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#266449 - 06/13/06 03:06 AM Hello, Seattle!  
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,608
Linda Sings Offline
Linda Sings  Offline

Top 50 Poster

Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,608
Scorpio
Hi from a newbie--I just registered on this forum today.

I'm just wondering who else is here? It looks like this forum doesn't get a lot of traffic. The last posts were months ago!

I moved to the Seattle area in the past year. My husband grew up here, and I've always liked the city, but I've never lived here. How is the local market? Who has their finger on the pulse?

I'm a published author (novels, nonfiction, fiction and poetry) and would like to figure out how to get my songs 'out there' as well. The music has always been there, long before the story & novel writing came along, but I haven't figured out the "how-to's" yet--which is why I'm here.

I'm an amateur vocalist and songwriter with a strong voice and solid range (3 octaves), but I've never recorded, so I don't have a soundbite to link to. I have amateur experience in my previous area, and have good reviews and compliments whenever I sing. I've debuted about three of my songs in public venues so far, with good response from the audience. But that's as far as I've come.

It seems to me a lot of the basics are the same as in the book-publishing world--the importance of self-promotion and marketing, watch out for scams & ripoffs and selling the wrong rights to the wrong people, etc.--concepts I'm familiar with as an author. The songwriting copyright/performance rights issues look a lot more complicated, though. Can anyone recommend some good books that walk a newbie through the process of getting started and what to watch out for?

I'm married with a large, young family (6 kids 15 to 4), so I'm not ready to go full-time for a couple of years yet, but I'd like to get my feet wet in the meantime and learn the ropes. It's one of those things I know I'll regret for the rest of my life if I don't try.

It would be great if there are local chapter meetings/get-togethers or things like that. It'd be nice to put faces to names eventually.

If anyone has standard publishing questions (books/fiction/poetry), I can help there. Just ask me. :-) I co-wrote a book on the basics with a bunch of other author friends.

Nice to meet you all--I'm looking forward to getting to know you. I have more of a tendency to talk too much than to sit around and lurk. Hopefully my foot won't spend toooooo much time in my mouth!

I think I'll cross-post this on one of the more general boards with more traffic--my apologies if any of you are reading this twice.

Linda



------------------
Linda Adams
www.alyssastory.com

#266450 - 06/13/06 02:27 PM Re: Hello, Seattle!  
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,294
scottandrew Offline
scottandrew  Offline


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Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,294
Welcome Linda! I'm the Seattle chapter coordinator, although we haven't had much activity since our last showcase in January.

Seattle is a great scene for the singer-songwriter. Lots of places to play, open mics, etc. Let the board know if there's anything specific you want to know or do. Chances are someone here knows [Linked Image]

------------------
Scott Andrew
Lo-fi acoustic pop superhero!
http://www.scottandrew.com/music

#266451 - 06/13/06 03:24 PM Re: Hello, Seattle!  
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 155
Howlin' Hobbit Offline
Serious Contributor
Howlin' Hobbit  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 155
Seattle, WA, USA
Welcome, Linda!

On the open mike front, a great resource is www.openmikes.org .

You can also consider busking. It takes a bit of guts, but anyone raising 6 kids won't have any trouble in that department. :-)


------------------
Howlin' Hobbit
Got Uke?
Howlin' Hobbit's home site
Howlin' Hobbit on MySpace

[This message has been edited by HowlinHobbit (edited 06-13-2006).]

#266452 - 06/13/06 08:27 PM Re: Hello, Seattle!  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 12
Jorge Zorro Offline
Casual Observer
Jorge Zorro  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 12
Seattle WA USA
Hi Linda,

Hey, thanks for writing and welcome to Seatown! There are quite a few singer/songwriters around and plenty of (non-paying) gigs to be had if you dig for it.

Copyright law can be picked up quickly after you read a book or two. Promoting your material can take a lifetime.

For books, the standard is "All you need to know about the music business" by Paul Passmore. This book is widely recommended.

A personal favorite of mine is "The Musician's Guide to Making & Selling Your Own CDs and Cassette Tapes" by Jana Stanfield. A more folksy and inspiring approach than Passmore. As a songwriter, I find that I don't need to know *everything* about the biz, just the selling of CDs. (still recording my first one, so I'm not an expert).

Cheaper by the half dozen, eh? heh, heh. I can relate to a fraction of that...

hasta la vista, Jorge

www.jorgezorro.com
open mics listing - www.jorgezorro.com/openmics.html

[This message has been edited by Jorge Zorro (edited 06-13-2006).]


Jorge Zorro
Music for the People
http://www.jorgezorro.com
#266453 - 06/13/06 10:13 PM Re: Hello, Seattle!  
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,608
Linda Sings Offline
Linda Sings  Offline

Top 50 Poster

Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,608
Scorpio
Hi everyone!
Thanks for making me feel welcome, and for all the useful info! I'll look into the sites and books.

What is "busking?"

Finding open mics sounds like a good starting point for me. I figured, this is Seattle, there have to be coffeehouses, right? ;-)

Oy--and I know the headaches of self-promotion since I've already been at it for a few years anyway, with my books. It's a chore I wish I could afford to hire out! (ha--)

One thing I'm curious about is what are the rules about demo'ing/auditioning/recording a song written/done by someone else? I didn't think of it until now. But I'm betting I can't just walk up to an open mike and do "Your Song" or "Summertime" or anything familiar, can I? I'll have to find out what's in the public domain and what's not. Right? Or ask for permissions. And then I'll have to be careful and make sure my own copyrights are secured before performing any of my own pieces.

Does it matter as much with performance rights if it's an open-mic (unpaid) forum, as if you're selling CD's or tickets to your concerts?

I guess I can post that over in another section. [Linked Image] Since I'm an author I'm already fussy about copyrights and not trampling on anyone else's any more than I want mine trampled on. I wouldn't want to do something stupid by accident.

OK here's a question--speaking of accidental stupidity--what are the unwritten rules? Sometimes it takes me a while to clue in on things like that. <blush>

What are good things to know, to avoid, to do, or watch for in, say, an open-mic performance, for example? Or in a forum like this one? I feel at high risk for asking lame or dumb questions. ha.

I'd love to record a CD eventually. I'm always going over the "dream songs" I'd want on my first CD. [Linked Image] But I'm not at a point where I can even think too hard about that yet. I'd like to get out there a few nights a month or so and sing somewhere, or sub for someone with a sore throat or something. I haven't tested the limits of my voice yet (aside from range). I know I can sing in a choral concert for a couple of hours, but I'm not sure how long I can go as a soloist before I go hoarse.

Are there people interested in getting together and sharing works-in-progress (jam session, or writer's group)? That would be sweet. Or is that smart?

One thing I deal with, even as "just" an author, is that I'm already the odd one out in a lot of ways, among friends. Meaning, I don't have many friends that do what I do, or WANT to do the things I want to do with my life. They're happy being attorneys, office mgrs, scrapbookers [Linked Image] whatever. My friends are supportive, sure, but--well, you know what I'm talking about, right? It's not an ordinary path. (But I never wanted ordinary--that doesn't bother me!)

I just feel a little isolated, like I'm the only one I know that has these dreams. I've come across ONE gal who writes songs too and wants to make a CD someday (yay!). Cool.

So, thanks for all the support! I look forward to getting to know all of you. It would be great to come to a chapter meeting. How many usually come to the get-togethers? Are we a big crowd, or small? If we haven't met since January, how often do they usually happen?

Thanks!
Linda

#266454 - 06/15/06 12:55 AM Re: Hello, Seattle!  
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 155
Howlin' Hobbit Offline
Serious Contributor
Howlin' Hobbit  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 155
Seattle, WA, USA
Quote
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by adamszoo:
What is "busking?"</font>

"Busking" is playing for tips, usually but not always out of doors. It happens all over Seattle but the "hotbeds" of such activity are the Pike Place Market and Seattle Center.

Quote
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by adamszoo:
One thing I'm curious about is what are the rules about demo'ing/auditioning/recording a song written/done by someone else? I didn't think of it until now. But I'm betting I can't just walk up to an open mike and do "Your Song" or "Summertime" or anything familiar, can I? I'll have to find out what's in the public domain and what's not. Right?</font>

I can only think of one open mike right off the top of my head that doesn't allow covers.

In any event, it is the venue's onus to pay the ASCAP/BMI fees, not the artist's.

Quote
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by adamszoo:
Does it matter as much with performance rights if it's an open-mic (unpaid) forum, as if you're selling CD's or tickets to your concerts?</font>


Performance rights are one thing, recording rights another. If you're going to record a cover tune you need to arrange permission. You can get a "mechanical" license relatively cheaply via the Harry Fox site.

Quote
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by adamszoo:
OK here's a question--speaking of accidental stupidity--what are the unwritten rules?</font>


For open mikes it's probably a matter of be tuned up before you take the stage and only play the length of time allotted.

Oh... and be quiet when others are performing. This is of more importance at some than at others but is nice everywhere.
------------------
Howlin' Hobbit
Got Uke?
Howlin' Hobbit's home site
Howlin' Hobbit on MySpace

[This message has been edited by HowlinHobbit (edited 06-14-2006).]

#266455 - 06/15/06 05:03 AM Re: Hello, Seattle!  
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,608
Linda Sings Offline
Linda Sings  Offline

Top 50 Poster

Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,608
Scorpio
Howlin' Hobbit--
Hm, that's a lot to type. If you shorten your name, do you go by Howl or Old Hob? [Linked Image]

Thanks for all the tips!
I checked out your site and listened to a few tunes. LIKE your voice--great match with your ukelele. Reminds me a bit of Louis Armstrong. Lotta character going for you. The vampire song was funny. [Linked Image]

Your answers brought up a few more questions. Good to know it's the venues' responsibility to pay the ASCAP royalty/fee--whew. Is it expensive? IE, If I went out busking, do I pay those fees myself?

Would you say busking is a profitable use of time, or is it mainly good for exposure?

Also--I don't accompany myself so well. I've done it, but it depends on the song. Is a karaoke CD either 1) "legal" or 2) a good or bad idea? Do any places ever have keyboards set up, or do I need my own? (It's the only thing I play well enough to get by with) --Or do I just find an accompanist to work with me? Or go a cappella?

Last one for the night--How are the audiences in these places usually? Meaning--how likely is it I'll get booed off the stage? Somehow that seems sooooo much more personal and frightening than a simple rejection letter. Ouch! Guess I should steel myself for that, just in case. Eh?

Thanks again!
Linda

#266456 - 06/20/06 06:14 PM Re: Hello, Seattle!  
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 155
Howlin' Hobbit Offline
Serious Contributor
Howlin' Hobbit  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 155
Seattle, WA, USA
Quote
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by adamszoo:
Hm, that's a lot to type. If you shorten your name, do you go by Howl or Old Hob?</font>

I think it's "Mr. Hobbit, sir". [Linked Image]

Actually, HH does it and it's pretty easy to type.

Quote
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by adamszoo:
I checked out your site and listened to a few tunes. LIKE your voice--great match with your ukelele. Reminds me a bit of Louis Armstrong. Lotta character going for you. The vampire song was funny.</font>

With a taste of Leon Redbone thrown in. Glad you liked the tune.

Quote
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by adamszoo:
Good to know it's the venues' responsibility to pay the ASCAP royalty/fee--whew. Is it expensive? IE, If I went out busking, do I pay those fees myself?</font>

I think I'll probably start paying the performance fees as soon as ASCAP or BMI stations an agent by my case. Kinda how I feel about the IRS in that situation.

Quote
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by adamszoo:
Would you say busking is a profitable use of time, or is it mainly good for exposure?</font>

That's a whole dissertation in itself. Busking is a great place to work out your chops and can sometimes be pretty lucrative.

Quote
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by adamszoo:
Is a karaoke CD either 1) "legal" or 2) a good or bad idea? Do any places ever have keyboards set up, or do I need my own? (It's the only thing I play well enough to get by with) --Or do I just find an accompanist to work with me? Or go a cappella?</font>

Personal opinion only... I'd be less impressed with someone at an open mike if they were doing karaoke. It's supposed to be a live music thing.

I can only think of one open mike right off the bat that has a house piano and I'm not impressed with it (neither the open mike or the piano).

Most of them are down with bringing in a keyboard though.

Plus, a few jaunts to open mikes and you may well just find yourself an accompanist.

Quote
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by adamszoo:
How are the audiences in these places usually? Meaning--how likely is it I'll get booed off the stage?</font>

Having cringed through a number of performances that maybe should have been booed off the stage I think you're probably alright there.

There's a pretty good open mike tonight (a couple of 'em, actually). Drop me a note at:
[Linked Image]
...and I'll send you my phone number if you'd like further details.


------------------
Howlin' Hobbit
Got Uke?
Howlin' Hobbit's home site
Howlin' Hobbit on MySpace

#266457 - 06/20/06 07:15 PM Re: Hello, Seattle!  
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,608
Linda Sings Offline
Linda Sings  Offline

Top 50 Poster

Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,608
Scorpio
Thanks HH--

Great offer. I am full-throttle busy on Tuesday nights (church youth group) though, so today doesn't work in any case. I'll be looking at W/Th/F/Sa venues. No Sundays.

Plus I'm not quiiiiiiiiiite ready to get out there yet--I need to practice more at home and make sure I'm good to go, first.

Not being chicken--just don't want to jump in unprepared. I have to re-memorize my own songs [Linked Image]. I'm checking out the music theory board and running myself through some home theory study, hoping that if I learn the I, ii, IV, V7 thing that I'll be able to accompany myself better on the piano. I am dead lousy at memorizing exact arrangments.

So I'll need at least a week or two--I think.

Looks like I'll have to get m'sef a keyboard, too. Drat. Or sing a capella and risk going flat [Linked Image] eek

I checked out my daughter's guitar Sunday (makes mine sound like a toy--ouch--come to think of it, actually, mine might *be* a toy... hm...) and yeah, it's a decent instrument but I can play about 3-5 chords and strum, and that's it. So... I dunno if it's worth having along. I'm good enough for This Land is Your Land--but really. That's not what people are interested in at these things, is it? LOL

Maybe I should bring my little kid's toy snare drum. hahahahhahhhhaaaaaa <as if I knew how to do more than smack the drumsticks together>

Well, I'll think of something.

Thanks for listening to my random ??s here!! You're patient. I appreciate the support & encouragement.

--Linda


------------------

====================
Linda Adams
www.alyssastory.com


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