The Power of Repetition Part II

by Mary Dawson

In his book entitled Advertising, author Kenneth Goode writes: "The greatest of all advertising tricks is that of persistently pounding away at the same suggestion while still keeping the appearance of freshness of idea."

The challenge is much the same for the songwriter who -- like the advertiser -- has something to sell. For the salesman, it may be real estate, beauty products, snake oil or used cars. For the songwriter, it's the song! Successful songwriters know how to walk the balance beam between familiarity on the one side and freshness on the other. It takes practice, but developing this skill is well worth the effort.

In my last article we began to examine the powerful teaching tool called repetition and how it can be skillfully used to literally "teach" our song to our listeners. Remember, our objective is to imprint the musical and lyrical hook of the song onto the mind of the listener so indelibly that he/she will whistle it in the shower, sing along with it on the radio and "own" the song emotionally. We specifically looked at several ways to use repetition so that it accomplishes its purpose but does not become boring. We explored: Now let's continue our study with still more ways of using repetition to enhance the overall impact of our song. Now that you are a bit familiarized with the incredible power of repetition, train yourself to listen for the many ways it is used in the songs that reach the top of the charts. Try to include some of the techniques described in these articles as you create your next song. The more you use repetition strategies, the more familiar you will become with them and the more fine-tuned your intuition will become. You will find your balance between the fresh and the familiar and become accomplished at using both.

At the risk of repeating myself -- keep writing!

**From her earliest childhood years writing simple songs and poems with her father, through her twelve years as an overseas missionary, to her present, multi-faceted career as an author, lyricist/songwriter and conference speaker, Mary has always been adept at using words to communicate her heart to others. She is the President of CQK Records & Music of Dallas, Texas, a company which creates and produces songs in a panorama of musical styles for a variety of audiences, She is also the host of "I Write the Songs," a nationally syndicated radio talk show, especially created to inspire and instruct the more than 25 million aspiring songwriters in the U.S. "I Write the Songs" is broadcast over the Internet. Mary is a frequent public speaker and seminar lecturer on songwriting. She is a regular columnist for Independent Songwriter Web Magazine. Mary's commitment to discovering and mentoring talented new songwriters has given her extensive experience in song analysis through adjudicating songwriting competitions and conducting songwriting workshops across the country and around the world. Because of her role as president of an independent music company, she is also well qualified to instruct aspiring songwriters on the various business aspects of the music industry. She is married and a mother of four. She resides in the Dallas area.

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