“Cara Heath is the owner of With A Bullet, a radio promotion company based in Canada that has proudly been taking great music to radio since 2008. We have worked with The Pack A.D, The Gaslight Anthem, Born Ruffians, Heart, Leonard Cohen, In-Flight Safety, Fortunate Ones, and more…
Here is her challenge:
For this week’s challenge I want you to get into the mindset of self-editing. This is all about the radio edit. I want you to create a new song that would work currently at either Pop (Hot AC or CHR) or Rock (Alternative or Active Rock) Radio formats – your pick – but, I want you to write this song to be around 4 mins in length. Then I want you to edit it down to no more than 3:30 mins while still retaining the essence, dynamics, and structure of the song. If your original length is shorter than 4 mins still cut 30 secs out somewhere and if it’s longer than 4 mins you still need to get it down to 3:30. Things to help in the editing process: think about shortened intros, time to first vocals, time to first chorus, shortening / removing instrumental parts, shortening outros, etc. Get the point across quickly, grab your potential listener’s attention and have them singing along by the end of it! **These aren’t hard and fast rules when it comes to radio, but it’s always a great exercise for songwriters to practice the art and discipline of self-editing. “
I got lucky on this baby. I heard a song from last week’s challenge that I adored by Craig McIvor and Michael Proudfoot and decided I would try and capture some of that magic by asking Craig McIvor to write with me. I had already done a piece with Michael Proudfoot so it was time to change it up a bit and get a totally new perspective. Craig is a music magician who needs lyrics. I like to write lyrics. YES!
The first challenge is to get Craig to agree. He does. He comes up with a piece lickety split and I write some lyrics about a bar I play in regularly. The bar is the epitome of rock and roll or what one thinks of when you say ‘rock n’ roll’ or is that just me? Names have been changed to protect the innocent or not so innocent.
The original song was about 4mins and three seconds but Craig worked his magic and cut out – THE BEST PART! His guitar!!!!! Damn radio!