The "NASHVILLE BAR"

                                                                                              "The NASHVILLE BAR."


When writers and artists start getting into songwriting in a more realistic and competitive way, traveling to Nashville, getting on web sites, learning the realities, they start to hear a term, "the Nashville Bar." What does that mean? Well aside from the clubs and bars that us writers hang out in, there is a very real term that speaks to the QUALITY OF SONGS AND SONGWRITERS. But what does that mean?

When you hear songs like  "House that Built Me", "Live Like You Were Dying", "I had Moments." "I Drive your Truck."
What was it that set those songs above other songs written about the same subjects? What would "Pros" write verses "Amateurs or new writers?"

Probably that most amateur writers would write:

"I miss that house I grew up in, I visted there and everything had changed and it is all terrible!"
"Oh no, I am dying!!! I have so much to live for.... poor poor pitiful me...."
"The poor homeless man on the corner is so sad and was caused by corporate greed and the Evil MAN! Who came after him..."
"The evil American politicians sent my brother to war and he got killed BRING DOWN THE MAN!!!!!!"


That is the difference in the average song, and the NASHVILLE BAR. The really great songs will state what we know or have seen before a million times but express it in a totally different way. It will find something ELEVATING out of even the hardest subject. And it will be something that EVERYONE who hears it, every time it is performed, will have people remembering and talking about it. It will transcend time. Many of those songs were around for years before getting cut. But they persevered and fought their way to the top of the heap.
We hear the phrases "Up Tempo and Positive" all the time but it is really more, "Mid tempo and NOT SO NEGATIVE!!!!"

Pro writers will find the "Rope of Hope" in it, whereas amateurs, who are usually only thinking about themselves, will focus on the negative. They will find the darker side in everything. The problem with that is two fold. First, people ALREADY have the DARK SIDE. They live in a world with bad economies, broken hearts and relationships, never enough money, never having enough time, life often going against them. Even those who have reasonably happy lives, established businesses, happy family lives, realatively stable existances, seem to think they need to write the DEPRESSING stuff to "be taken seriously. NONSENSE. IF everyone has their OWN PAIN and SUFFERING, they DON'T NEED YOURS!!!!!

It is because amateurs and newer writers WRITE FOR THEMSELVES. To hear themselves talk. To hear what THEY HAVE TO SAY.
Professionals write songs THE WORLD WANTS TO HEAR. They write for the benefit of others. Be it artists, producers, labels, publishers, or the GENERAL LISTENING PUBLIC.

"Nashville written" songs like those, stand out in any crowd and make people say "THAT IS THE WAY A SONG SHOULD HAVE BEEN WRITTEN!"
Now every song can't be those. And every song doesn't have to be about weighty subjects, they can be about fun. "PONTOON" would be a great idea. Again. something probably everyone has seen, those Pontoon boats, lulling around the river. But Little Big Town turned into a floating party barge, that everyone wants to be on. The musical groove, is moving just like those motors,just cruising along.
That is the Nashville bar also. Something that totally mesmerizes the audience, keeping them interested and wanting to hear it over and over again.

That is the "Nashville bar."

Essentially it is a song that just hits you hard. Well written, incredibly visual, that makes it's point and pulls you along. Every line has "meat" in it, that has the listener seeing the video in their mind's eye.
THEN, it has to do that to people who have competing songs. Far from the "Someone's stealing my song" nonsense, those songs are so well written, so well developed, so engaging, that EVERYONE admits it. Other writers, who can quote lines to you and want to come up to find out more about you. That introduce you to people and say "This is the guy who wrote that song I was telling you about.." The standouts on artists, that make people applaud and give amazing deference to. It's the song everyone wishes they had written.
It's the song that illustrates everything that sets Nashville apart from every other place as the repository of SONGWRITING.
It is above the normal song. And above the NORMAL WRITER. There are HIT SONGS for a REASON.

The duty of every wanna be, newbie and amateur is to FIND THOSE REASONS AND WRITE TO THAT.

THAT IS THE NASHVILLE BAR.

MAB

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