Tag Archive for: Alan Jackson

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I want you to climb.

I want you to succeed.

As per your many requests, I am happy to FINALLY announce that I have another way for artists and songwriters to consume the information I share in the form of a new podcast called “The C.L.I.M.B.”.


This new podcast is LIVE and available for download now. (of course, it’s no charge so ENJOY!)


Leverage The Climb FeatureIf you read my blog, you already know I’m a bit of a podcast geek. You’ve heard me quote many of my favorite podcasts including Tim Ferris and Tai Lopez in my weekly articles. I really believe in keeping my finger on the pulse of inspirational, motivational, and educational content for my own soul. Of course, I LOVE sharing this energy with you.


Why “The C.L.I.M.B.”? Well, it’s an acronym which stands for “Creating Leverage In the Music Business.” And that’s our goal – to help indie artists and songwriters like YOU create leverage, which is is defined as “strategic advantage; power to act effectively.


Yes, you read that right, I said “our”. huh?

The Climb Man vs Row


To help me spread the gospel, so-to-speak, I am thrilled to announce my co-host and  hit songwriter Brent Baxter. Brent has written hits for multi-platinum artists like Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, and more. Brent is the founder of Man vs. Row (I often share his awesome “Wordplay Thursday” interactive blog for my songwriters and you devout readers will recognize a few guest posts on my site) which helps songwriters turn pro by teaching the art, the craft, and the business of songwriting. You can find Brent at ManvsRow.com so reach out and say HELLO!

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Brent and I will take turns guiding each episode. Brent’s episodes will focus on songwriting and music publishing business – areas he knows  all too well from his years in the music business as a songwriter.


My episodes will be aimed at helping indie artists with marketing, understanding the music business, production, creative development, etc. Naturally, I’ll focus more on the artist side of things.


Brent and I aim to bring you a ton of value with each episode, and I hope you’ll check it out. The first 5 episodes are LIVE NOW on iTunes and Stitcher. Please subscribe and download ALL the available episodes today. We want to hit iTunes “New and Noteworthy” so more people will see the podcast and we can help the most people possible so please SHARE it if the content resonates with you.


PLEASE take a second and leave a rating and review if you like what you hear.


Here are the links:



If you don’t have iTunes, you can listen to the podcast on our website TheClimbShow.com


Thanks for taking the time, it really means a lot to me.


I LOVE the way we sign off on each episode, “We’ll see you at the top!”






Johnny D.


Songwriting Advice Hit Songwriter Feature image

Now, I certainly don’t know everything about songwriting and how to get cuts- if I did, I’d be writing a song on a beach somewhere right now.  But I have been blessed to land a top 5 country hit in the US (“Monday Morning Church” by Alan Jackson) and a #1 country hit in Canada Songwriter Advice Rolling Stone(“When Your Lips Are So Close,” by Gord Bamford) and several other cuts by artists such as Lady Antebellum, Randy Travis, Joe Nichols, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens and others along the way.


I’ve had just enough success and more than enough failure to learn a few things. Today, I’d like to share a bit of what I’ve learned so you can hopefully have some of the same successes and avoid some of the same failures.



Don’t try to import sand to the beach.

Songwriting Advice Sand


If your songs are doing what everyone else’s songs are doing, nobody has a reason to cut your songs.  Be bold.  Be innovative.  Give the artist a reason to cut a song that comes from outside their established relationships.





Your team matters- build it wisely.

It’s been said that you are the average of your five closest associates.  Make sure that those closest to you are people who will lift you up.  What

Songwriting Advice Choose Your Side License Elias Malaquias

Photo: Elias Malaquias

you want is a team you can rise WITH to be successful, not a team you have to rise ABOVE to be successful.








Get to know as many decision-makers as possible.

Songwriting Advice children Friendships



The story of a cut is often the story of relationships. The more (and deeper) relationships you have with decision makers in the business, the better chance you have of getting cuts.





Enjoy the journey.

If you want to “go pro,” be prepared for a marathon, not a sprint.  You have to enjoy every mile.  If you don’t have an attitude of gratitude and Songwriting Advice Marathoncelebration along the way- if you delay gratification until you get your first #1 – you’ll likely burn out and quit long before you get there.  Work hard, do the hard things, but make sure you enjoy yourself.





Be intentional.

Songwriting Advice Intention License Julie Jordan Scott

Photo: Julie Jordan Scott



If you enjoy songwriting, it’s easy to get caught up in playing – writing with whomever comes along, demoing whatever song tickles your fancy, and pitching sporadically.  You need to be intentional.  You need to have a purpose to your actions.  Otherwise, you could end up being like an octopus on roller skates- there’s a lot of activity, but it isn’t getting anywhere.



Songwriting Advice Choose






Choose your song ideas carefully.


Don’t just write the first idea that pops into your head or the first one your cowriter throws out.  Without having analysis paralysis, try to write the best idea you can find- the idea best suited to help you achieve your goals.




Be patient, but not lazy.

Songwriting Advice Make Haste Slowly

You have a long journey ahead of you.  You need to pace yourself so you don’t burn out or get too frustrated too early.  But you also have to be persistent.  Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re being patient when you’re just being lazy.  You can’t ONLY wait for good things to come to you – you have to get out there and work.



Watch your money.Songwriting Advice Watch Your Money

Keep a modest lifestyle.  Keep your overhead low so you can afford to take a low-paying publishing deal (if that fits your goals).  Save money for when you’re between publishing deals.  And if you get a hit, don’t spend it.  Save and invest the royalties.  Cash in on the street cred a hit gives you, so you can get more hits.





Write with a future-focus.

Songwriting Advice Future License K Rupp

Photo: K Rupp



Country music of today isn’t the country music of the 1990’s, or even of the 2000’s.  What is “commercial” evolves, and if you don’t pay attention, you’ll look up from your guitar one day to realize everything you’re writing sounds dated.




Music is not God.Songwriting Advice Pablo Picasso Quote

Music is a wonderful companion, a thrilling career, and a gift from God.  But music is NOT your god.  If you let it be an idol- if you make it into a god- it will become a demon.  It can break up your marriage, destroy you financially, and turn you into a self-centered jerk.  Music is an incredible thing, but it’s not meant to be your everything.





Songwriting Advice The Dream is Free




Thanks.  I hope you find this helpful.  If you want to read more of my songwriting tips, check out my blog at manvsrow.com.


God Bless,





This was a guest post from my good friend and hit songwriter, Brent Baxter. Thank you Brent. Stay Tuned for our upcoming podcast The C.L.I.M.B. (Creating Leverage In the Music Business).

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PS: If you haven’t already downloaded my free Music Marketing On Twitter book, please enjoy it on me. Go to GiftFromJohnny.com put  in your name and tell us where to send it. It’ll teach you how to get 1,000 new targeted followers every month for just 15 minutes per day.



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