- The ice breaker.
- Know your roles, and if you don’t – find out.
- You will have stupid ideas, and that’s 100% fine.
- You will not write a #1 hit every time.
- Follow up.
As artists, there’s nothing greater than the feeling of achievement we experience when throwing the pen down after finishing the last phrase or word of a brand new song! Whether you think its a HIT or just another one shuffled in the pages of your journal – or nowadays the notepad app on the newest smart phone or tablet.
Although we always try our best, it doesn’t really matter because its our song right? It is our thoughts, and our feelings that we wish to share with our audience. But what happens when you start asking yourself all those sticky questions?
What if it isn’t good enough? What if you don’t necessarily happen to resonate with it on a level of your own taste? Here are some thoughts to ponder that may allow you the freedom to release that indifference.
1) You don’t have to release everything you write!
I have written countless songs, whether alone or in co-writes that have been great experiences.
The tone is set, the vibe is right and energy flows into our finished piece.We’ve all been there, we get with our team or our group of friends when we just want to hang out, jam and write; but what happens when there’s not a particular use for it on a project we are working on, what do we do with it? We keep them organized and cataloged. We keep them within our reach to come back to in the future. As artists we never know how we’re feeling in the months to come, let alone what we want to eat for lunch.
2) There may be another artist or camp looking for their next track!
There are countless cases of songs being shopped or picked up by other acts, in fact, if you’re new to the game, it is important to know that this a normal occurrence and most times integral part of being involved in the songwriting community. This reminds me of my own experience specifically in a co-write where we had finished writing a new song in a writing room. We were ready to lay it down. I jumped behind the mic, tracked the vocals, and we did a rough mix of the demo. There just so happened to be a band in the same studio working on a new album to be released later that fall. They heard the demo, fell in love and bam! It landed on their second studio album.
3) We don’t have to like everything we write!
I sat in a seminar recently with hit songwriter Shelly Peiken (“What a Girl Wants” – Christina Aguilera, “Bitch” – Meredith Brooks, “Who You Are” – Jessie J).
Learning a lot about the process, she so firmly reminded me and everyone else in the small cornered room..”We don’t have to like everything we write”. Sometimes its necessary to get out the duds to make room for the hits.
Don’t get discouraged when you think you’re writing skills are slacking and don’t feel like you are delivering. It’s all a part of the process. Our best will range varyingly from day to day, but always try your best.
We hear it all the time. The music industry is collapsing! Ahhh! Well, it’s not collapsing. It’s changing. It can be tough to make money as a musician. But, that’s always been the case for the little guys. Sure, big labels had bigger budgets in the past, but not every artist was signed to a big label. If you were an indie act it was tough. How could people find out about your music? Now-a-days it is easy to market your music for people to find. But wait! Now there is a new issue. There is SO much new music out there and trying to get recognition can be tough. How can you make a living?
You may have heard about licensing or “sync licensing”. This is the process of getting your music used in different mediums such as films, commercials, TV shows, apps, video games, and more. Getting into licensing isn’t an easy endeavor. It takes a lot of work and persistence. It is also very competitive. I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to do it. You should be trying to build that side of your business. But, in the past few years there has been a new phenomenon surfacing. It’s a new type of licensing market, and it’s paying out nicely to the musicians that are involved.
Now, I’m not sure if that is the official term, but that is how it was described to me. Micro-licensing serves a licensing market outside of the big time films and commercials. Micro-licensing is for indie film makers, wedding videographers, youtube video makers, web series, etc. The license fees are smaller, but more common and more often. The license fees typically range anywhere from $50 – $1000, and it’s usually split 50/50 with the artist although each company has their own terms.
Most of these companies are always looking for good music and are open to considering your stuff. Now, I will say that I’ve heard these companies are pretty selective. They know what works the best in their market. I recommend that you do some research by browsing their music and getting a feel for their “vibe”. Perhaps you have something that would be a fit?
I’ll be writing more posts in the future on tips about writing good music for licensing. Until then, start listening to the work reels on the following sites..
We here at SongwritingTeam.com have been providing our songwriter demo service online for over 3 years. It’s our second most popular service. Our goal is to create compelling and personalized music productions that set the standard for online music production. Budget friendly options help our clients build their songwriting catalogs. It also helps them release albums for often. If you would like to see if we are a fit for your unique project then please feel free to contact us. We’re a friendly bunch!
Who is it for? Our songwriter demo service was created for songwriters who have a rough sketch or work tape and want it to be transformed into a fully produced song. Lyricists also make up a large portion of our clientele. For them we create a music track and help them with melody creation and finding the perfect singer for their song. We make music for film makers and theater productions. We also help out songwriters who want to start a band or songwriters who are done with the band scene and are looking to go solo.
How much does it cost? Our songwriter demo service ranges from $400 – $800 on average. We offer 50% upfront and 50% at the end.
How do you keep your costs down? Most other songwriter demo service companies aren’t financially efficient. They are going out and hiring a full band to come in and play on your song. With this said, they must pay all of those people. YOU must pay all of those people. We can cover all the entire full production with 2 people. All of the instruments. Mixing. All of it.
Whats the process? Our process starts with a free phone consultation so that we can get to know you, your music, and your goals. On that call we’ll determine what you’d like the ultimate outcome to be for your project. Once your deposit is paid and we collect any reference material, we’ll get started. Within 7 business days we’ll build out your production. At this point the final invoice is paid. Next, you’ll spend as much time as you need reviewing our work and creating a list of revisions. We’ll tidy it up and make any changes for free. Additional revision lists are just $35.
What’s the difference? There are a few important things that make us different from other songwriter demo service companies on the internet. Here’s a brief list..
Our song remix service is the process of taking your existing songs and re-mixing them in a different genre. Think of it as having alternate versions of your songs! Let’s say that you’ve written a song and had it produced. For the sake this example, it’s a country song. It sounds great, but you’ve decided that you also need to add a rock or dance song to your catalog. Instead of having to write a brand new song and pay to have it produced, you could use our simple remix service to transform your song.
Why did we create a song remix service, and why is it important?
We have been thinking about offering this to you guys for the past few months. Christian is a fantastic song remixer, and we felt like it would be a neat thing to offer. Our goal is to provide creative ways for our clients to benefit and build their catalog. I feel that it is important to have remixes of your song so that you can expand your opportunities. It’s also more cost efficient. Let’s look at an example. You’re building your catalog and need to expand in other genres so that you can compete for a broader range of opportunities.
Here’s what it would cost to get full productions for 3 new songs..
-Country Song – $700
-Pop Song – $700
-Indie Rock Song – $700
————Total – $2,100
Now, let’s say that you are having a month where you are struggling with creating new songs. You’ve hit a little roadblock. No big deal. It happens to all of us songwriters. But, there is a simple fix to keep the momentum going. Our remix service!
You’ve already created “Song 1″ and had it produced. It’s a Country Pop Song. To keep the momentum going, we want to create a Dance EDM remix and an acoustic rock remix of your country song.
“Song 1″ Dance EDM Remix Service – $500
“Song 1″ Acoustic Rock Remix Service – $500
————-Total – $1000
So with that said, if you are feeling stagnant or you would simply like to get more “bang for your buck” out of your current song catalog.. this is a cool way to do it.
If you have any questions about our new song remix service, please feel free to reach out! We’ll have a free consultation call with you.
For our corporate clients is something that we really enjoy. Although, we are musicians first.. Branding is in our blood. We understand business, and we can help you incorporate audio into your project with custom music production. This could be in the form of a memorable jingle for your commercial, or simply background music to keep everyone awake and focused during your presentations. In some circumstances your may need music as part of your product/service. Below are a few case studies of our we’ve used custom music production to help grow brands.
Pro Step Marketing (Charlotte, N.C.)
Pro Step Marketing is a real estate marketing and advertising firm in North Carolina. Their president Tricia Andreassen is a best selling marketing author, and a well known coach in the real estate world. Tricia came to us needing custom music production for her clients to use in their YouTube videos when presenting homes. Like us, Tricia believes that music is an important part of any brand. Music helps set mood and adds emotion to your message. For Pro Step, we created 3 different “Song skins” that could effortlessly be laid behind any video. Her clients can now choose background music in the style of “Uptempo Contemporary”, “Acoustic”, or “Orchestral”.
Study Songs, LLC (New York, NY)
Study Songs is an educational app company in New York. Their case study is interesting because music is their product. Study Songs needed 80 complete songs in various genres that they could retail for the purpose of studying. “Melody to Memory” is their slogan. They started with a collection of albums with topics on “Law” to be used for studying for the bar exam. Our task was to create custom music production that would sound current and catchy. We then structured the lyrics and melody to the songs provided by Study Songs. We were honored to take on this project. They put a lot of trust in us to create their product, and so far the feedback has been exceptional.
If you need custom music production for your company or brand, simply reach out to us. We’d be happy to do a free consultation and help you drum up some ideas on how to incorporate custom music into your message.
Hey everybody! This post is in relation to a question that I received from our mailing list. If you want to submit your own questions, simply join our free mailing list at www.SongwritingTeam.com
The question was, how should I market my music as a songwriter? The patron asking the question also included that he would like some options other than Social Media. Social media may play into some of my answers, but I’ll try to take a different approach and go more big picture.
Let’s begin with the end in mind. Why do we want to market our music as songwriters? It’s safe to say that most of us as songwriters want to make money and make a living writing songs. There are multiple ways to do this. In order to answer “how”, we need to look at the different avenues of generating income as a songwriter. Each avenue has different approaches of how we should go about marketing and promoting our music. Some of the action items may overlap, but lets take a look at some of the different avenues.
*Note: Obviously, the first step is to make sure your work sounds awesome. Continue to practice songwriting, and make sure that your production and recordings are 100%. Also, make sure you are staying consistent and building a catalog.
Avenue #1:How to market your songs to artists and labels.
I’ll start with the toughest. Although it is the toughest, it can also be the most rewarding when it comes to income and credibility. I’d say this is a little easier if you are both a songwriter and performer. A lot of songwriters that I know who are marketing their music to labels and artists were discovered while performing. If you aren’t in one of the major networking towns, try to book trips their often and make good use of your time. It may be an investment, but worth it. For example, a dear friend of mine works in Seattle for 3-4 weeks and then comes to Nashville for 6-7 weeks and does only music related projects while she is here. If you aren’t a performer, not all hope is lost. What I would recommend doing is teaming up with a performer that you have a great relationship. You guys can travel and network together. It’s in the best interest for both parties. By getting out and performing at songwriter rounds and other popular spots in in networking cities, you’ll eventually make friends with someone who has an “in”. Co-writing with another writer who already has publishing is a great way to get your foot in the door. Remember, marketing to labels and artists is tough. It is probably the hardest way to make money as a songwriter. But, persistence and courage will help you go far. Make sure to look into other networking events such as ASCAP and BMI conventions, local songwriting groups, Grammy events, etc. Set a small budget aside each month for these trips.
Avenue #2: How to market your songs and music for film/television/video games opportunities.
Personally, this is my favorite. Although it is still competitive, it can lead to a nice income. The film, TV, video games, and advertising industries have money. They are willing to spend that money to have music involved in their projects. There are a few ways to market your music to decision makers in this field. First off, again your music and recordings need to be top notch. Also, I recommend having instrumental versions and alternate versions of your songs. You’d be surprised what they may want to use in their project. It may be a 10 second clip of one of your instrumentals. Have these files prepped and ready to go. There are a bunch of services online who help pitch songs for opportunities in the film/television market. I won’t go into those in this post. Check out the blog for posts about those services. I said I wouldn’t include social media, but since social media is how we got our first music library deal I’ll include it. First, you should do research on companies that place music in film/tv. Look for companies that specialize in instrumental libraries. Instrumentals typically place easier than songs with vocals. Start there. After researching companies, I recommend submitting the music yourselves. Find employees of these companies on social media and start a dialogue with them. Most of these companies are open to submissions. Not all of them will be. Don’t be discouraged. There are a ton of them. When you reach out to them, submit the style that you are the best at. A lot of these companies want batches of one sound to start with. For example, on our first deal, we had to create 12 Electro Pop songs. Now, we can create other styles, but they signed us based on our skill set and unique angle in that genre.
Avenue #3: How to market your songs to other songwriters/artists.
You may be asking, why would I want to do this? A few reasons. One. You have a skill, and you can get paid by others to help them develop their skill. Teaching, lyric writing, production, melody writing, etc are all ways for you to generate income off of your trade. Start your own business and brand even if it is on the side of your full time job. I am not going to go into how to start and market a business, but there are a ton of articles and resources online to help you. SongwritingTeam.com started as a small idea in my apartment in Los Angeles. I was simply offering my skills to others. Since then it has grown into a primary source of income.
Avenue #4: How to market your songs to producers and studios.
Since the beginning of time, artists and songwriters have been breaking because of certain producers. I recommend reaching out to multiple producers and studios in your area to start. It could not only generate some immediate income, but long term could lead to bigger things. As the producer gains popularity, he/se will start assembling a team of talented writers, engineers, and musicians. If you want to step it up, research new emerging artists and see who is producing them. It may cost some money, but book some time with them. Then they have to listen to you and your material. It’s an investment, but buying your friends works. It’s how I got my first job at a commercial recording studio. I booked time and showed the manager what I could do. He got paid. I got to show off. It worked out great. Producers are always looking for songs, and typically have artists who need songs. I know many songwriters that are “go-to” guys for certain producers. It’s a good avenue to put some effort into. This can also tie back into avenue #1 and #2. It often does.
I hope that breaks things down and helps you guys out. There are certainly more ways to market your music. If you have additional ideas, please leave them in the comments. In the meantime, take a piece of paper and and draw 4 squares on it. Put each avenue in a box. Brainstorm to see if there is anyone you know already who fits into one of these boxes. Jot down ideas and an action plan for each one of these boxes. This is a great strategic start.
We’ve got you covered..
So, maybe you are a seasoned songwriter, or maybe you are just starting out. Perhaps you are just a concept/idea person, but want to create compelling and memorable lyrics. There comes a time where we all get stuck. A lot of times it is easy to come up with the first verse or chorus, but can’t refine your bridge or create a second verse that continues the story of the song. You may need to seek outside lyricists for hire. In the real world of songwriting, most writers collaborate with other writers to create incredible songs. Unfortunately, not everyone is a match. You may not be able to find professional songwriters to collaborate with in your area. If not, there is a solution. We’ve teamed up with dozens of songwriters all over the world to provide songwriter services. Part of that is lyric and melody creation..
How it works…
1. We’ll have a pre-production call to come up with the concept/theme for the song.
2. We’ll look over the lyrics that you already have and listen to the instrumental that we will be writing to (if applicable).
3. In 7 days we’ll provide you with a fresh batch of lyrics along with a reference melody recording.
4. We’ll make tweaks and corrections so that the lyrics are perfect for you.
5. All done! Ready to go to market.
So again, if you are seeking outside lyricist for hire, we’d love to help! Find out more here.