In teaching songwriting and music business workshops over the accomplished fifteen years, I’ve empiric that there is a “greatest hits” of questions that I get over and over afresh from my attendees. I anticipation it ability be accessible to allotment those questions and my answers here.
1. Aback should I absorb my songs?There is a abhorrence aboriginal on in a songwriting career that your songs – which are understandably adored to you – ability get baseborn by some of the beneath conscientious songwriters or music business bodies out there. As a result, there’s additionally the allurement to appetite to clearly annals anniversary song you address with the Annals of Copyrights in Washington, D.C. in adjustment to assure them. The absoluteness is that a song is “fixed” the moment it is completed and added absorb allotment can be big-ticket and accidental at this point. My aphorism of deride is that I absorb my songs aback they are activity to become accessible for bartering release. This could beggarly placed in a blur or TV appearance or recorded on an artist’s album. It can also, abnormally these days, beggarly that you’ll be putting it up on YouTube or any one of a array of amusing media and/or alive services. Otherwise, there’s no blitz to absorb your song aloof because you’ve accomplished it.
2. How do I angle my songs to publishers who don’t acquire unsolicited material?We’ve all run into those angle listings area a almanac characterization or music administrator says they’re attractive for songs for an artisan or activity but won’t acquire unsolicited material. This can assume like a asleep end for new songwriters but there’s a adjustment to this madness. From the characterization and administrator perspective, accepting songs from alien songwriters can accessible them up to abeyant lawsuits if one of their writers or artists has a song that resembles an unsolicited pitch. I batten anon to the arch of a Nashville publishing aggregation about what songwriters can do in this instance and his acknowledgment was simple. He about said that they were consistently attractive for new actual and already they got to apperceive and assurance a songwriter – either at a angle to administrator accident or a music appointment for archetype – they were added than accommodating to acquire to songs from that songwriter. In added words, get out there and accommodated publishers and characterization advisers and body your networks.
3. How abounding songs should I angle to a publisher?While I acquire the appetite to angle as abounding songs as accessible so that a administrator can acknowledge the abyss and across of your catalog, beneath is best absolutely added in this instance. If you put yourself in the position of a music administrator who listens to songs all day, it’s accessible to acknowledge why a angle with nineteen songs will assume cutting while one or two adapted songs for a angle befalling will be abundant bigger received. I assure you that if a administrator brand what they hear, they will ask you for added but it’s consistently bigger to alpha with alone one or two songs. This blazon of abstemiousness additionally marks you as a austere songwriter.
4. Should I use a breach area aback I co-write?I came of age as a songwriter in Nashville area spilt bedding were rarely if anytime a allotment of a co-writing session. This is not necessarily the case in LA and New York area things are a bit added “letter of the law” aback it comes to songwriting collaboration. But wherever you are, you should consistently acquire an accessible and aboveboard altercation about songwriting percentages with every new co-writer afore a autograph session. In Nashville, for example, it’s accepted for anybody complex in the autograph of a new song to be awarded an according allotment of the copyright. The compassionate actuality is that the song as it is wouldn’t be the aforementioned after all of the collaborators alive on it no amount what their official addition ability acquire been. This absolutely isn’t the alone way to admission co-writing percentages but it’s the one I feel serves the song best. That said, acquire the altercation in beforehand and you won’t accident the achievability of misunderstandings or worse after on.
5. What if I don’t like a song I’ve co-written? Can I booty my allotment back?Co-writing is congenital on trust. This agency that you’re dupe your assistant to accomplish a acceptable acceptance accomplishment to accord their aptitude to the song in the aforementioned way that you’re accidental yours. That said, if you accompany in a lyric, for example, and your assistant puts a melody to it and you don’t affliction for it, you are answerable – already you’ve agreed that this is a co-write – to assignment calm to acquisition a solution. This is a co-write and NOT an audition. It’s advised poor anatomy to adios a collaborator’s addition and booty aback the genitalia of a song that are yours. That said, if you’re able to best acceptable bake that accurate co-writing bridge, you can ask to booty your addition back, but if the acknowledgment is “no,” your best bet is to acquire that this accurate song isn’t activity to be one of your favorites and move on to your aing song.
6. How do I acquisition co-writers?There is no one specific way to acquisition a songwriting collaborator. It could be a bandage acquaintance or a artist friend, BUT the key is to be brave. Living in or visiting music cities like Nashville, New York and Los Angeles agency you’ll be apparent to the country’s bigger songwriting communities. If you’re accessory a writer’s night or music conference, you’ll be in the aggregation of lots of agreeing songwriters. If you like a song that you’ve heard at one of these events, it’s able-bodied account your while to acquaint yourself to the songwriter and beforehand accepting calm to collaborate. Two things though: first, accomplish abiding you’re talking to one of your aeon and not a hit songwriter who best acceptable already has their accumulation of collaborators, and second, it’s consistently easier to accomplish the appeal if the actuality whose music you like has additionally heard some of your work. For those of you who don’t alive in or appointment the big music cities, there are casework like www.SongwriterLink.com and www.WeShouldWriteSometime.com which can help, too.
7. Can/should I put my songs out online (i.e. SoundCloud, YouTube, Facebook, etc.)?My aptitude is that the added you can do to get your songs out in the world, the better. Best songwriters err on the ancillary of not advertisement their songs enough. Also, the risks of your song accepting baseborn or actuality perceived as “overexposed” are negligible, but the abeyant upside of accepting a cogent cardinal or brand or angle as applicable “social proof” makes this a advantageous endeavor. Those listens, brand and angle – abnormally as they get into the assorted bags or added – announce in a actual way to the music industry accommodation makers that you’ve got article account advantageous absorption to.
8. Can I angle my bootleg asperous recordings?I consistently beginning my acknowledgment to this catechism by adage “don’t annihilate the messenger,” but the answer, in my opinion, is an absolute no. Asperous recordings are accomplished for capturing the lyric, melody and ambit changes of your song. These recordings are abundant for canonizing what you’ve accounting or for giving to a recording studio, audience diva or affair musicians to apprentice or blueprint your song in beforehand of a session. However, beneath about no accident should you angle a asperous recording to a almanac label, music administrator or music publisher. You alone acquire one adventitious to accomplish a acceptable aboriginal consequence and a ailing recorded or performed asperous recording will be an accidental aberration from what absolutely matters, which is your song. What if addition in the industry says a asperous recording is fine, you ask? Well, there may be that attenuate music industry controlling who absolutely can apprehend through a asperous recording, but what if they appetite to accelerate it on to addition controlling who isn’t as forgiving? Your audience doesn’t acquire to be elaborate. A professionally recorded and performed guitar or piano and articulate is enough, but the key is “professional.”
9. Can I angle my accomplished audience as a adept (e.g. for blur and TV)?One of the best things about a able audience is that it sounds, well, professional. What this agency is that you ability acquire the befalling to angle your audience – as is – for a adjustment in a blur or TV show. This is absolutely accomplished d you’ve done your appointment in advance. What I beggarly is that you’ll acquire to acquire active releases from the studio, audience diva and affair musicians giving you the appropriate to angle their assignment for accessible use as a master. I use a accepted one area absolution in my flat which grants permission to the songwriters to angle the audience for adept use, but additionally stipulates a benefit (a baby allotment of the adept payment) for the diva and affair musicians should the audience accomplish assets with a adept placement.
There are, of course, an absolute cardinal of questions songwriters acquire about the music business, co-writing and the audience action but, hopefully, these questions and my answers will advice you added calmly cross your careers as you move forward.
BioCliff Goldmacher is a songwriter, music ambassador and drillmaster with recording studios in Nashville, TN and Sonoma, CA. Through his studios, Cliff provides songwriters alfresco of Nashville with virtual, alive admission to Nashville’s best affair musicians and audience singers for their songwriting demos. To acquisition out added go to https://se295.infusionsoft.com/app/page/studio-services. You can download Cliff’s FREE tip area “A Dozen Quick Fixes To Instantly Improve Your Songs” by activity to https://se295.infusionsoft.com/app/form/homepage-songwriting-tip-sheet.
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