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#810722 - 04/14/10 06:49 PM Nashville Networking and BMI Contact  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,440
Ralph Blight Offline
Serious Contributor
Ralph Blight  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,440
Greetings all,

For those of you who do not know me, I have been sidelined for a while with health problems, but I have finally got a couple of key tunes demoed for pitching. I have a song plugger for that. I have them posted for feedback in the mp3 section in case anyone is inclined to give them a listen.

Greatest Christmas Gift Of All
Price Of Freedom

I was wondering if anyone has a BMI contact who actually gives a rat's droppings about members. I cannot get them to respond or listen to my stuff. I have emailed them for three years and nothing. I went down there and met with a rep who said he's listen to my songs. I gave him a CD and he said he'd respond in three weeks. That was two months ago. BMI songwriter relations are abysmal on a level that is hard to understand, and I have always been led to believe that they are the most songwriter-friendly organization there is.

If this is what Nashville is like, then I'm tempted to pull a Kristofferson and land a helicopter in Tim McGraw's backyard. It worked for him, but I'd probably get arrested. LOL

Seriously though, any suggestions on networking in this town would be appreciated. Writers nights are out for me as I am not a competent enough performer. Besides, the only people who go to those things are other unconnected writers.

Fisherman hook fish; songwriters fish for hooks


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#810749 - 04/14/10 07:22 PM Re: Nashville Networking and BMI Contact [Re: Ralph Blight]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,040
Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,040
Nashville, Tn.

Welcome to Nashville. Hope you enjoy it. It is a great town filled with wonderful people all trying to do the same thing.
The good news and the bad news are the same.

The good news is:
Everybody here is just like you, trying to do the same thing, and know exactly where you come from.

The bad news is:
Everybody here is just like you, trying to do the same thing,
and know exactly where you come from.

The reality with BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC is the pure numbers. There are well over 48,000 people here with the same ideas, hopes and dreams. About 50 people a day make forays into those offices. Hundreds of writers a week. Thousands of songs.

There is only so much anyone can do. The music business has lost $4.5 billion dollars in 7 years. 7 years ago there were 1480 staff writer positions. Now there are 315.

7 years ago there were about 2500 publishers. There are around 800 now. And about 20 get the majority of cuts, and that is mostly because they are involved with the artists, who are the writers on 92% of the songs recorded.

Judging from the titles on your songs, you have two subjects that are nearly the ebola virus of the music industry.

Christmas songs, which have a very short collection period, 5 weeks, which means limited airplay for new Christmas songs, and are mostly done as "public domain" songs, because of the hard to collect royalties and most artists want to record something they grew up with because it... reminds them of when they grew up.

People do cut Christmas songs, but the majority of those pitches are already passed and the projects will be finished by July.

Patriotic songs.
After 9-11 the country was very patriotic. On any National issue, the first few weeks will be exploding with songs about that particular subject. A few will get out, then the market gets overloaded.
When something turns negative, like the Iraq or Afganistan wars, suddenly they are everywhere and no matter what side of the issue you take, you wind up ticking off half the audience who don't believe like you. Whitness the fracus between the Dixie Chicks and Toby Keith.

And in an industry starving for it's very survival, an increasing era of people expecting "Free music" declining market value and increasing competition, confrontation and "statement songs" are just not in the cards for most artists, who are watching their income and families security float away.

So, probably one of the reasons you get no response from a representative of BMI is that there is really no where to go with these type songs. They are now the property of the writer's themselves, to put on their own their own web sites, and post in their own networking efforts.

The other thing about ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, are that they are collection agencies. They really no longer train writers. With all the avenues availible to writers, the Internet, workshops, seminars, networking events, writer's nights, NSAI, etc, that ar where writers are trained now.

Today the top five people at ASCAP were fired.
BMI is sure to follow.
It is harder and harder to collect on FREE.

Also, one of the biggest record companies, Lyric Street, the home of Rascal Flatts, closed their doors today. That is Disney.
If you don't believe it is a dismal market, that should tell you what it is.

Can't collect on FREE.

Also, the head of SONY, the biggest label in music, stepped down after 40 years. So the bloodletting is on. It will get worse.

The result is less places for songs, less labels, less publishers. That is why you haven't heard for anybody.

What to do?

your comments on writer's nights are exactly the OPPOSITE of what they should be. the writer's nights are really the ONLY way to network. That is "pledging the fraternity." Everyone goes through there. You go if you are not a performer to meet performers. You are going to have to co-write your way into any door you want to get into. Everyone has a self interest. Every one has songs. Everyone is shooting for the same goals. So you have to work your way in by making you part of their goals.

Nashville is two essential things.
The art of the hang.
The art of the referall.

The art of the hang, is where you go where the writers are, sit through the things they do. Put yourself in the same places they have to go through. There are no free rides or easy ways or short cuts.

The art of the referall is when someone believes in what you are doing and place their reputation on yours. Introductions, co-writes, publishers, all open up their doors when you have something they cannot live without or get somewhere else.

Without getting too much into an infomercial here, my songwriter tours are designed to do just that. This morning a couple from Austrailia met a dozen hit writers and saw a wonderful show at Tootsies Orchaid Lounge. It is a show we do once a week. Tonight they will come see myself and another hit writer, Jimbeau Hinson
at a writers night at a place called Second Avenue Live, which is on Second Avenue downtown above the Coyote Ugly night club.
You are welcome to join us and I will introduce you to some people. That is what I do.

But if you want to get deep and start working, that is what my tours do. There are other things. Joining NSAI is a great place to start. An office on the Row, various industry events (we just had the Tin Pan South songwriters Festival, two weeks ago)
Jason Blume has a seminar once a week at BMI. ASCAP has similar things. Barbara Cloyd have song critiques, Rand Bishop has his own workshops, their are networking events through Indie Connect several times a week in lunch meetings and evenings. The POPCORN songwriter's festival starts in June. There are writer's nights every night. This Sunday we have the Doak Turner "Third Sunday at Three" songwriter's networking party. About 150 writers will show up in guitar pulls, a picnic, food, drinks and sharing information. I will be there.

The biggest thing you have to do is show up.

The things nessasary here are:

Songs are always last because everybody has them. But they are the indespensable element of the town. But if you don't have the first two, no one listens to your songs.

So how do you start networking in this town? You show up. Do what everyone else has to do, and earn your way in.

It is all up to you.

There are people here to help you. Just got to look in the right place.


#810753 - 04/14/10 07:27 PM Re: Nashville Networking and BMI Contact [Re: Marc Barnette]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,040
Marc Barnette Offline
Top 50 Poster
Marc Barnette  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,040
Nashville, Tn.
PS: (AS if that was not enough)

We have a new networking site, www.musicstartshere.org that has video snippets of writers, artists, producers, publishers, etc. that can give you some additional information and ideas. WE are trying to develop a "Chamber of commerce for the Music industry." You might find some help there.


#810841 - 04/15/10 03:17 AM Re: Nashville Networking and BMI Contact [Re: Ralph Blight]  
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,478
Kevin Edward Rose Offline
Top 200 Poster
Kevin Edward Rose  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,478
Richmond, IN U.S.A.
Ralph, I don't have an answer for you, but it's good to see you back. I hope you are doing well!

Kevin Edward Rose
Celtic, Americana, whatever the folk.
Hailed by Performing Songwriter magazine as a "valued subscriber".
More music sold than Elvis and the Beatles combined!*
#810844 - 04/15/10 03:29 AM Re: Nashville Networking and BMI Contact [Re: Marc Barnette]  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,440
Ralph Blight Offline
Serious Contributor
Ralph Blight  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,440

Wow! Thanks for taking the time to write all that. I knew most of it already but thanks for the leads. I have actually been here since January of last year but I had bypass surgery and have been recovering.

Fisherman hook fish; songwriters fish for hooks


Music Site
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#810845 - 04/15/10 03:30 AM Re: Nashville Networking and BMI Contact [Re: Kevin Edward Rose]  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,440
Ralph Blight Offline
Serious Contributor
Ralph Blight  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,440
Thanks a bunch, Kevin. I hope all is well with you too.

Fisherman hook fish; songwriters fish for hooks


Music Site
Political Forums
#810878 - 04/15/10 11:14 AM Re: Nashville Networking and BMI Contact [Re: Marc Barnette]  
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 4,173
Tom Shea Offline
Top 100 Poster
Tom Shea  Offline
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Joined: May 2008
Posts: 4,173
Ralph - best of luck. It ain't easy, as Marc so eloquently explains.

Marc - the laser beam reality.


Thomas Shea

Thomas Shea - Songwriting

Justice - Songs

#810893 - 04/15/10 12:05 PM Re: Nashville Networking and BMI Contact [Re: Tom Shea]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,040
Marc Barnette Offline
Top 50 Poster
Marc Barnette  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,040
Nashville, Tn.

Be around this for 22 years and it pretty much becomes automatic. We ALL feel we have something special. We have things that come to us, ideas, thoughts, melodies, etc. And in our home town we go through one of two reactions from our friends, significant others, parents, etc.

When will your royalties start rolling in so I can quit my job?

Why are you wasting that money I want for my couch on that demo?

This builds up. And we either want to prove the first one right or the last one wrong. Call it pride, ego, or just natural drive, that happens. So we start planning to make moves. We either make trips to a music center, start doing more in our neighborhoods or get on every Internet resource we can find.

At some point, about 10% of people who do this decide to make that big move. They either make a few trips before or just pack up and go.

And they all do pretty much the same thing, go to a couple of meetings or workshops, go to the Bluebird, see a bunch of other people JUST like they are and decide THERE HAS GOT TO BE A BETTER WAY! The thought of waiting all night to play one song on an open mic, after hearing Horrible songs over and over that night, or just the feeling of having to start over in a new job or ten, is overwhelming.

So some try to jump over the process, go to ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, or hire a song plugger and get THEIR songs out there. They feel like that if they are JUST HEARD by the RIGHT PEOPLE, the skies will part, choirs will sing "AAAAHHHHH"""", all will bow,someone will say "OH HOSANNA, THEY ARE HERE, THE ONE THAT THE PROPHECY HAS FORTOLD TO US!!!!!"

The reality is that they find their songs are really not that much better than everyone else's. They sit with somebody at a PRO, who gives it a yawn by looking at the title, and seeing the same titles that are on 65 Cd's already sitting on his desk, and the same songs that he has pretty much been listening to for the past 6 months since he got this job. There is nothing different, nothing interesting, nothing that stands out, because it was basically written by a former real estate person from Des Moinse, who's biggest connection with the music industry, was going to a Reba concert in their hometown casino.

Why don't the publishers/PRO's or other people tell them this? They try. But most don't want to listen. You get tired of people arguing the validity of their songs. You get tired of them geting upset and the whole "Wait till they get a load of me!!!! You are all wrong and wouldn't know a hit if it fell on you out of the sky!!!!"

So there is the polite "I'll give a listen and call you later" thing. The publisher, or PRO representative has twenty five other people to see that day and they are all going to be about the same time. The are forgotten the moment they leave the office.

This happens over and over. They go to meetings at other places. Same reaction IF THEY CAN GET SOMETHING HEARD. Everywhere they go there are 85 people standing in line and 20 are going to get heard. And when they are heard by some publisher or music person, they listen to a verse and chorus, and move on to the next song. That is what you hear more than anything else "What else you got?"

They go to writer's nights and it is terrible. The writers range from the very young 13 year old kids with their parents, the 23 year old hot blonde model wanna be's, the former baseball player dudes who look great but couldn't carry a tune in a bucket, and ALL the songs sound awful! They sound like every other Awful song they have heard from every other singer and writer out there. And they keep thinking "Man, if they could only hear me!"

Their song plugger keeps asking for money but doesn't really have much to report. The reason is the songs, but they want the money to keep coming in, so they will never say "hey, you know these songs are really average!" No one is going to talk their way out of business.

They get on web sites with people who are not as good as them and EVERYBODY LOVES THEIR SONGS! "Sounds like a HIT!" keeps coming on the "comments" box. Of course to those people about anything would sound like a hit or they really don't want to deal with someone getting defensive on their songs. "WAIT'LL THEY GET A LOAD OF ME!!!"

After five or six months of this, people start to realize that this isn't going to happen overnight, they are running WAY low on cash, that 401 K is looking like a 201 K and people back home are asking all the questions, "When will I hear your songs on the radio?"

Most people leave by the 6th month. About 100 a week move here. About 300 a week move home. not to mention the hundreds that come in every week trying to "see someone!" They are called "musical tourists" and guess what they are doing?

THEY GO TO BMI,ASCAP, SESAC, NSAI and sit with people who tell them "Keep doing what you are doing, and they will call them back in two weeks!"


If someone hears something in what you are doing, they will start the referal process. "Hey, let me introduce you to so and so." "You know, you should meet..." "Let me hang on to this song to play for someone else.." or most important, "Let's get together and write something..."

Until people are doing that every time you enter a room and play something, you are not at the interstate off ramp to the parking
lot to the ballpark. Pure and simple.

And with the current meltdown in the industry, expect a LOT more of that.

This is the nature of this beast. And it is hard to understand.

yesterday some of the biggest players in labels, pros, publishers, all got fired or quit.

Spotify, the supposed "Savior of the industry", a new online music streaming service, that is supposed to be THE new music model for the 21st century, paid Lady Ga Ga a whopping $165 for a million downloads on her "Poker Face" song. Some new business model.

There is a total business meltdown in the entertainment industry. Movies, television, music, etc. The rest of the world is following suit on pretty much every business out there, we just feel it first because we are a luxury item.

It as if whatever you have done for a living your entire life has suddenly been made "FREE!" No more money for that ever. Sorry. Welcome to life.

That is what the people like Ralph here have to understand. Some things stand out in his statements that are red flags to everyone in this business:

"Writer's nights are out for me because I am not a competitant enough performer."

Well, that is unfortunate, because EVERY SINGLE contact you make in the first four years of existance here, are all through writer's nights. That is it. you don't jump line, or get places without it. Everyone else has to, so what makes you so good you don't have to. And I don't mean to perform or get discovered. I mean to make the relationships, find co-writers and be a part of the society here. That is what we do.

Some advance pretty quickly, I got a cut my first night in town (at a writer's night) but most struggle through it. If you are not a performer, you are going to have to get some quick. Welcome to the world of co-writing.

And "what would be the reason if you can no longer make money or get discovered", you say?

My question would be, "Why are you here?"
"What did you expect?"

This is what this business is. A neighborhood of writers, artists, producers, publishers. It is not some solid "Big Machine" that model is dead. No one controls anything anymore. Everybody is looking for the same breaks. You earn those.
You earn it by being around, being a friend, meeting other people. Participating in what everyone else has to participate in.

Everybody has their own issues. Health issues. Financial. That is what this is and always has been.
And everybody wants the same way to "skip all that."

You can't. End of story.

What did you expect?


#810902 - 04/15/10 12:42 PM Re: Nashville Networking and BMI Contact [Re: Marc Barnette]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,784
Kolstad Offline
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Kolstad  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,784
Hey, I love the vid's at your new networking site, Marc! Always up for Elvis stories :-) he's been with me since I was six years old.

The business picture is dark at the moment. We need it to be as dark as it can get, so we can move towards the light again. In the meantime.. keep writing, so you're ready :-)

Buzz Tracks
Making media sweeter

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#810912 - 04/15/10 01:37 PM Re: Nashville Networking and BMI Contact [Re: Marc Barnette]  
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 6,343
Bill Robinson Offline
Bill Robinson  Offline

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Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 6,343
Curmudgeonville, Tn
It is good to see you back. I knew you had relocated to Nashville but wasn't sure if you were still here or not. It is good to hear your health is improving.
I made the move in March 2009.
Personally I wish I hadn't. It has cost me dearly. I'd estimate between $50,000 and$70,000. and the number is still rising.
I'll never recoup the losses so no sense cryin' over it.

I'd move back to Michigan but my wife really likes her new job and the fact that she can put plants in her garden in April.
Beyond that I figured out in real short order that I wasted my time and a whole lot of money making this move.
I gave up my 35 acres of woodland, my place to hunt deer and turkeys, a great house I built myself, a really cool barn where I had my little studio, for an impossible elusive dream.

My mistake? I didn't do a reality check on my own talents and limitations. I'm to old to learn these new tricks. I'll never be a decent musician, can't sing, and I write mediocre songs. Songs that have been written thousands of times before and will continue to be written.

"Making it" in the music business in Nashville or anywhere else is like winning the Lotto Mega billions or whatever it is called. Out of the millions who play it One wins. ONE. Those are the odds of making any headway in the business.
But, of course, you can't win the lotto if you don't play. Same with this business.
So if you think of this music crap in the same way you think of the Lotto you will be OK. Don't expect to win and you won't be disappointed.

I quit NSAI (just didn't renew) I still go out to writers nights now and then but purely for entertainment. I like Richard's Cafe in Whites Creek. Good Food.
Doak's is still an option. Definitely worth the visit.
I think networking is the way to go. If you work at it long enough I think you can eventually meet one of the Writers who have their foot in the door. If you can become friends with them you might have a chance.

I have figured out the ONLY Artists, other than the few stars, making a living in this business are professional working musicians. The other people making money are the people who run organizations like BMI, NSAI, Songwriter workshops, Demo services, etc.
In other words People who are trying to teach singer/songwriters how to succeed in a failing business that they really have little or no chance of succeeding in.

Then there are the people who do this simply because they love to write, sing, and perform for an audience. Money doesn't matter. They work a day job and perform every chance they get. Some are delusional and chase the dream but I think most understand the game and do it for the love of entertaining. I think that is a wonderful thing.

But the ones who think they will be a star? No they go home eventually leaving a trail of tears for other wannabees to follow.
I no longer subject myself to "professional" critics by people who tell me to not use Heart/Start in my songs then play one of their own songs and the first rhyme in the chorus is Heart/Start.

Marc explains it all much better than I can. He's been here a long time. Marc is the Real Deal. Honest, and very talented.

As for me? Well I still have an open invitation to anyone to come to my place just outside Nashville. I have a little project studio set up. The neighbors don't complain. I'd still like to start a songwriters group to meet at my place but it hasn't happened yet. Part of the problem is I'm not IN Nashville. I live about twenty minutes Northwest about a mile from Kurt Fortmeyer.
And I think most folks are really too busy trying to earn a living in an economy that is failing more by the day.

Having said all that I'd meet up with you any time you like.

Skype; bill.robinson12

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." --Thomas Jefferson didn't say it

#810955 - 04/15/10 04:49 PM Re: Nashville Networking and BMI Contact [Re: Bill Robinson]  
Joined: Sep 2007
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Ethan Offline
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Ethan  Offline
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Washington State, USA
You know what though, as a performing songwriter, Nashville looks like a great hub in the touring spoke. That's my consideration for moving there, if ever I do.


#810956 - 04/15/10 04:51 PM Re: Nashville Networking and BMI Contact [Re: Ethan]  
Joined: May 2002
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Gregory Watton Offline
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Gregory Watton  Offline
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Go make some friends, that's pretty much what I did and still do.

#810992 - 04/15/10 07:36 PM Re: Nashville Networking and BMI Contact [Re: Gregory Watton]  
Joined: Jul 2005
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Bob Cushing Offline
Bob Cushing  Offline

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cincinnati oh usa
Ralph, great to hear you're feeling better! Marc, I'll officially graduate from open mic's to songwriter night at The Commodore May 22nd. Lets hook up if you're not busy {a big IF I know!}

#810997 - 04/15/10 07:51 PM Re: Nashville Networking and BMI Contact [Re: Bob Cushing]  
Joined: Jan 2009
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Sir Robert,

I wouldn't miss your coming out party. I hope we can even "knight you" by tapping you on the head and shoulders with the guitar.


#811089 - 04/16/10 02:07 AM Re: Nashville Networking and BMI Contact [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.

See, if you had spent $225 with me, I would have saved you that $70,000. LOL! Let me know how you are doing. Doak's party is this Sunday. Come on out. Haven't done Richard's in a while because I just kind of wear out on performing all the time. I cut back quite a bit but am still around.


#811093 - 04/16/10 02:44 AM Re: Nashville Networking and BMI Contact [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
For anyone really interested in what Nashville is like for the hit songwriters, hangers on and the silliness that ensues here, you might want to check this out. It is called "Beer for Breakfast" and is a weekly show we do at the world famous "Tootsie's Orchaid Lounge". It is hosted and invented by Gary Hannan, the songwriter behind "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off" and "Back When I Knew It All."

Nashville is really about people having a good time playing music. All the other stuff, hit records, great songs, publishing and record deals, all come as a result of the people. This is a pretty good look.

Any of you ever coming into town, here is a great networking opportunity. You are all welcome.



#811162 - 04/16/10 11:56 AM Re: Nashville Networking and BMI Contact [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Magne says:

The business picture is dark at the moment. We need it to be as dark as it can get, so we can move towards the light again. In the meantime.. keep writing, so you're ready :-)

Magne, you will probably get your wish. What is happening in the music business has been coming on for some time, which is why I have tried so hard to convince people that there is NO big machine that controls everything. There are a lot of smaller entities operating pretty much the same way, all trying to get attention.
There are some with money of course, but money just helps with access, not any guarantees. Most things fail. The story of Taylor Swift, point to what is going on these days.

It is going to a smaller world, with a lot of people in it, and very few making money and getting attention. Pretty much what it has always been.

The more things change.


#811172 - 04/16/10 12:52 PM Re: Nashville Networking and BMI Contact [Re: Marc Barnette]  
Joined: Apr 2001
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Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline

JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
Hi Ralph,

Good to see you back into action.

Marc is right. If you want to get to Tim McGraw, you have to go through the channels and get a pass from several gatekeepers, all of whom have to get to know you.

You might get some indies interested in your songs, though. Do you have the tracks to these songs? They sound like they are recorded fairly well (though the snare on the Christmas song sounds "boxy" to me...sorry, I have the producer's "curse" LOL.) I listened on my computer speakers, but they might be indie radio quality.

There are more and more artists, these days, who realize they are not going to grab the brass ring...that they are not going to be major artists. But, they love music and still want to express themselves, so they record songs and get them played on small radio shows around the world, internet radio, pitch to libraries, get on CDBaby and post on websites. Heck, I'm one of them, have been for a long time, Ha. There's little or no money in it, but it scratches the music itch. If you poke around, look on indie music sites and do searches on MySpace and Facebook, you'll find a bunch of them. Look for ones who aren't cutting only self-written songs, and send them links to these. If you have the tracks available, and if you had the tracks made as "work for hire" then you could offer them to them for license or for sale. If not, make sure you get backtracks of all your future demos, and make sure you get either "work for hire" or union master agreements.

As music gets smaller, the smaller artists will get bigger. It will no longer be songs pitched to the lowest common denominator, it will be a smaller audience "set" whose lcd is inherently higher.

Glad to see you, Good luck. God's blessings.

All the Best,

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.

Mike Dunbar Music

#811251 - 04/16/10 09:32 PM Re: Nashville Networking and BMI Contact [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Good one Mike. Doak's party is this weekend. Hope to see you there.

For anyone else around this weekend and want to learn about the "networking" approach to Nashville, Doak Turner, networker extrodinaire, has a "Third Sunday at Three party. It is a songwriter's picnic, guitar pull, where around 150 writers will show up, play in five rooms and the yard and driveway of his house.

Everyone brings food, there are some other foods there, bring what you want to drink and your instrument. Sometimes bringing a chair is not a bad idea. There are several songwriter "circles" and everyone can wait their turn, watch everybody else, or dive in and start playing.

Ralph here has asked the question, "How do you network in this town?" My question would be "How do you NOT network in this town?

We put it all on for you. It is there. You just have to show up.
We can lead you to water, but we can't make you drink.


#811614 - 04/19/10 02:31 AM Re: Nashville Networking and BMI Contact [Re: Marc Barnette]  
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 17
Tina Anderson Offline
Casual Observer
Tina Anderson  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 17
blytheville arkansas
After reading all this...I wanna go...not to get rich, not to be famous, but to pick and grin...I grin while I pick so they don't see how bad I really pick LOL...what you described is me but in a different area and no chance of making an industry connection..a bunch of friends sometimes new ones mostly same ones for years just enjoying what is the heart of us, our music..could I make a living there...sure...I'm a LPN and I can work anywhere basically to support my family, I live cheaply to begin with and hell fire, figured out years ago from my country raising if you can't afford to buy it, make it or grow it..you have more pride in it that way anyway...as long as I am surrounded by people who love their music and wanna listen to some of mine I don't particularly care if they are crazy about it, I just wanna feel the smile music brings to my face, sure I would love to make money doing it, but money comes and goes and memories last forever...if I can just talk hubby into it...LOL

#811979 - 04/21/10 04:51 AM Re: Nashville Networking and BMI Contact [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Ralph Blight Offline
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Ralph Blight  Offline
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Posts: 1,440
Hi, Marc. Thanks again for all your insight. As I mentioned earlier, a lot of this I already know. You should know that I am probably THE MOST grounded person you will ever meet, given what I have been through in the couple of years. I do not 'count' on any kind of success, nor do I expect any. I know that I have talent, but so what -- there are lots of talented writers in town with no cuts. I know that it is ultimately WHO you know.

Fortunately, I have no dependents or SO, so there will be no decisions on whether to buy that couch or do that demo. I am so broke that I probably couldn't afford to get any more than 1 or 2 demos a year done anyway.

The worst part of the reality is not that it is nearly impossible to make it, but that it is nearly impossible to get anyone to even listen to your music. I noticed that you commented on the genres of my songs without having listened to them. This is not a complaint, mind you. I mention it to illustrate the difficulty. As I said, I haven't been able to get BMI to listen to anything I have sent them.

Also, I am not good at networking. I've always been on the shy side. I also don't co-write, mainly because I am such an @ss about getting my way. That is another strike against me.

I am not sure I agree with you about having to 'pay your dues' for five years before you can even smell a break. It's really very simple. You just have to write undeniably GREAT songs. If you do that, it still might take five years, or forever, or it might take two days. Nobody knows if and when someone will get that big break. Everything you suggest is great advise since it increases your odds.

I am currently staying with a producer who has his own garage studio. I don't mean your typical garage studio either. He has GREAT equipment and sound. He is always telling me to co-write. He's been here for about 25 years and knows a lot about this biz.

I have a plugger lined up who can pitch my stuff. My only problem is getting it demoed and ready.

Fisherman hook fish; songwriters fish for hooks


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#811980 - 04/21/10 05:06 AM Re: Nashville Networking and BMI Contact [Re: Bill Robinson]  
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Ralph Blight Offline
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Ralph Blight  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,440
Hi Bill,

Thanks for your reply. I am not technically in Nashville either. I am in Lavergne.

I know that writers' nights are something everyone in town tells you are must gos, but if you don't perform live and are lousy at networking, you can go to a million of them and it won't make a bit of difference. On the other hand, there are some industry events, like the Texas Songwriter's Cruise, which I went on three years ago, where you actually get to pitch to publishers/A&R People who might remember you or like something enough to sign. That particular cruise gets several deals every time it sets sail. I met a lot of very cool and very good writers from Nashville who seemed to take an interest in me when they heard some of my songs at the open pitches, but since I had no plans to go to Nashville at the time, I didn't bother to get their contact info. As much as I HATE TAXI, the road rally I went to three years ago was good. Unfortunately, I could have done a MUCH better job networking at both events. I am your typical wall-flower at social events. I HATE them.

Fisherman hook fish; songwriters fish for hooks


Music Site
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#811981 - 04/21/10 05:17 AM Re: Nashville Networking and BMI Contact [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Jul 2005
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Ralph Blight Offline
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Ralph Blight  Offline
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Hi Mike,

One day we should actually meet up. We almost did back when I landed in town a year ago January and was sleeping in my car. Good thing though because I had pneumonia at the time.

Fisherman hook fish; songwriters fish for hooks


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#811982 - 04/21/10 05:19 AM Re: Nashville Networking and BMI Contact [Re: Marc Barnette]  
Joined: Jul 2005
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Ralph Blight Offline
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Ralph Blight  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,440
Figures I would be late in reading the replies to this thread and miss this.

Fisherman hook fish; songwriters fish for hooks


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