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4 Reasons Songwriters Should Play Their Songs If Possible | Weekly

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Some songwriters know they don’t sing or play an instrument, but the majority do at least a little of both. And while I never recommend doing anything that discourages you or your song, or perhaps exposes it to bad light, most of us sometimes find a way to play our song. I think there are some very compelling reasons why it should be.

1. Work harder to improve songwriting
There’s nothing like a performance spectator scheduled for the night of a local writer to inspire our songs to give final reviews and tweaks. Unfortunately, leaving a song “good enough” is appealing if you don’t have a reason to refine it. I know that you represent yourself, and that your song definitely counts as the reason.

2. Increases motivation to complete the song
People often ask me how to know when one of my songs was completed. There’s no easy answer here, but if you know you’re playing a song live, you can be assured that it’s nearing completion. This is good because most of us tend to visit and revisit songs more often than necessary, rather than prioritizing finishing songs and moving on to the next.

3. See how the song works in the real world
The writing room is magical and, to be honest, an isolated place that is very important for the quiet and focused power that songwriters need to create. However, unless you have a co-editor, you don’t have much opportunity to give feedback on the song in that setting. When you play a song and send it to the world, you get instant and incredibly powerful feedback about what’s working and what’s not working in the song. In my experience, the lines that I thought would work did not work, and the lines that I thought were uninspired were highly responsive to the audience. I don’t know until I try the song live.

4. Live performance is another way to get the exposure of a song.
We all know that trying to market our songs is, at least, a lot of work. Early in my career, I was ridiculously guilty of writing too many songs before trying to market them. Playing a song in a live environment is a great way to immerse your toes in water by showing the song to others. Think of this as a way to build the momentum and confidence you need to actively market your song catalog.

For the record, I do not suggest that you schedule a full set of your own songs at a local club, but rather promise that you will play the songs on an open mic or writer night. It is recommended to do. Comfort level. If you’ve never played a song live, make it your long-term goal and take the time to sing and play. It’s not a waste of effort.

Good luck!

Cliff Goldmacher is a Grammy Award-winning songwriter, music producer and writer with recording studios in Nashville, Tennessee and Sonoma, California. Through his studio, Cliff is demonstrating songwriting by providing songwriters outside Nashville with virtual live access to Nashville’s best session musicians and demo singers. Please read the details. You can also download Cliff’s free tips sheet, “12 Quick Fixes to Immediately Improve Your Songs.”