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#822018 - 06/01/10 11:21 PM Okay, so how do I make money at this?  
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cindyrella Offline
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Granted, I'm fairly new at this whole thing, but I do think I have talent for lyric writing and have worked some with a couple of guys but it really went no where as far as hearing my music or making money.
I'm enjoying this anyway-a lot!-but I would like to see some rewards eventually. Advice?
Thanks,
Cindy Prince

#822030 - 06/02/10 12:13 AM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: cindyrella]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Simple answer.... you don't so don't give up the day job.

For what it is worth I know a lot of pretty good lyricists and NONE have grossed dollar one.

My advice is to learn the craft of songwriting, enjoy your hobby cause in 99.999% repeater of all cases it will only ever be a hobby. It will probably cost you money to have any lyrics put to music and demoed. To think that lyric writing is a viable source of income is a delusional pipedream. Sorry but that is just a fact of life.

#822039 - 06/02/10 12:47 AM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Cindy you got to make your way to Nashville or one of the music hubs...most people making money have written over 500 songs and have more sitting around. It takes a lot of work. alot of work.
some luck but way more work.

Talk to Mark Barnette on this site and he will give you his opinion which is a good one....

There are other avenues to pursue but they are on a local scale and do not pay very much....and those avenues require lots of work as well. LOL

Sooooo, keep networking you need to meet people with a network already built and a foot in the door to somewhere.

My local piece of advice.

#822054 - 06/02/10 03:21 AM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Kathy Bampfield]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Hey Kathy,

Have I been Summoned? Hello Cindy. I'm Marc-Alan Barnette or MAB, I teach songwriting and the practical application of the music business based in Nashville Tn. I have been in this business for about 36 years and work every day at teaching writers and artists in the craft of the music industry.

Imagine if you will the National football league. You are in Missouri so I will just take the Kansas City Chiefs for an example. Think about how many kids play sandlot football. Then how many actually play some kind of junior league or pee wee football. Then some play for their elementary school, then go on through Junior High and then High School. By the time they get to Senior year, they have spent about 8 years of constant practice, giving up vacations to play summer practices, constantly in the weight room, totally consumed.

But even that does not guarantee they are going to get to colledge and even that does not guarantee that they are going to play professionally. SO that starts out with millions, files down to thousands, hundreds, and then less than dozens that actually end up going anywhere, ever.

Songwriting is very similar. There are millions that are trying to write some kind of songs. At the most recent count there were about 13 million bands, duos, solos, on You Tube alone. That is millions of people, even more millions of songs. We are at the convergence of several things.

Karaoke which made everyone an amatuer singer.

Computer and the internet and home recording which put everyone into the game.

And it removed a majority of the money made in the music industry.

So basically it is enormous supply and very finite demand. And the people who do this professionally have done this for dozens of years, an average of twenty, doing it almost every day. That is your competition.

You are more likely to be struck by lightning than to get a successful artist to cut your song.

You are more likely to be struck by lightning in a submarine underwater than to have any significant success.

The answer? You totally remove any thoughts of making money and do it as a hobby. If you are very driven you do it as a second job. And you put as much time, effort and money into it as your first job. Because if you don't, your competition does.

The point is that we are all doing it as hobbies. Even those who actually get paid to do it. All of us have multiple businesses in addition to our music endevors. I am fortunate that I am paid for music only. But that goes in numerous directions. Teaching, seminars, workshops, live performances, producing and performing on demo recordings, etc.

I am typing this to you at nearly midnight on Tuesday. I have done a recording session, done multiple threads on these type forums all day long, done multiple song critiques, wrote on two songs, booked five of my songwriter tours for the next two months, made organizational plans in Atlanta for the next three days, and a live songwriter's show. My day starts at 7:00 in the morning. That is a normal day.

So that is what it is really about. Hours and hours of continuous work that has nothing to do with writing music, and dozens of things that make the writing possible. That is what making a living in music is about now.

A primary reason for that is that people rarely pay for music anymore. The industry has lost around 6 billion dollars in the past 7 years. So that is why if you want to do this, you will have to look much deeper into the reality than you are thinking.

Before anyone gets a royalty check, they have to get a reality check.

My advice would be:

#1 Get outside yourself.
Get around other writers.
Attend workshops, seminars,
make a trip to a music center.

#2 Write MANY songs.
An average writer will write 125 songs with 65 people a year.

#3 Do as much as you can do locally before even considering expanding. Learn your craft first.

#4. Be happy in whatever comes your way and never expect anything. That way you will always be pleastantly surprised.

There are many great things about it. You meet wonderful people on sites like these. They are of varying degrees of success and various levels of talent. Listen to them. Learn your craft.

Be happy with yourself and what you achieve. Work hard. Write often. And most of all, touch lives.

At the end of the day, that is what is important.

MAB

#822098 - 06/02/10 12:13 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Sausagelink Offline
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Originally Posted by BIG JIM MERRILEES
To think that lyric writing is a viable source of income is a delusional pipedream.


Yep, making a viable income as a musician is much less of a pipe dream. :-)


#822111 - 06/02/10 01:34 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Sausagelink]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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I have been lucky enough to have made a reasonable living from performing music for a very long time.....but it is getting tougher and decent paid work is getting harder to find. Most of the guys I know are struggling and having to diversify or take on work for less pay than they would normally consider. It is a sign of the times.

#822123 - 06/02/10 02:36 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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When you have millions of people flooding the market,that market gets devalued. When you have millions of songs flooding in, mostly amatuers, songs will go to nearly nothing in value because there is no money being exchanged for it.

Supply and demand. Never fails.

MAB

#822124 - 06/02/10 02:36 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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Nashville Tennessee
Hi Cindy,

I've been writing songs for over forty years. I've had dozens of cuts and made hundreds of dollars. Big Jim, Kathy, Marc and Sausage are all correct. There's not a lot of money in it. The best ways are to write advertising, get songs licensed for different applications (tv or movies), or sing them yourself and make money for your shows and selling your cds. I've had two cuts by fairly well known independant artists, one in the Christian market and one in the Blues market, and made less than a hundred bucks combined. The most I made was when a band I was once with played three of my cowritten songs on a popular cooking tv show, then I made hundreds of dollars. The money is spent, the songs live on. LOL.

As Marc said, don't concentrate on the money, that will drive you nuts. Just concentrate on writing and improving. And REALLY concentrate on having fun.


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

#822126 - 06/02/10 02:49 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Originally Posted by BIG JIM MERRILEES
but it is getting tougher and decent paid work is getting harder to find.


One of the things I noticed here is most places where live music is performed locally are only open Wednesday through Saturday. When I was younger they were open Monday through Saturday. It doesn't seem like a lot but it sure did surprise me when I found out.

#822127 - 06/02/10 02:50 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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"Tampa Stan" Good (D) Offline
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"Tampa Stan" Good (D)  Offline
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HiDee Mz Cindy!

OK...this'll improve your Odds:

Every Lyric ya pen, ya go out & buy a Lottery Ticket.

Then, go back to Having FUN at the Writing Thing. READ Lots & Lots of Books on "How To Write Songs"...ANALYZE What's Already ON the Radio/Pay Attention to The Videos, too...and Keep At It.

Meanwhile, those Lottery Tickets SHOULD Sooner-or-Later Pay OFF..& eventually Take Care of The Financial Aspects.

I assure ya it works.

Still Tryin' to Prove It,
& Big Hugs too,
Ol' Stan

#822128 - 06/02/10 02:54 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
You are more likely to be struck by lightning in a submarine underwater than to have any significant success.

Before anyone gets a royalty check, they have to get a reality check.


Never thought about the submarine aspect before.

I like the line about the royalty check vs. reality check....I'll remember that.

#822193 - 06/02/10 07:41 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Sausagelink]  
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cindyrella Offline
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Thanks all! Wise words and I know so little about the business in particular.
I think I am such a dreamer and optimist that I feel anything can happen-and it can you know, smile!
It's sort of like for me, the first time I ever went to a casino in Las Vegas. I put in a quarter in the slots and out came $30! I thought, "oh, this is easy!" I later won 100 bucks and came away with much more money than I spent.
Then, when I posted on sw101 my song Nothing Can Stop the Music about Katrina, Dave Curran put it to music and it was on soundclick and was #5 right away.
So, you see what I am saying...
I guess one thing that surprises me is the bad songs that do make it-mostly in the country genre and mostly the past few years. Songs that make me want to put my hands over my ears and I always turn it fast. Why do those make it? They are badly written, poorly performed, and just stink! ha.
Anyhow, thanks so much for all the info-i have learned an inmeasurable amount from your wisdom!
Cindy

#822197 - 06/02/10 07:59 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: cindyrella]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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There's always Hallmark Cindy. grin

Best thing is to collaborate with several composers. Yes, very difficult to sell songs these days. Probably the best avenue is through music libraries if you have broadcast ready material.

Please don't ask me what "broadcast ready" means. grin

Good luck, John smile

#822233 - 06/02/10 10:56 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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cindyrella Offline
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well, you know I just had to...

Oh When
© 2010 Cindy Prince

I sit with my brain
Rhymes multiplying
I have to jot down
Words without trying

I sit at my computer
Phrases dictating
The rest of my life
So I am still waiting

Chorus
Oh when will I make some money
When will all these words pay
When will I ever rake in the dough
Does anyone want to hear what I say
Oh, when do the bucks begin rolling
From my oh so wonderful words
Oh, when do I start making money
Am I destined to eat like the birds

I sit til my butt’s sore
And flatter than flat
Taking others advice
About this and that

Bridge
I sit staring out of my window when an idea comes floating on by
Do I write it down now cause I’m long past the asking of why

I sit and read
Til I nod off to sleep
Yearning to be better
Humming Little Bo Peep

Repeat chorus


#822285 - 06/03/10 05:09 AM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: cindyrella]  
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Kolstad Offline
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Denmark
Marc use to pull a good one on this subject "It's easy to make a million in music business.. you just start out with two!".

I think that very much applies for 99% of the contenders.

I can tell you, that even if I had 5 consequtive top 10 hits in country music over a period of two years, I would still make less money than I already do with my regular day job!

So, songwriting just can't be motivated by money IMO!


Buzz Tracks
Making media sweeter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/buzztracks
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/buzztracks
#822304 - 06/03/10 09:11 AM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: cindyrella]  
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music4us Offline
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oroville ca.usa
have faith in your work and never give up..,be good to yourself
and keep writing.you are speaking the world. someone will
hear you.. good writers never give up....


Ramona J. Saunders
#822339 - 06/03/10 12:19 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: music4us]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Cindy,

Rule number one. Be careful what you say. When you are trying to get into an industry you never know who you are offending. Some of the people on these sites may have friends who write those alleged songs you are talking about. Or have some on there. You never know who is reading. And if you are asking for help, the first thing is that you have to be able to do something before you can lead off with wild unsubstantiated charges.

The songs that get on the radio, go through a LONG process, have a LOT of money put behind them and somebody believes in them, in fact a lot of people. Music is done by committee so writers believe in them, artists believe in them, managers, label people radio, all believe in them, and if they are on the charts for a while and demonstrating sales figures, guess what the PUBLIC believes in them. So you are kind of outnumbered. And often those are very people you are talking about that you need to give you a job, which is what you are auditioning for everytime you do anything.

And if you are going to put things up there for examples of your work, be expected to have a lot of holes shot in you. I would suggest before you start doing a lot of that you find out how to write, learn the craft, get a little more realistic in your goals and learn the art of tact. Unless of course you want to be the best writer in your living room. Which is always a decent goal.

This is a business of EARNING your way into it. You do that by 15% the writing, performing, recording of the songs. 85% is what you say, do, how you act, the relationships you build, and how much of a bottom line you can bring to SOMEONE ELSE'S bottom line. This is not just about YOU.

So the first thing you should probably do is get out of your own way, get an ego check and learn what you are doing. Will go a long way toward your goal.

MAB

#822389 - 06/03/10 02:42 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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cindyrella Offline
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Thanks for the advice and I didn't mean to appear egotistical and I don't mean to offend anyone-sorry if I do but if but I do know many more people I have seen on here are better writers (this doesnt include me) than what is on the radio. I am glad some people get the chance-but it doesn't mean I have to agree that they are better than we are, because they aren't. Sure some of them are-and they are putting out great stuff-but not all. If this means it is all in my living room-that is just fine because I won't write lousy music or lyrics just to sell it. I guess you'd not agree with my lyric The Dumbing Down of Country Music-a poorly (no doubt) written lyric I wrote because I believe there is a movement to actually "dumb down" listeners.
Alan Jackson had the idea with Murder on Music Row and others have mentioned this -The Dixie Chicks for one. I 've talked to many others that agree and just do not get it.
I love all types of music-and certainly do not believe that I am better than anyone-but if a song makes you cringe-then it does and it doesn't matter if they are richer than kings-I won't be listening or buying.
There are many, many talented riters and singers that I adore their music-Martina Mcbride, Alan Jackson, George Straight...Rascal Flats..Lady Antelbellum , Zac Brown...
They always put out quality stuff.
Sorry, but this is sort of an issue with me and I admire your take, but I hope you can see my point. If not, that is okay too.
I will keep working, and learning, and trying-and loving it.
Cindy
PS
Quote from Craig Aaron
"The Telecom Act of 1996—which abolished nationwide radio ownership caps and spawned the mega-chains—further constricted already limited playlists, abolished local programmers and imposed a homogenized, cookie-cutter sound to better court suburban soccer moms."

Last edited by cindyrella; 06/03/10 04:13 PM.
#822448 - 06/03/10 06:18 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: cindyrella]  
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Cindy,

Murder on Music Row was not written by Alan Jackson. It was written by two friends of mine, Larry Shell and Larry Cordle, and it was not talking about the subject matter in country music, it was talking about the instrumentation of loud rock guitars and drums and a tendancy to a more rock sound.

If you go back to the thirties when country started, (actually 1926) you would find the Appilachain hillbillies complaining that bringing in the blues influences of Jimmie Rogers (a relative of mine) was "not country" and dumbing it down playing that "damn n.....r music."

If you went into the forties, you would hear those exact people complaining about putting that "big band jazz sound" of people like Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys as dumbing down country music. Fast forward to Jim Reeves, Patsy Cline and Tennessee Ernie Ford, produced by Owen Bradely, as sacralidge as they added the New York String sound to the "Countrypolitan" stylings. Loretta Lynne talking about taboo subjects like the "Pill." Buck Owens adding drums and Telecaster guitars, Johnny Cash, Wayon, Willie, Kristofferson and the Owtlaw "drug influenced music of the 70's.

In the 80's the complaints were of the "Rock band sounds of Alabama and Lee Greenwood," The 90's Loud rock shows of Garth Brooks and Shania Twain, right on into the 2000's with the rock/pop of Rascall Flatts, the teen sound of Taylor Swift and
the rock of Jason Aldeen.

Every era has it's detractors as one generation passes on to another and it is never like it was "back in our day." The same was said about the Beatles and Elvis.

The point is that, No, I don't think it is dumbed down. Far from it. In an era that people mostly don't even purchase music, download whatever they want out of existance, country remains a format that continues to grow both in dollars and fan base. And in an era of people with the attention spans of gnats, you actually have to work HARDER to NOT dumb down what you do. There are things that are artist driven, but in almost every single case where people make those kinds of statements, when you start to analyze the songs, the people behind the songs, there are many deceptive elements that only come through through solid song study. It is not always quite what you are seeing.

There may be some songs or artists you don't particularly like but that doesn't mean that they don't have value in the market place, and as in business, the customer is always right.

I saw something this morning on a news show when one of the recent American Idol winners did a song he had written. It was crap. He was amateur and the song was pablum. But I am not a market for that song, so what I think or believe has no bearing on anything.

In country music, I do know many of the writers, artists, players, etc. both in front of and behind the scene. I perform on shows with them. I do charity gigs with them, we are a family of sorts so when people are insulted there is a tendancy to defend your family. So it is an issue with me too, and I make sure I know enough about a subject than just to paint a broad brush statement on everything as well.

You hear a very small part of what is out there. And through the internet artists are being created every day by the public. That is why you have a Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber, they are independent artists that caught fire with the public THEN the industry followed suit. I don't pretend to like everything out there but I know there is much more to like than to dislike.

I didn't really get on here to have an argument on the validity of today's country music. Although that is a discussion I welcome anytime.

Mine was to the initial topic of your post in regard to "making money in the music industry." My desire is to show you the 85-90% of this business which you don't see. and much of that comes in attitudes that are formed on anyone long before their music gets a chance to be known. The internet has destroyed many more careers than it creates with every moment being a "You Tube" moment. Ask actor Micheal Richards about that.

Mine actually is in regard to sites like this one and being careful of how to phrase things, especially before people get a chance to know you. In Nashville, the world revolves around co-writing and the behind the scenes is as much or more important than the surface things, which answer much of your questions about why certain things are on the radio.

I will give you an example.
About a year ago on these pages we had a person who represents a lot of what we deal with in the business. A person who came on to these threads very arrogant, proclaiming how great he was, and how little he thought of other people and their work. With each successive post he became more ego filled, then posted examples of his so called work for all to see how wonderful he was. Most here were pretty unimpressed and many of us wondered exactly what songs he was talking about since his efforts were at best underwhelming, and at worst amatuer. You have to keep in mind that there are some VERY talented people on these pages and you never know who is reading along.

At one point I got into the fray, although why I really don't know, he was quite insulting and continually living in a fantasy world. Anyone who tried to be nice were cut off at the knees and it was quite uncomfortable for a while. We mostly try to be positive and encouraging here. And no one is forced to be here. This is all voluntary, and for myself and some industry pros we often take time away from our other projects to be of assistance to people here because we like them and want to help.

This person was relentless and then got into personal attacks with me. I tried my best to deal with it and was also trying to deal with the issue privatly, but he stirred a lot of things up.

One day, I noticed a post from someone I had not seen before, who was defending me. That was nice but not nessasaray, I tend to do fine by myself but it is always nice when someone has your back. This went on for a bit as well and there was quite a bit of annimosity being thrown around. The other person was asked to leave, and things went back to normal.

About that time, the person who defended me contacted me personally. It turns out that not only did I know him, he was a pretty good friend of mine. He didn't tell people who he was for a good reason. He had the current number one song on the radio at that time. He read along just to find out what people were doing. Someone had mentioned to him about someone insulting me and he came to put his two cents in. Personally he wanted to destroy the career of the offender, but I told him that was unessasary because that person had done enough damage to himself. Those kinds of people always do.

The moral of this story is you never know who is reading what you say or how that is going to be taken. Once you get a little better known and as you get a little more into this business, you begin to understand these things and begin to look at how you phrase things and the foundations of your beliefs. It is always fine to express an opinion. That is what these threads are for. But it is also important to understand that there are larger elements involved. And as it is in regard to your initial post, those are elements you should do some study on.

If you want to be involved in this business, you should understand some things about the "other side of the desk". It is somewhat like a person who goes on a job interview and begins by telling the interviewer how much that business sucks. Not exactly a resume builder.

#822452 - 06/03/10 06:52 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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I am sorry that I mentioned my own personal belief on this subject. I don't suppose it is the best way to do it on here. I didn't even remember putting what I did-probably distracted.
I certainly didn't mean to offend anyone and I will hold my beliefs to myself, or those who understand what I am trying to say, as much as I can. There are some other writers that know me well (Arnie Davidson probably the most) and he could attest to the kind of person I am.

Sorry if I got my facts wrong on the song but I thought I'd seen an interview years ago where they were talking to Alan Jackson.

I certainly realize that country music has changed and that is how it works. I welcome new ways of seeing things but I want to feel something when I listen. I want to see original thought, not cliches throughout.

I am a very passionate person and what I want to do with my lyrics is try and change the world for the better. Many of my lyrics have these beliefs obvious. Those that do know me from either here or SW101 know that I am not out to make anyone angry-but I am not here either to crawl back into my shell and play it safe.

Maybe you could undertand how I feel, if you choose to look at my lyrics on this site or SW 101. Or if you could see some of my poetry (4 are on A Prairie Home Companion), I think I would be understood better.

I know I have so much more to learn and I am sorry that I came across as rude or egotisic. I am most times for the underdog, the abused woman, the crying child, the misunderstood.

Cindy

#822457 - 06/03/10 07:15 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: cindyrella]  
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Originally Posted by cindyrella

I am a very passionate person and what I want to do with my lyrics is try and change the world for the better.


NOW you're talking, Cindyrella. This is a great aspiration, and is probably easier to accomplish than making money at it. To me, those are two different animals.

Hundreds of thousands of people are trying to make money at this and mostly falling on their faces. I wonder how many are trying to change the world for the better, even in a little way?

That sort of aim will work better for all concerned, one way or another. Maybe it's an educational song...maybe it's a benefit for someone with medical bills...maybe it's something for your favorite local business to use.

I say make an impact first, and maybe money will follow more easily. But if you chase dollars with lyrics, well, good luck...at least you wouldn't be alone.

I say do something special with lyrics. Approach the endeavor from a spirit of giving, rather than getting, and it will be greeted by the world with a whole different level of interest.

#822476 - 06/03/10 09:40 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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Cindy,

If you are sincerely interested in making money in the music industry, you should probably know what you are up against. This should spell it out who is there to keep you from doing it.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/05/the-freeloaders/8027/

#822526 - 06/04/10 01:20 AM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Yeah, this is tough. I have never downloaded anything but I know many who have.
I just want to make a difference.
Cindy

#822582 - 06/04/10 11:31 AM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: cindyrella]  
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That is something you can always do. Don't be too concerned with what you hear on the radio or see on television. That has nothing to do with you. Don't worry about what other people are doing. If you don't like certain things, don't listen to it. Find things you like and concentrate on that.

Study how songs are written and delivered. Study story telling.
Explore usage of the language. Pull up the lyrics to hit songs and study them. Find out how the writers take the listener on whatever journey they do. Look at the "elbow moments" which are the unique phrases or words that are in almost every song. I call them "elbow moments' because when you hear them they make you want to poke the person next to you in the ribs and say "Hey, did you hear that?" And that makes people want to play the songs over and over.

Country music is very language and lyric driven. And while any form of music is going to have it's less than savory side and things some of us just don't "GET". But there is some pretty cool things as well.

Just remember this, again back to the subject of your post. This is all revolving around writing with artists. That is how you get songs recorded now. Yo have to find them BEFORE they are signed, and find ways to help them get to the "next level.' But you have to use your own life experiences, yet say it in "THEIR" vocabulary.

The first time one of your songs touches somebody, makes them laugh, dance or cry, and they come up and hug you and say "You have written my life..." That is when the money doesn't matter.

Make Magic. Not excuses.

MAB

#822587 - 06/04/10 12:18 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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wow MAB....now this was some thread!

#822589 - 06/04/10 12:23 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Thanks, Marc. I do want to make magic and life altering lyrics.
I've read a lot of books but cannot ever learn enough-I've worked at libraries for years-although not right now. I wish I could think of the exact book or author about how to write hit songs-it was so helpful. I also enjoyed Tom T. Hall's book-he really is a storyteller. One of my favorite songs is his Old Dogs...
I feel a strong sense of writing from the heart-my better ones are when I remember that.
Thanks,
Cindy

#822604 - 06/04/10 01:25 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: cindyrella]  
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Kathy, you know when you summon the MABBSTER, you will get more than you ask for.

Cindy, in everything I do, I go above and beyond when it comes to giving information. And I didn't want to seem like dogging you down for some comments, that was really no problem, it is just how you phrase things you have to be careful of. Just like how we write songs.We spend most of our time trying "not to offend." and in a town like Nashville and a business like music EVERYONE knows EVERYONE, so you have to be careful about how you approach it.


Saying that "you don't like some of the songs on the radio or don't care for a specific song or artist",is one thing. But when you go into that broad brush "Everything sucks" kind of deal, you get into some really murky territory. And I kind of deal with it a bunch here and on other sites. We have a few of us here that are heavily involved in the industry, and then some people, mostly newcomers, that we call "Nashbashers" that hate all things Nashville and country music specifically. So there is a bit of a sheild up for that because you would be surprised how many people come to Nashville and to people like me with that exact attitude. It is kind of like "HEY HELP ME, I DON'T HAVE ANYONE ELSE TO TURN TO AND BY THE WAY, DO YOU KNOW THAT YOU, YOUR FRIENDS AND ALL YOU STAND FOR REALLY SUCKS?" That kind of thing.

Writing great songs and other things are really not found in books. They are done by actually doing it. the more you write with other people, particularly face to face, the more you learn about yourself and how things affect others. I would strongly suggest joining NSAI, Nashville Songwriters Association International, that have 110 chapter workshops in every state (about 4 in Missouri) and attending their meetings and doing regional workshops. Then making a trip to a music center, particularly (in my opinion) Nashville, which has one of the most open, easy to access musical communities there is.

You are seeing the depth of writers here on these sites. There are others, NSAI's site, Songramp, and you should bookmark them all and regularly attend them, post and ask questions. That is the only way to learn. We are always around to help you if you ask. My role is to kind of "flip the desk" and show how the music industry views things. That way you can open up your perspective to the larger picture.

I will leave you with another funny story about being careful what you say and how you say it.

A friend of mine is a hit writer and is very prolific and VERY successful. At one point he had a hit on one of his "throwaway songs" (probably one of those you can't figure out why is on the radio) called "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy." It was a pretty goofy song and he was always puzzled how that one got cut instead of some of his other songs which are quite brilliant.

But if you ask most hit writers, even some of the legendary Hall of Famers, you will find that some of the songs that got cut and became huge songs were NEVER the ones they thought would be cut. And some of the most amazing songs just never get cut. You look at extrodinary songs like "I've Had Moments" that was 8 years from writing it to having it recorded and it was turned down by everyone along the way.

So my buddy, Mark, was out on a golf course with a friend of his who was the producer of that song. Golf is THE hobby for music people, and a lot of us are only doing music to support our Golf Habits. But most golf courses won't let just two people play so they pair up foresomes.

So Mark and the producer, (who's name escapes me at the time)are paired up with these two young guys who they don't know and they are playing hole after hole. The two young guys were pretty loud and very verbose, talking about how "they were new to town and going to take over, their music was so good and everything on the radio was so bad." with each successive hole, they got louder and more attitude filled. Mark and his buddy never said a word.

About the sixth or seventh hole,the conversation turned to this "piece of crap song out on the radio called "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy." It got worse and worse as they condemmed the singer, the lines, the production, etc. It was just an example of how bad everything had come, and how "THEY were going to change all that." My friend still didn't say a word.

When they got to the last hole, the putts were sunk and they were shaking hands and walking away, one of the young guys suddenly asked "Hey, we didn't ask what you guys do?"
My friends said "We're in the music business." "Oh really",said the young guy, "have you written anything we might have heard?"

"Yeah," said Mark,grabbing his bag and turning away, "She thinks my Tractor's Sexy."

Open mouth, insert gun. Pull trigger.

90% of writer's and artists wounds are totally self inflicted. Nobody has to "conspire" to keep anyone out of the business. They usually do it to themselves. Most of the time without even knowing it. Just consider that you got a little lesson here instead of doing it when it could have done some real damage.

Good luck and keep writing.

MAB

#822627 - 06/04/10 02:38 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc,
Funny story but with your phrase:
"But when you go into that broad brush "Everything sucks" kind of deal"
Isn't what I said at all! I said some of it does, which is my opinion and shouldn't have been said. But please do not act like I said something I didn't.
Thanks for the good advice but PLEASE TO NOT LABEL ME WITH OTHERS THAT I am not.
Cindy

Last edited by cindyrella; 06/04/10 03:04 PM.
#822660 - 06/04/10 05:03 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: cindyrella]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Cindy,

It's a generalization and what I am talking about is a certain mentality. The overall thing is that you have to be careful how you address things over the internet. Particularly when you are new. There are a lot of people who believe that and the conversation almost always start the exact same way. I am trying to head off something before it turns into something it doesn't need to be. and show you by example how things can be taken wrong.

If you had been around very long and has studied some of this first, you would have seen we have discussed this all the time. It is one of the most talked about subjects on every writer's site. It is kind of always "much easier than it looks." this is what you said:

"I guess one thing that surprises me is the bad songs that do make it-mostly in the country genre and mostly the past few years. Songs that make me want to put my hands over my ears and I always turn it fast. Why do those make it? They are badly written, poorly performed, and just stink! ha."


The point I am making is that is a broad brush statement and in return I painted it with a broad brush statement.I don't put anyone anywhere. They do that themselves. i am sort of the little concence sitting here on the shoulder tapping people and saying "excuse me, I don't think you quite want to say that." The examples I give you are from those exact things. Those people who do that think they are not coming off like they are either.

People don't mean ill. But they can say things in ways that they don;t see how it looks. And we all do it. Yesterday I posted something about this guy from American Idol who was on Fox News. I thought he was crap and said so. then, upon re-reading it, I deleted what I said because I didn't like the way it read. It sounded very much like what you said, but I didn't want to do that. So I fixed it.

The good things about these threads are that they progress. You can see how dialogue progresses. As people get to know each other the opinions clarify. You are new and it takes a while to get used to this.
Now, if you had mentioned a certain song or artist, i might have been able to discuss that.

A career in the music business is about 15% what you see and 85% under the radar or behind the screen you don't see. ARtists being writers, previous track record, marketing research, just cause someone wants to say or do something, all have parts to play. That is what most writers find it hard to understand. They hear things they don't understand and can't figure it out. They are quick to say "How did that piece of crap get out there?" without realizing maybe it was written by the artist's best friend.

So I don't want to hurt your feelings and if I did I apologize. that is never my intention. i am a reactionary individual and mirror much of how the industry feels when challenged or dealing with complaints. I try to be measured in my responses, but try to be very thorough in my explinations. Some times too thorough. But I would rather people have a lot of information, discard what doesn't work for them, and use what does. Once I started getting onto sites like this one, I found out that people were printing out things I said and making their own little books of "MABBISMS". One day there will probably be dozens of books by me that I never wrote. But that is the way it is.

If I can help one person make a little better decisions when it comes to money or process, that is what I do. Sometimes, like all things Internet, it might not come out exactly right, but I always try to address anything I need to. I always respond.

MAB

#822689 - 06/04/10 07:38 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Thanks but I still feel like my later posts (I am learning) made no difference to you. I am sure you do know the business but if we can never say one thing negative on here, then how do we learn? I feel like I'm had my hand slapped with a ruler, just because I said something that is my my opinion. That is really a shame.
I feel so unwelcomed from your posts-certainly not from the others. Maybe I am too sensative, but this is how I feel.
Cindy

#822694 - 06/04/10 07:55 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: cindyrella]  
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Cindy,

I am a much bigger picture guy. I responded to each of your posts as to what you said. I give you my reasons, have taken a lot of time to go into detail of the reasons surrounding those responses. I have said that it is not you as much as it is an attitude that is prevelant in a lot of people who don't understand the other side of the equation. I have given you the other side of the equation.

I don't speak for the others because not many of them are in the position I am. I walk a fine line between constantly taking the side of the industry, which is where the majority of my livelyhood comes from and taking the side of the writers and artists, because I am one of those also.

I certainly don't slap you with a ruler. I show you how things can be taken in hopes that you get a sense of the other side. You can say anything positive or negative here at all. On these threads there are all kinds of debates, dissagreements, arguments, etc. all the time. Most of us, get in, debate it sometimes get agitated, go away then come back, most of the time like not much has happened because in the overall scheme of things not much has.Just different opinions.

I take you back to your very first post. How to make money at this. I have described how the music business works, what the competition is, why the industry insulates itself the way it does, why certain things that don't make sense to you and others often work, why some things don't work, examples of what I am talking about, being careful HOW you phrase things, have worked to create problems for other people and to offer some suggestions as to how not to get into that hopefully to show you some things you should think of.

this is not to change your mind, spank you or any such thing. You have your opinion and are welcome to say it. But others have opinions as well.

It is the same thing in songwriting.Often people write about subjects that are harsh, write things that they are excited about saying, but land with a dull thud from evaluators, publishers, producers, artists or the general public. And there is often a cry of "Why not my songs, why not me?" The answer is that we all have the right and responsibility to write and say whatever we want. None of us have the "right to be heard." There is no such right.

If you say things that run contrary to other people's beliefs you have a right to say that. But often you are going to be challenged. That is what this is about.

Again, if I have hurt your feelings I apologize, I don't intend that. I am sometimes very clinical about this. Kind of like a Doctor. I go operate when I feel some things need to be addressed. That is all I have done here.

I can back out at any time you would like. But you can say whatever you want here.

MAB

#822699 - 06/04/10 08:14 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Maybe it is just your manner, but you do sound (to me anyway) very condescending. Again, it may be just me-God knows how ultra sensative I am. Yes, I'm new, yes I don't know much at all but I am trying.
Just let it ride. I just feel like I'm not forgiven for saying something you don't agree with.
I will keep writing, because it is something I feel I'm meant to do.
Cindy

#822817 - 06/05/10 02:28 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: cindyrella]  
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http://www.jerryjakala.com
http://cdbaby.com/cd/jakalajerry2

The difference between genius and stupidity is that there is a limit on genius.-Albert Einstein
#822845 - 06/05/10 04:51 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Jerry Jakala]  
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Cindy,

Don't take what MAB says as a personal rebuke. He often times takes specific comments that folks makes and answers them from a general "big picture" type of vantage point.

From what I read, you basically said that modern country music on the radio is horrible and MAB said, "be careful, you never know who's reading along". I think MAB has said that a songwriter's troubles are 90% self inflected (and I think he has experience with that!)

So I wouldn't feel picked on -- you have a right to your opinion (and everyone else has a right to theirs). If I were you, I would write a humorous song about all those condescending bums in Nashville.

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 2016)
#822953 - 06/06/10 03:48 AM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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Kathy Bampfield Offline
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Hi Cindy,

You gave your opinion, there is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing to forgive its your opinion. You posted asking how do you make money with lyric writing. MAB answered your question and then some.....:)

Honestly if you went to a NSAI class 101 they would be telling you the same thing...and yeah they kinda of tell you, not suggest or say maybe if, its really like don't do this or such n such happens...MAB isn't being condescending in my opinion...but the reality of music is if you don't see thru the coldness of the internet you will not like what the reality of Nashville is like...they don't care how you feel. They hear what we are saying over and over every day..."I can write a song, how do I make money?, who can I write with" I've been there...
Thick skin is a prerequisite for this business...period!

So if I were you, I would re read what MAB and the rest said, take the parts you can assimilate and move on. Use it as a learning tool as it was intended.

I have nothing to gain by writing this to you other then I have been there and sometimes its difficult to hear the passion and understanding that the internet masks when someone is trying to explain a situation.

Thanks for reading my opinion.
Continue writing, good things come from perseverence.

#822957 - 06/06/10 04:17 AM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Kathy Bampfield]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Hey guys,

Cindy and I have talked privately and things are fine. She just doesn't know the old Mabbster yet, and I can come off a little too business like sometimes. I don't mean to. Thanks for your comments.

Had a funny experience tonight. We have songwriter's festival going on this weekend here and writers from all over the place are here playing all over the town. A bunch of them have been coming up to me that have read the things we talk about and what I have said on this forum and a couple of the others that I do.

One guy comes up tonight after I finished my set and introduces himself. He had been reading things I said on the NSAI site and wanted to meet me in person. He said "At first when I was reading what you said, you really pissed me off. Then I started thinking about it and doing what you said and it worked!" He had been getting co-writes, more gigs, and making his songs better.

It was funny. But that is what I am here for. Sometimes I have to shake people up a little to get attention. I have seen people really do damage to their career's by things they said in passing or when a thought gets misconstrued. That happens a lot here because most of the industry is pretty open and friendly. We always have benefits and events where publishers, producers, artists, and hit writers are all over the place. And sure as the world, people will come up, tell us we "stole their song" or that the industry sucks and we suck and whatever." There are a lot of angry people out there. We try to take it in stride but it does get a bit tiring.

Good to hear from all of you. Come to Nashville. I have a great group tour coming up in July and can show you some things that will blow you away.

Have a good en'.

MAB

#822982 - 06/06/10 08:37 AM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Cindy this biz is tough and you need a thick skin. We have been telling you that since the first post. Sadly few can make a decent living from songwriting...not necessarily as you may have discovered does the best get chosen and backstabbing and nepotism are commonplace.
You have to learn the craft but more important you have to network and rub shoulders with folk who may be able to introduce you to other folk who can get you more introductions. That is the way it works and has always worked. Who you know counts not what you know. Learn to write better stuff than the crap we hear on radio and learn who to pitch it to.

#823014 - 06/06/10 02:10 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Aaaaiiieeeeaaaa1!!!!! A new Big Jim picture! That is cool. Running marathons are we?

I was in Atlanta this week with a friend of mine, David Cambell, from Glascow. Were talking about the pub scene. He is a great guy, love the accent.

MAB

#823018 - 06/06/10 02:16 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
Aaaaiiieeeeaaaa1!!!!! A new Big Jim picture! That is cool. Running marathons are we? MAB


Oh, I thought Jim just came out of the shower and had curlers in his hair. grin

Just kidding Jim...

John smile

#823050 - 06/06/10 04:15 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Thanks guys but it is not me getting to know my feminine side. The pic is a snapshot from a show my bowling club put on each year.....We perform comedy sketches that we write ourselves....it is a real hoot and we get drunk as skunks.

#823116 - 06/06/10 09:27 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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I cannot believe a totally non-alcoholic country like Scotland would think of imbibing in alcoholic beverages. I am shocked. Next you will be telling me some of the men wear skirts.

MAB

#823145 - 06/06/10 11:54 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Cindy,

I forgot to give you the short answer on your original post, "How do I make Money doing this?"

Ask yourself "how many CD's, downloads, etc. can you sell on your own web sites, My Space, Face book, or from your own efforts?

That is how you can make some money at this.

MAB

#823222 - 06/07/10 12:21 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Z. Mulls Offline
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Cindy

I’ve met Mark, and he’s a great guy (and a really good performer as well). You’d be forgiven for watching him perform and wondering why he’s not rolling in dough.

I’ve spent quality time with SusanR and Mike Dunbar, both fantastic musicians and sound engineers, and both of whom are finding a way to make a living performing, mixing, and doing what-all-have-you – but they’re not making much on their writing.

Just about everyone who comes to a Board like this has the same opening thoughts – my work is really good, and as soon as I can get someone to look at it, they’ll open up that box full of money and hand me some. And everyone on this board thinks they have some talent and is looking for, and working towards, that big break.

I’m not making any money at writing, and I’m not likely to, either. I *could* abandon my wife and kids, move to Nashville, sleep on floors, write every day – and probably I’d still not make anything. The lower your expectations, the happier you will be.

Mark’s point, if I might restate it, is: If you want to make money at songwriting, you need to find a way to convince someone to give you some of *their* money.

(People are strangely attached to their money, I’ve found)


Z.


ZMULLS.COM
My Soundclick

2007 Grand Prize Winner International Songwriting Competition

Avatar Photo by Diana (used with permission)
#823255 - 06/07/10 02:51 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Z. Mulls]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Pretty good observations there Z dude. Good to hear from you and thanks for the shoutout.

Tonight I am starting my "welcome to Nashville" workshop series that will be every first and third Monday of the month. And there will be a lot of people who have that same opinion, a half dozen that are just beginning to find out how big this pond is and how few are doing anything, and several of those amazingly frustrated, bitter and angry when they find out reality.

We all deserve to have our dreams. America is built on it. But dreams have to have reality injected into it. I still love my friend's line, "before you get a royalty check, you first have to get a reality check."

Everyone has someone who loves them. They pat them on the back and say "You know, you write stuff that is as good as is on the radio." They hear this and they say "yeah, that is right! So much of that stuff on the radio is crap!" And they set about trying to make their fortunes.

Of course what this leads to are about half of these threads are about "Have you heard of this person, this service, this pitch group, this film and TV placement,...." That of course leads to scams and substandard demos and a LOT of money lost.

I see these people usually after they have already wasted money on some song that is terrible, done terribly and gets chopped up by the industry because it never should have been demoed to begin with. That leads to bad blood and.. you got it.. NASHBASHERS!

And there are a lot of things that you can't see that have to do with it as well outside the song.

Recently a person brought something I get a lot of. Christmas songs. This one was well written, clear visuals, nice melody, the demo sung by a really good singer. On the face of it, not a thing wrong with it. Except that it is a Christmas song.

Number one, is that there is very little you can do with them. Very little you can say about Christmas that hasn't been said since they started the commercial era in the 20's. Pretty much about snow, presents, jingle bells, fires, sleigh rides, kids faces glowing, wrapping paper, toys, ribbons and bows, and Christmas carols on the radio. Did I leave anything out? Just pick one from Christmas column "A" one from "B" a couple from "C", add it in with standard Christmas melody 101 from the JC Penny Christmas melody collection from George Gershwin, and Walah!! you have a Christmas song.

That is fine. We all love Christmas. And we write about things we love. Cool.

The problem is when you get it into the industry:

#1 Six week royalty collection period.

#2 Very little radio airtime for new christmas songs.

#3 Using "public domain songs because of no royalty collections,money goes to the artist and record label instead of a publisher.

#4 Artists want to record songs they grew up with, so they usually pick Christmas carols that bring back memories of their own Christmas pasts.

#5. Most Christmas albums are money losers or barely break even. They are almost picked as a "artists vanity record." Costs around $1.2 million to properly record, promote, develop a record. You have to sell around 680,000 copies to recoup that. Most Christmas CD's sell in the 300,000-400,000 units. And those are only the biggest artists with huge fan base. Most sell more in the 30,000-40,000 units. Many times not even enough to pay for the recording costs.

#6. When you have a Christmas record for an artist say on Sony, generally only Sony writers will have a chance to submit to those. This is to keep it in the family and to provide a little "Christmas Bonus", so to speak. If you are going to pay someone, why not reward the people who work with you all the time and any little money that comes in, can go there. All five or six dollars that are earned. Stocking stuffers. "Hey, I got my Christmas bonus check!!!! A whole $9 dollars and 89 cents! WOW! Thanks Santa!"

So what to do? Quit writing Christmas songs? Well you are going to write what you are going to write. Everyone has Christmas experiences, so I am sure they are going to write about that. Some might get them on local CD's from artists, do their own thing, give presents for the family for the Holidays, stuff some stockings with them. People are going to have Christmas music. I like to just get about 500 versions of White Christmas and play it over and over the entire season to remind me of what I don't want to write. But that is me.

But no one ever tells writers this. They are just "oh yeah, that is great! You should get that to..... (insert name of interchangeable "impossible to reach artist" here)

So people keep writing them and bringing them in.This is the problem with the "outside of the business." You could never see this because nobody tells you. I just did.

The key is to keep trying but not get wrapped up in the money, the cuts, the so called "success" of this business. Because for the most part it is never what it is cracked up to be. Do things smart, meet other people, read forums and participate in things that support us all. Ask questions and move forward but have no expectations.

That is what the pros do.

MAB

#823577 - 06/08/10 06:00 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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cindyrella Offline
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Good, lots more posts to learn from! I have learned a lot and many places to go and people to meet.
Thanks Marc and everyone!
I Do plan to make Nashville sometime soon.
Cindy

#823590 - 06/08/10 06:53 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: cindyrella]  
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John Marnie Offline
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Hi Cindy. Wow, the response to your question has been overwhelming along with wisdom from many learned people in the business. All I can say is, OPEN YOUR MIND, and allow the creativity to flow within you and out. Write what you feel and feel what you write. True creativity is allowing your own inner uniqueness to come out untethered. Good luck!

ps: if you cannot remember it the next day, it probably isn't any good. grin


John Marnie: Drummer and singer in
"Too Little Time" Band:
http://www.TooLittleTime.net
#823597 - 06/08/10 07:26 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: John Marnie]  
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cindyrella Offline
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Thanks, John. I try, as much as I can with 3 kids still at home- crazy to let myself open up to possiblities. Sometimes, when it works, it is magical. Sometimes, I love the idea but can't quite get down what I want to say. So, I'll keep going and learning and try to stay open to the possibilities.
Cindy

#824732 - 06/14/10 03:52 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Wayne Longtin Offline
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Hey Marc,

I believe that guy was me. It was a real treat to talk to you in person. Having you listening to my show was a bit nerve racking but once I paid attention to my performance it went pretty well. I was watching the crowd and some people at the bar actually "turned around!"
How do you make money in the music business? First, build a fanbase in your own backyard. I did a lot of freebies for the last five years but now sell a lot of CD's (knock on wood!) and my band and I have built up regular gigs per month which pays some expense to "hang out in Nashville." At 67 years years old and over 40 years as a Bass Guitarist, I feel I am doing pretty good for an old guy. There was a point in my career when i made really good money playing 6-7 nights a week but those days are gone. Because of my lifestyle I have an unlimited supply of experience to write songs from and have. Somebody told me a long time ago to get out and experience life before you write. I kind of overdid that one but still it is important. Now, I need People like Marc Burnett and all the others to supply me with new ideas and what works today in the music business. Songwriting for me is a second career and a rewarding one weather you get rich or never make a dime so make the effort. Join NSAI, hang out here, write songs and test them out on the listening public not family and friends. Network, network, network! All the advice offered here is usable, watch for links to websites and get involved. If you can perform your own songs, or not, come to a Nashville Songwriters Fest or Loretta Lynn Ranch Fest. I've actually met a lot of JPF'ers this way and those moments are priceless. To make a point here, you are the product so do everything you can to present as good a product as you can before you start out. People still like music and are willing to pay but today you have to find a uniqueness and be able to stand out in this huge crowd we call the music business.

By the way Marc, I sold 4 CD's that night on my way out, attended the Midnight Jamboree and met Mike Dunbar at Cowboy Church Sunday. Then I had to get back to Iowa because we had bookings in Lincoln, NE. Tiring trip and too busy but priceless. Some things are better than money.......

Wayne
www.waynelongtin.com

#824733 - 06/14/10 04:00 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Wayne Longtin]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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It was nice meeting you at Nashville Cowboy Church, Wayne. Let me know when you're coming back and we'll have coffee.


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

#824758 - 06/14/10 05:27 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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bil farrar Offline
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bil farrar  Offline
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Can I get the publishing on this thread?

#824792 - 06/14/10 07:24 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: bil farrar]  
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Wayne Longtin Offline
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Mike,

I sure will let you know. As far as I know now I'm booked the rest of the summer with festivals & gigs but in September I'll be back for the Loretta Lynn Ranch Songfest & want to do some songwriter nights again in Nashville. The powers that be have my demo for a possible appearance at Nashville Cowboy Church hopefully the date will co-incide (SP?) with the Songfest dates. Got an inside track there with Dawn & Charley Parker. So maybe it'll work. Are all Bass Players Coffee drinkers? I know some of the best I know are!

#831227 - 07/16/10 05:24 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: ]  
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Kitty84 Offline
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@Stan I like your lottery theory!


Kate <3

– "The strongest drive is not love or hate. It is one person's need to correct/modify/alter/edit/change/rewrite another's copy."
#1125374 - 03/14/17 05:26 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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DesireInspires Offline
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
Hey Kathy,

Have I been Summoned? Hello Cindy. I'm Marc-Alan Barnette or MAB, I teach songwriting and the practical application of the music business based in Nashville Tn. I have been in this business for about 36 years and work every day at teaching writers and artists in the craft of the music industry.

Imagine if you will the National football league. You are in Missouri so I will just take the Kansas City Chiefs for an example. Think about how many kids play sandlot football. Then how many actually play some kind of junior league or pee wee football. Then some play for their elementary school, then go on through Junior High and then High School. By the time they get to Senior year, they have spent about 8 years of constant practice, giving up vacations to play summer practices, constantly in the weight room, totally consumed.

But even that does not guarantee they are going to get to colledge and even that does not guarantee that they are going to play professionally. SO that starts out with millions, files down to thousands, hundreds, and then less than dozens that actually end up going anywhere, ever.

Songwriting is very similar. There are millions that are trying to write some kind of songs. At the most recent count there were about 13 million bands, duos, solos, on You Tube alone. That is millions of people, even more millions of songs. We are at the convergence of several things.

Karaoke which made everyone an amatuer singer.

Computer and the internet and home recording which put everyone into the game.

And it removed a majority of the money made in the music industry.

So basically it is enormous supply and very finite demand. And the people who do this professionally have done this for dozens of years, an average of twenty, doing it almost every day. That is your competition.

You are more likely to be struck by lightning than to get a successful artist to cut your song.

You are more likely to be struck by lightning in a submarine underwater than to have any significant success.

The answer? You totally remove any thoughts of making money and do it as a hobby. If you are very driven you do it as a second job. And you put as much time, effort and money into it as your first job. Because if you don't, your competition does.

The point is that we are all doing it as hobbies. Even those who actually get paid to do it. All of us have multiple businesses in addition to our music endevors. I am fortunate that I am paid for music only. But that goes in numerous directions. Teaching, seminars, workshops, live performances, producing and performing on demo recordings, etc.

I am typing this to you at nearly midnight on Tuesday. I have done a recording session, done multiple threads on these type forums all day long, done multiple song critiques, wrote on two songs, booked five of my songwriter tours for the next two months, made organizational plans in Atlanta for the next three days, and a live songwriter's show. My day starts at 7:00 in the morning. That is a normal day.

So that is what it is really about. Hours and hours of continuous work that has nothing to do with writing music, and dozens of things that make the writing possible. That is what making a living in music is about now.

A primary reason for that is that people rarely pay for music anymore. The industry has lost around 6 billion dollars in the past 7 years. So that is why if you want to do this, you will have to look much deeper into the reality than you are thinking.

Before anyone gets a royalty check, they have to get a reality check.

My advice would be:

#1 Get outside yourself.
Get around other writers.
Attend workshops, seminars,
make a trip to a music center.

#2 Write MANY songs.
An average writer will write 125 songs with 65 people a year.

#3 Do as much as you can do locally before even considering expanding. Learn your craft first.

#4. Be happy in whatever comes your way and never expect anything. That way you will always be pleastantly surprised.

There are many great things about it. You meet wonderful people on sites like these. They are of varying degrees of success and various levels of talent. Listen to them. Learn your craft.

Be happy with yourself and what you achieve. Work hard. Write often. And most of all, touch lives.

At the end of the day, that is what is important.

MAB


Words of wisdom! Not much has changed for the better over the years.

#1125385 - 03/14/17 11:15 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: cindyrella]  
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Trentb Offline
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That was a good post by Marc, not sure where the original went. I agree with most everything Marc said but one point. In comparison to the football players at various levels, but not everyone will make it. The reason for that is because in the end, they dint have the talent to play at the higher level. Some kids are great in pee wee league, and can't make a high school team, some kids excel in High school, but don't get a scholarship to college, some kids do great at college but the pros don't have nterest. Even some make the pros but get cut It's based entirely on how good you are, how atheletic you are, how fast you run the forty, how high you can jump, how quick yiu are, and how good your vision is. Now, some guys do go unoticed, and some come out of nowhwere and have unlikely careers. But you can not play at the pro level and not be one of e best athetes in the country. But some guys can sneak in with an unrelenting work ethic, and perseverance, but they still have top notch talent compared to the rest of the field.

In music it's not based on how great of a singer or songwriter, or musician you are, sure that's part of it, but it's based on marketability, your look, luck, and just having a really good song. You don't have to be the worlds greatest songwriter to have a hit, you just need to be good, but have a lot of help.

Music is subjective, that's why Taylor Swift can dominate the charts, people like her music, nothing else really matters, there is no stop watch or measurement of what the best music is, it's opinion, but she couldn't play for a football team!

Last edited by Trentb; 03/14/17 11:18 PM.
#1125480 - 03/16/17 12:58 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: cindyrella]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Trent,

The comparrison to sports, football just being one, to me is very comparable to music. I have known hundreds of artists, writers, musicians, who are amazingly talented, but get stuck in development deals, get put on hold, never actually get a shot. Things beyond their control, labels and publishers folding, or selling to other companies staffs begin cut, having releases held up do to political considerations, etc. Some rise above it, end up in other avenues of music, etc. One of my good friends is the top independent song plugger in Nashville. Responsible for many great hits. He didn't want to do that, started as a writer, and actually pretty good. But that never took off, so he ended up in publishing and then song plugging

You find a lot of amazing writers that were really good performers, but by the time their shot rolled around might have been too old, so they found themselves focusing on writing. Then getting cuts, but not singles, etc. then they end up teaching ,producing or doing jobs totally unrelated to music. Doesn't mean their talent wasn't there, just breaks didn't go their way.

In my own case, when I moved to Nashville in 1988, I was "The guy to watch." Got a cut my first night in town, was recruited by labels, publishers, producers, etc. had a lot going on. At the time there was a movement in country music called the "Blue Eyed Soul" country songs. People like Delbert McClinton, T Graham Brown, Lee Roy Parnell. I was in that vein. As a matter of fact, after one of my shows a guy approached me and said, "Man I love everything about you, your attitude, your voice, your songs, everything. But I was in Marietta Ga. three weeks ago and signed a guy just like you. His name is TRAVIS TRITT. "
Even after Travis hit and hit big, I was still in the running. Another label, Liberty was after me and did a showcase to seal the deal. But at the same time this kid from Oklahoma named Garth Brooks, came in and changed everything in Country music. All the "soul shouters" were out, and the "ironed shirts and jeans, cowboy hat" wearing guys were in. Just missed. After a while I switched more to being a writer and got cuts, but none of the singles.

We miss a lot of things. Some wounds are self inflicted. At an ASCAP number one party I was approached by a 15 year old girl and her Mother. Of course at the same party there were about 50 OTHER 15 year old girls and THEIR mothers. I was told by a hit writer friend of mine that she was someone I should write with. But I had had a really bad experience with THREE 14 year old girls and THEIR MOTHERS, a few weeks before and had determined I was not working with anyone else under 18. That girl turned out to be Taylor Swift. I sure showed me.

The point is that there are a lot of things that happen in the course of a career, the business is a weird one and it is hard to really predict or adjust to. You have to roll with it and adapt as you go. In music ,I became more of a teacher, mentor. coach and consultant which is what I do now. Still write, perform. record, I just do it with other people now instead of me.

My analogy to sports are much the same. How many people are really good as younger athletes, but burn out, get hurt, or just decide to quit? College prospects that get drafted but wash out. Some times behavioral problems, drugs, alcohol, etc. that never cut it. The people drafted by the pros that wash out, Ryan Leaf, Brian Bosworth. Or how about the ones that are amazing but on really bad teams. The Buffalo Bills, going to four Super Bowls, but never winning. Or the OTHER thing, the people who have that ONE great season, get to the college championships, the Super Bowl, but NEVER do anything after that. Team is traded away, again get hurt or just washes out.

So that is what I am talking about. There are a lot of ins and outs, a lot of other reasons besides someone's talent. Luck plays an amazing part, more than anyone would like to admit. But to me, luck is when opportunity and preparation meet. All you can do is up the level of your odds and keep going.

Thanks for reading and responding.

MAB

Last edited by Marc Barnette; 03/16/17 01:19 PM.
#1125481 - 03/16/17 01:49 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: cindyrella]  
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Trentb Offline
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Your points are well taken. I'm just saying that even the "busts" in football had to have all American, world talent to even step on the field with the elite. Some times the scouts are wrong, they salivate over one player, and he can't deliver, other guys go unoticed, and make it. There has been many cases of a player selling car insurance one day, playing the next week in a real game! Happens when a team suffers a lot of injuries. But these replacements are still documented world class athletes. If you can't run the forty in 4.3, your going to go backwards in the pros. There are tons and tons of talented sports people who never made it, but imagine if they were slow and short? What were their odds then? Zilch.

In music, if u want to call a record label exec, a scout, he's not looking to see how many chords yiu know, or how great of a musician you are, or not even how good of a singer you are, he's looking for other things. I mean look at all the great technical singers on American Idol, or the Voice, none of those people have the careers of Taylor Swift who is a marginal singer. Or Bob Dylan, tom petty, Springsteen, or just about any big music star, there's just many more great singers out there who do jingles instead of sell out arenas

Look at the sex pistols, they had minimal talent and still are widely known today. Look at the one hit wonders, they didn't need unworldly talent to break in, they got in anyway... In sports, your not stepping on the field if you are not great

Music has so many dimensions to it. But I doubt anybody would have the gumption to say somebody like Stevie wonder is not more talented than Taylor swift, but Taylor swift has outsold him in every way.

Last edited by Trentb; 03/16/17 01:53 PM.
#1125494 - 03/17/17 02:06 AM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: cindyrella]  
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Ted Martin Offline
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Ted Martin  Offline
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Oregon
Once upon a time the only way for musicians to get paid was to play live. Then there was the Golden Age of recorded music when people actually had to buy the recorded music to be able to listen to it when they wanted. Now anyone with a cell phone can record audio and video of live shows and download or stream music for little or nothing. Back to having to play live (and sell merch) to make money from your music. Problem is you have to be able to play and sing and be entertaining or have people with you who can do whichever you can't.

Doing house concerts will not make you rich but you will make more from your songs than you will pitching them to people who don't care. And if you are really lucky someone will take one of your songs change it enough so they can't be sued, it will play on the radio and you can be just like this guy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erdlUyllNhU

#1125496 - 03/17/17 05:06 AM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: cindyrella]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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Making music and making money are two different entities. Anyone interested in the latter shouldn’t consider music for a living. Music’s about passion. Only pursue it if you can’t live without it.

John smile

#1125505 - 03/17/17 01:50 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: cindyrella]  
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niteshift Offline
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Amen ! smile

cheers, niteshift

#1125506 - 03/17/17 01:54 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: cindyrella]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Very true John. Very true.

Trent, if you were around the industry in places like Nashville, New York.; LA, you would find literally THOUSANDS of people in development deals, publishing deals, working with small and independent groups, doing their own projects, web sites, motivating their own fan bases and careers. There are hundreds of writers, thousands of songs that are the equivilent of playing the minor leagues or triple A.
They get various shots, from small single releases that go no where, are paid to write songs but get no cuts or don't recoup enough to pay their draws back and are dropped. Many are amazingly talented but the breaks don't go their way.

There are dozens of weekly showcases in this town. The same as football or baseball tryouts. Those amazing prospects that have backing behind them, financial, political clout, street credibility, etc. and things still don't work. Songs that are amazing but just don't find their way.

This is the same as athletes that might not get to play because there is some monster standout player in their position. Micky Mantle waiting till Joe Dimaggio faded. And his knees already being in terrible shape. But there are even more that played backup for Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, or people and just never got the playing time, got traded to weak teams.

There are paralells in all of it, and the closer you get to it, see what's "behind the curtain" in inner office politics, burn out, or thousands of things that can happen, the more you realize how strange it all is.

Ted, house concerts are a good way to perform and keep yourself out there. The biggest problem is that venues closed and the dynamic of the music business shifted, those avenues got clogged up as well. There are millions of writers and artists that would love to go out book some house concerts, play their own songs, make nice money and move on. The good venues are pretty booked up. They are actually booked years in advance and can even get higher level people like artists with former record deals or other people that now would rather play smaller venues without the overhead of bands, additional costs.

A few years ago colleges were a great avenue. Then they got overwhelmed. Now they are very expensive to plug into the things like National Association of College Artists, or other things that have the conventions and showcase events. You had to join a lot of organizations to be considered. Same with the fair circuits, and house concerts. All have their own etticate, on hirearchies. They are cool to do, but not as easy as just making a phone call here and there.

If there is money involved in anything ,there are circles that have to be worked into. Everything has a price.
MAB

#1125509 - 03/17/17 03:06 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: cindyrella]  
Joined: Jan 2013
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Ted Martin Offline
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Ted Martin  Offline
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Oregon
Here is a good story that shows what John is talking about when it comes to pursuing music out of passion. For most of us it will never be more than an enjoyable hobby. Which is to say it will cost us more than we will ever make from it yet we still do it because we can't live without it. https://medium.com/@jackconte/pomplamoose-2014-tour-profits-67435851ba37#.74uei8ad5

#1125510 - 03/17/17 03:28 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: cindyrella]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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You know, it's interesting that this post got reinvigorated. It got started a while back and I responded on quite a few things and it has taken on some great posts. But basically it is a question pretty much everyone trying to do music is asking. "HOW DO I MAKE MONEY AT THIS?" If you knew how many HIT songwriters and many artists ask this same question, lit would put things in quite the different perspective. But the simple answer really is:

HOW MUCH PRODUCT CAN YOU PERSONALLY SELL?
HOW MANY PEOPLE WOULD COME SEE YOU, YOUR CO-WRITERS, PARTNERS, ETC. PERFORM?
HOW CONSISTENT CAN YOU BE IN YOUR CAREER?
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF YOUR PRODUCT AND EFFORTS TO YOU AND TO OTHERS?

When you begin to answer these questions, you can start to understand how you make money at this.

MAB

#1125511 - 03/17/17 03:37 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: cindyrella]  
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Ted Martin Offline
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Ted Martin  Offline
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Oregon
The definition of luck is that it is where preparation meets opportunity. But you may never get the opportunity and there is no guarantee that if you do that you will hit the mark. Yet we still try because the alternative is unthinkable. Sure many of the good venues in the house concert circuit may be booked in advance but there are many, many hosts who are looking for performers and with persistence and "luck" you can get yourself in front of live audiences. Where the rubber meets the road is playing to a live audience of people who are not your sycophantic friends that have taken time out of their busy lives and paid money to be entertained. Better have your [naughty word removed] together.

Here is a good resource for anyone who wants to pursue that avenue. If nothing else you might even be tempted to be a host which is what I plan to do once I get back into my house that was landlocked by eminent domain.

http://www.concertsinyourhome.com/index.php

#1126168 - 04/03/17 10:03 PM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: cindyrella]  
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MichelleMarie Offline
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I have had spurts where I get all excited and think- I really would love to have just one song go somewhere. And, then, reality hits and I realize- Yeah, that could happen. But, these days, I have resigned myself to the fact that I am writing for God, for myself, and for other people. I am, most likely, at the most, going to be able to share some of my songs with other people and touch them in a positive way. And, really that is the most important thing. I am not going to stop knocking on doors to see what could be possible. But, I am not going to give up or get let down if my big break never comes.

I remember back the end of 2006, I read about a woman and some things she went through in her life. And, her story prompted me to write what I believe to be the best Christian song I have ever written. When I was done writing and recording it using a keyboard and my in-home digital recording studio, I sent the song to her. She said it made her cry and I knew that it touched her life. I now give that song away to as many people who want it as a free digital download.

I have paid the $9.95 a month at Reverbnation and I take advantage of the opportunities on that site. I have a "buy now" link on a few of my songs on a website or two where I have my songs. I also look for any opportunities on this website.

After writing for close to 30 years, and after giving away my keyboard and digital recorder, I am ok with moving onto other things. I am not writing any new music. But, the ones that have survived. The few songs out of the hundreds I have written that I believe have a shot, the ones other people have also agreed are my strongest, those I am going to just see for fun if they will ever go anywhere. So, yes, for fun and for other people- to touch their lives, that is what I am seeking and focusing on. Anything more- Well it will be a miracle!

#1126177 - 04/04/17 08:30 AM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: cindyrella]  
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Everett Adams Online content
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Everett Adams  Online Content
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,NL Canada
99% of what I write now are Christian songs. You are less likely to make money on Gospel music than many other genres of music, but you never know how many lives you might touch and help change through Christian songs. Only in eternity will you know, only in eternity will you receive your reward, but eternity last for forever.

#1126185 - 04/04/17 10:56 AM Re: Okay, so how do I make money at this? [Re: MichelleMarie]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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Originally Posted by MichelleMarie
I have had spurts where I get all excited and think- I really would love to have just one song go somewhere. And, then, reality hits and I realize- Yeah, that could happen. But, these days, I have resigned myself to the fact that I am writing for God, for myself, and for other people. I am, most likely, at the most, going to be able to share some of my songs with other people and touch them in a positive way. And, really that is the most important thing. I am not going to stop knocking on doors to see what could be possible. But, I am not going to give up or get let down if my big break never comes.

I remember back the end of 2006, I read about a woman and some things she went through in her life. And, her story prompted me to write what I believe to be the best Christian song I have ever written. When I was done writing and recording it using a keyboard and my in-home digital recording studio, I sent the song to her. She said it made her cry and I knew that it touched her life. I now give that song away to as many people who want it as a free digital download.

I have paid the $9.95 a month at Reverbnation and I take advantage of the opportunities on that site. I have a "buy now" link on a few of my songs on a website or two where I have my songs. I also look for any opportunities on this website.

After writing for close to 30 years, and after giving away my keyboard and digital recorder, I am ok with moving onto other things. I am not writing any new music. But, the ones that have survived. The few songs out of the hundreds I have written that I believe have a shot, the ones other people have also agreed are my strongest, those I am going to just see for fun if they will ever go anywhere. So, yes, for fun and for other people- to touch their lives, that is what I am seeking and focusing on. Anything more- Well it will be a miracle!


Hi Michelle! If your songs are broadcast quality try Crucial Music: https://www.crucialmusic.com/ You can submit up to three songs online. Good luck!

Best, John smile

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