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Hey guys. My name is J. Gray. I'm a worship music songwriter/producer. Thanks for checking out my post. It's great to be here and I look forward to this discussion. I know we're all very busy and I want to respect your time. So, I'll get straight to the point.

This network is for Christian songwriters and although, I think it's cool that it includes this forum for "Recording Help & Tips," I'd like to submit to you that doing your own recording/producing isn't always the best use of your time, talent and energy.

In 1 Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul does a great job of explaining the power of understanding who you are and how you function in the church. He uses the analogy of our bodies to explain how we all need each other. The whole thing comes to a climax when he emphasizes his point by asking,

"If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?"

The thing is, since you've joined this particular network I have to assume that you see yourself as a songwriter. But, what does that actually mean? The reason I ask is because, just like our bodies, the process of songwriting has many parts. The major parts are:


Then, when it comes to the process of taking a song from a simple idea to a completed product (or service, depending upon who you ask) there is yet another set of steps. They are:
So, what's my point? Let me put it this way. I think it's VERY IMPORTANT for all of us to understand what we do well and what our weak areas are. That's the only way we can hope to make meaningful, productive connections with others.

Take me, for example. I've been very blessed to have gained some experience in the areas of congregational worship leading, audio engineering, and music production. So, those are my strengths. That's what I bring to the table. If you'd like to hear some samples of my production work, please visit my SoundCloud page at:


Now, when it comes to lyric writing, I consider myself a newbie. Of coarse, I'm constantly studying and practicing the craft, but I wouldn't say it's my strongest attribute. So, that's why I've joined this network and others. I'm looking for PROLIFIC LYRICISTS to partner with; people who will compliment my strengths with their own.

With that said, I leave you with some humble advice.

  1. Have a clear vision for what you want to do with your songs. Is songwriting a version of your personal journal? Is it simply a therapeutic way for you to process your thoughts and emotions? Or, are you trying to build a successful career as a published songwriter?
  2. Be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses. One of the best ways of giving yourself a reality check is to compare your work with the work of your "heroes." I know that sounds scary but it's a great way to discover how well you're actually doing.
  3. Seek out collaborating partners whose strengths compliment yours. This is what you call, "playing your strengths." For example, let's say that you're a genius at writing powerful lyrics with great melodies. Great! So, why not focus all your energy there? Then, use those great lyrics and melodies to attract co-writing partners who are good at harmony, song form, and instrumentation. Once you have a handful of great demos, use them to attract new people to help with recording, producing, etc.
Hey guys, I'm so grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. I hope it encourages you as you continue your songwriting journey and I look forward to reading your feedback.

Best Regards,
J. Gray
Ghastly things, opinions. Here is one of mine. Smile

I think you raised interesting questions. To me music is a performance art, and a musical artist is someone who is generally expected to perform music. Okay, so maybe you-tube is a major vehicle for a certain artist. I don't mean to limit "how" that happens.

But I've heard a common complaint from some publishers and producers. (Eric Copeland for instance) about writers that don't write, artists that don't perform, etc. It's kinda weird and I confess that it happens to me too if I let it. Its absurdly easy to be distracted by a zillion other things related to music. So, my thinking here is not whether its good or bad to record/produce yourself, but whether we're putting first things first and accomplishing whatever it is that we've said is our own particular musical goal. We can each only answer for ourselves though.

DAWS to me are immensely powerful, but also immensely powerful time sucks. If I spent hours a day recording and mixing (which I think more engineers agree is required to compete at the top level) that's very cool and noble - but clearly that is also time that I didn't spend on other skills. Vocals to me make a good illustration of the point because (it seems to me) the most important musical instrument sometimes gets the least practice and development. Not meaning to get off topic though.

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