Question About Artisitic Integrity
Excerpt from 'A Meeting of the Minds'

By MusicDish [05-24-2002]

"Panelists, our next question is, 'Do you lose you're artistic integrity and vision by submitting your songs to critiquing?'"

Kim Copeland: "It still goes back to, concerning what we've said, that critiques are just suggestions. We are trying to teach you to trust your instincts and hone that instinct so that they are trustworthy."

Barbara Cloyd: "Listen to all of the advice that you can get. Take the advice that makes sense to you."

Gary Talley: "There is something that you're trying to communicate with every song. Basically, all this is about is learning how to communicate it better. It's not trying to make you conform to a certain set of rules."

Jason Blume: "I started out wanting to be an artist. I took my first workshop in 1979. At that point, I was doing this deep, stream of consciousness writing. I didn't understand structure. The title was not in the song, there was no chorus and I sang whatever I felt like singing. Did I get changed by taking classes and critiques and workshops? Yes, thank God, because otherwise I would have had no career. But ultimately, what I'm trying to teach – I think what we're all trying to teach to you - is how to communicate what you intend, not what we intend, but what you intend in a way so that the listener gets it in the way you want them to. "I will also say that I run my songs past my publisher even at this point, because he's a great critiquer. About seventy to eighty percent of the time, when he tells me something, I think, ‘Wow, what a great idea! Let me at least try that. I think that's going to make my song way better.' But, the other thirty percent of the time, I'll say, ‘There's no way. I hate that – I'm not ‘doing it.' Nobody has a gun to your head. I believe that it's just great to have all these options and have objective input to help you decide, do I want to do this or not. You can make that change. The reason I talk about rewriting so much is that I rewrote the first song that opened up my whole career seven times: seven rewrites and seven demos. But, it led to opening up my entire career. If I had stopped at number five, I probably wouldn't be sitting here. So, my feeling is, make the rewrite and then if you don't like it, you can go back to what you had before."

Download the 4th Installment in "Songwriters in the New Millennium" Series

"A Meeting Of The Minds" is a free downloadable report gathering songwriting veterans Anne Freeman, Jason Blume, Barbara Cloyd, Kim Copeland, Gary Talley, David Wimble and Susan Tucker. Through their own real world experience, they proceed to dissect what songwriters need to succeed in the industry as well as addressing subjects ranging from song contests, song critiquing services, artistic integrity, rewriting process.


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