Well you know I don’t encourage singing your own songs.
The obvious reasons are:
1. People tend to pay more easily when they hear a song they know.
2. A million great songs have already been written, so there’s no use to add mediocre ones.
3. Your own songs are probably too autobiographic, which means they make people sad. Sad people don’t pay.
4. You are a busker, not a singer-songwriter that can’t get a gig.
5. Your own songs sound like the songs of artists you like. So why don’t you just play their music?
If none of the 5 reasons above are enough to stop you from singing your own songs anyway, at least take in consideration the following useful hints.
1. Only play the ones that are up-tempo, catchy and loud. Introvert songs about how hard life is because that girl doesn’t notice you, may sound good in the privacy of your own bedroom at 2 am, but they sure won’t amuse frantic shoppers hunting for a late christmas present.
2. Easy on the lyrics. People pay for a cheerful and nonsensical “lalala”, not for a 15 page-excerpt of your diary.
3. Add humour to your songs, but don’t shock people. A song about a cow is funny. A song about sexual acts with a cow is hilarious, but don’t go there.
4. No minor scales, unless it is in the style of an old drinking song.
5. Don’t announce the songs as “one of my own”. People won’t listen to it, because they think your songs suck, otherwise you would be an famous artist and not a busker. It is far more satisfying when people say: “Hey, that was a nice song. Whose is it?”