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How do you know if a song you wrote is good?

How do you know if a song you wrote is good

Writing songs is not an easy process. There are many great instrumentalists, singers, arrangers. But the fact that there are not many good songwriters out there shows us how complex songwriting is. At least it’s a very different approach from playing music. And one of the keys to being a good songwriter is to be able to choose our best ideas from the many ideas. The question is, can we trust our own judgment, and if not, then how do we know if a song we wrote is any good? There are many different ways you can measure the quality of your song, so let me share with you some of the most important ones.

Ask other songwriters

Many songwriters make the mistake of asking the opinion of their friends, family members, or their significant other. This is a huge mistake. Those people will never be honest with you because they love you and they don’t want to hurt your feelings. So OF COURSE they will tell you that all your songs are freakin amazing and you are extremely talented. But they will tell you these things even if your music sucks. So they are not a reliable source for feedback.

It’s much better to ask the opinion of people who work in the music industry, especially if they are also songwriters or producers. These people will tell you a more objective opinion about your music. So try to connect with other songwriters online and offline. There are many Facebook groups and Reddit forums where you can join conversations and ask for feedback.

Promote your song

Your opinion, the opinion of band members, songwriters, other musicians is one thing. But keep in mind that the average music listener is not a musician, and they value music in a much different way. This was a big lesson for me. Because many of the songs I wrote were loved by musicians but not so much by the audience. And vice versa. So ultimately, the best way to measure the quality of a song is by publishing it to a larger audience. After all, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

If you already have a fanbase, you are in a better position, because you can just ask their opinion about which one is their favorite song. If you don’t have a huge fanbase, the only thing you can do is to promote the song with paid ads. Youtube is the best channel for this where you can run paid video ads and people can give positive and negative “votes” on the videos (like and dislike). Just make sure you run the ads targeting the right audience! Your music is NOT for everyone. If there are unusually high “dislikes” on the video (about 30% to 50%), then you will know that the song sucks.

Running paid ads is also useful if you want to compare your songs to each other. If you have 5 songs, you can run five ads to the same audience and then compare the results. Don’t assume that you know what the audience likes! Sometimes we can guess well but there will often be surprising results.

Watch the audience

If you play live concerts a lot, it’s important to watch the reaction of the audience to each song. Of course, again, if the “audience” is 10 people, and they are all your friends and family members, then their reaction is probably not objective. But if you can regularly play in front of a real audience, you need to really give attention to how they react to your songs. And this has a huge benefit compared to online ads. Recording, mixing, and publishing a song can take a lot of money, a lot of time, and a lot of work. But if you want to test your songs online, you need to go through all that hassle. But if you play live, you can test your songs BEFORE you even record. I know some bands who do this. They play their new songs in front of live audiences for months and they only record and publish the songs that have good feedback from the audience.

Enter a songwriting competition

So you already asked the opinion of fellow songwriters, maybe band members, and your audience. But you can also ask the professional opinion of successful songwriters. You can submit your songs to a songwriting competition where the jury usually consists of successful songwriters whose job is to evaluate your song against thousands of others. For example, I entered the world’s biggest songwriting competition twice, where more than 80,000 songwriters were competing. I was amongst the finalists both times, and only the top 2% of the songs get into the finals. So even though I didn’t win the competition, I already have proof that I write better songs than 98% of the songwriters.

Learn more

I truly believe that YOU need to be the judge of your own songs. In fact, I have never asked the opinion of anyone about my songs. I didn’t ask my friends, my family members, or even the band members. If you keep learning and improving your songwriting, and if you just write more songs, you will be better and you will realize your own mistakes.

You can actually learn from other songwriters who already published successful songs. The chord progressions they use, the song structures they use, the hidden rhythm system they use, the kinds of repetitions they use. These tools make a song effective, and they all influence the listener. If you learn these tools, you will have a better perspective of whether your song is good.

So how do you learn these things? You have two choices. You can write down those successful songs. What the bass plays, what the drums play, what melody the vocalist sings, the structure of the songs. And you can analyze them to find common patterns. Or you can save a lot of time by going through our songwriting course. This knowledge is based on 2000 songs that I analyzed over the past 7 years, and I show you all those songwriting tools that are used by all successful songwriters. Learning these tools doesn’t limit your creativity. It just helps you write better songs.

The secret pattern behind successful songs

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About the Author

Producer, songwriter of the band Barrio Latino Hungría. Author of the Songwriting Essentials.