It can be tough to know where to start with your songs. Once you’ve started, there may still be parts you get stuck on.
Many people think that they need to have a special talent or be born with natural ability in order to write songs… But that's just not the case!
Songwriting is a skill that can be learned, and Connor Frost is here to show you how.
In this episode of the Bandhive Podcast, Connor discusses some of the most common roadblocks songwriters face and offers his advice on how to overcome them.
Listen now to hear Connor’s recommendations for songwriters who are struggling to complete their songs!
What you’ll learn:
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#80: Setting Your Goals for Success | Connor Frost of Dizzy Bats
#100: Ten Albums That Hit Us Right in the Feels
#111: Effectively Managing Your Band's Releases, Tours, and More
#112: Copyright and Intellectual Property Basics for Bands
Welcome to episode 115 of the Bandhive podcast.
It is time for the episode of the Bandhive podcast. My name is James Cross and I'm not here with Matt Hoos of Alive in Barcelona, but I'm very pleased to welcome back Connor Frost of Dizzy Bats for the second time.
Connor was previously with us on episode 80 back in june or july of 2021 that was called setting your goals for success. Connor, frost of dizzy bats. How are you doing today? Connor? I am doing well, James, it's really good to be back here. We are both in the great state of Vermont's. So yeah, I I'm really excited to get into it. Yeah, man, it's a pleasure to have you back and you know, we hadn't met before when we did the last episode and then you moved to Vermont and we've hung out a bunch of times and we're planning a trip to Alaska and knock on wood that the great panini sorts itself out and doesn't foil our plans or should I say grill our plans, I guess.
Something like that. Grill grill our plans. Yes, that is, that is accurate, yeah, so here's to the Green Mountain State, which is currently the White Mountain State, but that's new Hampshire's name. So we can't take it either way. Welcome back. Good to have you here, man, and get to hear that. You're enjoying your time in Vermont. Even though it's a frigid this week. Yeah. As long as you never leave the house, it's it's quite nice. And that has been my story probably for the last, probably for the last two weeks, I would say, you know, other than getting Certain necessities like sustenance.
But yeah, it's, you know, it's beautiful here. I've really enjoyed, I really enjoyed living here and it's, yeah, and it's been cool, cool hanging out with you as well over these months. Yeah, agreed. And you know, as somebody on Tiktok said, as they were scraping off their car, we don't have hurricanes, we don't have alligators, we don't have earthquakes. This is true, yes. We did have an earthquake once here like 10 years ago, but it didn't do any damage. So, I mean, whatever. Anyway, we're not here to talk about how amazing Vermont is and why it's the best state in the, in the country.
We're here to talk about songwriting before we get into it. Aside from being in dizzy bats for the last couple of years, you've been working with songwriters to help them record and release their first album. And we're going to talk about that today and specifically why some songwriters are having trouble finishing songs that they start Before we jump in. Do you want to just give a little uh a little more information for people who didn't listen to episode 80 about who you are and what you do? Yeah, that that was a pretty good synopsis.
So I play in a band called Dizzy bats have been doing that for the last decade, which is crazy to think about. And yeah, aside from that, I am a mentor, a professional mentor who helps songwriters to write and release their first album or single so that they can effectively start their artists journey. So, I work with songwriters who are just beginning with songwriting. Maybe they are totally new to the art form. I also work with a lot of more seasoned songwriters who are just having trouble finishing those songs and taking that next step to actually get it out into the world.
And people kind of exist between those, those two markers as well. So yeah, it's all about getting those songs in some sort of concrete and tangible form and then releasing it out into the world. So, I help help songwriters do that. I like that you said tangible form because that means copyright. So, if anyone's curious about that, I believe it was episode 112 which you can find at Bandhive dot rocks slash 112. That's the numbers 112, we go into a little bit about intellectual property and trademark and copyright and all that kind of stuff.
And that is one of the things for copyright is it needs to be in a tangible form, if it's in your head, people can steal it if it's on paper or in a voice note demo, they can't. Anyway, Connor, let's jump into it here. And I think you had four main points where people get stuck with their music that you wanted to talk about. Yeah, absolutely. So I'm happy to list them. Kind of just run it off or we can kind of I can start with one and then we can discuss it.
What, how would you like me to proceed? I would say let's go for them in series. So we'll we'll keep the others a mystery until we get to them. Okay, fair enough. So number one is you are probably having trouble transitioning between sections. So, for example, maybe you've written a verse and you just can't figure out how to get into the chorus. Maybe you have a chorus and you can't figure out how to get into that second or third verse. So you're just getting, you're getting caught up in how to go between the sections.
That is number one? Yeah. And so when you're working with songwriters and they have that trouble, what kind of tips do you give them to figure out those transitions? So the first tip that I give him and this is kind of a general mindset thing, is that you don't have to figure everything out at that present moment, right? So if you have a verse and you have a chorus and you're having trouble with that transition, that's really okay, because you can always go back once you kind of get to the end of the song, Look back, see what had worked, see what didn't work.
And you're able to kind of pinpoint where you need to address the situation. So it can be a tough thing to wrap your head around. But I would say if you're having trouble the transition, kind of just go through it, put together some sort of placeholder and then get to the end of the song, then you can go back and kind of figure it out. I don't think that not being able to figure out a transition at that moment in time should be a reason to derail the song altogether, Especially if it's an idea that you're excited about which a lot of times it can be.
Yeah, so I guess kind of like if you're taking a test and there's a tough question, you just skip to the easy one later and then come back to that tough one, because that way at least you get 90% of the way there and then you can tackle the more difficult parts at the end. That's a great analogy and I think it goes beyond that as well, you know, because if you get to the end of the song, certain things might happen along the way that can better inform you on how to address that transition you're having trouble with, right?
So I think there's something to be said about writing through the muck and just kind of getting to the end and then addressing that, that transition at a later time. But yeah, that's, that's a great, that's a great analogy and it's, and it's not to say that these transitions aren't important. They absolutely are. But I would argue that getting the parts of the song finalized, like the verse, like the chorus, like the bridge, having the soul of the song piece together even if it's messy is the more important thing to address.
Um at the onset. Yeah, I like that you brought up there is kind of like a learning experience as you're going through the song and then you realize, hey, you know what this will fit here. Like just that kind of the moment where it clicks I guess is what you're saying, right? Absolutely. And it might not even happen within that song, right? It might be the next song that you start writing and the transition that you come up with for that song ends up being a transition that you can use for the song that you were having trouble with.
And so I think it can be really challenging, but to really just power through a lot of those tough moments like the transitions so that you can get that clarity and then revisit it at a later time. I like that the Franken song. Yeah. The way I see it is like you can almost think of it as you don't need to put pressure on yourself to write full songs in that exact moment in time. Right? You, it's almost like you have this open canvas, you have these song ideas that are hopefully from start to finish in some sort of form.
But it's been very common for me as a songwriter to take ideas that I've had from other songs and yeah, frank and stein them into other songs if I felt like they were better fit. So absolutely. I think that's a big part of song writing. I like it. That's great. And before we jump to the next one here to number two. I'm curious how many songs do you write and then decide to scrap. Now? This is different from saying I'm losing interest in the song and you'll see where the segway is going.
But I'm sure you have songs where you just decided, you know what, I'm not feeling this song. But this section is going to go over here and you must have a big backlog of songs that you've decided weren't quote unquote good enough. If you have to say a ratio of like how many songs you put out versus how many you've written. Where would you estimate that? That's a very good question. I would have to, you know, look into the archives and crunch the numbers. But I would say, I don't know, I would guess like maybe 50%.
Don't see the light of day, maybe less. I mean, I'll give an example. So this this last record that Dizzy bats did, which was a couple of years and now go now, which is crazy to think about. We went in with the mindset, we are going to write 13-15 songs and we are going to pick 10. So we actually went in anticipating that we were going to not necessarily dislike, but we were going to get rid of a certain amount of songs because we wanted to an extent, quality over quantity.
And so we knew that we wanted a full length record. We knew that we wanted 10 songs. But we knew that in order to get those 10 songs we would have to potentially overwrite in order to land on 10 songs. So, I think we ended up writing, we went into the studio into preproduction with 13 and then we settled, we settled on 10 in the studio and then we went with those 10 to go into tracking. Yeah, I like that you point out overwriting because what a lot of people, especially artists who are just beginning don't realize is that all of their favorite albums from big name artists, our greatest hits albums, maybe they're not singles, but that artist, if it's a 10 song album, they wrote 15, 20 tracks.
Like there's examples of, I think it's red hot chili peppers where they write like 60 tracks per album and then either they cut it down to 12 or they do Stadium Arcadium and do a double cd because they liked them so much. And that's how all the major artists, right? They do what you're doing is they write more songs than they need knowing that they're going to cut those down. So I think that's a great point and right there we can segue into the second point you had, do you want to jump in on that?
Yeah. So the number two reason why you might uh, not be finishing your songs is that you're becoming less enthusiastic about the song as you get deeper into the songwriting process. And I think there are a few reasons for this one is, I think something that is new and fresh is always going to be the most exciting, right? You get a new guitar, that's the guitar you want to use, You buy a new video game, you probably end up playing that video game for the first two weeks.
And so the thing that is fresh and new is always going to be the thing that is the most exciting. And I think in the beginning there's this excitement around creating and idea, waiting. You know, something from scratch. Like anything goes, you know, any new idea is, is fresh, it's exciting. You can put it anywhere as you get deeper into the song. There are more rules for you to have to fit certain things in to actually get to the end of the song. So you get caught in like the minutia of it a little bit more, right?
So instead of like having an open verse of being like, okay, anything goes here, like what can I create? It sort of becomes alright, I have this structure now, I have to write something to actually fit the structure and potentially it becomes a little less fun depending on on who you are. So the deeper you get into song, it's possible you're becoming less enthusiastic. Also just time, right? The further something is away from you in a time sense, chronological, That's the word I'm looking for in a chronological sense.
The less sort of excited you might be about it. Um definitely, definitely something that's happened with me over the years. Yeah, that makes so much sense. I mean, I think that probably applies to everything in our lives with video games and the new guitar or whatever. It's like you move to a new place like Vermont and you're like, oh, this is so cool. And then after a while you're like, man, it's not cool. It's frigid Yeah, you're like, oh, wow, um negative 30 degrees is a thing that actually exists.
And you're like, what, what did I do? Absolutely. That's that's absolutely a thing. Yeah, exactly. And there's also, like you've explored most of the places that you can explore now, all that kind of stuff to it. It adds up. So I think that's a great point and you know, losing interest kind of sucks because you have this thing that, you know, you're so excited about and then, you know, you're excited about it, but you've lost that interest in it. So how do you handle that in the songwriting situation?
So it takes a lot of it takes a lot of discipline. It takes a lot of self accountability, self management. But I think being very clear on your goals I think is really important, and being very clear on generally what you are trying to work towards, as opposed to work on, right? Because if you say something like, you know, I'm just like trying to be a better songwriter, that's not a bad idea, like more power to you. But if you don't have that specific e. P. That you're working towards, or that specific single that you're hoping to release, then there's nothing to hold you accountable for just continuing to not finish socks.
And so I think getting really clear on your goals and really clear on what I like to call missions, which is what I do with my clients, your missions to help you achieve those goals is really crucial when it comes to getting through this, Not great feeling and actually being able to finish your songs. I like that. I mean, first of all, having a term for it, just saying this is a mission, you're on this mission now. I think that probably makes a psychological change in the people you're working with because they have that idea of like, OK, this is what I gotta do now, this is my focus.
But also talking about goal setting goes back to what we were discussing on episode 80 last year, which, by the way, I didn't say this earlier, but people can find it at Bandhive dot Rocks slash 80. And that really went into how you structure setting up these goals for success. Like you were just saying, having an ep you're working towards or a single or something like that. Now, the next thing that that you were saying, people get stuck on here is lyrics. You want to dive in there.
Yeah, absolutely. So, I have a theory about this, I think that we are hard on ourselves when it comes to lyrics because words are universally understood. I think when we create music instrumentals, we produced beats, whatever it is. You know, you can sort of chalk it up to say, oh well, well it's art, it's meant to be abstract and whatever else. And lyrics, lyrics are obviously also an art form, but I think just subconsciously we put more pressure on ourselves because we think so and so can understand what I'm saying, right?
So, and so can hear how vulnerable I'm being. And it doesn't matter if they don't understand the music, they can still understand the words. And I think we just put pressure on ourselves to either be great lyricists or to make sure that we're communicating the right thing because we're worried about this, that and the other thing. And I think we just we get wrapped up in that a little bit. So definitely lyrics can be a big hang up and is possibly the reason you're not finishing your songs and specifically the second verse in the third verse.
So, I hear this a lot with people who I work with or who are interested in working with me to say, I just can't, I just can't figure out the second verse and to them, I would say maybe try this exercise where you take that second verse, you take that third verse, move it to the first verse, move it to the first verse and then see if you can write a 2nd 1st after you've done that. So, just like a quick little tip there. But yeah, absolutely.
Lyrics are definitely a place where you might be getting stuck. Gotcha. Now, that brings me to another point or another question, I guess before the episode, we were just talking a little bit about songwriting how some artists have structure and some don't and some do sometimes, and not other times, but, you know, I've seen a handful of artists where the second verse is identical to the first verse, but the arrangement is different. Is that something that you work on with your artists as well? I'm a song structure guy.
I guess all I will preface all of this was that I love, I love being able to create something within certain, certain confines. Like I think that's what always makes it a fun and effort. But absolutely, I think that there's a cool balance that can be struck of maintaining the verse in its core form. So like the melody basically, but providing some variety. Obviously when it comes to lyrics as well as instrumental. Right? So kind of a classic thing to do in the pop punk world is the second verse or the third verse.
Maybe, you know, doesn't have guitar playing, right? It's just bass and drums kind of carrying you through. I love that. I don't think it's overplayed. I think it's great. I think it provides this awesome variety and really allows for the vocals to show. So, absolutely. I think um having that balance of, okay, we have a structure within this verse melody. How can we tweak it slightly to progress the song in a forward direction? Yeah, I love that you brought up punk punk there, Like that's such a good example.
Like everybody does that just like drop out the guitars. I mean, there's pop punk records on the wall behind me. So, I mean actually, uh maybe not. I wouldn't call a if I pop punk, not less than jake. There are pop punk records on my walls, but not that wall. Yeah, that's a whole that's a whole other podcast. That's a whole other debate. Yeah, that was episode 100. Okay, happen already. Okay. Oh yeah, that's matt. And I made about 250 references to artists and songs while we were discussing our top 10 personal albums. Each.
Yeah, I feel bad for our editor. He had to drop in every single reference. Sorry, Leland, Anyway, to rate us back on topic out of pop punk land, because I started learning out there. I think that's a great example cutting out the guitars and having just the base and it just, it adds that extra oomph when the chorus hits. That's really what it does, and it changes the dynamics of the song, but keeps it familiar and going back to something else. You said while we were talking about structure versus no structure before the episode was having a hook.
People think of the hook is the chorus because that's how it's viewed in the pop world or the rap world, but you can have a hook at any point in the song. All that means is there's something catchy and there's plenty of songs where the verses, like the catchiest part and then the chorus is like, big, but it's not catchy. Yeah, there there are no there are no rules, you know, per se when it comes to where hooks should be and shouldn't be. But I think having those hooks and not even hooks, but like uh sonic motifs throughout the song is something for me, especially when you're talking about an album is something that's that's really cool and not everyone picks up on it, but I think to just have those anchor points that are, are common throughout, but also subtle in nature.
I think those are like the really cool, really cool things about songwriting that I that I personally love is those little, like those little hints that the songwriters dropping throughout a song or throughout an album. Absolutely, I got to say, and like, I'm not a songwriter, I don't write songs, but from what you say there, I grew up listening to musicals. So there's always the overture and I fight Dragons who is on the wall behind Me, they released an album, jeez it's been 11 years now, it's 2011, but they put out an overture for the album and that's like my favorite piece on the album, because it ties everything together.
So, I'm so glad you brought that up. Now. Moving on to the fourth and final point in this list you had, and I think it kind of ties into the second point because the second one was losing interest in being less enthusiastic and then you go on to start other things, which ties in right here, do you want to tell us about it? Absolutely. So it's possible that you are getting distracted by your own new song ideas, I hear this a lot with the people I'm working with, where they hit a road bump with a song and instead of instead of driving over it, they start a new song.
And it's, it's tricky because I get it. You don't want to put a stranglehold on your creativity and you want to ride the creative wave and you want to again, you don't want to put a stranglehold on that. I totally get it. But I think there is a balance right. If you are just constantly coming up with new ideas without finishing old ones to go back to, you know, something tangible, you're you're never going to have something tangible that you can then release out into the world as a three or four minute song or however long your song is.
And so I think there's this, this balance that can be really tough to strike of how do I ride this creative wave while also making sure that I'm working towards something and finishing things so that I can actually release them out into the world, definitely a tough balance. But definitely a problem that you might be running into that is going to be one of our video clips for the episode, I can already say it now, I'm just like that right there. Done. Yeah. So when you see people getting distracted like this and I'm sure that's something that happens to everyone you work with just because it's such an easy thing to do.
How do you help people work through that and you know, go back and actually tackle those road bumps or those roadblocks that they hit? Well, the good news is if that, that they're working with me, they have someone who can yell at them, so that's part of it. So giving them their missions and holding them accountable to actually completing them. However, again, it's a balance right and I don't necessarily want them to not not explore this new song idea that's coming to them. And so the thing that I put forward is okay, when you get this new song idea, definitely make a note of it, you know, put it on your phone, do whatever you need to do, but then go back to what you were working on and then possibly during the course of your week, if you can find a separate time where you can explore those ideas, those new ideas a little bit more fully, that might be the move, right?
So putting a little bit of intention behind how you are spending your songwriting time. So you have this time that maybe you are, you are working towards something, you are accomplishing those missions and then allowing yourself a different time where you know, maybe you're just creating and you're just idea, waiting, definitely easier said than done, but I think being super intentional about your time could be, could be a possible solution. I like that. So basically for example, somebody could say I'm gonna take, you know, 2 to 4 p.m.
On monday afternoons and work on ideas that I already have, and then 2 to 4 p.m. On Wednesday afternoons is going to be just playing with new riffs, figuring out the lyrics like coming up with something new. Exactly. And to anyone who's listening to this thinking, oh, like you can't schedule creativity, like you're this dude is such a square, probably you're not finishing, you know, those songs and you're not releasing those songs and a little bit of tough love. I suppose there's a difference between working on something and working towards something and I think making that distinction and being intentional about how you're carrying out your time to accomplish those missions and get to a released ready album or single is important.
Certainly, Yeah, and I'm glad you brought up, you know, being a square, because I got to say one of my favorite podcasts, which I also happen to edit the six figure creative podcast, they always say that habit is better than motivation and when you have a habit to do something in the same time every single day or every single week, it's gonna be way easier to get into that then when you're waiting for inspiration to strike and that's not to say when inspiration strikes, don't go right, by all means do that, But force yourself to be creative at certain times, if at all possible.
Because that habit will help you grow your catalog of songs, it will help you become a better musician, all of that stuff, totally. Yes, that it's that Stephen King quote and I I don't necessarily want to butcher it, but it's something, it's something along the lines of like something like I look for inspiration every day, fortunately I'm inspired at eight a.m. Every morning. And the idea is that he's creating his own inspiration through creating that habit instead of waiting for inspiration to strike, so to speak.
I'm trying to find it right now on google, but no luck for you there. So, oh, gosh, I hope it was Stephen King. And I didn't totally just like, misquote. It probably was. It sounds like Stephen King, whoever whoever was the idea is that you shouldn't wait for inspiration to strike. You can generate that inspiration by creating habit like you were just talking about. That's great. And if I find the quote later, I'll drop it in the show notes, which by the way, all Connors links and I think we mentioned, will be in the show notes at Bandhive dot Rocks slash 115.
That's the number 115. And I am open to being fact checked, just in general, If it turns out I was way off with that quote, it doesn't really matter. The idea is still the same. Yeah, exactly. And I think of it this way, if that quote wasn't from anybody now, it's your quote. Oh yeah, yeah. Well, well that would, I'm not gonna I'm not prepared to dig credit for it yet, but yes, that would be a win win situation for sure. Exactly, exactly. And it would be a win win situation because you're talking about when to work on creativity.
This is true. That was a bit of a reach, but we'll go for it. I know you appreciate a bad pun as much as I do. So throwing it out there now. Anyway, we've talked about these four roadblocks that artists seem to run into over and over again. But there are also some overarching, I would say mindset issues, maybe not issues but mindset areas where artists can get into it and really stop these, these roadblocks from happening in the first place. And I think here this is the point where we could jump in and list all three of them.
So there's no surprise and then go into the details. Yeah, absolutely. So it's possible you're a perfectionist, it's possible you lack the confidence to think of your song as a good song and thus have trouble finishing it. It's also possible that you're just generally overwhelmed by the process going from a single song idea to releasing your first album and just the thought of that, it seems like a huge mountain to climb. And that's one of the things that's maybe keeping you from finishing these songs and getting your music out into the world. Yeah.
And those, all three sound universal really, I mean it's not specific to songwriting, it's not specific to making music, it's definitely back when we first launched the podcast, I edited it a lot more than I do now and now it's just like, okay, good enough. Like there's no mistakes in it cool where it used to be like every breath would be clipped gained and all the gaps would be exactly this length because there are podcasts that do that and now I've recognized over the last two years, which is scary to think about, I've been doing the podcast for two years, is that the people who edit their podcasts that much are doing it because either they're perfectionists or they lack confidence.
I don't think that would be an example of overwhelming if anything doing that would create more overwhelmed, but that said, let's jump in on perfectionism When I was growing up, I always thought of perfectionism as this positive thing, you know, who wouldn't, who wouldn't want to be perfect. That's like that's a good thing to strive for. But ultimately I think it's extremely hindering and it would be really a challenging block to break through and as it relates to songwriting your mind at all times is immediately going to comparing yourself to someone else, potentially.
Perhaps you just always feel like it could be better, there's always a better idea out there and you need to find that better idea and it just puts you in this really um difficult loop because there's this feeling of, well nothing is ever good enough to kind of move forward. So that's how perfectionism I think plays plays a role and that's definitely tied to confidence. So you are feeling like something needs to be perfect because you lack the confidence of the, the idea of it getting out into the world and what so and so might think and so you're, you're seeking perfect because you lack the confidence as a songwriter as whatever.
So I think that's, that's definitely related and I think the overwhelmed just comes with, okay, I have this like very raw basic idea right now that I recorded in the voicemails on my phone, I jotted down in my notes app or I put pen to paper, there's so many, so many things I have to do to get this to be released ready and it goes back to confidence perfectionism, like there's no way I can, I can get through all of that, there's no way there's no possible and so there there's another negative loop that starts to happen where you're bogged down by all of the hurdles, you feel like you need to go over, that's why I find that coaching is so great and mentoring is so great both from having received it and also being a coach and mentor myself because you can eliminate the overwhelmed by just really breaking down what it is you need to work on now and what achievable goal you are working towards that isn't related to getting signed by atlantic records or going on a world tour with Billie Eilish and so I think to be able to break that down and focus on what's in front of you eliminate the overwhelmed and in turn helps with the perfectionism, helps with the confidence because you think okay, I can manage this, I can tackle this and you can kind of just go after what's in front of you.
I like that. That's such a good point of saying, you know, a coach can break down the steps and really just getting another set of eyes on it. I'm sure that's like a lot of the value that you provide aside from your experience, which is a ton of value is you can look at it and say here are the steps to go through, look at them one at a time. Don't just look at the laundry list. Like look at each 11 at a time exactly something I hear something.
I hear a lot with new clients, especially like after their first session with me, they're like, it's really good to know that there is a clear path and I think sometimes it's hard to see that clear path because of the overwhelming, because of the perfectionism because of the lack of confidence and even in just one session you could be like, oh okay. It is, it is clear to me now, it's clear what I need to work on and it's clear where I'm going. First of all, I'm sure you use some tools for this and being a nerd about apps of all kinds and I'm going to ask you about that in a second, but before we jump over to that, I'm gonna go back to one thing about perfectionism which you reminded me of when you were saying this a long time ago, I put out an ep for an artist, I was the engineer and we had a great guest vocalist dusty from stellar corpses and we put it out and I was messaging him and I said, you know, thanks so much for being on this.
This is great. Like, you know, I feel like it wasn't ready, but we just needed to get it out there and your performance was stellar. So thank you, no pun intended. Still other corpses. I don't even do it on purpose. But what he said to me in response was as an artist, if you put something out that you think was perfect that it was 100% ready and this is paraphrasing cause this was like a decade ago, then you spent too much time on it. If it was perfect then you wasted time on it?
Like put it out before it's done. So thank you for reminding me of that because that was like, it just opened my eyes to being creative in the music world or in any world really, if it's perfect, uh you wasted so much time on it. Yeah, Yeah, absolutely. And it's a balance right? I mean, not to say that you should put out something that you didn't put in the effort or you know, or not, not to say that that should be the case, but you know specifically about songwriting, assuming you you love to write songs, this is something you're going to be doing over the course of your whole life, right?
And there are going to be aspects of what you put out where years later you're going to look back and think to yourself, I wish I, I wish I did that differently. So if you can anticipate it and if you know that, that if you know that that's going to be the case, then it doesn't make sense to be overly precious with your songs if you know that that's gonna happen anyways. And so it's a balance of locking into this mindset of finished is better than perfect with of course not putting out, you know, something that was effortless or without effort is what I mean to say.
So it is a balance, but I hear it, a lot of people are like, oh well my songs are like my babies and I'm like, are they are they really like your babies? Because that that might be the problem, you know, because I I've I've seen have you, you've treated your your songs so uh you know, and I do hear that a lot and it's uh to not be so overly precious, I think actually it's important. Yeah. Well, and on the other hand, I would say kids aren't perfect Far from it.
I'm not a parent, but I'm not a parent, but I'm not a parent, but I was once a kid. So yeah, exactly. I grew over the last almost 30 years, like We change we grow up and you know, that's one of the cool things. I've seen some artists rerelease songs 20 years later and they put in the changes of their their experience from those 20 years, so they keep the skeleton of the original and then re release it with their with their knowledge and skills now. And it's like, Wow, that's that's really different.
I kinda dig it. I like the old version better because that's what I'm used to. But nonetheless, I like seeing that change over the years, right? And that's what's cool, especially if you're an artist who is not working with any sort of management or label, you can you can do whatever you want and and I think to be able to lock into that freedom while also embracing this, this cool opportunity you have to share your music with the world is I personally feel very lucky to have that ability and to have that outlet.
Yeah, absolutely. And you know, this ties in perfectly in the delegated yourself world, as we like to say for D. I. Y. Is delegated yourself. It's all about managing yourself and having the right systems and tools in place. So why don't we take this moment to pivot and talk about what tools you use to stay on track as a songwriter. Yeah. So for me, if you're talking about literal tools, um, in terms in the digital world, I use Tremolo a lot. I think you had a podcast recently about that or maybe it's coming out.
I use Tremolo a lot. I use google sheets a lot. Um, with my clients, we have a very collaborative like google folder where it's organized into song ideas as well as finished demos as well as lyrics. So, to, to create an organized system where you can funnel your thoughts into the right places basically beyond that Logic Pro and garageband. Certainly with my own songwriting, it's definitely helpful in terms of creating my demos. I would say that's probably general synopsis of, of the tools I use in my disposal.
Yeah, I like it though because it's it's very basic and it's all free except for Logic Pro, which I mean $200. 01 time. Or if you're a student, you can get the giant Apple apps for education bundle. Yeah. And, and if you're not trying to, I would say for a lot of people are listening to this who are purely songwriters who are, especially if you're more in the beginning stages of your songwriting, you don't need to invest in logic bro, are able to, you can use garageband, you can use Audacity, which are both free.
You know, I hear that people said, I, I need to get the right gear and I'm like, you don't, you don't need the crazy gear right now. You absolutely do not. So yeah, just food for food for thought. Yeah. And I would throw out there. Uh, just personal preference, I'm approaching this guy. But if you don't want to buy something and you're on windows or so you can't use garageband instead of Audacity reaper. It has an unlimited, fully featured free demo. They basically say like if you're earning more than I think it's 10 or $20,000 per year, then please buy it for $60.
But if you're just, you know, having fun making music like don't worry about it, you can use the free demo forever. So reaper is a, is a great alternative for non Mac users. But if you're on Mac, I would definitely go with garageband because it like transitions flawlessly into Logic Pro. Yes, 100%. Yeah. Anyway, going back to what you're saying about trail. Oh, and google sheets. We had an episode about trail. Oh, it was number 1 11, which you can find at Bandhive dot rocks slash 111 item is called effectively managing your band's releases, tours and more so in that I just covered basically how you can use Hello as a virtual corkboard and move sticky notes across it.
So what part of the process do you handle and hello and how do you structure that? Yeah. So for me personally, the important distinction I make is that there's a difference between a to do list and your missions, Right. And your missions are those things, those big items that you're looking to accomplish to get you closer to your, you know, songwriting goals or business goals. For me, it's both songwriting and business. Whereas the to do list is more of the, you know, email Fidelis about my health care plan.
You know, more of those types of things that aren't necessarily contributing well in this case it's contributing to me staying, you know, covered by health insurance, which is important, but not necessarily to some of these larger business or a music related goals. So I do think that distinction is important because the to do list can be a trap because if you just start adding lists for the validation of just checking things off, that is a trap. That is all too common. And I've certainly been there myself.
So that's a big thing, I also have on the Horizon is another category that I have things that maybe I'm not necessarily looking to tackle in this week or even this month, but to just have on my radar so that when the time comes, I can sort of have that concept, id idea that yes, I'm going to be going to be working on this at some point. Um So those are to put it simply, that's those are the three categories that I use for Trela. And then obviously within that, I create these like checklists and, you know, sub notes or whatever.
But yeah, that's the synopsis of that. And that's so you basically just walk each task through the, through the stages, correct? And then if something is, I think I also have a section for like, completed. So something is completed. I just like drag it over to the completed section. I mean, one to, you know, have that excitement of, oh, I completed something, but also to understand the, the flow of my work process and everything else. Yeah, having that completed column is much more rewarding than just hitting archive and then seeing it disappear.
Like all your hard work is just gone, even though it's not, but that's what it feels like. And then how about google sheets? What are you tracking in there when you're doing your songwriting. So yeah, it's I guess for google google sheets, not so much for me personally, but for my clients, they've created these song checklists. So, you know, they'll literally have like verse, one verse to chorus and then kind of go through what they have for each of them. Oh, I have the melody. I have the lyrics.
So that's definitely been helpful for people. I did a live training recently and kind of walked through what that checklist would look like. Super simple. It doesn't need to be overcomplicated. So that's one thing for me personally, I do a lot more of like my mentoring business related stuff through google sheets. So I have team members that I share. I share google sheets with whether it's, uh, you know, prospective client outreach or whether it's tracking, you know, enrollments or whatever it might be. That's, that's definitely a big tool that we use.
So yeah, for those, those two things specifically. Um, but yeah, for, for songwriting, I would say more than checklist stuff, which I use with my clients and then google documents I use for my clients when I send kind of a recap of like a particular session, just like laying it out to like what their missions are for the weak, what the takeaways are from the session as well as the zoom recording kind of put it all in one clean google documents. So yeah, that's, that's how I would use the google products, I suppose that's how I use that sweet, wow, it's the google suite.
The google suite, wow. That's to unintentional funds. Well done. Well done. I think they call it work space now, but oh man, I just stumbled right into that one. Anyway, Connor, thank you so much for joining us the second time here on the show. A pleasure to have you back and dive into the roadblocks that songwriters are frequently dealing with. If people want to learn more about you and find out about your coaching programs or your mentorship programs, where should they go? Yeah, so there's a few different places to find me on instagram, I would say that is the most active social media platforms.
So you can find me there at, at Connor, L Frost, C O N N O R L F R O S T. If you are having trouble finishing your songs, you're having trouble setting the right goals. You're having trouble getting over the hump to write and release your first album or single best way to get in touch would be to connect with me for a free call. It's a free 30 minute call where we will strategize, we'll set that goal. We'll get that clarity that maybe you are looking for and the place to do that would be to go to.
Connor Frost dot com. C O N N O R F Rost dot com slash just start jus T S T A R T. We will get on what I call a just start call, we will start to strategize, we'll get that goal set and we'll get that clarity sounds good. And those links will of course, the in the show notes at Bandhive dot rocks slash 115. And then last but not least, I do want to shout out dizzy bats. Music dot com for all your retro. Pop punk needs, it pains me to say that pop punk is retro, but I think when we were young, festival has officially made it that yeah, pop punk is retro because they're saying we're not young anymore, we're not young anymore.
Gosh, darn it, sonny. Yes, that is another place. Thank you for that James, I appreciate it. Yeah, sure thing. Well, Connor thanks so much for joining us again and I hope you have an awesome rest of your week and stay warm in these frigid temps, awesome! Likewise, and I'm sure I'll see you soon. Mhm. That does it for this episode of the Bandhive podcast. Thank you so much for tuning in listening and big thanks to Connor, Frost of dizzy bats for coming on the show to talk about songwriting blocks and how you can overcome them.
So, if you get stuck with your songwriting, be sure to check out Connor's links and even if you don't get stuck, just go ahead and check out dizzy bats for some great pop punk music, but to get back to the topic at hand. Connor is incredible as a coach holding his clients accountable for the projects they're working on. So if you've been trying to put out that album or ep or whatever release it is for 2345, 10 years and you still haven't put that out. I encourage you to reach out to Connor and take him up on one of those.
Just start calls to see how you can reach your goals and how Connor can help you. So like you said in the episode, just go to Connor frost dot com slash just start to book one of those calls. That's C O N N O R F R O S T dot com slash just start, we'll be back with another new episode next Tuesday at six a.m. Eastern. Right here in your favorite podcasting app. Until then, I hope you have a great week, stay safe. And of course, as always, keep rocking.
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