Twenty years ago, there was a mantra on Music Row....

Then some company came to town and a major star was involved as a PR spokesman if nothing else. The company would work with you and help you develop as a writer if you paid them. However, at a public panel discussion, the star spokesman said he probably would never do a song from one of the writers in development preferring to do one by a well known writer.

Now it's a new century and things have changed. Paid critiques and so forth are very common and becoming more common everyday. The big three I know of are Cloyd, Blume, and Barnette. Each has a little something special to offer that the others don't.

Just today, I got an e-mail about a new service being offered by Rory Feek and Tim Johnson. Nashville Demo Studio connected to a woman I first met through JPF has a deal going. I saw a post in another group about the Nashville Songwriter's Festival put together I guess by Barry Allen, who was a volunteer I met at NSAI. Then there are the NSAI seminars and critique services. SGA has critique service also. There is also Taxi and SongU.

I know of several songwriters with hits behind them who offer critiques, workshops, and/or mentoring. Jeffrey Steele has had a workshop, as has Craig Bickhardt, Steve Seskin, and others.

I'm not as positive as I used to be that I can write commercial songs. I also don't think I can learn new styles of writing. I think I'm better than some people "in the know" think I am and I'm not as good as some "who don't know" think I am.

In my opinion, out of all these services I've mentioned, I think the most beneficial for me are ones that offer networking but I'm not good at networking and worse now than I used to be.

The main reason I wrote this post was just to let folks know of some of the different methods available. They all cost and in my opinion some cost too much for what they offer. However, everyone who takes that last sentence as wisdom should know that I am so tight I squeal when I walk.

Most of these folks/companies I've mentioned won't come right out and say "the money you spend will probably not get you a contract" but I haven't seen any of them say "We can make you a star!" either. There are sites/people who will tell you they can make you a star and you should run from those people.

One thing I like about MAB here in JPF is his posts here make it very clear there are no easy bulls in this rodeo. In fact, sometimes I think he goes out of his way and makes it look too hopeless. His tour service, by the way, is quite unique. Cloyd's "Play For Publishers" is also unique but things are changing.

Last edited by Sausagelink; 01/24/10 11:46 PM.