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#572280 01/04/08 12:29 AM
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Hey there! smile

I'm not new to music but I am new to doing proper songwriting. I have been writing a fair bit lately.. coming up with a new musical idea almost everyday. I've also been reading up on a bunch of music theory and hanging out on another music site directly related to Guitar.

I'm looking into joining a performing rights association but I can only find well written reviews on the three main American societies: ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. Now that I am getting very serious about my songwriting, I will eventually want to sell the songs. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Luke Parsons #573052 01/06/08 06:50 AM
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Hi there Luke,

You'e posted on the Australian board but talking about the USA PROs... Not sure whether you are Downunder or in the USA, but realistically, my answer would be the same. You don't have to join a PRO until you actually have a song performed live or otherwise would be entitled to royalty payments for the use of your work (radio airplay, use in advertising, TV or movie etc).

I'm in Australia so my PRO is APRA, but most of my co-writers are in the USA and they use any of the three PROs there (BMI, ASCAP or SESAC). You will find that they all do a good job and they all function in the same way, so because you don't need to rush out and join a PRO straight away, my advice would be to do some research on all three to see which one will 'fit' you best when the time comes to join.

Hope this helps.

Lisa Butler #574285 01/10/08 09:02 AM
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Yeh sorry I am in Australia. I just meant that I could only really find information, up till that point, on the USA ones. I've been reading about copyright and all that stuff a lot since I made that post and I have a much firmer understanding. However, the main thing now is "when should I join" and you have answered that in your reply.

I've been doing some awesome lyric writing today.. I feel so good about it, though as I sing it I feel I have created a song too similar to "Take it Easy" by The Eagles but it's early days yet and I've only decided what key it is in and can easily change the melody and rhythm up a bit so it's not so close.

I'm really excited about this one.. all the lyrics are flowing wonderfully and it has a great "aab" rhyming scheme. In the past I only ever did aabb or abab rhyming schemes.. all this music theory and song-writing theory that I have been learning in the last few months is starting to pay-off. I've even pulled out my back catalogue of a total of 1 recorded song (haha) to redo it. I'm not going to change the lyrics or the basic structure.. but I feel I can make it a much better song than it was before.

Anyway.. as you can see I am still as excited about "being" a song-writer as I was the other day.. haha.. I want to make this my career.. but I'm 31 years old and I am realistic, so I won't be quitting my day job just yet.. hehe.. smile

Luke Parsons #574597 01/11/08 04:08 AM
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There's nothing wrong with rewriting a song that you think could be better, Luke! Go for it! Oh! And at 31, you've got all the time in the world so far as songwriting longevity is concerned. Some of my friends, who are notable songwriters, were in their 40's before they could say they were making a decent living out of it!

We only have one PRO here and that's APRA. They have a comprehensive website at www.apra.com.au but you've probably already discovered it by now!

Lisa Butler #574635 01/11/08 10:36 AM
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Yeh smile I did have a look.. there's also something else I saw there.. that APRA doesn't handle Mechanical Royalties.. some other organisation does. I was hoping there was an all-in-one place that does collection of both.

Out of curiosity.. how do they know if a pub-band is singing your song in some backwater pub in the middle of nowhere?.. I understand that the publicans need to pay for the right to allow cover bands to play covers.. but how does APRA keep track of such things? It sounds like an impossible task.

Luke Parsons #574644 01/11/08 11:13 AM
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Hi Luke,

AMCOS handle the mechanical royalties. It would be way to big a task for one organisation to deal with both the performance AND mechanical royalties. The two orgs are very intertwined though.

With regard to performance royalties, and how APRA know what to pay you, the band should complete a lLive performance form for each gig which includes the songs they perform that night. This is then sent to APRA for processing. Of course, if you are a singer/songwriter, then YOU fill out the form for each gig and send it in. The forms are available from APRA. I'm pretty sure you can download them from the website these days. Check out the Writers section for more info.

Hope this helps smile

Lisa Butler #575084 01/12/08 07:43 PM
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Rather than start a brand new thread I'll just use this one instead.

I was wondering if there are any "good" song-writing guilds/clubs in Sydney that I could attend on a regular basis? The song-writing book I am reading suggests, amongst other things, that joining something like this would be beneficial.. and I agree. The 4-day conference in July 2008 sounds great but it's only a one-off, 4-day event annually. The internet is a great resource but nothing beats face-t-face free communication of ideas.

Luke Parsons #575196 01/13/08 04:34 AM
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Hi Luke,

APRA has monthly classes for their members, but mostly they deal with the business side of things ie; promoting yourself as an artist, promoting your music, finding new ways to make money from your music, etc. I believe that SongsAlive has regular meetings too.

I have to say though, that the reason I decided to organise the ASC is because of the LACK of classes in song crafting.

Although I'm not ready to make any announcements yet, I can tell you that the annual ASC is just the start of my vision to bring Australian songwriters the tools they need to become better at their craft. My team and I are working on complementary initiatives that will assist songwriters, on a daily basis, to raise their skill levels and further their careers. But my first priority is to ensure that the Conference in June is a success, so that's all I'm saying on that subject for now! wink

Last edited by Lisa Butler; 01/13/08 04:43 AM.
Lisa Butler #578578 01/24/08 01:55 AM
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Howdy Luke Welcome to Just plain folks smile


Tolerance means if you don't like something you ignore it
Noel Downs #578640 01/24/08 11:45 AM
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Hi Luke

These are the things going on regular basis at the moment in Sydney.

Songsalive has a monthly gathering where people critique each others songs .
http://www.songsalive.org/ http://www.songsalive.org/sydney.html
You can join their email list for free.

The songwriting Society of Australia have a regular snail mail magazine detailing various activities. email songsoc@ozemail.com.au . If you ring Gavin ( mention my name ) 9663 0841 and he might be able to send you a copy of the mag , though he might ask you to join grin.

There are regular concerts held on a monday evening at the Excelsiore in Foveaux St Surry Hills. Most of these are organised by John Cheshire who has an email send out. Songwriters of all levels get a good listening to here.

Pat Pattison ( Berklee professor of songwriting who has grammy winning song writers as his past pupils ) has been coming to Australia for the last two years. IMHO he is a must see songwriting educator . His visits are organised by Clare McLeod
One of the main techniques he uses for songwriting is called object writing and there have been intermittent gatherings following on from his seminars. Pat speaks highly of Jason Blume ( the main speaker at the ASC ) and the Australian Songwriting conferance will be another place to go and meet songwriters who are serious about their craft. I'm probably going to go ( though I havn't booked yet ... confused) and it will be nice to meet more people involved with songwriting in the Sydney area ( I mean the central coast is really just part of sydney isn't it Lisa ..... cool ).

Lisa do you have any regular gatherings up there ?

Cliff Turner

How many song writers does it take to change a light bulb ?

Change !!!! WTF ....

I Ain't changing nuthin ....
cliff turner #578885 01/25/08 03:21 AM
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Hi Cliff,

You just love to tease me don't you? We do like to try to keep our autonomy here on the Central Coast, but the reality is, we are getting closer to Sydney all the time, whether we choose to admit it or not. wink

There are no regular songwriter gatherings up here (that I'm aware of) although I do know there are one or two open mic nights around, mostly up the other end of the Coast.

As I mentioned in an early post to Luke, I am in the process of putting together some initiatives for songwriters that will compliment the annual conference, but I can't say much more than that at the moment. But keeping in mind that the ASC is all about the craft of songwriting, you can imagine that the initiatves will be in keeping with that.

I know that there are some amazing songwriter organisations here in Australia. I'm a member of several of them, and most of them will have representatives attending the ASC in June at my invitation. They are an invaluable resource for Australian songwriters and generally, they do a fantastic job, but I firmly believe there is not enough emphasis placed on the CRAFT of songwriting, and that's where the ASC and associated initiatives come in.

Anyway, hope you're well Cliff, and look forward to finally meeting you in June! If you have any questions re registration for the conference, just give me a call on 0412 149 094 or email me at lisa@australiansongwritersconference.com.au smile

Lisa Butler #579138 01/25/08 10:10 PM
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Moi ??? :o

Tease ?? confused

Never !!! cry

Though as a football fan I am looking forward to Sydney FC putting Central coast out of their current delusions of competence in either of the next two rounds of the finals ...


How many song writers does it take to change a light bulb ?

Change !!!! WTF ....

I Ain't changing nuthin ....

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