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#562741 - 11/28/07 02:46 AM 10 Most Common Questions?  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,248
Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content


Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,248
Indianapolis, IN USA
Hi Folks,

Please help me come up with a 10 most common questions list for newbies. I want to run it in the newsletter with links to answers here.

Thanks,

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

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


#562750 - 11/28/07 03:30 AM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 9,571
Two Singers Offline
Two Singers  Offline

Top 10 Poster

Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 9,571
Usually At Home
(1) How do I get a publishing deal?
(2) How can I find a co-writer?
(3) When should I do a demo of one of my songs?
(4) Should I copyright all of my songs?
(5) How do I get paid royalties?
(6) Do I need to join a PRO (Performance Rights Organization)?
(7) Where can I learn about proper lyric/song structure?
(8) How much does a decent demo cost?
(9) Which organizations, such as TAXI, SongU, NSAI, etc. are most helpful for a newbie?
(10) Are songwriting contests really as good as they claim to be?


Brian, you didn't ask for the BEST or most helpful questions...you asked for the MOST COMMON questions for newbies. There are probably more beneficial or informative questions to be asked, but that's not what you asked for. The ones I listed above are the ones most commonly asked of me and/or which I have heard/read asked of others.

Hope this helps a little.

Al

#562756 - 11/28/07 04:29 AM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Two Singers]  
Joined: Apr 2006
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ben willis Offline
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ben willis  Offline
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Ft. Myers, FL. USA
How do I get a copyright?
Is it safe to post my song here?

#562765 - 11/28/07 05:05 AM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: ben willis]  
Joined: Jan 2005
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Jill Sansores/JPJill Offline
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Jill Sansores/JPJill  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 77
Philadelphia, PA

Is the quality of my demo good enough?

How long of a song is too long?

I just started writing songs, it is a hobbie right now but I may want to persue it as a possible career or professional avenue. Where should I go to learn as much as possible before I make any moves (go to the library and read EVERY book there is on songwriting and most importantly, read ALL of the archived JPNOTES!)?

How long should my intro be? (obviously, cut to the chase!) but people really need to know this.

How do I package my demo before sending to a publishing co and how should I follow up and with what tools (postcards included, follow up with phone call, etc)?

Where can I find a good example of a good song pitch package?

IS MY SONG A G O O D SONG (have people review it!)? What makes a good quality song.. as far as for what category or genre or audience you are trying to reach.

I can't read music, do I need to pay alot of money to have someone help me?

Where do I get my song copyrighted and can u teach me any tips on how to get my money's worth (Wash D.C.) to file? - meaning.. do as a collection per say.. rather than song by song.

*note to self... I don't necessarily need answers to these BUT, when I was a newbie, I was clueless on some of these questions*


♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫ ♥ ♫

wishes and creative blisses...

Jill Sansores
(a.k.a. Just Plain Jill)
#562768 - 11/28/07 06:01 AM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Jill Sansores/JPJill]  
Joined: Nov 2003
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Joe Wrabek Offline
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Joe Wrabek  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 6,400
Garibaldi, OR USA
Well, for *common* questions (as opposed to *good* questions), how about:

o Would you listen to my songs?
o Has anybody ever heard of Paramount Group?

And:

o Would you please go to [INSERT WEBSITE] and cast your vote for [INSERT NAME] because I've never posted here before and may never do it again and you've never heard of [INSERT NAME] but but [INSERT NAME] is reallyreallyreally good, so please?

Joe

Last edited by Joe Wrabek; 11/28/07 06:13 AM.
#562771 - 11/28/07 06:17 AM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Joe Wrabek]  
Joined: Dec 2006
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niteshift Offline
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niteshift  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2006
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Sydney, Australia
Yep, agree with the above, and...

o I've just started writing songs, are they any good ?
o How do I "Make it" in the music biz ?
o I'm paranoid about people stealing my songs, do I need an attorney ?
o How do I submit my works to a publisher, and which one ?

and the usual copyright and PRO questions.

cheers, niteshift


#562821 - 11/28/07 10:38 AM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: niteshift]  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 10,531
Kevin Emmrich Offline
Kevin Emmrich  Offline


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Posts: 10,531
Crozet, VA
I think Al covered all of the questions I read a lot (and that I have myself).

Another one that newbies ask is : Where can I get my songs critiqued and reviewed for a reasonable price?

Kevin



"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2017)
#562850 - 11/28/07 11:57 AM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 6,301
Everett Adams Online content
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Everett Adams  Online Content
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,NL Canada
Where can I get demos made? How much should I spend? How good do they need to be?


The more you taste the bitterness of defeat, the sweeter final victory will be

May the flowers of love forever bloom in your garden of life

http://www.soundclick.com/newsflashsounds

http://www.soundclick.com/newsflashgospel

www.cdbaby.com/all/eca333

www.showcaseyourmusic.com/newsflashsounds
#562851 - 11/28/07 11:57 AM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
Joined: Nov 2006
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
BIG JIM MERRILEES  Offline

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Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
Another Question that maybe SHOULD be asked but usually isn't.

How do I record my songs properly? (cause what is on my Soundclick sounds as if it has been recorded in a toilet with a kids plastic mic held next to the water flushing and I do not realise just how bad it is.)

#562891 - 11/28/07 01:23 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
I just made a quick survey of the questions on the first five pages of this forum. Here's the way it looks.

1. Legal Questions. Mostly questions about copyrights, followed by specific contract questions.

2. Specific Businesses. Folks want to know about specific publishers, record labels, and studios. Quite often, the questioner wants a publisher, but the publisher wants to record the questioner's demos (Joe got it there). Also some questions about specific pluggers.

3. How to copyright songs.

4 and 5. This is a tie. How to pitch songs. How to get recordings ready for a cd or mp3.

5 and 6. Another tie. Questions about performance and questions about creating promo material.

7. Questions about improving writing (funny, if this were the number one question, most of the other questions would answer themselves.)

8. Questions about PROs, how they work, who are they, which is best.

9. Taxi.

10. A tie again, NSAI and how to find booking agents.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#563030 - 11/28/07 08:45 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,248
Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content


Top 10 Poster

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Posts: 18,248
Indianapolis, IN USA
Thanks Mike.

Anyone else have anything to add?

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

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


#563494 - 11/30/07 01:08 AM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,190
Dave Rice Online content
Top 40 Poster
Dave Rice  Online Content
Top 40 Poster

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,190
Texas
Brian:

Joe Wrabek has hit a homerun from my perspective. Funny, funny, funny! Al David did a pretty good job at providing serious common questions.

With Mike and the rest of the responses... looks like you have a pretty good list to work with.

All my best,

Dave Rice

#563503 - 11/30/07 01:37 AM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Dave Rice]  
Joined: May 2005
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Hummingbird Offline
Hummingbird  Offline

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Victoria, B.C. Canada
"how do I find someone to write music for my lyrics"


all the other usual questions seem to have been covered. Love Joe's list, LOL.


Vikki Flawith: Songwriter/Composer, Singer/Voice Teacher

12Feb10- *NEW BLOG: "BE YOUR OWN GURU ;)"

MY STORY & MY MUSIC: http://www.vikkiflawith.com
Be a FAN: http://www.reverbnation.com/vikkiflawith
#563673 - 11/30/07 02:16 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Hummingbird]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,835
Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Brunswick, Ga. USA
If a demo company wants part of my copyright for doing the demo that I pay for?

What should a co-writers agreement contain?


Ray E. Strode
#563850 - 12/01/07 12:59 AM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,248
Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content


Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,248
Indianapolis, IN USA
Ray, I'd place your question in with the other "don't fall for a scam" type questions.


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

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


#564184 - 12/02/07 12:44 AM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 120
Monica L. Yasher Offline
Serious Contributor
Monica L. Yasher  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 120
Pittsburgh, PA
How do I put my picture on this website?
Is it safe to post my songs here?
Is there an area to upload my songs so people can hear them?
Why should I put my name here? Can't I be incognito?

#564250 - 12/02/07 01:59 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Monica L. Yasher]  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 2,401
Hummingbird Offline
Hummingbird  Offline

Top 100 Poster

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Posts: 2,401
Victoria, B.C. Canada
"I wrote 80 percent of the words & most of the melody but my co-writer wants 50 percent, is that fair"

"I took my words & melody to a producer who added drums & bass& stuff, now he says he owns 50 percent of the song, what do I do"

"where's the best place to put my music on-line"

"what's a work for hire"

"someone told me I could mail my lyrics to myself and that would make them copyright, is that right"

"how do I sell my songs"


Vikki Flawith: Songwriter/Composer, Singer/Voice Teacher

12Feb10- *NEW BLOG: "BE YOUR OWN GURU ;)"

MY STORY & MY MUSIC: http://www.vikkiflawith.com
Be a FAN: http://www.reverbnation.com/vikkiflawith
#564487 - 12/03/07 02:48 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Hummingbird]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,248
Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content


Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,248
Indianapolis, IN USA
Some more great ones.

Okay.. so who will compile them all into a list for me? And once we have a list, I want to come up with answers for each question. Then we'll post them in a single post and make it a FAQ for the Mentor boards and also link it in the newsletter.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

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


#564502 - 12/03/07 03:43 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463
BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
BIG JIM MERRILEES  Offline

Top 20 Poster

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463
Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
It would appear that there are a lot more than just 10 good questions for a comprehensive FAQ board. Perhaps increase the number and put all these questions under subject categories to make it easier to view. What about the answers as we all have differing opinions? I suggest posting a different thread for each question and then the "official" answers can be formed from the best posts and concensus.

#564778 - 12/04/07 02:58 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,248
Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content


Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,248
Indianapolis, IN USA
Actually most of the questions are pretty easy to answer and there really isn't a lot of different possible answers. As for more than 10, we can have as many as we want.. I just hoped someone with a little time could pull the list together and then I can work on supplying the answers and opening discussion where needed. If we create a bunch of individual posts for all these questions, it would be too many to leave as a Sticky note and if we just post them, they'll disappear defeating the purpose. All these questions have been answered before on here.. the idea is to collect the answers into one place.

Brian

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

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


#564860 - 12/04/07 07:04 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 9,571
Two Singers Offline
Two Singers  Offline

Top 10 Poster

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Posts: 9,571
Usually At Home
Brian,

I can help you with that if you would like. You can PM me with any additional info if you would like me help with this.

Al

#564999 - 12/05/07 07:07 AM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Two Singers]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,248
Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content


Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,248
Indianapolis, IN USA
Thanks Al.

I think just coming up with the list which can combine similar questions (like about what is a scam, what is legit etc..) and then listing them (whether it's 8 or 10 or 12 or 20) so we can start tackling them. What I need is to remove duplicates and also contemplate if any obvious area has been left off. I don't want to do that because I am so close to most of this stuff (i.e. answering these questions literally thousands of times over the years) that it's harder for me to really know which questions should be included and which ones aren't really needed. So having some other feedback and thought processes is helpful. Once you have your list, we'll post it and find out from everyone is anything critical is missing.. then we'll come up with some answers and open it for discussion.

Thanks for helping!

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

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


#565113 - 12/05/07 05:14 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 9,571
Two Singers Offline
Two Singers  Offline

Top 10 Poster

Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 9,571
Usually At Home
Brian,

Great! I'll start working on that tomorrow. My wife has Dr's appointments all afternoon the rest of today. I will scour the various forums at length, going back for a year or so, and try to determine which are the most frequently asked ***BASIC***questions. There are plenty of forums for the more advanced and more technical questions. I will keep it focused on questions that relative newbies to the business might ask.

I am not going to put a specific number on the list of questions. I will include everything that is important to a fairly large segment of folks...nothing genre or detail specific. I am expecting it to end up being 20 or fewer questions. I want to cover all that is appropriate for the intention without having a laundry list/unending compendium of specifics.

I will PM you with my initial list in a couple of days for your review. Once we agree, we can post the list to see if an other JPFers might notice an appropriate omission. Once we have agreed upon the list, we'll decide on answers and, as you said, open for further discussion. And if, eventually, you want to create a forum for it, I would be happy to moderate it. I know that would be down the road, if at all, but just wanted to let you know.

Al

#565127 - 12/05/07 06:11 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Two Singers]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,248
Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content


Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,248
Indianapolis, IN USA
Actually.. if we create a separate forum for these types of questions, then it would make sense to have up to 50 questions, thus filling 1 page. We could set it up so no NEW posts could be made, but so any given topic could have discussion as often as folks needed. Then someone could read the "official" answer and all the other variations that folks offered up. (And address clarifications for people who need more). Of course that is what we often do on each of the other boards, so perhaps we'll be killing the need for many of the sub-boards by doing this... I guess we'll see what the questions are and go from there.

Brian


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Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

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


#565205 - 12/05/07 10:40 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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I was also thinking, if we do this as a group project once we have questions lined up, that if we found all the previously significant discussions on the same topic and linked them as additional resources, that could be very helpful. And of course we could also include external links to other sites as well.

Brian


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


#565223 - 12/05/07 11:42 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Brian,

Adding links to previous discussions with relevant info on a topic would be a good idea. I like your idea about, from your earlier post, about having an "official" answer and then links to the various discussions.

I you want to do a forum on this, I am sure I could come up with enough relevant questions to fill most of a page. It's your call...I'm just offering to moderate and update the forum should you decide to go that route. I am retired now and have ample time to contribute to this project. Just let me know what direction you want to go to get the ball rolling. I will start doing research tomorrow, regardless. No matter how you choose to incept this project, we will need the data. So, I will get that facet of it under way.

Al

#565296 - 12/06/07 04:22 AM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Two Singers]  
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Sorry I'm late...here is one more:

1)How do I become "self-published" and what do I need to know as a "self-publisher" if someone wants to cut my song?

Cher

#566141 - 12/09/07 08:01 AM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Cher Klosner]  
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I've been mulling this project over and I hope that others will join us in creating something that could expand in all directions. We have a wealth of knowledge around here and I think it's time we put it all to good mutual use!

Brian


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


#569565 - 12/22/07 01:01 AM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
I've been mulling this project over and I hope that others will join us in creating something that could expand in all directions. We have a wealth of knowledge around here and I think it's time we put it all to good mutual use!

Brian


Brian,
All around a great resource concept to have a list of common JPF & Music Business /Industry related FAQs. One idea is to have a general (intro) one for common questions about this site and its usage. Then also have more specific FAQs listed at the top of topic threads that relate directly to those topics. An outline (for starters) might include:

Intro To JPF - FAQs
General Site Usage FAQs
Songwriter FAQs
Music Industry FAQs
Common Mentor Questions (FAQs)
Founder FAQs (Yup, stuff about Brian & your background/history related to JPF).
Lyric Forums FAQs
MP3 Forum FAQs
JPF Chapters FAQs

I'm sure I've missed some, but these might be the most visited boards/topics to start with. The "Intro To JPF FAQs" page could also provide a handy table of contents with all the FAQ categories listed in alphabetical order with direct links to all the FAQs pages around the site. Just food for thought in getting this organized so you'll have room to grow as new FAQs get added to the list in the future.

It would be cool for all members (newbies or experienced) to browse through all the FAQs topics to "bone up" on areas they have the most interest in. Also, if the FAQ answers are supplied as contributions by our members, you could also give credit. (e.g. Contributed by John Doe) or whatever.

The effect is we create something like an online knowledge base (wikipedia?) of the most helpful information that has been shared and discussed on these boards over the last 8 years or so.

Finally a way to get all this great info organized so that it's easy to search and access!

Just my 2 cents,
Michael


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself. -- Johann Sebastian Bach

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#569571 - 12/22/07 01:34 AM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Two Singers]  
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Originally Posted by Al David

Adding links to previous discussions with relevant info on a topic would be a good idea. I like your idea about, from your earlier post, about having an "official" answer and then links to the various discussions.
Al


Al,
Great idea!
You got my "vote"! grin

Best,
Michael


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself. -- Johann Sebastian Bach

MichaelBorges.com
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#569732 - 12/22/07 07:27 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Michael Borges (D)]  
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Michael great suggestion. I like the idea of having a FAQ intro on each board/thread plus a general FAQ board. Don't forget general technical forum FAQs.
I also like an official answer plus assorted other answers and advice.

#569774 - 12/23/07 12:40 AM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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The FAQs are a good idea. I still think we need a "Drivel FAQ," but probably no one would pay any attention to it.

Joe

#570069 - 12/24/07 06:17 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Joe Wrabek]  
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Hey Al... any progress on this?

Brian


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


#570091 - 12/24/07 07:45 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Brian,

Should have something to post in a few days.

Al

#570127 - 12/25/07 06:59 AM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Two Singers]  
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Le Monde
Hi Brian,

Some good answers above especially from All David.

I think people should be told what books to buy, on Song Writing.

Because 80 per cent of posters on JPF, do not even understand Format, Modern Rhyme, Meter,Rhythm, Phrasing, How to use repetition, Most are completely unaware of "Beauty and The Beast" re the Vowel Triangle (Open and Closed vowels).to create singable lines.

I could go on and on,

Sincerely Matt


Without the right music your clever lyrics will never be heard, if you want success be prepared to re write many times and even change the meter you chose originally
#570427 - 12/27/07 12:07 AM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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I reviewed the posts on the most commonly frequented forums that seem to appeal to a large number of active JPFers. I went back approximately one year and annotated the subject matter of the posts that would have a general interest to a large number of folks…Just Plain Folks, of course! Originally I had intended on ten or twelve subjects. But, in order to accommodate all the subject matter that might be relevant to a large number of members/visitors, I had to expand that number to twenty questions.

On the surface some questions may appear to be similar, ie; 13, 14, and 20. Although they cover some subject matter that overlaps, they are, none the less, significantly different to warrant an individual reply. The idea here is to be as definitive as possible.

There were many other questions in addition to these. However, in my opinion, they were either too focal to apply to a large number of people, or; they were exclusively specific to this site. The questions we want to address in this thread are more about the music business in general rather than the JPF site. So, if you have previously asked a question and it is not included among these, it is probably because it falls under one of the two aforementioned areas of exclusion.

At this point, I have included neither answers nor links to previous discussion or off-site resources. I will do that in the near future...after we have decided on the specific questions. At this time, however, I submit these questions for your review and additional suggestions. Once we settle on twenty questions, I will then throw it open for your opinions on helpful and informative answers.

At this time, however, I just want comments/suggestions regarding the questions. We will get to the answers in the very near future.

I am hoping that many of you will be active participants in this process. Before posting a final FAQ thread, I will appeal to Mike Dunbar for a final review. BTW, he doesn’t know that yet!

One last comment: If you have a suggestion to add a question or replace a current question with a different one; bear in mind that it must have general appeal or relevance to a large number of folks here at JPF. Otherwise, it probably will not get favorable consideration for inclusion. That’s it! Have at it!


1: How do I get a publisher, label/artist to listen to my original music? And, how do I prepare/package my demo?

2: I was contacted by email by someone “in the business” who heard my music and wants me to sign a publishing/promotion deal. I constantly hear about people being scammed like this. How do I know if it’s legitimate?

3: Should I copyright my songs? If so, how do I do that?

4: Is there any real benefit to joining an organization such as Taxi or NSAI?

5: I write mostly country music. Nashville insiders say that I have to stick to their guidelines and formulas if I expect to have a major publisher seriously consider my music. But, so much of what I hear on the radio frequently violates many of those rules. Can someone intelligently explain that to me? It seems so contradictory!

6: When I feel my song is good enough to invest money in a demo; should I do a full scale production? Or, is a vocal with just guitar or piano backing adequate?

7: Is it really safe to post my songs on the numerous Internet sites that offer that service? Can’t someone just steal it or make a similar derivative work from it?

8: I’m a great lyricist/musician. But, I do not play an instrument/write lyrics. How do I go about collaborating with someone on the Internet? And, is it difficult?

9: Mom and Aunt Betty think my songs are great! But, how can I get a real and honest critique of my songs?

10: How much should a good demo/critique cost me?

11: I am very serious about my music. I’m pretty darned good! But, I want to be even better…professional quality work. What resources are available to take my skills to the next level?

12: I can’t convince a publisher or label to listen to my music. It really is great, though! Are there any other avenues to get my music heard by someone in the business?

13: Should I join a Performance Rights Organization (PRO), such as ASCAP, BMI or SESAC? And what, exactly, can they do for me?

14: I write some pretty darned good songs. But, I am not a performer. How do I get paid for my songs if a performing artist records them or plays them publicly?

15: I see dozens of songwriting contests all over the place. Are they legitimate, for the most part? And, has anyone ever achieved professional success by winning one?

16: I hear lots of really nice sounding songs on the Internet that people say they have recorded at home. Sounds complicated! How do I go about doing that?

17: Can I be my own publisher? If so, how do I do that?

18: I write/compose mostly country music. I’ve heard it said that you have to live in Nashville if you have any hope of succeeding in country music? Is that true?

19: How do I make an MP3 music file; and how do I upload it to the hosting site?

20: Is there really much money to be made as a songwriter or composer, rather than a performer?

Last edited by Al David; 12/27/07 11:48 PM.
#570611 - 12/27/07 10:41 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Two Singers]  
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Al,
Great list you got going here!
Sounds like the kind of questions everyone here will enjoy reading and getting answers to.
It'll be interesting to compare the official answers with the more folksy (informal) ones from various musician's real-life experiences. Hopefully Brian will approve this list to get the ball rolling!

Thanks for your efforts on this,
Michael


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself. -- Johann Sebastian Bach

MichaelBorges.com
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#570625 - 12/27/07 11:59 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Michael Borges (D)]  
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Michael,

Thanks! I am hoping that we can settle on the final 20 questions and have "official" answers and links to previous discussions and outside resources within the next few weeks. The 20 questions listed in the preceding post were the most common questions asked by the various posters here at JPF; but it certainly is not an "all-inclusive" list. Gosh, that would be an almost endless list!

I have started making notes on "official" answers to some of the questions, but would like to discuss them with Mike Dunbar and Brian...as well as any other professionals in "the business" who would care to ingratiate the process. Thanks for checking in! Hope 2008 is the best year yet for you.

Al

#570627 - 12/28/07 12:08 AM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Two Singers]  
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Hey Al,

I'll have some time tomorrow, I'll drop you a pm or email in the morning after I've had some coffee and have looked at what's here. Thanks for the work.

All the Best,
Mike


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#570630 - 12/28/07 12:16 AM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Sounds good, Mike. Thanks!

Al

#570684 - 12/28/07 08:03 AM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Two Singers]  
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Had a quick look, some questions as you say seem to be repeated or just put a different way. I do not see a problem lumping these all together under one general heading with one all encompassing official answer covering all the points. It seem more logical. Eg I want some advice on making and pitching a demo. then list the answers under headings like Cost, quality, feedback, etc etc. Otherwise the questions jump all over the place and have no proper format.

#570706 - 12/28/07 12:04 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Jim,

I'll look it over and see if I can economize! You might well be correct about broadening the scope of some questions and make them more inclusive to cover all facets of one subject matter. My wife had doctors' appointments all morning (my time); but I will rethink the list as soon as we are finished. Thanks for the insight.

Mike D. and i are going to be looking this over a little later today. In the event he has not seen your post, I will pass on your observation and suggestion. Thanks!

Al

#570760 - 12/28/07 05:08 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Two Singers]  
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This is a wonderful idea!! smile
Joanne

#570775 - 12/28/07 06:44 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Joanne Lurgio]  
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Hi Joanne!

The idea was Brian's, so he deserves the credit for the idea. Mike D. and I are working diligently to bring this to fruition, hopefully within a few weeks.



Big Jim...

Mike and I have discussed your suggestion about combining somewhat similar information about a particular subject into one post, thus reducing the number of questions down to a dozen or so. We both agree that it is good idea. However, we are going to leave the questions, more or less, as they currently are. The reason that we decided to do so is as follows: Many of the folks who are true newbies and/or have little or knowledge of the business per se may not know how to filter through a composite answer to find the specific information they are seeking. As rookies or folks with limited experience, they may or may not know the relationships of various subject matter and how to decipher the manner in which they work together. Thus we are going to keep them more as literal questions, rather than an all-inclusive discussion of a broad topic. It would probably be less confusing to the newbie as such. Please read on for a little more on the expereinced folks.

The more experienced folks would probably have no difficulty sifting through the information by broad topic, as you suggested, and putting it all together. But, the main thrust of this effort is to assist the newbie with a basic foundation of the music scene/business. I guess you could call it "Basic Training For New Songwriters & Performers".

Now, if Brian agrees, at a later time I could put together a different FAQ for the more experienced writer and performers using your suggestion. That would afford everyone an opportunity to use whichever approach works best for him/her. I would not mind doing that.

I wanted to let you know that we did discuss your suggestion and why we decided on the approach we are going to utilize. Again, I do think that your idea would be very effective for more expereinced music folks and would be a terrific reference source for them. Yes, there would be a fair amount of overlap in the information provided; but the organization and delivery of the information would be different. Plus, there could be more detailed information provided. Thanks again for your interest and taking time to express your thoughts on the matter.

Al

#570815 - 12/28/07 10:40 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Two Singers]  
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We can always nit pick anything. I am just glad to see it moving forward. The only suggestion I would make is that 2 different questions single out Country music when the question itself doesn't really need to. One purpose for the FAQ in my mind is so that when people come here without experience or knowledge that JPF is a welcoming and diverse org supporting all types of music, they will still be able to get helpful info while they dip their toes into it all. If you're a Rock or Pop or Rap or Classical or Religious or Jazz or Electronic artist/writer etc., these FAQS should be as helpful to you as it would be to a Country writer/artist. I think considering that would help frame the questions beyond the Country music format/formula.

Food for thought,

Brian


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Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

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


#571030 - 12/29/07 06:14 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Brian,

I assume you are referring to questions 5 & 18. Just a couple of quick comments. When I reviewed the threads to determine the most commonly asked questions, I did not filter them for genre or specific subject matter for inclusion or exclusion. I noted them only by their intrinsic content. Also, Country music is the only mainstream music, of which I know, that so tightly constrains their requirements of "newbies", aspiring compoasers/writers, to proscribed formulae and tolerate little or no deviance if you want their ear. If I were to remove the reference to "Country Music" in those two questions, they would have sigificantly reduced relevance. And those two questions were asked multiple times, in form or another. The intent is not to focus on one genre or group per se; but to respond to the questions as asked, in the context of the inquiry. So, as I previously mentioned, if the reference to the Country Music genre is excluded, then the questions as whole should be removed. Personally, I feel they should remain because we do have so many participants on the boards who write and/or perform in that particular genre. I realize that the active forum participants are just a small part of the total JPF membership. But, those who do participate on the forums on a regular basis represent the target audience for this project; at least that was my impression. Just my thoughts.

Al

#571109 - 12/30/07 01:50 AM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Two Singers]  
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Wow, you guys are making some great progress... glad to see this moving forwards. This whole thing is SO long over due, but now it could truly happen as early as January 2008... NOT too late! grin

Here's another little input "tweak" regarding your approach to serve both "newbies" and the more experienced. You could invite the newbies (or everyone!) to start first with the "Music Biz 101" FAQs and then later (when they're ready) they can "graduate" up to "Music Biz 201" or "301" or whatever you want to call it. In other words, start them with the basics and then let them move up from there at their own speed.

Best regards,
Michael
P.S. If anyone gets lost, they can always start over on square one! wink


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself. -- Johann Sebastian Bach

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#571192 - 12/30/07 04:48 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Michael Borges (D)]  
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Michael,

I personally like your idea of a Muisc Biz 101, 102, 103, etc. I think that Mike and I are so far along in this inception that it would be a bit difficult to revise it as such. But, down the road, I may take another look at that. I appreciate your thoughts and thanks for the encouragement! All the best to ya!

Al

Last edited by Al David; 12/30/07 04:48 PM.
#571253 - 12/30/07 08:12 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Two Singers]  
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Originally Posted by Al David
Michael,
I personally like your idea of a Muisc Biz 101, 102, 103, etc. I think that Mike and I are so far along in this inception that it would be a bit difficult to revise it as such. But, down the road, I may take another look at that. I appreciate your thoughts and thanks for the encouragement! All the best to ya!
Al


Ok Al, thanks!
Maybe keep it very SIMPLE, like have just two versions:
Intro and Advanced.
The "Intro" is for newbies and the "Advanced" for the experts like you and Mike...
and the rest of us that wanna learn more! grin

Michael


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself. -- Johann Sebastian Bach

MichaelBorges.com
LicenseQuote.com
#571292 - 12/30/07 10:55 PM Re: 10 Most Common Questions? [Re: Michael Borges (D)]  
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Hi Al Brian's point is valid. Most folk on this forum are country music writers BUT there are a lot of us who are not. There may be 100 questions about country music and maybe a half dozen about other genres and non country issues but these half dozen still are just as important and could be looked at including to avoid JPF attracting only country folk.
PS. I do not see any technical questions about equipment, computer programs and recording devices etc. I am sure that there have been many questions repeated many times about mics, pro tools, cakewalk, interfaces etc etc. Perhaps a question about basic recording setups,techniques and equipment needed.

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