Showing posts with label JR's Songwriting Tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label JR's Songwriting Tips. Show all posts

Sep 24, 2012

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #63

If you're writing a serious song to make people think, think your ass again. Country radio does not have "thinkers" as a target audience. If you're writing a serious song that pretends to make people think, I've got some advice for you. Throw in some depressing crap about the world and the recession or whatever and bazinga! I mean, I'm not personally affected by this terrible economy that is entirely the fault of Barack Hussein Obama, but I know that most of you little people are. Well, I did have to raise the price on drinks at my bar for ugly chicks but I ate the cost on the hotties. Anyway, back to the song. Relate to your audience and then present them with a solution. JESUS! You don't have to explain any further, just say Jesus is the answer! Sad song turned all around with the glory of the Lord. If it's a sad love song, make sure you say it was the dude's fault that things went wrong, even though we know that's never true. Women are evil, but they hold the purse-strings for most pansy-ass fellas so you gotta make 'em think they're always right. I keep mine in line by laying down pipe in the sack like a champ. The hillbilly Jedi givin' her the force if you know what I'm saying. Stop thinking about me naked and go write a damn song!
*Not actually written by John Rich

Aug 30, 2012

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #62

Sometimes if you need a little inspiration to write a rockin' new country song and you're just too drunk to put any thoughts in order, look outside of yourself. Watch a movie. I find a good porno takes the edge off to get me in the mood for making a masterpiece. You can also find lines and ideas on the mental level of the typical country listener in the script of a skin flick. Listen to music. I put on some Nickelback or Creed or Godsmack or Skid Row and do a little headbanging. That knocks a little dust off the old melon and gets my creative juices flowing. Also, these artists have songs that you can just insert the word "truck" into and turn down the guitars a tad and have yourself a top 10 in no time! Read books. Ha ha ha. That one was a joke. Only goobersmooches read books. Maybe flip through a Hustler while you're pinching a loaf and you might find some ideas for a romantic Luke Bryan hit. Now, what the f**k are you waiting on? I just let you peek behind the curtain and see how I stack them Benjies. Get to work, buttwads. 

*Not actually written by John Rich.

Jul 30, 2012

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #61

Don't worry about writing a country song. Just write a damn song! If it has at least one memorable melody in it, a catchy title and 5-7 relatable images - you're freaking gold, baby! "Country music" means the music of America, not the music of rural America. That whole authenticity requirement was outmoded years ago along with flip phones, VCR's and morality. So, listen to rap, pop, folk (just kidding! folk is for liberals!), jazz (just kidding! people only pretend to like jazz), rock and metal for your inspiration. Don't bother with listening to country music before 1993. That stuff is lame. I mean, sure, put the names of a few singers from pre-93 in there, but you don't have to actually like their music. Remember what I said about authenticity? LOLZ, authenticity is for collectible plates, baseball cards and autographed porn star panties. I only worry about being an authentic Honky Pimp Shaft. Flip the radio over to the Urban Jamz station. Hear that? That's what half of Nashville will be doing in 9 months, so hop on tha train before yo ass get left at da station! Now, flip over to the active rock station. That's what the other half of Nashville will be doing in 9 months. So crank up the amps, hate your parents and grow a goatee or be so two-thousand late. Your homey John Rich is always at the forefront of innovation, homogenization, sweet money makin', inebriation and sexual relations so get with the mack. Who you gonna listen to? Barbara Cloyd or me? That's what I thought. Peace out.

*Not actually written by John Rich.

Jun 25, 2012

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #60

When you're writing a hit country song, you should appeal to all the senses. That would seem like common sense, but most songwriters don't have the common sense to know I need a bottle of ketchup when they bring my Denny's order. You should be able to use all 5 senses, at least in your imagination, when you hear a song played 15 times a day.

Don't just tell me the beer is good. Let me taste that Coors piss-water rolling cold and smooth like a Rocky Mountain river down my hard-work-parched throat. Don't just say it's a big truck. Make me feel tiny and insignificant in the presence of the full body rebel flag wrap, 37" mud grappler tires and 6" lift. Have me hear the crickets chirping in the night woods while your speakers are blaring Waylon, Willie, Johnny, Hank and Skynyrd. I wanna check that girl in cutoffs for ticks with my bare damn hands! Let me smell exhaust, sweat and teenage desperation! 

Hell, even go for a sixth sense …just being able to predict you're gonna get some from that little country cutie in a few short minutes! Yeah buddy, I'm all jacked up now and I didn't even write the song… I just told your lazy ass how to! 

Now get to it before I do! That's a platinum selling single in the making right there, you jackoffs.

*Not actually written by John Rich

May 2, 2012

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #59

High concept writing is unwelcome around here, nerds. You say satire, I say pass me a Fat Tire. You say parody, I say Cledus T. Joke. Metaphors are as deep as I go and even those are pretty above-ground. Like "her booty is like a pair of watermelons" or "I'm drunk as a liberal come next election night." Don't bring me words like alliteration. Hell, if I didn't have autocorrect, I couldn't even spell it right. Onomotopeia? That just sounds homoerotic… and the Muppets already sang a song about that anyway. Keep it simple for the stupids. The average radio country fan thinks "assonance" is what happens when you sit on an ant bed naked. Simile? A typical soccer mom thinks that means "putting a bike together." Figures of speech? That's what you goobers can use on the Twitter to impress your fellow basement dwellers. If you want to use all the skills you learned in creative writing at the community college, start a blog. If you wanna make that dolla dolla bill y'all, do what I do. So in summary, just tell a damn story or list some crap about living in a small town or loving America. Slap a clever hook on it and a couple of lines that sound like they took longer than a minute to come up with… and you've got a hit. This ain't rocket surgery, bitches.

*Not actually written by John Rich.

Apr 18, 2012

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #58

When you're looking for inspiration to write a great country song, it's not hard to find. I look to a specific era of music bygone to enliven my creative spirit. It was a simpler time that all of us Nashville writers are trying to relive every day - 1988. It was a place where dreams were bought and sold, lived and lost - the Sunset Strip. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about dammit! Aquanet, spandex and groupies (that's my favorite part)…those were the glory days of music! Just turn on your radio, if you don't believe me. All us 33-45 year olds are remembering our lush mullets and ripped jeans as we write these country rockers and power ballads. If my creative tank is dry, just pull up the Crue on the iTunes and do what they did. Hell, it got them ugly f*ckers leg, it's gotta work for me, your Music Row Mackdaddy!  I've even got a template set up, like Mad Libs. Just take, say "Girls, Girls, Girls," dial down the riffs a little, drop in your lyrics about making love in the bed of a Dodge, weave a minute amount of fiddle through the proceeding and VOILA bitches! You've got you a top 10 country hit that will make me a million, but nobody will remember by next month. That's how we do. So build up that collection of Faster Pussycat, Skid Row, GnR, Kix and Britny Fox and you can be a hit Nashville songwriter too!

*Not actually written by John Rich.

Mar 1, 2012

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #57

Today, like an NBA team tells Kim Kardashian, I've got a few tips for you.

1. Always have a notebook with your or make sure your smart phone has a note app. That way you can always write lists and lists of country things throughout your day. It's also handy for picking up them digits from the lovely ladies.

2. Let people critique your work. I don't have to do that, you understand, but you do. Put your songs or lyrics on message boards or whatever you little people do. If somebody doesn't like your work, curse them out and question their songwriting resume. Do they have FOUR F*CKIN' NUMBER ONE SONGS to their credit? I thought not!

3. Organize your ideas. Make sure not to get your drinking song lyrics mixed up with your mixed drink recipes and whatnot. Keep your booty-shaking song lyrics out of your sexual tryst diary. Be like a good bra, and keep 'em separated!

4. Don't feel bad throwing out your bad ideas. I'm not familiar with the concept of coming up with a bad idea for a song, but you probably are. Personally, I'm more of a mind to throw every thought that pops into my head against the wall and see what sticks like a booger. But my boogers are gold... gold baby!

*Not actually written by John Rich

Jan 17, 2012

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #56

A little rhyming advice for you peeps this morning. In country music, rhyme is relative. Never worry with coming up with an actual strong line to follow another good line, just make sure they rhyme no matter how you have to mangle the English language. Hell, make up your own accent and pronounce the word like a drunk redneck with a lisp who's been hanging around his friends from Boston too much. Whatever works, boss. For example, if your important line is "she was drinking a beer with those cut-offs on," you can make sure it rhymes with this line: "her tan legs reflectin' on my jacked up Ford," if you sing "on" like "awwwn" and then pronounce "Ford" like an old plantation owner… like so: "fawwd." See, it's just that easy. Nobody will even notice. Nobody gives a damn, quite frankly. Near-rhyme, schmear-rhyme… you can rhyme anything if you're plastered enough when you write the song. One time I heard Alan Jackson rhyme "cell phone" with "carburetor." And it worked! If he doesn't give a shit, why should I? This ain't no Romper Room or nursery rhyme time, be a damn grown-up and use a little ingenuity. Show me a man who's ever once used a rhyming dictionary while he was writing a song, and I'll show you a man who's bussing tables at the IHOP to finance his crappy demo CD. Truth. Live it, love it or just bite me.

*not actually written by John Rich.

Dec 5, 2011

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #55

Hey y'all. It's been a while huh. Well, I've got a little time here in the airport, so I thought I'd crap out a new songwriting tip for you. If you're a world traveler like Mr. Big Bad Too-Drunk-to-Fly here, you may wonder where in the hell you can find time to write your latest hit that sounds like everybody else's but with the words arranged differently. Well, airport bars are a f**king wonderful place to jot down sh*t on napkins while you hit on stewardesses and college girls. I just wrote this about an hour ago: "Hot little number from Arizona State/headin' home for holiday break/I'd like to take her in the lavatory/Give 'er a mile high ride on 'old glory'." Hell yeah, there's a patriotic anthem bitches! You never know when a brilliant idea like that might pop into your head. Huh huh, I said head. Man, the mixed drinks at airport bars are strong as a mother. I ain't drunk though, dumb ass stewardess and pilot. That's the last time I fly Southwest…oversensitive f*cks. Where was I? Oh yeah, you can write while you're waiting in the terminal too… I like to just pretend to write mostly, so people won't ask for my autograph or take pictures with me. Get that sh*t out of here, you can buy my autograph on E-bay like all the other peasants. Well, my limo from Nashville should be here in 12 hours or so, so I gotta get a little more drinking in before then. Later, turdburglars.

*not actually written by John Rich

Jul 11, 2011

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #54

Teabagger, I mean, mailbagger Kevin in Cincy writes: John, at what age did you realize country songwriting was the only possible career outlet for you?

Well Kev, I got my first guitar when I was four and wrote a song about the hot six year old next door that very day. Hold up! I think you were inferring that maybe I don't have any other bankable skills. Bitch please! I could have been a porn star, I got the 'stache and the "stash" if you know what I mean. I could have been in the UFC if they allowed weapons. I'm mean with the metal pipe. Those are only two of my many skills. Get off my crotch.

*Not actually written by John Rich

Jun 30, 2011

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #53

Be nice to people with lesser talent or fame than you. At least come up with polite ways to say "get the hell away from me." Some guy called last week and asked if he could write with me. I told him, "Man, I love your work (lie), but I'm so swamped with these new EP releases this new Big & Rich Tour that I don't have the time right now (kinda true)… I'll keep your number in my phone (lie) and get back to you in a month or six (doubtful)." I think he said his name was Josh Grinder… or something like that, from Texas. You get the point. There's no reason to belittle associates; just baffle them with bullsh*t. Put that in your crack pipe and smoke it. Out!

*Not Actually Written By John Rich

May 23, 2011

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #52

Be fake. Hell, y'all saw me on Celebrity Apprentice being all polite and thoughtful and mature… lolz, fooled ya ass big time. I'm the champ, cheesed*cks! Anyhow, some say you have to write what you've lived. Bullsh*t! I ain't been poor since I was a kid, but some nights when I run out of cash and can't find my Amex Black card and the nearest ATM is too far to stumble to… well, I kinda know what being poor is like then. I ain't ever been dumped but I can imagine what that must feel like to poor limprods like you. Use your imagination …and I don't mean for thinking about the MILF down the street with the Lexus SUV who you'd like to have lick frosting off your…. never mind. Like they say in the classic Caddyshack, be the ball. If I only wrote about what I know, you'd think I was a rapper… bling bling bling bitchez!

*Not actually written by John Rich

May 12, 2011

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #51

I've come up with a groundbreaking concept to save songwriters valuable space in their "how country I am" songs for more redneck imagery. Instead of mentioning Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Merle (does he even have a last name?) and that other guy individually by name, one can simply say "The Highwaymen." I just learned of this 80's and 90's supergroup/time-saving-wonder recently. This is unfortunate because it would have left more room in my earlier rural anthems for extra lines about bench seats and loving America. From this point forward, "The Highwaymen" will be the standard for namedropping. You're welcome, underlings. Now excuse me while I whip this thing out.

*Not actually written by John Rich.

Mar 20, 2011

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #50

For my 50th nugget of wisdom, I'm gonna get as real as it gets with you, my peeps. If you're not writing with, as Snoop dee-oh-double-gee says, "my mind on my money and my money on my mind," you might as well crap in one hand and wish in the other and see which one fills up first. There's a process to this craft, a formula if you will. I don't sit down with pen and guitar in hand and think "Where will my feelings lead me today?" Hell naw, I think "What's in it for me?" The day I start worrying about the art of songwriting is the day I slice off my testicles with a dull letter opener and start collecting Hummel figurines. You think I write this junk because I enjoy it? Nah, homie, I write it because it stocks the bar with Goose. Peace y'all.

*Not actually written by John Rich

Mar 1, 2011

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #49

Sizzle baby sizzle. If you have problems writing songs with depth, gravity or lasting significance, at least have the good sense to slap in as many puns, hip phrases and well-known axioms as humanly possible. If you can't do any of those things either, find yourself a duo of attractive females who appeal to the prime demographic and have them sing whatever crappy pop-country song you pull from your creativity-barren soul and foist them upon the unwitting public with a flashy video and well planned promotional campaign. Street teams are also helpful. In no time at all, these seeds should reap you a harvest of radio adds. Take it from Rich, even if you've got a Vienna sausage, if you talk it up enough, people will think it's a 2-foot kielbasa. Wisdom from the man who's slung it.

*Not actually written by John Rich.

Feb 10, 2011

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #48

Modern country songs are best written in comfort. In the old days, Hank Williams had a damn sawhorse with a board across it as a desk and his hot-ass backyard as an office. Simple surroundings = simple songs. Rich don't play dat. I set up shop in my plush personal writing space, complete with leather recliner, 52 inch HD television with internet hookup, a cold glass of Goose and a stogey. That's where I come up with my best music. This ain't 1983 anymore; mama's got a badass SUV and she ain't listening to no "Honky Tonkin'" in there… she wants something hip and familiar. So get yourself comfy and please her. If you don't, trust me, this outlaw country mackdaddy will do what it do!

*Not actually written by John Rich

Jan 6, 2011

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #47

Imagery is very important part of country music songwriting. It's not enough to say you drive a tractor, you have to describe the sweet ass sound system you put in it and how cold the air conditioning is in that bad boy. It's not enough to say "she's so pretty." Tell us how firm her buttocks are, how her gazongas fill up her sweater, how her supple skin looks in the moonllight... uh. I gotta go take care of something. Just remember to give the listeners the details. The devil's in there, and so is the cold hard caaaaash.

*Not actually written by John Rich

Nov 30, 2010

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #46

Today chil'ren, we gonna talk about rhyme. Sure, in some of those indie garbage genres, they don't even rhyme their lines but who listens to that crap besides sweatervest wearing pusswads? In real music, we rhyme. We rhyme love with above and heart with apart and we don't give a sh*t who's tired of the supposed clich├ęs. Don't waste precious brain cells trying to come up with a unique rhyme, just go with the easy out, or stick an awkward line in there that was obviously just to fulfill the rhyme. Money talks, and my bank account backs up my bullsh*t. Now, I'm sorry we must be parted, but the bathroom calls 'cause I just farted.

*not actually written by John Rich

Sep 30, 2010

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #45

When I'm not busy writing modern country classics like "Country Done Come to Town" and "Country Trucker Preacher Man," I'm either drinking myself into a higher state of consciousness or filling up the tank another way. What way, you ask? You see son, artists are like rivers running through the woods. As long as good clean water is flowing in, the river flows smoothly and is perfect for taking a couple of lady friends to play "sink the bobber," errr, I mean go fishing. However, if things get constipated upstream, the river becomes stagnant and smells like ass and taco vomit. In other words, keep your mind active... read books (I like to go with Juggs or Glenn Beck's latest tome), watch movies (Transformers and Sex Toy Story 3 were my latest) and listen to music (CBT, CDB). Good input = staying regular and putting out some gooood shit! That's how the master does it. I'm out.

*Not actually written by John Rich.

Aug 30, 2010

John Rich's Songwriting Tips #44

You need to consider your demographic for the song you're writing. If you're writing one for the fellas, throw in a truck or a punch in the face or a Copenhagen ring, and you're in business. But since there are so many young female fans new to the genre, I try to get in the panties, errr, heads of these lasses to find out where they're coming from. Are they into partying, love, sex, drinking, philosophy, sex, cars, social networking or maybe even sex? Get close to them and find out. KNOW your audience. Words to live by pardner.

*Not actually written by John Rich


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