Are you a songwriter who wants to get feedback on your songs?

Frettie's an exclusive community for songwriters to get feedback on their music and connect with other songwriters and industry professionals. Hundreds of songwriters from all over the world use Frettie and you should too. Frettie's a growing community and we're currently accepting new songwriters. Join today!

Join The Community

Stay Connected

Stay Informed

Get the latests updates on Frettie, and other songwriting tips delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe to our emails below.


Our Advertisers

An awesome & helpful podcast for singers, songwriters & indie artists like YOU!

The Frettie Journal
A collection of interviews, updates, tips and resources for songwriters.

How do you know when your song is done?

Tips & Resources by Brent Baxter, Pro Songwriter on September 26, 2018

So how do you know when your song is really done?

My usual joking answer is, "when it's shrink-wrapped at Wal-Mart." Of course, that's not true. And it's also a dated joke, so let's dive into the question.

First of all, it's really a subjective answer as to when your song is "done." There have been a bunch of songs that ended up on the radio in which the songwriter still sees flaws. Are those songs done? I guess so. At least, the songwriter probably isn't going to bother making any more changes. After all... why?

Sometimes songs are done because you're simply done with them. You've moved on. I could probably go back and improve many of my older songs. But most of them aren't worth it. Either the idea isn't that great, or I'm just not interested in the song anymore. You could call those done, too. Your best songs are in front of you.

But assuming you've just finished a draft or a re-write of your song. Is it done? Ultimately, it's a question only you, as the songwriter, can answer. But here are some questions to ask yourself when you're not sure if the song is really finished. Actually, these are questions you should ask yourself even if you ARE sure your song is really finished. (Please note that each of these are for songs written to be commercially successful. If you're only writing for yourself, some of these may not be relevant.)

1. Does the song move me? Does it make you feel something, or is it just an interesting thought? A song doesn't have to always move you to tears, but it should cause some sort of emotional response in you. A laugh, a tear, optimism, whatever. If your own song doesn't even move you, it's probably not going to move anyone else.

2. Do I have a very clear understanding of what I'm trying to communicate in this song? If you don't know what you're talking about, if your own thoughts are still muddy and uncertain, there is no chance - zero - that you're communicating clearly with your audience.

3. Is this song relevant for my target market / genre / artist? It doesn't matter if your song is a delicious hamburger if you're trying to sell it to a vegan. Your music, idea, lyric, etc. have to be appropriate for your target. If you're not sure what is appropriate for your market, you need to do your homework. Listen to the biggest artists in that market. Study, study, study.

4. Are there confusing lines in my song? This is where you have to beware of "the curse of knowledge." That's when you know what you're talking about, but your lyric doesn't reflect it. You overlook confusing lines because you automatically fill in the blanks from your mind. But the listener isn't in your mind and can't fill in those blanks. Try to focus only on what's actually on the page. Does it clearly communicate what you want to say?

5. Is the melody fun to sing? If you want someone else to sing your song, it should be enjoyable to sing. The words and phrasing should fit the melody comfortably. If your song doesn't sing well, it probably won't get sung.

6. Are there weak lines in my song? You want to avoid obvious, vague, and cliche' lines in your lyric. These just aren't interesting, and they don't feel real and sincere. Dig deeper. Find a more interesting way to say it. Add imagery. Paint the picture in more detail. Keep the listener's attention.

These are just a few questions to help you figure out of your song is as good as it could be. There are others, but this should get you started. Print this list and keep it in your writing space. Then add your own questions in the spaces below.





I'd love to hear what YOU would add to this list! Please leave a comment here or where you see it on social media. Thanks!

If you found this blog post helpful, you'll love my FREE e-book, "Think Like A Pro Songwriter." It's a quick, easy read, and it reveals valuable I-learned-it-the-hard-way-so-you-don't-have-to tips to help you succeed at the art, craft and business of songwriting. You can download it at

Think Pro

God bless,


Request your invite to Frettie.
comments powered by Disqus