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Songwriting Coaches

Posted By: Douglas Murphy

Songwriting Coaches - 11/02/17 03:46 PM

whenever I finish a lyric, put it to music and make up a demo I am satisfied but always wonder if it is as good as it can be. I am limited by my own likes and dislikes and I am looking now for some coaching. If any here have used such services in the past or are using one now what can you tell me about your experiences. I realize that this is a pay for service but how do you know which ones, and there are many here in cyberland, are worth it?

Douglas Murphy
country/folk/easy listening
Posted By: Ray E. Strode

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/02/17 04:58 PM

Humm,
I sometimes re-visit some of my songs I was not completely satisfied with and made changes to the song. I'm sure it happens quite a bit. You may have songs that are not quite up to being selected by an artist for recording and release. That is why you keep writing for more acceptable songs that will be selected for recording and release.

When you sign a Publishing Contract there is a Clause in the contract allowing the song to be edited if required so an Artist is able to use it. So write the best song you can but understand it may be modified for an artist if needed.
I do not recommend Critique Services you pay for. You can have half a dozen people critique a song and get half a dozen opinions. Let a publisher and artist do that. Good luck.
Posted By: Douglas Murphy

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/02/17 06:49 PM

thanks, Ray. It really is confusing, isn't it? I mean we can be our own worst and best critique and it might be beneficial to get that honest feedback but I wonder, as you mentioned, just what makes his or her opinions better than any other? Dose any others have an opinion on this subject?

Douglas
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/02/17 08:09 PM

Why not give Marc Alan Barnette a shout? He is definitely is helpful. His web site is here: https://www.marcalanbarnette.com/
Or just PM him or post on one of his threads.
Posted By: Ricki E. Bellos

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/02/17 08:45 PM

I have paid for such services in the not too distant past and have come to the conclusion that the bad ones are the ones who don't like my songs and the best ones are the ones that tell me what I already know, that they're great! smile

I've come to the conclusion that when I feel really good about a song, it doesn't really matter if an "expert" thinks it's good. If it makes me happy, well isn't that the point? If you're looking to pitch songs then you probably could use a coach because they can tell you what "sells", and all the "do and don't" things you need to know. And yeah, Marc is a good source of info. He's shared a lot with us here at JPF and other websites for free. If you want more one-on-one with him, I'm sure it would be even more beneficial.

But you're right, there are a lot of such services available. What works for one person may not work for another. The "best" one would be the one that clicks with you, that you feel comfortable with and you won't know that until you test drive them, kind of like buying a car...or dating! grin

Happy hunting.
Posted By: Barry David Butler

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/02/17 11:31 PM

If it cost money don't do it and I mean anything as they are all rip offs....My dog can tell me about my songs better than these creeps.
Posted By: Ray E. Strode

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/03/17 01:13 AM

Well,
I've had a couple of my songs demoed where the demo service really liked the songs. If they like your songs you can bet they will "Nail it" on the demo. Both songs are on the Web Site. The songs are I'LL TAKE IT FROM HERE and AROUND AND AROUND. The Web Site is http://www.geocities.ws/fiverosesmusicgroup/ Keep writing, you never know when a song will "hit".
Posted By: Fdemetrio

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/03/17 05:42 AM

Songwriting coaches are generally guys who haven't had success placing their own songs, or placed songs long ago, and can't any more.

I'm all for trying to improve, but I'm not sure paying money for a.critique is your answer. And when you are paying, nobody is going to tell you you stink,

Play the song live, you get a small yet decent feedback that way, people don't mind yelling you suck in a small venue, that is, if you can find anywhere to play these days!
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/03/17 12:03 PM

Originally Posted by Douglas Murphy
whenever I finish a lyric, put it to music and make up a demo I am satisfied but always wonder if it is as good as it can be. I am limited by my own likes and dislikes and I am looking now for some coaching. If any here have used such services in the past or are using one now what can you tell me about your experiences. I realize that this is a pay for service but how do you know which ones, and there are many here in cyberland, are worth it?

Douglas Murphy
country/folk/easy listening



This is easy. Join Taxi. Many people miss one of the best services they offer which s giving you professional feedback on songs not good enough for market. It costs 5 bucks per submission so you either get forwarded meaning it's already good enough or detailed feedback from an industry professional. It is a great low cost deal especially if you'd also like to pitch your stuff. And if you want a positive sometimes life changing experience, go out for their FREE Taxi Road Rally conference. www.taxi.com (and no, they are not JPF sponsors nor have they been for many years).
Posted By: Douglas Murphy

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/03/17 12:35 PM

Thank you, Brian. I am wondering if my lyrics and my music are ready and I know that over the past this topic has come up time and time again. I am going to re-visit their page later today.

Douglas
Posted By: Barry David Butler

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/03/17 01:00 PM

In my humble opinion Taxi is not a good place to go and it cost a fortune.
Posted By: Douglas Murphy

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/03/17 03:56 PM

AH! Barry the truth must be out there somewhere. smile According to those in the know it is a crap shoot at best. Who knows where the next song is coming from and if a simple demo highlighting it will work? "No. Really? Who knows?" I don't and though I am not second guessing my lyrics or my ability to get them across musically I wonder what one has to do.

Here I can post, and critique but what makes my opinion that special, that important? AND since actually taking the time to 'critique' takes time I find that other than the 'likes' I receive either here or elsewhere it still ends up to me to be the best or worse critique I can be for what I do.

Frustrating, to say the least, but I am in between the paying or not paying someone mainly because and again, "What makes their opinion any more valid than someone else?

Douglas
Posted By: MATT STONEHAM

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/03/17 04:29 PM

If You Have To Ask Taxi If Your Songs Are Good Enough I would say don't

bother because if you don't know, they are not good enough

Douglas has got a very good point about opinions

If you can play an instrument and sing, you have a start over others who don't

The worst thing you can do on a demo is try and sing if your voice is not up to it

Two old friends of mine who passed away a few years back waisted money having

Demos of songs that were quite honestly below average ,

It's very easy to say I Like this , mainly because an honest critique is not what they

are looking for It's pats on the back , and that's what keeps them at it .

It can take ten to thirty years for some would be writers to get something even close

to a CUT , but most fail , There are many reasons , and you can find an awful lot of help

from the better books that are out there , Re Write and Re Write and then re Write Again

You will become a better writer if you practice writing in many genres ;
Posted By: Jody Whitesides

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/03/17 07:32 PM

Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
Songwriting coaches are generally guys who haven't had success placing their own songs, or placed songs long ago, and can't any more.

I'm all for trying to improve, but I'm not sure paying money for a.critique is your answer. And when you are paying, nobody is going to tell you you stink

This may or may not be true. But I get people who come to me for my advice. While I don't make it a business of providing feedback, I will ask they buy me lunch or something for my time. Then again, I've had 1,000s of placements and usages. Are there people out there who critique and haven't had any success? Probably. But doing your due diligence on who you're asking advice from is the songwriter's responsibility.

There's a couple of people on this site who do make it a business to mentor others. And they're good at what they do. MAB being one of them.

Originally Posted by Barry David Butler
In my humble opinion Taxi is not a good place to go and it cost a fortune.

[sarcasm]Yeah, I can understand how paying to have actual A&R people that work at the labels give you feedback could be a real waste of your time and money.[/sarcasm]
Posted By: Fdemetrio

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/04/17 05:42 AM

Originally Posted by Jody Whitesides
Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
Songwriting coaches are generally guys who haven't had success placing their own songs, or placed songs long ago, and can't any more.

I'm all for trying to improve, but I'm not sure paying money for a.critique is your answer. And when you are paying, nobody is going to tell you you stink

This may or may not be true. But I get people who come to me for my advice. While I don't make it a business of providing feedback, I will ask they buy me lunch or something for my time. Then again, I've had 1,000s of placements and usages. Are there people out there who critique and haven't had any success? Probably. But doing your due diligence on who you're asking advice from is the songwriter's responsibility.

There's a couple of people on this site who do make it a business to mentor others. And they're good at what they do. MAB being one of them.

Originally Posted by Barry David Butler
In my humble opinion Taxi is not a good place to go and it cost a fortune.

[sarcasm]Yeah, I can understand how paying to have actual A&R people that work at the labels give you feedback could be a real waste of your time and money.[/sarcasm]


Jody, it may be semantics, but I think there is a difference between placing songs in movies and tv, and writing songs for another artist, in hopes they will have a hit with it.

To me songwriting coaches focus on the latter. And those are the ones who wouldn't be doing it if they were scoring hits and placing songs with majors all the time

Correct me if I'm wrong, but tv and movie spots most often use 30 seconds iof a track, so placing for tv and ml it's is more about how you sound than how you write

But I'm sure mentoring can help in either case.

But songwriting is an art, making money is an art too I suppose but for a different reason

I dint have any problem with teachers or coaches, everybody can use them from time to time. Yet at the end of the day nobody really knows what a great song is, they only know what they like to hear,

But it's cool you have all those placements
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/04/17 10:27 AM

Taxi isn't for everyone. If you are short on talent and unwilling to listen to and act on constructive feedback, then you should not join TAXI nor should you pay ANYONE to do anything for your songs, because you know, you apparently know better in the first place and don't need their help. If, on the other hand you have a reasonable amount of talent and you want to hone your skills in ways that would help you guide your talent towards being commercially viable, then TAXI is the only valid option I have seen out there to help. 99% of the people asking for money to help you in the music business are frauds. It doesn't mean they all have bad intentions, but in truth no one can ever help you if you aren't serious about taking the advice and acting on it and also working hard at your craft every day, producing new content and improving that content regularly based on feedback and indications if your stuff is even competitive. That's what TAXI is good at doing. But it means you still have to do the work and bring the talent and drive and persistence. If that doesn't apply to you, stop wasting your time dreaming about commercial success and just enjoy making music. There's nothing wrong with that. And you can always post it online or make a video to go with it and post it on Youtube. If you have a clever idea for a video, especially if it is humorous or politically relevant, you might even gain some followers/fans that way. Additionally, play out live anytime you have a chance, not to become famous, but for the joy of it.

That's the best advice my nearly 33 years of experience helping musicians can offer and I am the last person who would ever tell you to spend money on something that wasn't worth it. If you're serious, TAXI is a solid tool. But if all of the above doesn't apply to you, don't do it. Just make music and understand your ability to do so is something 98% of the world wishes they too had the talent to pull off. You can be happy and fulfilled without a hit or a fan base. Music is a gift, so be grateful you have it in you if you do.
Posted By: Douglas Murphy

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/04/17 12:58 PM

Great words of advice Brian. "I know it may sound funny but money don't mean nothing to me. I don't make my music for money 'cause I make my music for me." Kenny Rodgers

CD Baby and Taxi is in my future even if it is only for a year with Taxi to get 'paid' critiques.
Posted By: MATT STONEHAM

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/10/17 10:48 AM

whenever I finish a lyric, put it to music and make up a demo I am satisfied but always wonder if it is as good as it can be. I am limited by my own likes and dislikes and I am looking now for some coaching. If any here have used such services in the past or are using one now what can you tell me about your experiences. I realize that this is a pay for service but how do you know which ones, and there are many here in cyberland, are worth it?

Douglas Murphy
country/folk/easy listening

DOUGLASS According to Pro writers that I know , and it's something I agree with the best way to write a
song is to do both the music and lyrics together, (at the same time) I work that way and have had more
satisfaction , than trying to work with someone's finished lyric

This method assumes one can do both, Another method is to put a new lyric to an existing hit song, and
then change the music from the original , this method can work as well, as the Pro Writers fully understand
Repetition , Meter and Rhyme Schemes as well as so much more

We can learn from everyone even Bad Writers of Poor Songs
Above all enjoy your writing also try writing in as many genres as you can
Posted By: Jody Whitesides

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/10/17 06:46 PM

Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
Jody, it may be semantics, but I think there is a difference between placing songs in movies and tv, and writing songs for another artist, in hopes they will have a hit with it.

Actually writing music for me always has a purpose now. If I write music for a movie, tv, trailer, video game, commercial, or another artist, its always about getting them what they need for their audience. Going for placements, is going for placements regardless of what its for. Whether you hit the zeitgeist or not is something completely different.
Posted By: Fdemetrio

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/10/17 08:04 PM

in a business sense, I guess.

so we can agree songwriting coaches are about trying for some sort of commercial success.

In school, we didn't learn how to write or how to read to make money. We did it because it makes us efficient human beings.

Learning songwriting in class should be about becoming a good songwriter, not about making money at songwriting.

Ie. When we take guitar lessons or piano lessons, it's not to become rock stars or country stars, or anything else, but to learn how to play the instrument

Seems like songwriting coaches want to make money dangling the chance at making money in front of their clients

The question you have to ask, is why do you want coaching? The answer may come shortly after the question.
Posted By: John Lawrence Schick

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/10/17 10:29 PM

Songwriting coaches? Reminds me of what Ravel told Gershwin when Gershwin wanted to study with Ravel. Ravel turned him down. He said if you study with me you'll be composing poor Ravel rather than good Gershwin. Dig deep into your soul to find your special place. Then be true to yourself. Trust yourself. And blah, blah, blah... laugh

That being said... we all are influenced by what we hear and have heard. And we all use the same raw materials.

Good luck Douglas!

Best, John smile
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/11/17 09:59 AM

Originally Posted by Jody Whitesides
Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
Jody, it may be semantics, but I think there is a difference between placing songs in movies and tv, and writing songs for another artist, in hopes they will have a hit with it.

Actually writing music for me always has a purpose now. If I write music for a movie, tv, trailer, video game, commercial, or another artist, its always about getting them what they need for their audience. Going for placements, is going for placements regardless of what its for. Whether you hit the zeitgeist or not is something completely different.


Ha! I tried to tell you all of this starting in the late 90's Jody... I remember you arguing these ideas in a parking lot after we had a late night group meal after a show... you've come a long way grasshopper!
Posted By: Marc Barnette

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/11/17 02:30 PM

There are a million opinions on this. Some people embrace it and have great success, some hate them, and go their own way. Personally, my use of one at the beginning of my career before I moved to Nashville is the reason I got a cut my first night in town because he showed me techniques I could have taken decades to learn, and greatly sped up my process. It also helped me approach co-writing with others and the different dynamics of personality which to me is the most important part of anything.

Whatever you do, you should ask for references and see what other people have experienced, listen to their songs and most of all, see if their personality is someone you can get along with. Song coaches, like guitar teachers, piano teachers, voice teachers, lend expertise that go beyond the song. There are a million other things about etticate, about process, about follow through, that only work through working with others. So if they are good, they will help you beyond the song as well. Possibly placements but more likely how to deal with some of the people you will encounter in your musical journey. It is NEVER JUST ABOUT THE SONG. There are always hundreds of issues BEYOND the song you have to be aware of. This is the business of PERSONALITY AND EGO so you better understand how those all come to play.

Thanks for those of you who mentioned me, and for those of you who don't care for me or any of us, that is fine too. It's not for everybody. But is a viable option when you get as far as you can go, and need someone to help out, it can be good as much for a sounding board than anything else. Beware of people that over promise and underdeliver. And keep things in perspective. It is ONLY an OPINION, and only ONE PART OF AN OVERALL JOURNEY.

MAB
Posted By: Jody Whitesides

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/11/17 06:15 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Ha! I tried to tell you all of this starting in the late 90's Jody... I remember you arguing these ideas in a parking lot after we had a late night group meal after a show... you've come a long way grasshopper!

I remember that night well.
Posted By: Pat Hardy

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/15/17 12:36 AM

Originally Posted by Ray E. Strode


When you sign a Publishing Contract there is a Clause in the contract allowing the song to be edited if



And I always add..."subject to composer/lyricist approval" to that clause or I don't sign. Of course, if the artist is big enough, that's another story, I'd probably be a lot more accepting of whatever change was needed.
Posted By: Pat Hardy

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/15/17 12:45 AM

Originally Posted by Douglas Murphy
whenever I finish a lyric, put it to music and make up a demo I am satisfied but always wonder if it is as good as it can be. I am limited by my own likes and dislikes and I am looking now for some coaching. If any here have used such services in the past or are using one now what can you tell me about your experiences. I realize that this is a pay for service but how do you know which ones, and there are many here in cyberland, are worth it?

Douglas Murphy
country/folk/easy listening


I think the best way to go is to join a songwriting guild, and shop it there for live feedback. It's helped me a lot in the past. Others will perform their songs, you can learn just by listening to what others are doing, and nothing like live reaction to a song, the audience reaction is the truth (usually, there are different audiences, of course ).

I once had a chance meeting with one of the founders of the L.A songwriter's guild back round about 1976, it was before it became a big organization, Len Chandler I think was his name, ( I was selling a motorcycle, and he showed up to buy it, and I struck up a conversation since I recognized him ). He told me a story about how he heard the demo to "Three Times A Lady" before it became a hit song. He told me how he had this heady criticism of the lyric that upon hearing the demo. Later, the song became a hit, no lyric change, and the point of the story was, even those who are supposed to know can get too much into the technical, the cerebral, and miss the song. The point was, don't accept any one person's word for it, play it for a lot of people, and look for points for which there is a consensus. If one person says something, and he or she is the only one saying it, it's not an issue, probably. but if 30 people hear the song, and six or seven say the samething about it, you have an issue. also, public boards are a bad way to get criticism, because of the "bandwagon effect". One guy says something, and another says "me, too". But, nothing like an audience reaction to get the truth.


Posted By: Douglas Murphy

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/15/17 11:29 PM

Thank you, Pat great advice.

Douglas
Posted By: Douglas Murphy

Re: Songwriting Coaches - 11/15/17 11:32 PM

and thank you MAB.

Douglas
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