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3 Most Important Qualities of a Hit Songwriter

What are the three most important qualities of a hit songwriter?

Every profession has its key qualities that make a person successful, and songwriting is no different.

You might think musical talent tops the list of what makes a successful songwriter, but you'd be mistaken.

Many songwriters have little musical ability at all, can barely sing, don't play an instrument, can't read sheet music, and don't write music notation.

So what are the top three most important qualities of a hit songwriter, if it's not talent or musical ability?

#1 Number One Most Important Quality to make a Hit Songwriter Perseverance

Without a doubt the most important quality for a successful hit songwriter to have is a strong sense of perseverance. Grit.

Talent? Overrated.

With perseverance a person can build talent where there was once none. All it takes is what Chet Holmes calls pigheaded discipline and determination.

Perseverance will see a person doing the work that others will fail to do, or see through.

And at the end of the day, success in songwriting is like success at anything else. You have to work at it regularly to see results.

#2 Number Two Most Important Quality to make a Hit Songwriter Work Ethic

Work ethic not talent is the second most important quality for hit songwriter success.

Like perseverance, work ethic is the grit to out work, out read, out write, out develop your more talented but perhaps lazy peers.

My dad was an incredible example of work ethic, bordering on compulsion.

That's the kind of mind set that makes for highly successful creative people - perhaps unbalanced, sure, at times.

But with proper guidance and personal / family boundaries, work ethic is a very important success quality for hit songwriters to cultivate.

#3 Number Three Most Important Quality to make a Hit Songwriter Open Mindedness

Talent didn't even make the top three list on the most important qualities for a hit songwriter.

There may be hope for me yet, you may be thinking.

All joking aside, so many creative people hold themselves back out of fear or lack of confidence.

My dad believed that anybody, anybody can learn to be a songwriter if you are willing to practice and work at it.

Having an open mind is a key quality for success because it helps you to be creative, to take risks and challenge yourself in ways that pay off in high rewards of personal satisfaction and provides hints to help you along the way...

...if you're open minded enough to recognize and receive them.


Being a successful hit songwriter doesn't require a lot of specialized knowledge about music, but rather builds on a strong desire to communicate one's uniqueness.

Therefore, the three most important qualities for hit songwriters are: perseverance, work ethic, and open mindedness.

The rest will take care of itself in due time if you start now.


Know Your Biz To Grow Your Music Business Online Workshop, Thursday, March 26 6pm CDT and available for video viewing. Register here >>

version of the workshop presented at Americana Fest

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