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Learn the art, craft & business of songwriting from hit songwriter, Brent Baxter!

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

Turn A Negative Title Into A Positive Song!

Tips & Resources by Brent Baxter, Pro Songwriter on April 25, 2018

Commercially-speaking, positive songs are in higher demand than negative songs. (That’s not a surprise if you listen to the radio.)  But what if most of the titles and ideas you come up with are sad/negative? Well, then... I humbly suggest you turn a negative title into a positive idea.

I believe that most titles that sounds negative can be used for a positive song if you’re creative enough.

And if you want to be better songwriter, your job is definitely to be “creative enough.”

Here’s an example. “You Broke My Heart” could mean “You Broke My Heart out of it’s chains, You Broke My Heart of stone wide open so I could love again.” “I Hate You” could be a love song about how “I Hate You took so long to come into my life. I Hate You didn’t grow up next door so I could’ve loved you since I was a kid, etc.”
Same negative titles, new positive angles.

I had an old idea called, “Minutes From A Memory” about a guy that knew his girl was about to leave him and become a memory.  Thankfully, my cowriter, Jason Cox, saw it as a guy knowing he and his girl are about to make a great memory.

That’s so much more commercial! As a matter of fact, my publisher at the time liked it enough to pay for a demo of it and pitch it around. That’s a positive result of a positive spin!

I confess to being a negative-first kind songwriter. Maybe pain just just more interesting.  Who knows? But I’ve really worked on not settling for a negative idea just because it’s my first impression of the title.  Not only are those negative-title-positive-songs more commercial because they’re positive, they’re also more interesting because you have to dig deeper into your idea and twist it more than most writers will.  That’a win-win!

Dig deeper. Turn some of your negative titles into positive ideas. Try it. If you don’t like the results, you can always go back to your original angles. There’s nothing to lose, but a whole lot to gain!

Speaking of having a whole lot to gain, here's a great opportunity for you.

On May 24, I'm hosting Frettie's quarterly "Know The Row" event with multi-hit songwriter, Jimmy Yeary. Jimmy's a writer on the CMA and ACM Song of the Year, "I Drive Your Truck" as well as #1 hits for Kenny Chesney, Jake Owen, Rascal Flatts and more. This is YOUR opportunity to connect face-to-face with a hit songwriter and ask him YOUR questions! And since it's an online event, it doesn't matter where in the world you live. And the best news is...

"Know The Row" with Jimmy Yeary is FREE for Frettie subscribers!

If you're on Team Frettie, you get free access to each of Frettie's "Know The Row" events, as well as exclusive access to a ton of other great songwriting resources and events, including replays of previous "Know The Row" events.


If you aren't ready to take advantage of all the great membership advantages of Frettie, you can still buy a ticket.


Jimmy Yeary poster

God bless,


PS- Thanks for stopping by Frettie! I appreciate it. As a matter of fact, I want to give you a special little something just for your visit. It's my FREE ebook "Think Like A Pro Songwriter," 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

Request your invite to Frettie.
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