The creme de la creme for songwriters (That's you right?) is to get their song on the radio. Especially on 'drive time' radio. Do that and you are walking with the big dogs. Long, drawn out, sad, angst driven songs rarely make drive time radio. The exceptions usually coming from established big name stars who could sing the back of cereal box and get it on the radio. That's not going to happen for us aspiring to make the Billboard charts.

People trapped in their cars going to and from work with a whole world of problems on their own minds are not interested in another persons problems. What they want is something that preferably will carry them away for few minutes from their own problems. If not that, at least identify with them and in some way make a connection with their lives. Here's a hint, write your lyrics to them. "I want you, I need you, I love you,. "You're so Fine."  "The long and winding road leads me back to your door." Make your song to or about them.

You have 15-20 seconds to get their attention in the intro. Your knock 'em off their feet hook should be heard in the first sixty seconds. Is your song a 'chorus' driven song with a killer chorus that stands out from the verses in both rhyme scheme and musically or is you're song a story song so compelling that very little chorus is needed?  "Bye-Bye Miss American Pie" ~" Big Bad John." Just enough to move them along to what happens next to fulfill their expectations. Keep your song around, very close to three minutes. You are swimming against the tide if you don't pay attention to these things.

Remember, radio stations play your music, your songs to make money. No one else is going to play your music unless they can make money.  A singer / songwriter can get away with meandering, poorly thought out, mediocre songs or lyrics at a late night gig in coffee shops or among friends and family.  But those kind of songs simply will not cut it for drive time radio. Decide what your market is and go for it. But be clear they are two different markets.


john morrison

one question Gary who plays the new songs ? the ones not put out by a named artist or someone on a label  with pushers behind them . as you point out the radio stations play records to bring in listeners  apart from the obvious youtube driven stars . most of the over night success stories . have been doing the rounds for years   PO



Gary Orphey

Hey John, the subject matter was about crafting 'Radio Ready' time songs. I don't see anything I said that would imply that new songs are not sung all over the place in hope of recogntion and being picked up by and or promoted on the radio. Performers singer / songwriters do that all the time, for years as you say.

In most cases if a song done be these performers is not 'radio friendly'  and competitive in the 'money making' marketsplace they simply do not make radio play on major stations at drive time. Maybe some some local stations will give a person a break. Who knows?

Thanks for your comment

john morrison


thanks for the reply . in our area . BBC Bristol gives a lot of unsigned and local talent a slot every day new comers will have their record played .

one such new comes was a young man named George Ezra .  not to long ago don't know if you have heard him but he is doing ok



Charlie Resseguie
Gary, I appreciate the things you have put up, thank you for your thoughts to. Charlie at ccmusic