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#1135629 - 01/26/18 06:11 PM NSAI Online Pitch  
Joined: Nov 2017
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RonnieDean Offline
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RonnieDean  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 290
Keystone, CO USA

#1135635 - 01/26/18 08:54 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
Joined: Feb 2005
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Dave Rice Online content
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Texas
Hi Ronnie:

Never tried NSAI's on-line pitch. It appears you have to join first... but... Marc Barnette (MAB) has been associated with NSAI for quite some time and should be able to give you the details. Good luck. ----Dave

#1135642 - 01/26/18 10:31 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Hi guys, Dave, you know you have to say my name three times and Iíll show up! LOL!

Hey Ronnie. Actually I know about it quite well but have never actually done it. Know many who have. I was actually an evaluator for several years so I was actually one of the ones GETTING the pitches.

Everything with NSAI is very above board. There are industry professionals that donate their time to review and listen to songs. They are truthful with their opinions and if they can help a song or writer along they will.

But people never realize how good their songs have to be to get through these things. You have to remember that you are dealing with some of the biggest writers on the world that you have to compete with. And so songs have to be hugely undeniable to even get close. And Iíll be 100 per cent honest with you. In my 29 years with NSAI both as a general member, professions member (we pay more money) and as a mentor/ pro on the ďother side of the deskĒ I have NEVER ONCE heard a song that would knock off the songs of Craig Wiseman, Jeffery steel, Marc d Sanders, Chris Wallin or many others of these guys. With all due humility, Iíve heard very few that I would pitch in front of my own songs .

It really takes a lot to write undeniable hit songs.

But it is a good process to find out what youíve got. And Iíll tell you what I have seen. That people who have been very very close and have been taken under the wings of NSAIs staff and mentors.
One, Barry Dean, ended up being referred to some by writers and after a couple of years of writing insodebrhebtoen(Inside the town misspelling), actually had a number one song.

So yes it can have a great effect. You will get reviews and will get encouragement. Over all Iíd sau it is a defiance plus.

MAB

Last edited by Marc Barnette; 01/27/18 10:29 AM. Reason: Misspellings
#1135643 - 01/26/18 10:33 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Sorry. Iím typing this on my phone from an airport call waiting parking lot so there are a few misspellings. I canít see my screen very well. Will correct later.

#1135654 - 01/27/18 12:26 AM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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RonnieDean Offline
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RonnieDean  Offline
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Keystone, CO USA
Hey everybody! The secret is out!
Not more cowbell, more insodebrhebtoen!

:-)

#1135671 - 01/27/18 10:27 AM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Originally Posted by RonnieDean
Hey everybody! The secret is out!
Not more cowbell, more insodebrhebtoen!

:-)


Yes Ronnie, as everyone knows the "inside industry term" for "Writing inside the town" is phrased,"Insodebrhebotoen." It is the German translation. LOL!

Sorry, I was waiting on my girlfriend at the airport last night, trying to respond on my phone to your questions. Hope I made sense. I'll go correct it now.

Barry Dean is a hit songwriter, but I'll tell you, I am very forgetful of what songs he has written. But it is an interesting story. He came to Nashville about 15 years ago and at first he was making trips back and forth from his home town, which I think was in Indiana. (This is all a long time ago when I met him.) He was doing grunt work and helping out around the NSAI offices. The reason he had come to town was that he was heard in a Song camp by a hit writer, who started working with him privately. Barry also had done the online pitch, and several other NSAI events.

Years later after writing "Inside the town", (writing with established and hit writers) Barry scored some pretty good hits with Reba McEntire and others. I'll try to get you the songs as I can.

But the point is that while the "NSAI" online pitch, song camps, Tin Pan South, Spring Training" are services they offer, they might not be THE pathway for success of songs or writers, but the cumlative effect is that they help writers develop, provide critiques and give writers a chance to get together face to face and interact. The value of that goes far beyond membership dues.

As a matter of fact, had I not been an NSAI member for nearly 30 years, I would not be here. So if you've gotten anything out of things I've said. you are benefiting from NSAI. My teaching stuff comes straight from what I've done in the NSAI chapter Workshops.

MAB

#1135675 - 01/27/18 10:35 AM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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RonnieDean Offline
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RonnieDean  Offline
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OT: Do know who wrote Reba's "On the radio?" That's a good'n. I especially like the line "Blow the speakers outcher truck"

#1135676 - 01/27/18 10:35 AM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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One more little note.

On the entire NSAI thing, we also miss too. We hear a lot of songs and sometimes they just don't hit us like you'd think. You never know. All your are doing is trying to give your gut feeling in critiques.

Membership in NSAI, get you one song critique a month, and you can also sit down with mentors if you come to Nashville. One of my friends is a hit songwriter Chris Wallin. We have known each other about 15 years long before he was a hit writer.

When he performs live, he will bring out this folded piece of paper, unfold it and read what it says. It is an NSAI review on one of his songs from years before. It basically says: (I paraphrase)

"This song is one of the most unrealistic songs I've ever heard. I can't imagine any artist ever wanting to sing something that is so overly sentimental. Keep writing and they'll get better."

The song was "DON'T BLINK". and was a HUGE number one and signature song from KENNY CHESNEY.

You never know. Be the best you can, and keep working. You never know what is going to happen.

MAB

#1135677 - 01/27/18 10:39 AM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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RonnieDean Offline
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RonnieDean  Offline
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Thanks Marc.

Can any of my fellow JPFs testify here of their experiences?


Last edited by RonnieDean; 01/27/18 10:42 AM.
#1135686 - 01/27/18 12:22 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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I started out with NSAI back in the 80's as well and back then they were fantastic (Back when folks like Sara Light were helping out). They had a bad stretch under a certain President/CEO (not sure if he's still around) and it turned my stomach a bit. Who is running the place these days?


Brian Austin Whitney
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Just Plain Folks
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Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

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#1135693 - 01/27/18 01:00 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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RonnieDean Offline
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RonnieDean  Offline
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Brian, Do you play and or write too? I don't see links to any of your stuff and have looked around.

#1135701 - 01/27/18 04:10 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Brian,

I have to be totally honest that I don't really know who is running things now. I know that Bart Herbison is still the CEO and while at times he can be challenging, there is NO ONE BETTER IN THE HALLS OF CONGRESS! he used to be a Congressional assistant and politics are his foray. When we went to lobby Congress in 2006 he was brilliant. A lot of pieces to this puzzle.

I am a paid member but don't do a whole lot with NSAI. I play the Tin Pan South festival in April, do some events, and still talk to members around the country and in Canada. I believe it is a very worthwhile organization but do believe different people get different things out of it. Kind of what you put in.

MAB

#1135758 - 01/29/18 12:51 AM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
Joined: Apr 2001
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline


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Indianapolis, IN USA
Ronnie,

When I started JPF many people were using organizations and local groups to self promote. Though I don't believe I ever did that on any level, I used to perform at every JPF Showcase event (over 250 cities a year in those days) but it was only one song in some random slot each time (usually when someone didn't show up or wasn't ready for some reason) because at the start JPF was 100% a hobby, not a vocation. However, self promotion via using large mailing lists to promote the org. owners or leaderships weekly gigs, tours etc. or to use org. events to fan stuff their own gigs to boost their careers in the eyes of venues and the press etc. was sickening and in my view analogous to what most politicians do. This got much worse when we (and everyone else) moved online. I decided early on that I would separate church and state and never mix my personal music stuff with JPF. I stopped playing at shows and never posted my music, my gigs or my accomplishments or personal career info online, in the newsletter or in any connection to JPF.

As JPF grew, two things happened.. first JPF grew so big so fast (it was social media for musicians long before MySpace and those that followed) that I had to choose in part between spending my time on my own music, thus helping only myself, or focusing on helping the entire community I was building plus myself, only in different ways (i.e. I could be a reasonably successful songwriter and performer OR I could be the world's best facilitator to help others and have a small hand in many successes, often ones that far exceeded what I could have done on my own. I chose the later. The final factor to focus away from making music came when my co-writer, bandmate and good friend was murdered by way of the 9-11 attacks. We'd been offered a record deal together earlier on and he'd just been working on a new solo album for his new deal and we'd just spoken the previous day about which of our songs were going to be on it as he was already in the studio and the producer had picked 4 of our older songs to release on the new album. I spoke with him at length on 9-10 and he was in high spirits and hours later he was gone. It kind of took the last impetus of music making out of me and I just buried myself into JPF in workaholic fashion and until I was sidelined with serious health issues of the past several years.

JPF has allowed me to travel the world (48 States and 47 countries) and build a membership in 185 countries where I have friends, many lifelong, all around the planet. I've helped many people achieve their dreams, been thanked at awards shows and by Superstars and weekend warriors alike for boosting their morale, giving them hope and information (for many long before you could get it at your fingertips instantly) and I think I made the right choices. Sure, there's a twinge now and then to go down into my studio which hasn't been turned on since 9-11 which is full of 27 Keyboards and recording gear and 3 drum kits, many bass, electric and acoustic guitar and a plethora of other musical stuff and see if they still start up but it usually passes when I check my email or social media and spend hours on the phone or responding to questions, to old friends and making new ones.

JPF has never been about making a living for me, but rather making a life and it's been a great life so far and if I am lucky, it will continue one way or another.

Thanks for asking, Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

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#1135768 - 01/29/18 10:16 AM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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RonnieDean Offline
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RonnieDean  Offline
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OMG.

I don't know where to begin and doing so would be hijacking this thread. So I'm just gonna go digest this now.....

#1135785 - 01/29/18 11:35 AM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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NSAI is the non-profit place in Nashville where you probably can still send them one song a month to be evaluated by the evaluators that work there. In the past you could send about one song a month and had to wait for your song to come back before you could send another one. Many, if not all evaluators probably were music students at Belmont college and volunteering at NSAI was probably a part of their credit at Belmont.. IF they decided your song was good enough, they would pass it on to Publishers night where a Publisher may want to sign it. Very few songs ever got passed on the Publishers Night.

Of course before you can submit anything, you have to be a member, maybe $150.00 today.


Ray E. Strode
#1135793 - 01/29/18 01:50 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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RonnieDean Offline
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Have you ever submitted to them Ray?

#1135796 - 01/29/18 02:49 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Ronnie,

The one thing to remember is that NSAI is NOT A PUBLISHER. They are a songwriter advocacy group and educational organization. They do have some music students involved but also professional writers and publishers in the organization.

They Can and do Forward Songs to higher up people but cannot ensure cuts, deals or anything past the forward. It can cut through some steps though. But the songs have to be AMAZING.
Most songs just arenít.

#1135798 - 01/29/18 02:57 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Brunswick, Ga. USA
Ronnie,
A long time ago I was a member. I sent 2 or 3 songs. One time they had a song contest where you had to pay to enter and everyone that entered as supposed to get a judging report. I guess they lost mine. I am no longer a member. At the time I was looking for ways to get my songs out there. Then I discovered the Songwriters Market Publication which listed Publishers you could pitch to. Then I found a Few Tip sheets I suscribed to. All defunct now. Most don't accept outside submissions.


Ray E. Strode
#1135842 - 01/30/18 04:52 AM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,483
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline


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Indianapolis, IN USA
Originally Posted by Ray E. Strode
Ronnie,
A long time ago I was a member. I sent 2 or 3 songs. One time they had a song contest where you had to pay to enter and everyone that entered as supposed to get a judging report. I guess they lost mine. I am no longer a member. At the time I was looking for ways to get my songs out there. Then I discovered the Songwriters Market Publication which listed Publishers you could pitch to. Then I found a Few Tip sheets I suscribed to. All defunct now. Most don't accept outside submissions.


Songwriters Market is not defunct. They just put out their 40th edition. I was a writer for them for about 4 or 5 years. I haven't seen a recent edition but I imagine they are still similar to what they always were. It's a fun accessory to those getting started and who want to dip their toes into the water. I doubt a lot of great successes happened via their book, but it was always a fun read and the contacts offer some direction to those with limited knowledge or options.

https://www.amazon.com/Songwriters-Market-40th-Where-Songs/dp/1440347794


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

[Linked Image]
#1136200 - 02/03/18 04:28 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
Joined: Nov 2017
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David Snyder Offline
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North Carolina
I am a current Regional Coordinator for NSAI and have been so for about 5 years and I believe I can offer some insight.

NSAI is really big on encouraging collaboration, and their local chapters are the lifeblood. In those local chapters, you make friends and find co-writers and learn to work with others. Co-writing is the key to growth in songwriting.

The online pitches do give you a chance to have bona fide industry people listen to your songs, which you would almost never have the chance to do if you are an "outsider" and don't belong to NSAI. Part of the education is listening to what publishers are picking to take home with them for deeper listens. About 90 percent of the time it will be a simple guitar and vocal demo with a killer lyric and an incredible hook. It is all about the story. The short version is that every song you will hear taken home has a lyric that gives you goosebumps and a hook, or "drive it home" line, that goes right into your heart. That line is usually the title as well. So, you get a chance to see what goosebump songs are made of, and it is a great education. If other people are getting their songs taken home, you can too. You just have to write a goosebump song. All of these songs are extremely personal, and vulnerable and honest. No one is faking anything or trying to sound like someone else. They are just telling their own truth, and when you hear it you recognize it for what it is--the real thing. It reminds you of what your main job as a songwriter is--BE YOU. TELL THE TRUTH. So, yeah, for that education alone, the online pitches are great.

Bottom line, great organization for learning and education. You will learn a lot and make good friends. Great networking opps too.

Peace out.









David Snyder, Composer, Author
Singer-Songwriter, Producer
Regional Chapter Coordinator, NSAI
www.davidsnydermusic.com
www.reverbnation.com/davidpsnyder
#1136204 - 02/03/18 04:58 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: David Snyder]  
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Barry David Butler Online content
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Barry David Butler  Online Content
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Isn't it a lot of money to join. I'm broke.

#1136206 - 02/03/18 05:45 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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David Snyder Offline
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Barry,

It is about $200 bucks a year, which is less than the price of a hotel room in Nashville most days so I guess cost is relative in connection with your goals. You can get A LOT of feedback, evaluations, connections, networking, videos and such if you have decided to throw caution to the wind, so to speak, and try and amp up your game as a pro, and do whatever it takes. As such NSAI is a great educational value, pure and simple. And you can do a lot without ever leaving town, by using Nashville resources and hooking up locally.

If you have the time and energy to work really, really, hard locally and want to go through a version of boot camp to toughen yourself up, I would do it. NSAI does not promise miracles. They just have an educational system that can help you see where the bar is set so you can make the decision as to whether you want to keep going or not. Not a lot of people get that. You have to have guts and you have to stand up for yourself. In the Woody Allen movie, Midnight in Paris, Ernest Hemingway tells a struggling writer something like this: "I am not going to respect you if you tell me that I am the greatest writer in the world. I am only going to respect you if you tell me that you are."

That really made me laugh. I don't think that it is a good thing to be a bragging egomaniac, but neither should you be a wilting violet bowing at the feet of the geniuses. There is a lot to be said for confidence and the fighting spirit. Believing in yourself and never letting blowhards whittle away at that spirit. It is a balance I guess.

I have been blessed in my life to be put in rooms with musicians who were crazy good, and I have had to hear some pretty brutal criticisms. I gather you are a Vet from your songs, so here is a metaphor: it is like boot camp. It is good for you. You have to get to that point where people can say the worst things about your song and you can come back and say "Oh, yeah.......listen to this! smile

And then you play them something that makes them shut right up. And they go "All right. That's what I'm talking about." If you can't get to that stage and laugh your way through it, you will be in the psych ward pretty fast.

Look at at it this way, I heard a story that may be urban legend but I think it is partly true. U2 was thinking of breaking up and they told Bono they were "washed up" and didn't have anymore songs left in them. Bono, according to legend, got mad, took a bottle of old Bush, went off into the bog with an acoustic, came back four hours later, walked into the house where the band was still hanging out and said listen to this. Then he played "One." And the band said: "I guess we're still a band." It is told that the Edge nodded and said. "Guess so."

SO, moral of story, if you look inside your heart and feel that you and Bono are on the same page, you WILL write your best song this year, and NSAI could be a good place to show that off if you have extra change.

No one with a fighting spirit or the stuff that great songs come from spends two seconds listening to reasons why they shouldn't be trying to write the world's greatest song.

They probably aren't even on a blog chat. They are in a room somewhere writing it against all odds.

Keep up the fight. Peace.



David Snyder, Composer, Author
Singer-Songwriter, Producer
Regional Chapter Coordinator, NSAI
www.davidsnydermusic.com
www.reverbnation.com/davidpsnyder
#1136208 - 02/03/18 06:25 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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Barry David Butler Online content
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I couldn't afford it if it was $10.....I'm sure it's a terrific place but I wouldn't pay that even if I had the money. In My Stupid and Know Nothing Opinion it sounds like a ridiculous waste of money but what the hell do I know. I've wasted more money in my life on stupid ridiculous copyrights and stupid songwriting contests and looking back it was a joke. Most of these places just take the money of Dreamers and Wannabees and Virgin Songwriters. Just ranting a bit and sorry. I believe I'm one of the best completely unknown singer songwriters in the world....SO there...LOL...But seriously I can't afford that.......I guess I'm A Legend In My Own Mind....but at least I still have a mind....but not much else....lol Thanks for the info.

Last edited by Barry David Butler; 02/03/18 06:28 PM.
#1136209 - 02/03/18 06:29 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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David Snyder Offline
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Barry,

If you still have your mind I am going to write you in for President next election.

You're better off than most of us.

--Peace


David Snyder, Composer, Author
Singer-Songwriter, Producer
Regional Chapter Coordinator, NSAI
www.davidsnydermusic.com
www.reverbnation.com/davidpsnyder
#1136210 - 02/03/18 06:55 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: David Snyder]  
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Barry David Butler Online content
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Barry David Butler  Online Content
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On one of my facebook pages I'm running for president on the Walrus Party and have my platform there. I have a great pic of a walrus also and of course I'm going to use The Beatles I Am The Walrus as my theme song.....LOLOL It's a real hoot.

#1136213 - 02/03/18 09:27 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: David Snyder]  
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Originally Posted by David Snyder
Barry,

It is about $200 bucks a year, which is less than the price of a hotel room in Nashville most days."



I like that.

Tell me, for whomever wrote goosebump hooks how long did that last for you. the writer?
When I think what I came up with is great, it wanes to meh as it's mixed and I hear it a billion times.


Last edited by RonnieDean; 02/03/18 09:28 PM.
#1136214 - 02/03/18 10:02 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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You have my vote Barry. I just mailed it in.


David Snyder, Composer, Author
Singer-Songwriter, Producer
Regional Chapter Coordinator, NSAI
www.davidsnydermusic.com
www.reverbnation.com/davidpsnyder
#1136215 - 02/03/18 10:05 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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David Snyder Offline
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Ronnie,

Well, my computer's inverse encryption reverse code unlocking algorithms were not able to translate that man.

Could you say that again?

Are you asking how long the goosebumps lasted when I heard a good song?


David Snyder, Composer, Author
Singer-Songwriter, Producer
Regional Chapter Coordinator, NSAI
www.davidsnydermusic.com
www.reverbnation.com/davidpsnyder
#1136216 - 02/03/18 10:14 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: David Snyder]  
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Originally Posted by David Snyder

Ronnie,

Well, my computer's inverse encryption reverse code unlocking algorithms were not able to translate that man.

Could you say that again?

Are you asking how long the goosebumps lasted when I heard a good song?


Sorry.

No how long after you wrote one. or anyone else for that matter.
So you remember witch one you should pitch. You seemed to make the case the it is the goosebump
songs that are taken home. That sounds reasonable.

After a song sits around it no longer is that interesting to me, where at the first it was.
As for goosebumps, I may heave never written one of that caliber.

For those of you who have, do they still for it for you so you would absolutely know which
ones to pitch.

Last edited by RonnieDean; 02/04/18 10:00 AM.
#1136665 - 02/10/18 05:09 AM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: David Snyder]  
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Originally Posted by David Snyder
I am a current Regional Coordinator for NSAI and have been so for about 5 years and I believe I can offer some insight.

NSAI is really big on encouraging collaboration, and their local chapters are the lifeblood. In those local chapters, you make friends and find co-writers and learn to work with others. Co-writing is the key to growth in songwriting.

The online pitches do give you a chance to have bona fide industry people listen to your songs, which you would almost never have the chance to do if you are an "outsider" and don't belong to NSAI. Part of the education is listening to what publishers are picking to take home with them for deeper listens. About 90 percent of the time it will be a simple guitar and vocal demo with a killer lyric and an incredible hook. It is all about the story. The short version is that every song you will hear taken home has a lyric that gives you goosebumps and a hook, or "drive it home" line, that goes right into your heart. That line is usually the title as well. So, you get a chance to see what goosebump songs are made of, and it is a great education. If other people are getting their songs taken home, you can too. You just have to write a goosebump song. All of these songs are extremely personal, and vulnerable and honest. No one is faking anything or trying to sound like someone else. They are just telling their own truth, and when you hear it you recognize it for what it is--the real thing. It reminds you of what your main job as a songwriter is--BE YOU. TELL THE TRUTH. So, yeah, for that education alone, the online pitches are great.

Bottom line, great organization for learning and education. You will learn a lot and make good friends. Great networking opps too.

Peace out.



I too used to be involved with NSAI in Chicago and Indy. This was high school and beyond 1982-1988 or so. Met great people, went to the gatherings in Nashville etc. I did decide that there were things I though I could do better and still keep it free. I started JPF in 1985 and we'd meet after the NSAI meetings would end (back then they were far more open to non members attending, but then they tightened up so we started JPF chapters in over 100 cities including another handful outside the USA. In many cities we shared coordinators and JPF and NSAI would often share resources and we'd invite them to play at our showcases (we were very artist focused in that most of our folks played their music they wrote so the showcases were something they weren't getting from NSAI back then. We also started our Mentor program in 1990 so that each chapter had working professionals they could ask questions of or get help from and when we launched this message board in 1999 we had well known Mentors (most of the well known songwriting book authors, some hit writers in a wide array of genres since back then NSAI was VERY country focused), and we welcomed all genres. Unfortunately the main NSAI HQ started banning their folks from sharing resources or events because unlike NSAI, we didn't charge anyone for anything we did. One of our coordinators at the time got a paying job working in Nashville for NSAI and she took a lot of our programs with her such as the mentor program and other stuff we did that NSAI didn't do. I actually told her about the opening, but once there, she tried to take credit for our stuff and she also poached a lot of our folks as she was the NSAI membership director at the time. Being free and using only volunteers, we just kept doing our thing. In fact in 33 years and counting we still never have charged a penny for anything we do whether it's tours, workshops, showcases, conferences, monthly meetings, etc. In truth for most of the era between 2002 and 2012 we still kept secretly sharing coordinators (though a couple got outed, and one left NSAI altogether and stuck with us and one did the opposite, though she kept coming to our events because everyone was friendly. Unfortunately I had to close down our chapters due to serious health issues I suffered and with Social Media and other distractions, we simply ceded the folks back to NSAI if they wanted to keep up the local meetings. All this to say that NSAI folks are always welcome here and at any of our events or to enter our music awards when we have them for free like everyone else. Hopefully sometime in the future NSAI will rethink their stance toward us and we can do some stuff in the future.

For what it is worth, and to all our folks who don't l know about NSAI, the local chapters are by far the best thing about NSAI in my opinion and meeting with like minded REAL people face to face is a big deal you should take advantage of it they are in your area. I don't know their current policy of who can attend, but last I heard they let you at least come to one gathering and check it out, perhaps David can confirm that. I miss touring around all our chapters and meeting folks face to face and hearing about groups all over the world attending JPF chapter meetings and for a time our joint events with NSAI. There's nothing better than real life friends who share your joy of music that you can actually get to know in your own area. Do yourself a favor and check it out if one is near you.

Thanks for checking in David,

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

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#1136671 - 02/10/18 09:56 AM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Barry David Butler Online content
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Barry David Butler  Online Content
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Thanks Brian.....How are you doing NOW?

#1136689 - 02/10/18 12:36 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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Sorry it took me so long to respond to this, Ronnie. Been swamped. I still get goosebumps sometimes to certain songs every time, like U2's "One" where Bono sings through a cracking voice on "You say love's a temple.."

Or when Stevie Nicks sings and screams her way through a cracking voice on Silver Springs on the line "You'll never get away from the sound of the woman who loves you..."

Even good old Miley Cyrus puts it in the bleachers on "Climb." Helluva song. Textbook Nashville. By the book and tremendous.

My point about the online pitch service is that you get to hear a lot of songs where people are trying to "sound great"..or trying to "make a great song" or are "trying really hard to sound like a country star." Then you hear those one or or two that are very simple and honest, and always have one absolutely KILLER twist, or hook--a simple, vulnerable, poignant, personal line that goes straight into your heart.

And you go, yeah, that's what it is. And those are ALWAYS the ones they pick. So, publishers aren't fools man. They know a good heart-stopping line when they hear one and I guess they figure if it stops their heart it will stop everybody else's heart, too.

Listen to the writer of the Climb (Jessi Alexander) doing her original version (link below). Remember, there was a time when all this song was was HER and Jon Mabe--a guitar and a lyric and voice. That was it.

But, someone heard this and went "Oh hell yeah, wait 'til Miley hears this." Anyone would say "Oh Hell Yeah." It's not rocket science. If you have a guitar and voice and a cassette player you can do what she does. But the song has to be this good.

Make sense?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wV-EJJbwxj4



David Snyder, Composer, Author
Singer-Songwriter, Producer
Regional Chapter Coordinator, NSAI
www.davidsnydermusic.com
www.reverbnation.com/davidpsnyder
#1136695 - 02/10/18 12:58 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Hey Brian,

I am sorry to hear about the health issues, and hope they are getting better, man.

I don't have enough information to reply to all you have said above, but I do agree with you 100% on what I think the most important point of all this is:

Songwriting advancement is all about mutual encouragement, support, and respect for other people's artistic identity--and getting face to face in a room with other talented writers when you can and collaborating. COLLABORATION. It is so key.

And, though people trash all aspects of the music industry they forget the Jessi Alexander's of the world, whose youtube video I posted to Ronnie' query. They forget that sometimes people still together with friends (in her case it was Jon Mabe) and sit down in a room with guitar and write a song that will make everybody go "Oh hell yeah."

It can be done Brian. smile It really can be done. smile

People on THIS forum CAN and DO write songs that make people say "Oh hell yeah." I have heard them!!!

If you can write a pure and honest song that makes people say "Oh Hell Yeah" and try and ignore the negativity and politics, you may one day find yourself on stage at the Grammy's thanking Brian Whitney or another one of your friends.

It happens all the time. People forget that.

So thanks for everything you do Brian. It is part of the "winner's circle." People forget that too. Being part of the winner's circle means just showing up--here and other places.

Anywhere and everywhere you feel you can make a positive difference.

Peace.


David Snyder, Composer, Author
Singer-Songwriter, Producer
Regional Chapter Coordinator, NSAI
www.davidsnydermusic.com
www.reverbnation.com/davidpsnyder
#1136698 - 02/10/18 01:08 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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Really interesting thread. David, I couldn't agree more about the strength of a heart-felt lyric and the goosebump factor.

I have long been tempted to visit the local NSAI chapter. Unfortunately, it's not really all that "local." The location in Charlotte, NC is over an hour's drive for me. Still might be worth it to get out from behind my computer and meet some actual real people for a change. wink

I might feel a bit of an idiot though, as I don't really play well enough to perform my songs. I'd have to bring along a recorded version, which might be a bit embarrassing when everyone else is doing their stuff for real. On the other hand, I do enjoy trying to help others with ideas and constructive criticism.

#1136726 - 02/10/18 04:49 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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David Snyder Offline
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Gavin,

Not being able to play a guitar is the worst reason I have ever heard for not attending a songwriter's meeting. It is the best reason TO attend. smile

I got a chance a few years ago to spend a lot of time with the late Kim Williams, a Nashville Songwriting Hall of of Fame member. He was badly burned in a fire earlier in his life and one of his hands was badly mangled. It was very hard for him to play very much. But he somehow managed to use his crippled hand on a guitar to write a list of hits too long to put on this forum, including Three Wooden Crosses, made popular by Randy Travis.

You SHOULD bring your stuff on an iPod on CD, or other medium. Everyone else does. Not everyone plays.

These groups are great and the best writers--as always-are friendly, humble, sweet, down to earth, and love helping others.

Half of the best writers I have ever met don't know the names of the chords they are playing and certainly would never brag about their playing chops.

It may be an hour's drive, but I swear to you, making friends among those good people in Charlotte (or any other songwriters group) and finding co-writers, and just hanging with those people will be the best thing you have done this year. I promise you. You will be among people just like yourself, you will love every minute of it, and you will hear about opportunities that you never knew existed.

You may find your new best friend, too.

smile


David Snyder, Composer, Author
Singer-Songwriter, Producer
Regional Chapter Coordinator, NSAI
www.davidsnydermusic.com
www.reverbnation.com/davidpsnyder
#1136731 - 02/10/18 05:10 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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OK, you convinced me, David. I'll get in touch with the Charlotte chapter. Are you in the Raleigh chapter? My daughter goes to NC State. Maybe one time when I'm visiting her, I'll time it so that I can pop in and say hello.

#1136738 - 02/10/18 07:17 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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There is a Denver Chapter I believe which is, wouldn't ya know it, a one hour drive from here, down the "hill", in the summer. Winter driving the I-70 mountain corridor is sketchy both for weather and skier traffic. That said, my wife would love to drop Ron off to play with his friends while she runs a-mok in the malls. Something we don't really have here. So ya I'll likely do it.

It's 200.00 a year yes, is it not also $20.00 / month?

#1136774 - 02/11/18 08:44 AM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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Ronnie,

Perhaps you should restart the Denver JPF Chapter, set the meetings in your neck of the woods, or at least a little closer to you and it would be free for everyone and offer performance opps as well as monthly gatherings to critique songs etc? It just requires a little discussion and a volunteer coordinator willing to do some work to find a venue and help get the word out. You could even contact the NSAI chapter and let them know what you're doing and welcome them to attend your thing in addition to theirs? Being a chapter coordinator (for JPF or NSAI either way) is actually a great way to expand your contacts, friends and even standing in the local community. Let me know if you are interested. It may be time to relaunch our chapters. I am hoping to incorporate YouTube into JPF so we may be able to offer lectures or even live critiques for members such as the winners of "Song of the month" as voted by your local members at each meeting. We did a lot of that back when I ran (and was a member of) the Indianapolis Songwriters Association and also what we did in nearly all our JPF chapters back in the day.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

[Linked Image]
#1136776 - 02/11/18 09:49 AM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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Neck of the woods is right Brian.

Hmm..... I'll think about that. I'm awkwardly charming when I must be, but am really an introverted nerd like so many.

But I do get on with bandies.

:Ron

#1136780 - 02/11/18 10:30 AM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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Is the NSAI Denver dead?

#1136817 - 02/11/18 03:24 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Hey Brian and Ronnie,

I think both solutions sound great and I would be extremely interested in seeing JPF chapters re-start, and learning more about how that works myself. I don't think you can have enough of these gatherings. I think getting people getting together under any umbrella is amazing, but it is super important to hang with your peeps.

I have two funny moments from my experiences I will share before I go.

On the first one, I had a mentoring session with an OLD SCHOOL country guy, very well known in Nashville, and he listened to to a really sad, gut wrenching and heart rendering song I had written in a minor key. It was more than four minutes long. I thought it was wonderful. When it was done, he said (in a very strong country accent):

"Dave, let me tell you something, Most people who listen to the radio are between 20 and 35. The majority are female. Most of the time they are listening in theirs cars on the way to work. Your song made me want to shoot myself. So here's my question: When all those ladies pile in their cars in the morning, and turn on the radio, what do you think they want to hear?

A. I just want to soak up the sun? Have me some fun? Tell everyone?

Or,

B. Your "I'm so sad I wanna shoot myself" song?

Which one Dave?"

I told him I was gonna go with A. True story.

Another time I was playing a song for a mentor (who has a job writing on the row) and when it go to my chorus, he yelled Noooooooooo!!!! and went and got his guitar (this was a phone session) and started playing the chorus and singing it, showing me the rhythm I should use, and the timing.

I said: "Man, that's good, can I have that?"

And he said:

"Please, for the love of God. Yes. Don't use what you have!!"

smile

That kind of stuff is impossible to replace.

Yeah, go start a chapter man.

smile


David Snyder, Composer, Author
Singer-Songwriter, Producer
Regional Chapter Coordinator, NSAI
www.davidsnydermusic.com
www.reverbnation.com/davidpsnyder
#1136818 - 02/11/18 03:26 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Sounds great Gavin.


David Snyder, Composer, Author
Singer-Songwriter, Producer
Regional Chapter Coordinator, NSAI
www.davidsnydermusic.com
www.reverbnation.com/davidpsnyder
#1136819 - 02/11/18 03:46 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Brunswick, Ga. USA
Well, Yes,
Ballads are not requested very often or not at all. after I wrote a Heart Wrenching song I didn't pitch it to anybody. I finally put it on our Web Site back in 2013. You can listen to the song under Rays Music at http://www.geocities.ws/fiverosesmusicgroup/ The song is Entitled: THIS HEART BELONGS TO ME. Mid to Uptempo songs are most in demand.


Ray E. Strode
#1137241 - 02/15/18 01:49 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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RonnieDean Offline
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RonnieDean  Offline
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Keystone, CO USA
Goosebumps from music a.k.a. The shivers.

http://www.commitstrip.com/en/2018/02/15/the-shivers/

#1137246 - 02/15/18 02:42 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
The Denver NSAI group was primarily run by Donna Valentine, who lived in Ft. Collins, and ran the one there too.
She moved away years ago and now lives on the West Coast. I don't know who is there now, there is usually a chapter, but most of the workshops across the US have either shut down or limited in what they are doing. But by participating and seeing what you can do to help them out, will help you out as well.

MAB

#1137630 - 02/22/18 10:35 AM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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David Snyder Offline
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David Snyder  Offline
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North Carolina

Marc,

Do you have have any ideas on why so many chapters are shutting down as you say?


David Snyder, Composer, Author
Singer-Songwriter, Producer
Regional Chapter Coordinator, NSAI
www.davidsnydermusic.com
www.reverbnation.com/davidpsnyder
#1137633 - 02/22/18 10:58 AM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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RonnieDean Offline
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RonnieDean  Offline
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Keystone, CO USA
I have a notion (always anymore) that kids today don't do what any industry expected them to do.

Take Gibson guitars for example.

#1137642 - 02/22/18 04:23 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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David Snyder Offline
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David Snyder  Offline
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North Carolina

Interesting. Tell me more about Gibson..

smile

You have me intrigued.


David Snyder, Composer, Author
Singer-Songwriter, Producer
Regional Chapter Coordinator, NSAI
www.davidsnydermusic.com
www.reverbnation.com/davidpsnyder
#1137644 - 02/22/18 04:38 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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RonnieDean Offline
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RonnieDean  Offline
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Keystone, CO USA
Kids today are not buying guitars or sticking to it like it takes.
Gibson is in hot water and is switching their focus to consumer devices after acquiring Philips.
Which is just more doldrums as Philips is not in the heart and minds of today's consumers either.

Guitar center is hurting too now I see.

Today's consumer have their heads in their phones and that's it. And have the notion college should be free. - oh boy.

The things we held dear, guitars, amps, stroked and cammed v8 engines etc are all met today with a "meh". - Their favorite word.

Even the NHRA with it's 300 mile per hour noise and smoke cant attract young people and they are languishing too. So NSAI chapters are probably pretty quiet.

We run a Computer Service company here. Have been since 1993. Anymore if a young adult comes in with a laptop it's a shock. It's all people over 40 now.


Last edited by RonnieDean; 02/22/18 04:39 PM.
#1137650 - 02/22/18 06:38 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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Jody Whitesides Offline
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Park City, UT, USA
Gibson, like Guitar Center is on the verge of bankruptcy.

One business fortune teller has already predicted that Guitar Center will not make it to the end of 2018. There's only so much debt you can accrue selling things below cost, and paying for real estate, employees, CEO salaries, Bain Corp Fees, etc, before the weight drags you into the abyss.


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#1137656 - 02/22/18 09:20 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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RonnieDean Offline
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Keystone, CO USA
I thought Gibson was a fact of life. <facepalm>

#1137688 - 02/23/18 10:39 AM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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David Snyder Offline
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David Snyder  Offline
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That is so sad. I love the Guitar Center--and guitars.

But I can't say I didn't see this coming. There seem to be two intersecting phenomena here:

1.) So many people want everything for free these days.

2.) So few people want to actually sit down and practice and learn how to play something.

Long ago, I just stopped getting into debates on forums or elsewhere about the state of music today because everybody would always say "No you sound just like those cranky old parents back in the day of Elvis, or Led Zeppelin, or The Who, Or Guns ' N Roses, or Metallica....or....."

No....because Slash could still PLAY. I will go to my grave saying pushing buttons on a box and making noise and singing pornographic lyrics over top of the sound of someone banging a garbage can lid is not "music" as I understand the concept (though maybe you can say "artistic noise"???) but no one seems to want to hear that, and I'll get a long lecture about the "evolution of music" every time I do, so I just gave up.

I do think it is sad, though, that when you talk to a kid and say "Man, this guitar will sound really great in your hands one day but you are going to have to sit in your room and practice every day" so many say "Man, that's too much work."

And then, Ronnie, as you say they go back to their phones.

I know I sound like grandpa, but back when I was a kid...."Eh....where's those prunes...eh..."....and you wanted to play guitar hero, you plugged your Flying V into a Marshall Stack in the garage and played until the cops showed up, or your Dad walked in and yelled :"If you don't turn down that &*(&(&&& guitar I'm gonna break it!!"

God I miss those days.

But maybe we did sound like a garbage can lid after all.

smile


David Snyder, Composer, Author
Singer-Songwriter, Producer
Regional Chapter Coordinator, NSAI
www.davidsnydermusic.com
www.reverbnation.com/davidpsnyder
#1137690 - 02/23/18 10:52 AM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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RonnieDean Offline
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My dad used to periodically take my older brother's little VOX amp and put it in the garage attic to get some peace and quiet. He was playing all that early Beatles noise ya know. Kids may be useless to society and may have ruined industries, but they are quieter. So that's good.

Last edited by RonnieDean; 02/23/18 10:52 AM.
#1137702 - 02/23/18 03:54 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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David Snyder Offline
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David Snyder  Offline
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North Carolina

Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Forever the optimist Ronnie!!

I just read a long article by a psychologist who said just want you said--but she added that the "quietness" you speak of (and staying in my room all day with Facebook not talking to people) is a mixture of anti-social conflict avoidance maladaptive borderline adjustment disorientation narcissistic entitlement cluster syndrome, or something like that.

But the way she put it, quiet didn't sound good.

It sounded like we needed to drag that Vox back out of the attic and make some noise like real kids.

smile


David Snyder, Composer, Author
Singer-Songwriter, Producer
Regional Chapter Coordinator, NSAI
www.davidsnydermusic.com
www.reverbnation.com/davidpsnyder
#1140285 - 04/26/18 02:53 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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erictrent2147 Offline
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Interesting seeing how NSAI and the industry itself has evolved in the years of my absence. I lived in Nashville for a year back in 2006 (I think). I went the publisher night once and was so excited. There was a table with three pros sitting behind it and a wicker basket sitting on the table. Any member present could just toss a tape (yes, demos were all done on cassettes back then) into the basket to be listened to and critiqued. The exciting part? If they liked it, a writer could get his/her lucky break!

I soon realized how come it is so difficult to become a pro songwriter. The first song listened to was titled "Love at first bite. I sure loved your fried chicken." Things didn't progress much more from that the rest of the evening.

Upon coming back to Texas I actually joined NSAI but the process for publisher night was quite a bit different. You sent in your tape, a pro listened and recorded his/her critique on the flip side and sent it back. If they liked your song they could send it to group where it had to get a majority vote to make it into the fabled wicker basket on publisher night.

I received a phone call from the then director of NSAI a couple of months later. I can't remember his name. I think it was Jewish. Anyway, he apologized for the length of time it was taking to get my critique back. Apparently that month there were over 350 out of state submissions. He called to tell me that none of them went to publisher night (lol) but out of 350, 10 went to group but mine was the only song to get 4 votes. Whoopee! Because of this he critiqued the song himself and sent it back. Other than having a very generic melody he did say on his critique that if this was indicative of my writing, I should be in Nashville. I still have that tape somewhere.....

#1140369 - 04/29/18 07:59 PM Re: NSAI Online Pitch [Re: RonnieDean]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Hello,

I used to be one of those guys sitting behind the desk pulling songs from the basket. The problem with everything is the increase in how many people are trying to do that. If you talked to the director, that was Bart Harbison, who has been the director for over 20 years. you might have gotten an evaluator with that message. Again. often that was me. If your song was picked among 350 that night, that was pretty good, but now they get that around each day.

We used to do all of that on submissions, now most is done online. Of course, the people coming in that night (Thursday) for the pitch to publisher night are going to get presidence. The entire thing about today's music industry is the volume. There are around 30-60 million writer/artists now with approx. 1 billion songs a month going up on the Internet. When you think about how many songs, how many writers, it is difficult to see how many can make their way through. It is why for the most part, NSAI is a good sounding board, but can only do so much. Most people have to be here for many years to get any type of inroads at all. NSAI can be helpful in all that.

But the reality is that you have to be here interacting with people, working continually, breaking into the social and networking groups. And while not everyone LIVES here, many make multiple trips continually and all will have to make their own connections. And that takes being on the ground. I hope your NSAI experience helped you along in your writing. That is really the benefit. Getting feedback, having a place to start from. Most people outside the NSAI world don't have that.

MAB

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