Songwriting Tips and Techniques (Ep.1) Podcast

John Swaim

01 Songwriting Tips and Techniques to Write Better Songs from John Swaim

John Swaim in Backwoods Recording StudioFeaturing Special Guest: John Swaim
Singer • Songwriter from Nashville, TN

In this session of the Backwoods Recording Studio Podcast John Swaim shares his songwriting tips and techniques accumulated over 20+ years as a successful songwriter and artist.  John authored the song “Walk on the Rocks” which was recorded by Country Music Star Alan Jackson and can be found on the “Everything I Love” CD, which sold over 3 million copies. John’s songs were also recorded by Legacy Five (Gospel), The Little River Band (Pop), Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver (Bluegrass). You can find out more about John and his songwriting career at


More specifically, in this session #1 you’ll find out from John:

  1. His Primary approach when creating a song. Life event? Inspiration? Does the music come first or the lyric?
  2. Staying disciplined. How do you, as an independent songwriter stay discipline to complete what you started? “By The Book” Written by John Swaim and Tony Ray.
  3. Creating a successful song by bringing it back to the main idea and  staying  focused on what the song is about.
  4. Keeping people wanting more when listening to your song.  John’s Carpenters Shoes CD. “The Truth” Written by John Swaim.
  5. Co-Writing with other writers. “Gone” Written by John Swaim, Tony Ray & Tammy Vice.
  6. The importance of Melody vs. Lyrics. Example: I Will Always Love You
  7. Staying inspired to finish the project.
  8. Rhythmic identity, timing, beat and its importance. Communicating with the co- writer who’s writing the music.
  9. Common mistakes for songwriters and how to avoid them.  John shares how his song was picked up and published by major artist,  Alan Jackson. “Walk on the Rocks” Written by John Swaim: Recorded by Alan Jackson. Performed by John himself.
  10. How important are the facts when writing a song? Do your research!

Resources Mentioned in This Podcast

Performing rights organizations (PRO) are companies that track and collect your royalties from radio airplay.(performance royalties).

Unwritten rules about how to get a song recorded.

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Song Writing Tips and Techniques continued in (Ep.2)