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

Songwriting advice from #1 hit writers!

Tips & Resources by Brent Baxter, Pro Songwriter on January 14, 2019

Here's golden advice from some #1 hit songwriters.

Jimmy Yeary's Lee Brice hit, "I Drive Your Truck" was awarded Song of the Year honors at the 47th annual Country Music Association Awards, as well as Song of the Year at the 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards. More recently, he landed another chart-topper with David Lee Murphy and Kenny Chesney's "Everything's Gonna Be Alright."

Chris Lindsey is a Grammy-nominated songwriter and producer, and his cuts include "Amazed" by Lonestar, "Every Time I Hear That Song" by Blake Shelton, as well as cuts by Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, The Civil Wars and more.

Jimmy and Chris were recent guests on's "Know The Row," and they shared some great, real-world advice for songwriters.  Here's some of what they had to say.
Read on!

Here is a bit of Jimmy Yeary’s advice (paraphrased):

You don’t necessarily need to write with the artist. It certainly helps, but the right song can overcome that. I’m a firm believer that the best song wins.

If I write with an artist, I generally let that artist lead and guide. Nobody knows what the artist wants to say better than the artist.

If I feel the emotion of the song, you (the listener) will feel it. If I don’t feel it, you won’t either.

It’s really important to be yourself- to do what YOU do. Expose that to other people and let them decide if the value you bring is something they want. And it helps to be a writer that people want to be around.

I go through a ritual every day to get my brain revved up. Reading, vigorous exercise and brain exercises get me ready to write. I can’t just wake up, hop in the truck and go write.

Get going early. Bring in ideas so you can find the idea quickly.  Then you have more time to work on the song.

Here is a bit of Chris Lindsey’s advice (paraphrased):

You need to be writing edgy material, because it could be 6-8 years out from hitting the radio. “Every Time I Hear That Song” was 6 years old when it went #1 for Blake Shelton.

However honest you can be with yourself about your songs, that’s how far you can go in the music business. It’s key to honestly evaluate yourself and your music. Be vicious with yourself.

When you work with artists, you’re really trying to assist them.

If it’s not working, try something different- different cowriters, different style of writing, etc.

Songwriters tend to be precious with their songs- their babies. But if a producer passes on a song, it’s not personal. Your song just isn’t what they need at that time for that project.

If you'd like to hear EVERYTHING Chris and Jimmy had to share, the full video replay is available in Frettie's Member Area.  It's right there along with full video replays of other events with hit songwriters, Byron Hill & Kenna West, music publisher Scot Sherrod, artist/writer Aaron Goodvin, and more.

Also, I have a really cool event coming up. On February 5, I'm hosting a "Know The Row" event with multi-hit music publisher, Matt Lindsey. This is your chance to hang out online and ask YOUR questions to a real music publisher.  Matt has secured cuts by artists including Garth Brooks, George Strait, Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney, Willie Nelson and more!

This is YOUR chance to sit down face-to-face (online) with a real-deal music publisher, and I hope you won't let it slip away.

Here's the best part: this event is FREE for Frettie subscribers! So if you're already a Frettie subscriber, you'll receive an invitation to the event. If you aren't already a Frettie subscriber... what are you waiting for?


Matt Lindsey KtR

God bless,


Request your invite to Frettie.
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