8 years ago
325.2K 👀

Ralph Murphy Lecture - How to be Successful at Songwriting

#Music Business #Composition #Songwriter #Loyola University New Orleans #Education
Ralph Murphy talks to Loyola University Students about what it takes to write a successful song.

#Music Industry

Loyola University School of Music Industry photo 1 Ralph Murphy Lecture - How... Loyola University School of Music Industry photo 2 Ralph Murphy Lecture - How... Loyola University School of Music Industry photo 3 Ralph Murphy Lecture - How... Loyola University School of Music Industry photo 4 Ralph Murphy Lecture - How...

"She said 'what do you do?', I said I'm a songwriter. And she said 'Oh I'm a songwriter too!', and I said really, are you? Got anything I would know? And she said 'Oh no, I just write.' And I said well then you're not a songwriter. A songwriter is someone who knows what each market is, and knows how to exploit it."

Yeah? What about the blues musicians from the 20's and 30's who helped build the foundation for modern songwriting? Many of these geniuses spent their lives behind the plow in order to keep themselves fed, and were only fortunate enough for one or two recording sessions. Many died broke, sick and unknown to the music industry. What about the great Blind Lemon Jefferson, who worked most of his life as a welder, was he just a 'guy who wrote songs'?

I have a rule in my creative life, where if someone tells me they paint, write songs, write poetry, etc.. Whether they're a doctor, a homeless person or a 'professional songwriter', I will gladly check out their work. You've got a lot of nerve, & a whole lot of arrogance to tell someone they're not a 'real songwriter'. The tradition of music has been around a lot longer than the music industry. And it'll be here long after the industry's gone. Great songwriters succeed through passion & persistence. Not because they figure out how to con the different 'markets'.

by 4l4ddin77 3 years ago

Seems like most people are missing the point. This guy is talking about being a professional songwriter - someone that writes songs for other people, not for themselves. If you are going to do that, you want to know how to write hit songs, because that's your job. He's teaching people that are going to write the next hit songs for the next Justin Bieber.

Professional songwriters like him may write hundreds of songs a year. It has little to do with art. It is their job and the whole point is writing as many hit songs as possible.

His advice doesn't apply to people who want to be independent artists and write "honest" music. Most artists don't write music for other people. They write music for themselves and they write music that they like. But professional songwriters like this guy are not performers. They are not going to perform their own songs. They let other people (that have more mainstream appeal and just do the job better) do that.

His advice mostly applies to people who want their songs playing on the mainstream radio channels.

by MaggaraMarine 3 years ago

I'm seeing a lot of comments from people trying to come up with exceptions to try and prove this guy wrong. There will always be exceptions. You're missing the point.

by CocoaChunky 3 years ago

I met him twenty years ago and could not stand his bluntness. It angered me. Now at age fifty-five, I see he is completely right about everything he teaches. I just ordered his book. Live and learn, live and learn.

by Titus Funk 5 years ago

Song Forms
2nd Form- Verse, Verse (optional) Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Instrumental., Chorus Out
3rd Form- Verse, Verse (optional), Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, and out (an instrumental can be put in before or after the bridge if you feel the need!)
4th Form- Verse, Verse (optional), Pre-chorus or lift, Chorus or title, Verse Pre-Chorus or lift, Chorus/title Bridge (optional) Pre-chorus or lift (optional), Chorus and Out.
5th Form- Verse, Verse, Bridge, Verse
6th Form- The sixth form, or rondeau, or rondo I cover in my book “Murphy’s Laws of Songwriting.”

by Bacon Pancakes 3 years ago

Ralph always has had great perception into the psyche of songwriters, and any amateurs posting here that can't hear truth here about themselves are kidding themselves. Also, on the business and marketing level, there is hard-earned, deep truth here. You young cats that already KNOW EVERYTHING will never get past your own egos far enough to learn from Yoda. If you're so brilliant, please get back to writing masterpieces instead of wasting your time whining on YouTube.

by Buster Maxxwell 6 years ago

He goes off on tangents but he hit on some realism that some here are missing. If you want to be an "artist" you might as well perform songs in a park hoping someone tosses coins in your hat. Beyond that, it's big business, a gigantic machine. The stations, the labels, the listeners all want hits. So much of it is not about you.

by Sky Blylevin 4 years ago


He's brilliant. Simple logic that allows music to serve people rather than the artist to be self-serving.

by Roxanne Abbott 4 years ago

Over thirty in a song?
In Flames - Come Clarity.

by JJ Musicworks 6 years ago

you don't need to be good at song writing, just repeat the meme "we are number one"...lol everyone keeps watching

by Chabar 3 years ago

I am so sad to hear Ralph has passed away. I learned a lot from him sitting one on one. I made really believe I was good enough to be here. Such a talented man and real nice guy.... R.I.P.

by pezman1963 10 months ago

You guys aren't listening to what he is saying. He is trying to explain what the masses would like to hear and how to connect to them better.

From there you can play around and be creative but if you think he is just telling you to do A, B and C in order to make a song, you're totally wrong.

by Prom Coordinator 5 years ago

This guy is evil. Sucking all the magic out of it and putting it to a science. Stone cold and heartless.

I hope to be him some day.

by Matt Reynolds 5 years ago


by A J 5 years ago

well... to me, I'm looking at a man who's job it is to teach "something" in two hour-long classes to a bunch of people who want to make it as songwriters... how does anyone begin a conversation about being successful about anything??? you talk about what works... sure if he was teaching full-time he could go through the reasoning for bending or breaking the rules, but he doesn't have time for that... he only has time to teach them the formulae that made him successful... that's why they brought him in, I'm sure... you don't start by making kindergarten kids write essays on Shakespeare's works... you begin by reading them Dr. Seuss stories... and the biggest thing I noticed him stress is putting in the time and effort...

by GhostFX16 4 years ago

This is Real.

by C NII 6 years ago

The music industry works like that and he is just honest and straight.

The only question is, if you want to be a part of it or prefer to stay an independent musician who plays from the heart.

by Lars Rüetschi 3 years ago

the key word here is industry not music.lol

by john amaya 5 years ago

when he talked about how you feel in mornings was so true. I DO NOT want to hear even music that I like in the morning driving to work. NEVER. on the way home I will crank out my fav tunes

by Steve Kaposi 4 years ago

Mp3 Download

Next videos


Load More Similar Videos