Tim McGraw Insists He Isn’t a Great Songwriter
It’s hard to imagine Tim McGraw having any insecurities concerning his successful 25-year career as a country artist, but the ‘Better Than I Used to Be’ singer admits when it comes to finding the the perfect songs, he tends to rely more on Nashville’s songwriting community rather than cutting his own material.
“I’ve always written for every album. I’m just not a songwriter who’s going to be able to sit down and write every day,” McGraw reveals to American Songwriter magazine. “I might write a song every couple of months and write a good one every couple of years, maybe. It has to come to me in an inspired way. I can’t just sit down and write.”
McGraw has yet to pen a No. 1 song, including the 23 of his own as a solo artist — a fact he seems to be content with. “I’ve been doing this almost 25 years and to have a long career and a sustainable career, it’s got to be about the song. There have been tons of guys who only record what they write, and they’ve done great, but you have to let the song win.” He adds, “It’s different for every artist, but for me, I have to let the song win. I’m certainly not going to put myself in the category of great songwriters.”
“I’m always writing and if something sticks, it sticks. I get to write with great songwriters in town. Lori McKenna is one of my all-time favorite singer-songwriters who’s ever walked the planet,” he gushes. “I get to write with her. The Warren Brothers are friends of mine and I write with them all the time. Lance Miller is a great songwriter. Tom Douglas – you can’t get any better than that. I write a lot of stuff but it’s got to stick.”
Even with his lyrical shortcomings, the singer doesn’t completely rule out an album full of self-penned material in the future. “One of these days, it would be fun to go back and pick my favorites of things that I’ve written that never made an album, and do an album of that,” he says. “And now that I can, I just might do it.”