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#935262 - 12/05/11 02:38 AM What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next?  
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 249
tim houlihan Offline
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tim houlihan  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 249
I need help from the mentors--where do I go next now that I have this demo done? What advice do you have on which publisher to look for? Do I even look for a publisher-
This is where I'm at a total loss--I know nothing at all about the process
thanks
tim


As Neil says: Keep On Rockin' in the Free World!
#935264 - 12/05/11 02:48 AM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: tim houlihan]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,310
niteshift Online content
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niteshift  Online Content
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Hey Tim,

Firstly you'll need about a dozen songs up your sleeve. So keep writing and building up a catalogue of solid, well written and produced pieces.... and keep your eye out for any placements for which your song may be suitable.

cheers, niteshift

#935265 - 12/05/11 03:02 AM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: niteshift]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
Hey Tim, Congrats on getting started! I tried to find your song on soundclick, but couldn't, I searched for "Southern Dirty" and came up with some rappers. When I added "Tim Houlihan" to a google search, I came up with your other post here. So, first thing I'd do is get a link from Soundclick and post that on the mp3 site so folks can listen and give you some ideas.

Most importantly, I'd suggest that you educate yourself on the business of songwriting. For that, I highly recommend John Braheny's book, "The Craft and Business of Songwriting" which you can buy new, buy used or find at a library. The newer editions have more up to date info regarding some legal issues and technical advances. Here's a link to Amazon for it:
http://www.amazon.com/Craft-Business-Songwriting-2nd/dp/1582970858

Then, in all modesty, I'd suggest that you read a piece I wrote called, "Sharkproof Yourself" I'll reprint it here:


###########################################################

SHARKPROOF YOURSELF by Mike Dunbar

There are sharks in the water. The shark feeds on egos.

We often hear about singers and songwriters getting scammed. One instance I'll never forget. A woman spent tens of thousands of dollars, mortgaged her house, for what amounted to a couple of $500 demos (and I'm being generous about the price) from a man who promised her the moon. She did it after I literally begged her not to. We get posts all the time from folks asking or warning about this company or that company, but new scam companies start up and old ones continually change their names, so that's just screaming "there's a shark in the water." Well....we always knew there were sharks in the water, didn't we? We can worry about one while we get bit by another. It's time we "sharkproof" ourselves. Let's get started.

Let's look at the scams.

The most common scam a songwriter is likely to encounter is the bait and switch. This is where a publisher or songplugger offers to sign your songs, but they say you need a better demo, and it has to be recorded by them or one of their friends. The bait is that you get your song published or plugged. The switch is that they simply want to do your demo. Sometimes they will offer to split the cost of the demo with you. In reality, the "half" you spend is the entire cost of the demo...including the fee for the publisher/plugger. They will publish your song, they will even "plug" it, which amounts to sending some cds or mp3s to a label or artist which will never, ever, be heard. They might even do a decent job on the demo. But you weren't shopping for a demo, you wanted your song published or plugged. The sharkproofing? Educate yourself. Do your homework. Put together a team of advisers* (I'll get to that later). Do you need a publisher or songplugger? Not unless you are writing songs at a highly professional level, and maybe not even then. And never, never, NEVER work with someone you don't know who contacted you first (unless your team of advisers* agrees your are writing at a high level and they have checked them out thoroughly...THOROUGHLY. I'm still tempted to simply say "Never" but I know of one example in all my career of someone who was contacted by a major publisher. It's so rare as to be astonishing.)

Another songwriter scam is "We'll compose music to your lyrics as a work for hire and won't be cowriters, as long as we make your demo." These are almost never composers who are in love with your lyrics. I've heard many hundred of these songs. I can't, offhand, think of one where the music really fit the lyrics. There may be a few...I can't think of any...including any from our members here. This is perfectly legal and, if it makes you happy, I have no problem with it...as long as you don't expect the songs to go anywhere. Again, they are selling you the demo. The sharkproofing is, again, have a team of advisers* who agree that your lyrics are at a high level, then network until you find a good composer or composers who love your songs and are willing to work as cowriters including splitting the cost of the demos. If you simply want songs to play for your friends or grandchildren, or to play for each other online, I have no problem with buying a "work for hire" composer as long as you're not paying more money than you can afford to throw away.

Singers and artists will find, or be found by, folks who offer to manage them and/or produce them. The producers may be legitimate, as long as they are not promising "access to their contacts" as part of the deal. That's the scam. If a producer promises access to their friends before the deal is set, then that's the bait. I know producers who, after the project was finished, helped shop it and promote it. That is different. It wasn't bait, they legitimately want the project to succeed. It is the same with managers. To sharkproof yourself, guess what? Put together a team of advisers* who will look at the deals as well as look at you to see if you are ready.

More scams are paid showcases, cd compilations and tv shows. There is nothing wrong with a paid showcase...Garth Brooks put together paid showcases before he got his deal, but he was Garth Brooks. Are you that good? Ask your team of advisers*. CD compilations may be legit, but they are rarely useful. On the bad side, they put together bogus charts that track radio play you never got, or no one ever heard. As Brian says, the only chart that really counts is Billboard. Also, there are television shows that showcase new talent for a fee. Sometimes the only tv they are on is yours at home when you play the DVD you bought. Sharkproofing? Again, education, homework, honest assessment of yourself that includes your team of advisers*

There are other scams, but they are usually spinoffs of these, such as "contests" that are judged by producers who want your business. They all include that you pay for something you don't really need. Some promise things they can't or won't deliver. To sharkproof yourself from all of them, you must educate yourself. Get John Braheny's book "The Craft and Business of Songwriting" and Donald S. Passman's "All You Need to Know About the Music Business." Then avail yourself of online resources such as ours. Learn a little about business in general.

Perhaps, most importantly, if you want to be sharkproof you must become brutally honest with yourself. Music people are afraid to do this because they fear they lack talent. The truth is, talent is not the biggest component. The biggest component is authenticity. When you write or sing, you must be authentic. The feelings and ideas you convey must ring true and touch other people. Authenticity can be developed. You just "get real." Then you add that to whatever talent God gave you. Or, do you have false pride? Do you think you are better than everyone else? Do you think you could take Nashville, or London, or L.A., or Mumbai, or Austin by storm? You can't. It takes hard work. The sharks think the proud ones are easy prey. You also must be honest about your chances. Do you have the time and energy to work harder at this than you ever have worked at anything else in your life? Are you reaching for the wrong goals? Do you want to be a country star, but you are over 40? Maybe you need to look at Americana. The best tool you have for self assessment is your team of advisers*

So, sharkproof yourself. I've seen people quit the music business because they didn't. I know one fellow who spent a quarter of a million dollars recording, pressing and promoting a cd which now, literally, fills his rather large garage. He spent his retirement. He's quite good, but he has quit playing music anywhere but church. Come to think of it, he is, in the real sense of the word, a success. \:\)

___________


*team of advisers
I recommend a team of at least five advisers. I recommend at least one be someone who is successful in the music business; one who is successful in a business other than music; at least one good friend who will always be honest with you; no more than one family member; at least one entertainment lawyer. This team does not have to all meet at once, though as your career goes on, that could be a good idea. You should take them out to lunch or dinner as a way of "paying" them. If your career takes off, you might give them a token percentage. Once successful, you may find your publisher and/or manager from among them. (You don't need either until you are successful) Their biggest job will be protecting you from your own and each other's egos.

There are sharks in the water. The shark feeds on egos.

##########################################################

I hope this helps, Tim. Good luck and God Bless.

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

#935269 - 12/05/11 03:36 AM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 249
tim houlihan Offline
Serious Contributor
tim houlihan  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 249
wow--mike thank you--i just read a book by a guy named napoleon hill and he said the exact same thing about having advisers!!!!!
ok-that will be my sarting point
thank you
tim


As Neil says: Keep On Rockin' in the Free World!
#935623 - 12/07/11 04:32 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: tim houlihan]  
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 249
tim houlihan Offline
Serious Contributor
tim houlihan  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 249
say mike-what do you know about these song libraries?


As Neil says: Keep On Rockin' in the Free World!
#935631 - 12/07/11 06:18 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: tim houlihan]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee


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

#935642 - 12/07/11 07:19 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 249
tim houlihan Offline
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tim houlihan  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 249
awesome--thanks mike


As Neil says: Keep On Rockin' in the Free World!
#984670 - 11/19/12 06:59 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Nov 2012
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zack3d Offline
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zack3d  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Nov 2012
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Alabama
That was extremely insightful. Thanks so much.

#987777 - 12/13/12 04:52 AM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: tim houlihan]  
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pathardy Offline
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pathardy  Offline
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I'd say join a songwriter's guild, get feedback, and there you'll find lots of info. Also, get a copy of "Songwriter's Market"
which has lots of info on how to approach publishers, producers, etc., plus has a large directory of same.

Pat Hardy Lockwood

#988259 - 12/15/12 09:16 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: pathardy]  
Joined: Jun 2006
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Jim Colyer Offline
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Jim Colyer  Offline
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Nashville, Tennessee usa
Walking out of the studio with a demo is like walking out of the hospital with a baby. It is all yours.

#988270 - 12/15/12 10:27 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: Jim Colyer]  
Joined: Dec 2008
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Kolstad Offline
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Kolstad  Offline
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Denmark
You subscribe to Music Row Magazine, get educated in how the business end works, and perhaps use your demos to attract a solid network of co-writers.

A demo is basically done to remember a song, so you can tell others about it.

You can tell artists, publishers, co-writers, producers, fans, a&r, family and friends about it.

Who you can tell, depends on your relationships. You can only tell those you know.

It may sound veeery basic, but once you realize the simplicity of this, you realize what it's about. You need to get to know people. Lots of people, build a reputation and solid relationships. And the more important people are to you, the less accessible they are. So, if you got the demo for business purposes, you need to start building business relationships, and the bottom of that chain, and often where to start, is published co-writers.

Therefore it makes sense to make demos to attract co-writers as a first step.

I understand the urge to move ahead faster, to publishers, a&r ect., but truth is that's not likely going to happen untill you know any. The market for outside writers today is unbelievably small, world wide. So, you get introduced and gain reputation through others, and that's why co-writers are important.

You can sometimes pay for jumping a step forward and gain access to decision makers faster, and thats where services like NSAI, SongU, Taxi and others comes in.

They act like a filter for the professionals in the music business, and might give you access to gain some minor credentials, IF those demos are up to par with competing work. Even with forwards through SongU or Taxi, there are lots of miles ahead that needs to be covered.

To be honest, the first demos you get done are probably not very competitive, but can still prove sufficient to attract more serious co-writers who might have connections, if you are productive, easy to work with and can offer ideas and craft.

I'd say that's probably the unsweetened version. Not a romantic fairytale for your enjoyment, but more like a chilly business wind messing up your hair.

And at least, how I (a non-mentor :-)) see it.. good luck.


Buzz Tracks
Making media sweeter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/buzztracks
#988276 - 12/15/12 11:16 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 6,051
ben willis Offline
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ben willis  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 6,051
Ft. Myers, FL. USA
Originally Posted by Mike Dunbar
Hey Tim, Congrats on getting started! I tried to find your song on soundclick, but couldn't, I searched for "Southern Dirty" and came up with some rappers. When I added "Tim Houlihan" to a google search, I came up with your other post here. So, first thing I'd do is get a link from Soundclick and post that on the mp3 site so folks can listen and give you some ideas.

Most importantly, I'd suggest that you educate yourself on the business of songwriting. For that, I highly recommend John Braheny's book, "The Craft and Business of Songwriting" which you can buy new, buy used or find at a library. The newer editions have more up to date info regarding some legal issues and technical advances. Here's a link to Amazon for it:
http://www.amazon.com/Craft-Business-Songwriting-2nd/dp/1582970858

Then, in all modesty, I'd suggest that you read a piece I wrote called, "Sharkproof Yourself" I'll reprint it here:


###########################################################

SHARKPROOF YOURSELF by Mike Dunbar

There are sharks in the water. The shark feeds on egos.

We often hear about singers and songwriters getting scammed. One instance I'll never forget. A woman spent tens of thousands of dollars, mortgaged her house, for what amounted to a couple of $500 demos (and I'm being generous about the price) from a man who promised her the moon. She did it after I literally begged her not to. We get posts all the time from folks asking or warning about this company or that company, but new scam companies start up and old ones continually change their names, so that's just screaming "there's a shark in the water." Well....we always knew there were sharks in the water, didn't we? We can worry about one while we get bit by another. It's time we "sharkproof" ourselves. Let's get started.

Let's look at the scams.

The most common scam a songwriter is likely to encounter is the bait and switch. This is where a publisher or songplugger offers to sign your songs, but they say you need a better demo, and it has to be recorded by them or one of their friends. The bait is that you get your song published or plugged. The switch is that they simply want to do your demo. Sometimes they will offer to split the cost of the demo with you. In reality, the "half" you spend is the entire cost of the demo...including the fee for the publisher/plugger. They will publish your song, they will even "plug" it, which amounts to sending some cds or mp3s to a label or artist which will never, ever, be heard. They might even do a decent job on the demo. But you weren't shopping for a demo, you wanted your song published or plugged. The sharkproofing? Educate yourself. Do your homework. Put together a team of advisers* (I'll get to that later). Do you need a publisher or songplugger? Not unless you are writing songs at a highly professional level, and maybe not even then. And never, never, NEVER work with someone you don't know who contacted you first (unless your team of advisers* agrees your are writing at a high level and they have checked them out thoroughly...THOROUGHLY. I'm still tempted to simply say "Never" but I know of one example in all my career of someone who was contacted by a major publisher. It's so rare as to be astonishing.)

Another songwriter scam is "We'll compose music to your lyrics as a work for hire and won't be cowriters, as long as we make your demo." These are almost never composers who are in love with your lyrics. I've heard many hundred of these songs. I can't, offhand, think of one where the music really fit the lyrics. There may be a few...I can't think of any...including any from our members here. This is perfectly legal and, if it makes you happy, I have no problem with it...as long as you don't expect the songs to go anywhere. Again, they are selling you the demo. The sharkproofing is, again, have a team of advisers* who agree that your lyrics are at a high level, then network until you find a good composer or composers who love your songs and are willing to work as cowriters including splitting the cost of the demos. If you simply want songs to play for your friends or grandchildren, or to play for each other online, I have no problem with buying a "work for hire" composer as long as you're not paying more money than you can afford to throw away.

Singers and artists will find, or be found by, folks who offer to manage them and/or produce them. The producers may be legitimate, as long as they are not promising "access to their contacts" as part of the deal. That's the scam. If a producer promises access to their friends before the deal is set, then that's the bait. I know producers who, after the project was finished, helped shop it and promote it. That is different. It wasn't bait, they legitimately want the project to succeed. It is the same with managers. To sharkproof yourself, guess what? Put together a team of advisers* who will look at the deals as well as look at you to see if you are ready.

More scams are paid showcases, cd compilations and tv shows. There is nothing wrong with a paid showcase...Garth Brooks put together paid showcases before he got his deal, but he was Garth Brooks. Are you that good? Ask your team of advisers*. CD compilations may be legit, but they are rarely useful. On the bad side, they put together bogus charts that track radio play you never got, or no one ever heard. As Brian says, the only chart that really counts is Billboard. Also, there are television shows that showcase new talent for a fee. Sometimes the only tv they are on is yours at home when you play the DVD you bought. Sharkproofing? Again, education, homework, honest assessment of yourself that includes your team of advisers*

There are other scams, but they are usually spinoffs of these, such as "contests" that are judged by producers who want your business. They all include that you pay for something you don't really need. Some promise things they can't or won't deliver. To sharkproof yourself from all of them, you must educate yourself. Get John Braheny's book "The Craft and Business of Songwriting" and Donald S. Passman's "All You Need to Know About the Music Business." Then avail yourself of online resources such as ours. Learn a little about business in general.

Perhaps, most importantly, if you want to be sharkproof you must become brutally honest with yourself. Music people are afraid to do this because they fear they lack talent. The truth is, talent is not the biggest component. The biggest component is authenticity. When you write or sing, you must be authentic. The feelings and ideas you convey must ring true and touch other people. Authenticity can be developed. You just "get real." Then you add that to whatever talent God gave you. Or, do you have false pride? Do you think you are better than everyone else? Do you think you could take Nashville, or London, or L.A., or Mumbai, or Austin by storm? You can't. It takes hard work. The sharks think the proud ones are easy prey. You also must be honest about your chances. Do you have the time and energy to work harder at this than you ever have worked at anything else in your life? Are you reaching for the wrong goals? Do you want to be a country star, but you are over 40? Maybe you need to look at Americana. The best tool you have for self assessment is your team of advisers*

So, sharkproof yourself. I've seen people quit the music business because they didn't. I know one fellow who spent a quarter of a million dollars recording, pressing and promoting a cd which now, literally, fills his rather large garage. He spent his retirement. He's quite good, but he has quit playing music anywhere but church. Come to think of it, he is, in the real sense of the word, a success. \:\)

___________


*team of advisers
I recommend a team of at least five advisers. I recommend at least one be someone who is successful in the music business; one who is successful in a business other than music; at least one good friend who will always be honest with you; no more than one family member; at least one entertainment lawyer. This team does not have to all meet at once, though as your career goes on, that could be a good idea. You should take them out to lunch or dinner as a way of "paying" them. If your career takes off, you might give them a token percentage. Once successful, you may find your publisher and/or manager from among them. (You don't need either until you are successful) Their biggest job will be protecting you from your own and each other's egos.

There are sharks in the water. The shark feeds on egos.

##########################################################

I hope this helps, Tim. Good luck and God Bless.

Mike


Or, you can always use the "Shark Repellent Bat Spray"

http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/82773565/

#990122 - 12/31/12 07:28 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: ben willis]  
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Hi Tim,
Are you a singer/songwriter or a songwriter?
If you are the forma upload your songs FREE to http://www.soundblitzrecords.com so that I can evaluate them. I have singers in my rosta who require songs. If they are of use to us we will work with you.
best of luck, keep writing
Denny

#990183 - 01/01/13 12:17 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: Soundblitz Records]  
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Everett Adams Online content
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Originally Posted by Soundblitz Records
Hi Tim,
Are you a singer/songwriter or a songwriter?
If you are the forma upload your songs FREE to http://www.soundblitzrecords.com so that I can evaluate them. I have singers in my rosta who require songs. If they are of use to us we will work with you.
best of luck, keep writing
Denny


What genres?


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

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

http://www.soundclick.com/newsflashsounds

http://www.soundclick.com/newsflashgospel

www.cdbaby.com/all/eca333

www.showcaseyourmusic.com/newsflashsounds
#990239 - 01/01/13 06:54 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: Everett Adams]  
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All genres, but we also have another site for Christian Country http://www.hannahrecordings.com this is only for Christian and Inspirational Music.
I notice you are in Canada, we recently signed a Canadian songwriter and have released one of her songs with a UK Country Artist, you can find it on all good digital retailers. Miki Peters - 'I'm Gone Fishin' Too'

Last edited by Soundblitz Records; 01/01/13 06:57 PM.
#990838 - 01/06/13 02:52 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Hello Mike,
My name is Bryan Williamson and I am a new member of Just Plain Folks. I read your post about avoiding the Sharks and was drawn to your suggestion of finding advisors. I have been writing lyrics for many years now but have not tried to sell them or promote them. I also write fiction and have a novel in production at Brighton Publishing.
I am very interested in trying to find a group who is looking for a lyricist. Would you consider reviewing my lyrics or maybe advising me in this arena?
Thanks,
BK Williamson

#990853 - 01/06/13 06:36 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: B K Williamson]  
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Hello Bryan,

It may help you if you can find a composer to collabarate with because if you put your lyrics to music you would have a better chance of getting somewhere. Probably you could look for one on this site. Best of luck

#991055 - 01/07/13 11:23 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: Soundblitz Records]  
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B K Williamson Offline
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Thanks Denny,

Years ago I worked with a talented young guitarist but we kind of grew apart. I would love to find someone who would be interested in composing / collaborating. I'm just scratching the surface of this extensive board but keeping my eyes and ears open.

#1010991 - 06/05/13 01:27 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: B K Williamson]  
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For anyone coming to this post, be sure to read Mike Dunbar's "How to sharkproof yourself" above.


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

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


#1011242 - 06/07/13 02:38 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Demos sound like a good idea until we realize we are only spending our money and making more work for ourselves.

#1020784 - 08/23/13 03:45 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: Jim Colyer]  
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Jim Colyer Offline
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I've written 500 songs. I have 20 that are worth working with.

#1036657 - 01/20/14 02:42 AM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: Jim Colyer]  
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I figure this is as good a place as any to mark the one-year anniversary of John Braheny's passing. I wish I could have appreciated his work more while he was with us.


#1084718 - 06/02/15 06:18 AM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: Jim Colyer]  
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Cheyenne Offline
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Hi Jim Good honest comment from you re 20 out of 500

Some people have written upwards of 1,000 and not got anything worth pursuing or pitching

The fact that someone can say not every thing I have written is going anywhere, is a plus in my book because they realise there is more work to do

Keep at it Jim



One of the most important principles of songwriting is to remember that a good song is a partnership of many different components, all working together to produce a satisfying musical experience.

In that respect, song components are either enhancing or compromising their combined effects.
#1087830 - 07/13/15 08:44 AM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: Cheyenne]  
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A Work demo, performed by the composer/s does not cost a thing
except your time

Thats the only way I can work, I have to listen , and then keep listening, Re writing along the way,

What sounds okay to your own ear as you are performing, very
often sounds dull and frankly too ordinary on a play back

This is one of the reasons i work on several songs at the same time, This way I never get too tied to one song

Yes I get tired, and then it's time to do something completely different like gardening or other home do it yourself.

Let the sub concious work on your writing , the number of times I have walked away from my writing studio , situated 50 yards from our house, only to walk back because an idea for changing a musical phrase a chord or a complete line tells me to go back and get it down before its gone

All great fun and enjoyable , if it wasn't I would not even try to do it

Last edited by Cheyenne; 07/13/15 08:45 AM.

One of the most important principles of songwriting is to remember that a good song is a partnership of many different components, all working together to produce a satisfying musical experience.

In that respect, song components are either enhancing or compromising their combined effects.
#1101514 - 03/02/16 12:35 AM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: tim houlihan]  
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pathardy Offline
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Join broadjam.com ( $10 a month and each submission is $5 for film and TV, $10 for commercials ). You can start submitting, and if your song is popular, it will go up the "top 10 charts" ( good for the ego, and at least tells you you are liked by your peers ). I've hit # 1 for months on the Pop-Standards chart, the Pop-lullaby chart, the Lounge chart, and the smooth jazz chart. Got lots of songs on other's play list, and good feedback. It's nice community, and more opportunities in my opinion, and cheaper than TAXI ( which costs $300 just to join ). Stay away from Music Xray, it's way too expensive, and they pay people just to listen to a song, which is a scam, in my opinion. Though I've yet to make any serious placements, I have gotten a few song publishing contracts going this route.

Last edited by pathardy; 03/02/16 12:36 AM.
#1101515 - 03/02/16 12:46 AM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: pathardy]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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Originally Posted by pathardy
Join broadjam.com ( $10 a month and each submission is $5 for film and TV, $10 for commercials ). You can start submitting, and if your song is popular, it will go up the "top 10 charts" ( good for the ego, and at least tells you you are liked by your peers ). I've hit # 1 for months on the Pop-Standards chart, the Pop-lullaby chart, the Lounge chart, and the smooth jazz chart. Got lots of songs on other's play list, and good feedback. It's nice community, and more opportunities in my opinion, and cheaper than TAXI ( which costs $300 just to join ). Stay away from Music Xray, it's way too expensive, and they pay people just to listen to a song, which is a scam, in my opinion. Though I've yet to make any serious placements, I have gotten a few song publishing contracts going this route.


Hi Pat,

Have you gotten any TV/ film placements from the Broadjam opportunities?

Best, John smile

#1101541 - 03/02/16 12:46 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Vicarn Online content
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I'm surprised anyone could write hundreds of songs and then consider that only a small percentage are worth working with.

I would ask why write the others unless of course you considered them to be worthwhile at the time but have now changed your mind.

But, if that's the case you may change your mind about the few percent too.

If I write a song and get the feeling that it's not worthwhile
I stop writing it.
Whether others think our songs are worthwhile is a different matter.


It's never too late? Yes it is, so do it now.

If, given time, a monkey can write the complete works of Shakespeare maybe there's hope for me.
http://www.soundclick.com/vicarnold

http://soundcloud.com/vic-arnold
#1101557 - 03/02/16 03:53 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: tim houlihan]  
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Barry David Butler Online content
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Join The Club...

#1101559 - 03/02/16 03:56 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: Vicarn]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Vicarn,

The reason is that you never know what is going to reasonate with other people. A professional songwriter who writes hundreds and sometimes thousands of songs in a year or over a career has about 5% of their catalogue receives any significant consideration. You write a LOT of songs to weed it down to a very few.

An average writer in the town of Nashville will write 125-200 songs a year. Out of that around 15-20 will even make it to the demo form and even fewer getting pitched or eventually recorded.Every artist will "overcut" meaning they record about 18 songs for a 10-12 song project.

But there are unending examples of songs that were rejected by their publishers or completely forgotten by writers going on to resurface and become big hits. An enormous one, "WIND BENEATH MY WINGS" was considered a "piece of tripe" by it's writers and publishers and not even demoed for years. And then put on the backburner as well as being turned down by dozens of labels and artists. That has become on of the biggest American hits.

The more you write, the more expectations you have for each song. And we are not always the best judges of our own material. Many songs are simply "good ideas at the time", There are also many other reasons songs might not ever gain traction. Writing something that is swamped by another similar song on the radio happens all the time. Having artists or record labels reject songs after they are recorded. Changes at publishers or labels that render the song unworkable.
Having songs with a "time limit" on a current event that simply expires. Having songs that become politcally incorrect as cultures change.

About 85% of the success or pathway of a song is far beyond the writers, publishers or even artist's control. About 15% are all a writer or artist can control. The creation, presentation and networking of it. The rest is out of their control. And the public is the ultimate arbiter of what works or doesn't.

Doesn't mean you just stop on something when it is not working. There is something to be said for completion and moving on. Many successful songs are canablized from many other songs. The Beatles used to throw away dozens of songs that never made their final projects. That happened so much, that George Harrison's first solo record "All Things Must Pass" was a TRIPLE album of songs that were rejected by the Beatles.

It went to number one and was one of the most successful records in history.

MAB

Last edited by Marc Barnette; 03/02/16 04:03 PM.
#1101561 - 03/02/16 04:14 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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... and on a smaller scale, I just finished FAWM and got 15 new songs. Of those, I can see myself maybe learning/reworking/improving maybe three or four of them (which I consider to be a pretty high percentage). A couple of them were written for one hour write/record challenges and they are pretty awful (ha, ha).

The others are fine, just not what I would consider "crowd pleasers". When I write in FAWM I get a lot of those down in the dumps, introspective tunes. They are nice to get a song done, but I can't see myself learning them to play out anywhere. The last open mic I went to wasn't that well attended so one guy play 6 or 7 tunes and all of them were "downers" My reaction to them is why I won't do the same!


"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)
#1101562 - 03/02/16 04:26 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc.
Of course I agree that not everything that is written is commercial. Not really talking about what is in vogue at the moment. Your example: "The wind beneath my wings" is a good one.

I just can't understand why someone would write a song and then decide it wasn't worthwhile, unless of course it was a co-write and you were just going along with it to be polite or you were writing by numbers and realised you got your math wrong.

Vic



It's never too late? Yes it is, so do it now.

If, given time, a monkey can write the complete works of Shakespeare maybe there's hope for me.
http://www.soundclick.com/vicarnold

http://soundcloud.com/vic-arnold
#1101564 - 03/02/16 05:16 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: Vicarn]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Vic,

It is because you never know. I have written quite seriously HUNDREDS of songs that I simply thought were "good ideas at the time" or teaching lessons that I thought were okay until they were finished. Only to have them pop up to actually be recorded and not be as weak as I thought they were.

One of my personal most requested songs is called "TABLES AND CHAIRS." I close every show with it. It is a song I wrote and forgot for five years, until a song similar to my usual closer came out on the radio. I had to change and did it as a fill in for a workshop. Someone at that workshop started requesting it everywhere I went and I started performing it out. It is now one of the most requested songs I have ever had an almost a theme song.

I never knew it.

On the subject of hit songs, an interesting little game I have played with myself for decades is talking to hit writers about their biggest songs. Almost to a person, the song that became their biggest hit was never the one they thought would be their biggest hit. And songs they thought would go on to be huge, never ended up doing anything.

We just don't know how people are going to react. That is why you finish them. You just never know.

MAB

#1101571 - 03/02/16 06:12 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc.
I am agreeing with you. You never thought that your songs "weren't worth pursuing" did you? Others may or may not have thought that. But not you.
You may have shelved them for a while but that's a different thing.

Vic


It's never too late? Yes it is, so do it now.

If, given time, a monkey can write the complete works of Shakespeare maybe there's hope for me.
http://www.soundclick.com/vicarnold

http://soundcloud.com/vic-arnold
#1101573 - 03/02/16 06:35 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: Vicarn]  
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Vic,

Let me tell you a little story. About 8 years ago, I was able to move out of the town house I had lived in for 15 years into a very nice house with my girlfriend. I had decided to "downsize" and get rid of many things I had had forever I no longer needed. Wanted to "decrease my footprint." I had a three day garage sale that all my furniture, music equipment, old stereo stuff, clothes, my kids old toys,a ton of old junk that I no longer wanted or needed was in my "had to go" sale. One man's trash...

At the end of all of that I was left with my "IGOR" wall. This consisted of hundreds upon hundreds of cassette tapes, CD's, work tapes, full demos, etc. That had been in rack after rack of containers in my basement. Probably 1500 songs in all that I had been writing and recording or thinking of for over a decade. I am a pretty productive writer, averaging 200 songs a year for many years.

I gathered two big containers, one huge box for everything I was keeping and a huge garbage can for those that I would discard. I had a lot of things cataloged, titles, descriptions, dates, etc. I would pull one down, look at it and decide if that was worth keeping. For a while, every third of fourth CD or Cassette would make it into the "keep bin" the rest would hit the dumpster.
After a while it was every other one hitting the dumpster.

Then I really started looking at it and realized I had a LOT of pure, complete CRAP! There were songs that were cliched stupid titles, stupid ideas, things that didn't work, things I wrote better later on, etc. And just things that would serve the public better in Nashville's landfill, where they belonged. These Included a LOT of full demos. No telling how much I really spent on that stuff. And quite a few MY PUBLISHER PAID FOR!

That is really the deal. There are things that are "A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME." You write them. Tweak them, even record and believe in them, and then come to find they are really not that good. You write NEW SONGS you like better.

Know what the greatest songs in history are?

"YESTERDAY"
"THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD."
And
"THE ONE I JUST WROTE THIS MORNING!!!"

We get very excited with new songs. They are everything we put our energy and time into. But a few days, weeks, months go by and and you have to sometimes say "NEXT!"

I now write a little less songs but more quality because I know what ideas to REJECT in the first place. But even at that, many of those are still just okay. And that is what it is.
Most songs are not really GOOD or BAD, just very average.

The more you write, the less that make their ways up the ladder. You still write them, but your opinions change the more educated you are.

I also love to ask the hit writers and anyone who has been around for a while in this town, "How many of your first songs do you play now? The one's you moved to town with?"

Almost always, their faces turn a kind of funny shade and they usually say "Oh My God!!!" I can't believe I actually played that for anybody!"

The journey is a fun one. Hopefully you learn. And part of that learning comes in knowing when you just have a "good idea at the time" and move on. That is the wise part. And the hardest lesson to learn.

MAB

#1101577 - 03/02/16 07:31 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Well,
I haven't written a song since 2009. I have 44 songs on my Primary Pitch list. Mostly nobody is accepting any songs as is. I have refined a couple or so. Ones that I wasn't quite satisfied with. Who is looking for any material? Not too many.


Ray E. Strode
#1101597 - 03/02/16 10:46 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Vicarn Online content
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Well, all I can say is that I haven't written a song I'm ashamed of. Maybe because I'm not trying to write hits.

Vic




It's never too late? Yes it is, so do it now.

If, given time, a monkey can write the complete works of Shakespeare maybe there's hope for me.
http://www.soundclick.com/vicarnold

http://soundcloud.com/vic-arnold
#1101604 - 03/03/16 12:12 AM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: Vicarn]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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After 8 measures I'm pretty sure if I want to expand it further or deposit it in the waste can under my piano (which is often full) Thank goodness I have an endless supply of manuscript. Thanks to this Virginia university: http://people.virginia.edu/~pdr4h/musicpaper/

Best, John smile

#1103414 - 03/26/16 09:48 AM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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pathardy Offline
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Originally Posted by John Lawrence Schick
Originally Posted by pathardy
Join broadjam.com ( $10 a month and each submission is $5 for film and TV, $10 for commercials ). You can start submitting, and if your song is popular, it will go up the "top 10 charts" ( good for the ego, and at least tells you you are liked by your peers ). I've hit # 1 for months on the Pop-Standards chart, the Pop-lullaby chart, the Lounge chart, and the smooth jazz chart. Got lots of songs on other's play list, and good feedback. It's nice community, and more opportunities in my opinion, and cheaper than TAXI ( which costs $300 just to join ). Stay away from Music Xray, it's way too expensive, and they pay people just to listen to a song, which is a scam, in my opinion. Though I've yet to make any serious placements, I have gotten a few song publishing contracts going this route.


Hi Pat,

Have you gotten any TV/ film placements from the Broadjam opportunities?

Best, John smile



Hi John. Well, got a few contracts, but no placements yet, though once, after I had signed an exclusive contract with Rex Benson Music (who had the Kenny Roger's "Buy Me A Rose" hit ) for a particular vintage jazz song, a few months later I was offered a $10K licensing fee for the song ( via a Music Xray lead ) , but I couldnt get the deal because of signing an exclusive. So, no, but I came close. I don't write production music, or made to order music or compose in the current trendy styles. I write songs that I personally love, latin/brazilian flavored songs mostly, and some vintage jazz/pop stuff, and pray that they will find a home, but what I compose, there is not a large market for it.
Anyone curious go to www.jazzytunes.com to hear a few of my songs.


Last edited by pathardy; 03/26/16 09:50 AM.
#1111425 - 07/25/16 01:18 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: pathardy]  
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Jim Colyer Offline
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Jim Colyer  Offline
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The sad thing is, the more success we have on Internet forums, the further we get from the commerical music business.

#1111641 - 07/28/16 06:47 AM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: Jim Colyer]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content


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Originally Posted by Jim Colyer
The sad thing is, the more success we have on Internet forums, the further we get from the commerical music business.


Jim, the two are unrelated.

A demo these days needs to sound as good as any final release. I'd look at a demo more like a final release even if you've hired people to do the music for you. Unless they can produce something that sounds at home playing on any online music source or the radio or digital album, then it isn't worth much I am sorry to say. I am not suggesting that a "writer only" person spend a fortune to do a final release quality recording unless you have a market for it (i.e. a paying customer whether it be a fan, a company needing music for some media use/soundtrack/TV show etc. or for a video which will amuse the masses or move them to tears. It might also be for the purpose of pitching to an artist, but the competition is so brutal that you still need final release quality OR (and only for this purpose) you need an A+ vocal and simple Guitar or Piano backing to get the song across. I you have no such audiences, then consider whether you want to do a demo at all. People are doing final releases of major projects on a single laptop with regularity meaning they aren't spending a lot of money on the creation portion. The money should be spent to promote the artist/singer (usually) behind the recording or to further a career in some other constructive way.

One other purpose I can see for doing a "demo" is simply for your own pleasure. In those cases, anything goes. And there's nothing wrong with that. All of it just needs to be kept in perspective and in the world of reality and not wishful thinking.


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

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


#1124857 - 03/04/17 02:25 AM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: tim houlihan]  
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pathardy Offline
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pathardy  Offline
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I've written a lot of songs over the last 45 years, and I ask myself that question every time I write a new song. "Now what"? Do I hire a songplugger, do I go those song guild pitch sessions, do I send the CD to all the publishers in Songwriter's Market? Do I join Taxi?

I've tried it all,and I;ve made about 70 bucks in royalties in that time. so what, it's about 0001 % of once cent per hour? Not good pay, I'm afraid, but it's fun to dream.

I keep on tryin', though.

By the way, I've got a bone to pick with Taxi. They've been around a long long time, before the internet, even, and their website sucks, it's like something out of the 90s windows 95 era. WTF?



#1124863 - 03/04/17 11:13 AM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: pathardy]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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PA
Originally Posted by pathardy
Originally Posted by John Lawrence Schick
Originally Posted by pathardy
Join broadjam.com ( $10 a month and each submission is $5 for film and TV, $10 for commercials ). You can start submitting, and if your song is popular, it will go up the "top 10 charts" ( good for the ego, and at least tells you you are liked by your peers ). I've hit # 1 for months on the Pop-Standards chart, the Pop-lullaby chart, the Lounge chart, and the smooth jazz chart. Got lots of songs on other's play list, and good feedback. It's nice community, and more opportunities in my opinion, and cheaper than TAXI ( which costs $300 just to join ). Stay away from Music Xray, it's way too expensive, and they pay people just to listen to a song, which is a scam, in my opinion. Though I've yet to make any serious placements, I have gotten a few song publishing contracts going this route.


Hi Pat,

Have you gotten any TV/ film placements from the Broadjam opportunities?

Best, John smile



Hi John. Well, got a few contracts, but no placements yet, though once, after I had signed an exclusive contract with Rex Benson Music (who had the Kenny Roger's "Buy Me A Rose" hit ) for a particular vintage jazz song, a few months later I was offered a $10K licensing fee for the song ( via a Music Xray lead ) , but I couldnt get the deal because of signing an exclusive. So, no, but I came close. I don't write production music, or made to order music or compose in the current trendy styles. I write songs that I personally love, latin/brazilian flavored songs mostly, and some vintage jazz/pop stuff, and pray that they will find a home, but what I compose, there is not a large market for it.
Anyone curious go to www.jazzytunes.com to hear a few of my songs.



You could have tried getting out of the contract with Rex Benson Music Pat. Some publishers are very understanding on these matters. The very least, you could have offered Rex Benson $500 to break the contract. You'd still be ahead $9,500. Just an idea.

Best, John smile

#1124888 - 03/04/17 08:13 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: tim houlihan]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
I have tried to say this on many occassions, but you have to realize a couple of things.

#1. Some times there IS NO NEXT. Many songs just simply never stack up. So there is a lot to be said for having perspective, getting independent critiques, performing or having songs performed and tested out, BEFORE spending a lot of time or money.

#2. Some songs are simply for US. They don't have commercial potential. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. But going to hire a song plugger, pitch library, or other avenue are not going to make any difference.

#3. A song WITHOUT an artist involved with it at the outset, is going to find a very difficult road to hoe. Another fact is simply that most artists really have no longer interests in other people's songs. Writers are going to have to work harder now to find artists involved in their songs BEFORE they attempt a lot in the way of pitching.

It's just the new dynamic of the music industry. The Internet has changed everything for ever. We have to adjust to it as well.

MAB

Last edited by Marc Barnette; 03/05/17 10:22 AM.
#1125029 - 03/07/17 09:57 PM Re: What now?-Got the demo done what do I do next? [Re: tim houlihan]  
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Toby Barns Offline
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Toby Barns  Offline
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Central Illinois
I like the idea of writing with artists, with the idea that you might be writing tomorrow's successful song, today. With an artist who is actually doing a lot of groundwork, like playing out frequently even at a very local level.

An artist, or band, is going to be offering something to the public, which can lead to a following. Songwriters, unless they are also performers, are not realistically creating something that will generate or stir-up a public following.

Bands and artists are pitching the entertainment factor with live performances (as are performing singer/songwriters). However, most people who only write songs are not pitching to the public like a performer would. People who just enjoy writing songs might never even really try pitching to anyone.

One thing that I see as an issue is that there are a lot of cover bands, and these guys are out there working. Having fun, playing rock-star, making a little extra income. The classic scenario. So it is a bit tougher to find bands that are interested in doing "originals" in a lot of local areas.


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