch it self evaluate it.


         How To Select A Song Critiques Company

     Many companies offer online critiques and evaluations. The price will vary but make sure you decide on someone with many years of experience and with a track record. I'm not sure that many of the critique companies can really help you that much as they are mostly looking at a profit from working with you. If you have studies this page and the eBook on How To Write Songs below, you are well on the way to self evaluating your own songs. Now when you send your song to a professional in Nashville or an Artist your song will at least sound professional. I suggest self evaluating your song several times and re-writing it to make it strong as possible before you pitch your song. Pitching your song to Song Critique person or company before pitching to an artist, producer or publisher will give you a better shot at getting a cut on your song.

                   How To Write A Song - If you are trying to write a hit song this is required reading!  


   "If you are a songwriter and having a problem getting anyone to listen to your material consider submitting your songs for a song critique.  Get  valuable feedback on areas of you song that need work before you demo and pitch your song.  It could be a waste of time to spend your money on a demo until your song is as strong as it can be.  Get a professional to review your songs to see if they stand up in today's competitive market."    

       Roy John Fuller a BMI songwriter has had several Top 10 Billboard Pick Hits starting with "Angel In Disguise" (1975 Nashville Columbia Studio B), "Your Song" (1975 Nashville Columbia Studio B), "The Image of Me" (1978 Nashville RCA Studios),  "Giving Up Getting Over You" (1979 Nashville Tandem Studios),  "The First Time" (1981 Nashville Woodland Studios), "Do It" (1981 Nashville Woodland Recording Studios), "The Shoe's On Another's Foot" (1981 Nashville Woodland Recording Studios).  He has Pick Hits and write up's in Nashville Entertainer,  Songwriter Magazine and other music industry publications.            


                     FREE Songwriter Resources & Information

                                     How To Write Songs

                                                                   Songwriting Tips

                                               Country Music Songwriters

                                                                  A Typical Song Critique


                                                          Go Back-----> Roy John Fuller                                         

                                                                                 (c) Copyrighted 2007 by Roy John Fuller