Song Tip Tuesday #26 – What type of songwriter are you? – Part 3

In Part 3 of What type of songwriter are you? we will continue to explore the different types of songwriters that you could be. In Part 1 we assumed that for the most part songwriters write songs that come from the heart. The writers who fall into this category are either singer-songwriters or writers who have other performers sing their songs for them. They write to tell their truth through their songs. In Part 2 we looked at songwriters who have honed their craft to be able to write a song on assignment about any subject, a skillset that can be lucrative but takes dedication to perfect.

The next group of songwriters have similar skills to on-assignment songwriters, but they also have the ability to write specifically for a trend. The goal of these pro songwriters is to get their song recorded by a big hit pop star. Their carefully studied ability allows them to sense the musical and lyrical trends that are currently in fashion. They write songs that fit these trends with the hope that the songs can attract vast amounts of listeners.

This specialized area of songwriting takes many hours of research to recognize what is popular. It also takes a deep understanding of songwriting to translate these findings into song.


  • The success rate for this type of song placement is slim. I often refer to it as ‘like playing the lottery’.
  • Songwriting for trends can be very frustrating because trends quickly change, and the business of music, with industry politics, tend to be involved in the decision making of whether or not an artist cuts a song.
  • It is also very difficult to be current and ahead of the curve at the same time.
  • Professional songwriters, who write these amazing hit songs, are also quite aware that there is always a near and impending danger because if their song has any imitation of even the smallest fragment of an established style, it reveals itself.

In Part 4 of What type of songwriter are you? we will talk about the musical theatre songwriter and the many masters a musical theatre song has to answer to to be successful.

The art of writing is rewriting. Randy Klein