5 Huge Mistakes That Modern Musicians Are Making

We [The Songwriting Team] have the pleasure of working with dozens of independent musicians, songwriters, and artists every month. Our primary purpose is to help them create the best songs possible but often we get to go beyond that and talk about what they are doing with their music and monitor their habits. We’ve noticed some not-so-great trends that are hurting modern musicians. We hope that by shedding some light on them you will be able to avoid these mistakes and take a good look your current approach. Are you making any of these mistakes? Here they are…

 

Mistake #1 – Having more authorship pride than knowledge 

This is most common with new artists. We absolutely get it… You want to have 100% control of your art, but that only works if you are freaking incredible. Sorry to be harsh but it’s the truth! Great modern music is about collaboration and with any collaboration there will be compromises. If you are hiring someone to help you make better music and help you reach your goal then it’s in your best interest to take their input seriously. That’s why you connected with them right? Learn from those who have more knowledge than you.

Another thing that we notice often is that new artists are really hesitant to share ownership. This is because of bad education and a fear that everyone is trying to take something from you. That’s a lot of times not the case. If a new artist has no connections and have teamed up with others that have those connections it makes sense to share ownership for the greater good. That’s how EVERY business works. Think of investors. A business gets an investor because they can offer them something. In return they are going to share the profits. It makes sense right? I see so many artists hesitant to share ownership and they lose opportunities because of that fatal mistake. 100% of nothing is nothing!

Solution: Always consider strategic partnerships and be open to creative input from those that you trust. Not everyone is out to get you.

 

Mistake #2 – Chasing the traditional paths instead of exploring new and more tactile ways

We all have different goals as a musician. There are a lot of benefits of going the traditional route of getting a publishing deal or record deal. There are definitely just some things that only major labels can accomplish. But, waiting for that deal is a total cop out. And to be frank… It will probably never come unless you are killing it on your own first. That’s how it works now-a-days. There are plenty of more tactile ways to forge your own path and create “your thing”. Once you have “your thing” those labels and publishers will want a piece of it – I promise! Until you are getting fans, generating income, and creating buzz no label or publisher is going to care. Start studying up on creative merchandising, getting featured on blog, sync placements, YouTube, and streaming strategy. If you aren’t getting hip to that stuff then you’re going to have a really hard time getting anyone interested in your music. Welcome to the digital age! Time to work :) What’s interesting is… a lot of musicians that accomplish this end up NOT signing with a label.

Solution: Start exploring the “un-traditional” paths of the music industry and focus on more tactile strategies that you can do right now instead of waiting for a deal.

 

Mistake #3 – Not treating their music like a business

Now-a-days you have to have an entrepreneurial spirit to succeed as an independent musician. I know, it can be overwhelming and annoying. We all got into this just to make music not have to deal with the “business” side. It’s a necessary evil. As an independent musician you are your boss and you’re self employed. It’s up to create a schedule and a balance to manage the business side and creative side.

Tip: Don’t get overwhelmed. Just start with one “business” hour every day where you dedicate time to the non-creative side of your business. Do some research… What are other musicians doing, how are they handling their business, are their other people helping them? Take it little bits at a time, explore courses and education on the subject matter, and ask questions. A year from now be able to manage your business like a pro!

 

Mistake #4 – Copycatting

We get it… It’s easy to explain your sound by referencing other artists. Our musical taste and sound is directly correlated to our who we listen to and who we’re inspired by. That’s different! What I’m referring to is artists getting super wrapped up in what other artists are doing. I hear it all of the time… I want to make music like artist X because they are hip right now. Well, we already have artist X! You don’t have to be Bjork and create the most avant-garde music that you can (unless that’s your thing of course) but trying to copycat just leads to making “safe” decisions instead of doing what is authentically you. Do not afraid to be you. You’ll have a WAY better chance of getting noticed if you do your own thing. Currently, I think a great example of this is Twenty One Pilots. They don’t really sound like anyone else yet it’s digestible. They have 3 songs on the radio right now that are all doing great and they are all different sounding. Who does that? These guys have an alt-rock song AND a hip hop song both charting. Same band. They have made the decision to just be themselves and make music that is authentic to them. The result? People caught on and they are killing it!

 

Mistake #5 – Not gigging 

The internet is an awesome tool for getting your music on there. Although it’s super important to have internet presence, I see a lot of artists trying to use it a reason to not perform and play shows. There are a couple of imperative reasons why you should still be playing shows in the digital age. One, people want to know that you’re the real deal. It’s easy to hide behind the internet. On the flip side the internet can’t replace the authentic connectivity of being in the same room with your potential fans. Two, playing shows is incredible for networking! Simple. And number three, you can leverage your live shows for content and generating income. At live shows you have potential for selling merchandise directly. You could also sell audio or visual copies of your shows. Finally, you can leverage your shows for content (which you should always be putting out) in the form of live video clips, live recordings, or even streaming your show.

 

There you have it! Those are the 5 biggest mistakes that I see modern musicians making on a daily basis. I hope this article has given you some insight and some solutions. For more helpful articles like this and exclusive content subscribe to our weekly news letter using the form on the right. Thanks for reading!

Keep Creating,

Daniel Grimmett / CEO of The Songwriting Team

 

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How To Make Money With Instrumental Versions Of Your Songs

Are you a musician with recorded songs?

You might be leaving money on the table! In this article I’m going to tell you how to make money with instrumental versions of your songs…

As an independent musician it’s important that you explore every potential revenue stream. That’s what this blog is all about… Becoming more tactile and getting start about monetizing your music. There are dozens of ways that you can monetize your music and you can do it independently. Generating revenue from instrumental versions of your songs is a strategy that is often over looked.

 

Stock Music

There are thousands of marketplace websites where you can start selling instrumental versions of your songs to everyday people and business who need inexpensive music clips for various purposes. These include music for videos, school projects, and events. Typically, the usage rights are sold for anywhere between $10 – $100 and commissions are split between you and the company. It’s small but can grow! A few sites to get started on are Pond5 and Audio Jungle.

Tip: Consider making little 15, 30, and 60 second clips of your instrumentals. Typically, this is the format that people are interested in buying in addition to full versions.

 

Music Library Sites

These companies and similar to stock music companies but slightly more curated and with a sightly different market. Typically, these companies choose the content they want. You can’t just sign up and sell your music. These sites cater more to media companies and film/tv placements. Usually “in show” placements. The payout is slightly higher and can be residual. Most of the time these companies are seeking “collections” of instrumentals that fit well together. 10 – 15 songs. They then pitch the entire collection to their buyers. Non-instrumentals can also be accepted in some cases. Examples are Premium Beat and Premiere Trax

 

Micro Licensing Sites

Examples are The Music Bed and Levelo. These are higher tier and very curated. You music has to be top notch! These companies cater to media companies, commercials, and film makers. Licenses range from $100 – $1000+ depending on the usage and it’s typically split between you as the artist and the company. A lot of the material on these sites are full songs (with vocals) but instrumentals perform very well! The good thing is that they are typically responsive to considering new music, but it has to be a “fit” and really pro sounding. Like REALLY pro.

Tip: Take a listen to the material on these types of sites and see if your music is up to par!

 

So, what are you waiting for? Go monetize the instrumental versions of your song! Another thing to note… You need to get clear on who owns your instrumentals and make sure that you can clear them. Also note that your instrumentals will be registered and “treated” like a different song as far as paperwork is concerned.

If you need help getting your songs to a professional standard then feel free to reach out! 

Keep creating,

Daniel Grimmett / CEO The Songwriting Team

 

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The Coffee Break

If you are like me, and have grown up wanting to be in an industry then you know how the saying goes, “If you want to be a musician, doing it is not enough. You have to eat, sleep and breath it.” This is a particularly true statement given the technology of today and how fast music in created and put out into the world. It’s quite scary to think about. It puts a lot of stress and pressure on us which isn’t too great (for most) if we are channeling our inner creative. Having said that, I have been in sessions where the group would sit, write, and record a song in less than 5 hours and it would then be thrown online either that night or the next day.

 

Most independent artists and songwriters do the above so that they can stay current and relevant with their audience. The goal is to keep them engaged and keep them wanting more. Yes, there is a lot of competition and yes it is definitely important to make your work and craft a priority in life. We have to these days. Practice makes perfect. Although there is truth in the idea that we need to literally give everything the backseat in order to “make it”, we have to remember that just like in any other hardworking industry… we deserve our coffee break!

 

The coffee break is the best time of day especially if there is more than one. This is the time that we get to disconnect for a minute from the last line of a lyric were stuck on or from searching through the hundreds of samples to find the one that fits perfectly in a track. This is the time of day to chill, let loose,  and remove any pressure. Time to inhale that dark, rich coffee scent and exhale the stale energy – To take the drive with your friends and forget about the session.

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This is also one of the best tricks to beating around writers block!

 

When you find yourself in your next coffee break, make sure to be fully present and live in the moment, inspiration is all around, the coffee break is necessary.

 

It’s what keeps us musicians going.

 

Thanks for reading…
We’ll see ya’ on the next coffee break!

 

Matthew Fernando (Singer/Songwriter) and contributing writer for The Songwriting Team

Tips For Releasing an Album or Single

A lot of hard work goes into writing songs and picking the perfect ones to put on your record. It’s obvious that you’ll want to release songs that will generate a buzz, but many artists aren’t sure of the proper steps to take to release their music out into the world.
Below are some considerations that will help give your content a lasting and confident impression…

 

Complete your work:

 

Before you book studio time to record, and especially before you set a release date, its important to be sure that you’ve completely finished your songs and planned out exactly what you will be doing in the studio. There are plenty of things that could go unplanned and could set you back if you’ve already committed to your audience about a release. Make sure your rocking’ and ready to go! Don’t disappoint your audience by breaking a promise.

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Set Up Your Digital Distribution:

 

Most of the time your goal will be to sell your music. So where can fans buy it? Physical distribution is hard to get and arguably not that important for an un-earthed artist. Most indie artists turn to digital distribution. There are a few notable services that help acts to distribute their work to the major music services; Ditto Music (www.dittomusic.com)  is who we recommendation using.  They make it easy and affordable for you to sell your music while keeping 100% of your royalties and place your work on streaming and market platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, Beatport, Amazon etc.

 

Reach Out to Blogs Ahead of Time

 

Many artists and producers have utilized the power of music blogs and their fanbase to showcase their work and find more supporters. Its best to research the blogs before hand, allow at least  2-3 months before your planned release, create your relationship, introduce yourself and tell them why your project is important. It’s also best to find out which genre they specifically feature as you don’t want to reach out to ones that don’t fit your criteria.

 

Consider Hiring a PR Company

 

PR Companies help you tell your story and amplify your message. They can also help market and promote your campaign to online media sources that will expose you to more potential fans and “customers” of your music! www.cyberprmusic.com is a great PR firm with a proven track record! Please note that there are a lot of rip-off PR companies out there. If they are promising radio spins, have no credibility or case studies, or are inexpensive (under $1000) then they probably aren’t legit. Do your research!

 

Social Media Influencers

 

It’s important to have your work shown for all to see online; which also makes it important to connect to social media influencers and rally your supporters who will be happy to share your content. Reach out to as many people as you can and see if they are willing to share. Don’t ask strangers. Ask friends. Plan a day where everyone will share it. The release date makes sense. Lastly, don’t spam your content out, but to instead make it desirable! Get creative, you are an artist.

 

Tease Your Audience:

 

Giving your audience a sneak peak at your work with a snippet or promo video can definitely create an interest in what you have been working so hard on. We recommend announcing your single release about a month before hand. Release a “teaser” 2 weeks ahead of time. The final week… do a countdown or something fun everyday on social media to drive it home. Behind the scenes footage also makes very cool promo materials.

 

Promotional Tools:

 

It’s important to have content aside from the product itself to keep your audiences attention. Make a cool lyric video or music video for your best single. Your fans will love to share it! When sharing, think of a cool way to capture attention without seeming needy. Also, you can create simple and affordable merchandise to either give away or sell. Brand your song or album. Create t-shirts, bracelets, stickers, and other merchandise that represent the brand of your project. Sell a package that includes your album, shirt, etc. Super fans love that stuff! Give them tangible products to buy in addition to your music.

 

Follow Up:

 

Reach out to your network, followers, and fans. Find out if they are enjoying your music, find out what they like, what they don’t like, and take the criticism to better yourself as an artist.

 

There are many more tips for releasing an album or single, but the above will get you started. If you have any of your own tips to add then simply put them in the comments below.

 

Keep Creating,
Matt Fernando
Operations Manager

EDM Remix Of Your Songs – 5 Reasons Why you Should Do it

Having an EDM remix of your songs ca n be a very smart move for any modern songwriter or artist. Sure, you may not be a fan of EDM, but you can’t argue against the fact that it is one of the most popular movements. It also generates a lot of income. According to CNN the EDM market is a 6.2 billion dollar industry. It’s time for you to get a slice of the pie. The best part is that it really makes no difference what genre you specialize in. I consider country music to pretty much be polar opposites of EDM, yet Avicii has already had 2 global hits where he did an EDM take on country and bluegrass music. In this article I’ll give 5 quick but important reasons for why you should consider having an EDM remix of your songs.

EDM Remix of your songs – Reason #1 – A cost effective way to add new material to your catalog

Music production costs can add up when you are building your song catalog or album. Typically, commissioning a producer for a remix costs less than creating a new song from scratch. For a fraction of the cost you can now add a new and different song to your catalog that can be leveraged in different ways from it’s original counterpart.

EDM Remix of your songs – Reason #2 – An opportunity to chart in new territories

Is your music struggling to make it on the indie charts? Having an EDM remix of your songs gives you an opportunity to gain ranking on different charts. This increases exposure and credibility. Remember that different countries have different charts. I recommend stepping out of the box in order to get your music exposed internationally.

EDM Remix of your songs – Reason #3 – Additional revenue

Having an EDM remix of your songs can lead to additional revenue. Now you can submit music to all of those sync opportunities that seek EDM music or remixes. For artists, you can now increase single sales to a new market who is interested in your music. Lastly, remember that EDM has a huge live music market. Live EDM shows and festivals bring in a huge portion of that 6.2 billion. Can you say performance royalties? Get networking with those DJ’s!

EDM Remix of your songs – Reason #4 – Staying current

It’s imperative that you stay current. Again, you may not be a fan of EDM. The reality is that it is extremely popular, and dipping your toes in that world shows listeners and executives that you are “with it” and understand the game. Stay on top of trends and don’t fizzle out. You don’t have to “change” your sound or lose authenticity. Simply explore and be aware.
EDM Remix of your songs – Reason #5 – Attracting new attention

It’s a big world with a lot of people. Everyone has different tastes. Not surprisingly though, most music listeners like more than one genre. You never know where your next fan or deal will come from. Having an EDM remix of your songs can attract new listeners and new opportunities. There is really nothing to lose.

 

I hope that this article has shed some light on ways to expand and do more with your songs. If you need help creating an EDM remix of your songs simply contact us!

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Submitting Songs to Music Companies – A Few Tips

Planning on submitting songs to music companies? You should! The industry is full of opportunities. This article will go over some “do’s and don’ts” as well as some general tips and things to consider. So, what kind of companies are you going to submit your music to? This article primarily covers the topic of submitting songs to licensing companies, music libraries, and publishing companies although some of these could apply to labels, promoters, and radio. Just note that those last 3 typically aren’t too interested in unsolicited submissions. Let’s get started..

 

Do your research.

When submitting songs to music companies you need to know who they are and what they need. For example, a few months ago we had a co-writing session to create a song to be pitched to the artist Jordin Sparks. I was very impressed when one of the co-writers came in with basically a current events paper on her. He did his research, and we were able to craft a song that would authentic to her if she ever decides to use it.

 

Give them what they need.

If you are submitting songs to music companies are you thinking about what they need? Anytime we reach out to music libraries we first go through their collection and study it. If they already have a billion rock tracks then we probably won’t waste time sending them rock tracks. We try to find a hole in their collection. If they are lacking electro pop songs then we’ll include in our email something along the lines of “Hey! I noticed that you don’t have many electro pop tracks in your catalog.  Are you looking to fill that gap? I’ve attached a few of our best electro pop songs for your library’s consideration.”

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Leverage relationships.

In this game, you sort of have to be a stalker. Perhaps thats that wrong word. You need to be active and aware. For example, I’ll find out who the personnel is of a certain company that I’m trying to reach out to. I’ll find them on Facebook or LinkedIn and see if we have any mutual acquaintances. If so.. It’s on. Now when I reach out I can say “Hey! I heard about your company through <insert name> and I wanted to reach out.” It automatically builds trust and connection.

 

Follow directions.

If you are submitting songs to music companies it’s a good idea to follow their directions. This seems like an easy one, but it can be easy to overlook. I’ve accidentally done it myself. Ooops! Most companies have a certain preference for you how should submit your music to them. Do they want attachments? Do they not want attachments? Do they want an entire EPK, or do they just want 1 song. Following their directions is respectful and makes their lives easier. You want your prospect to have a good experience in their dealings with you. First impression is everything.

 

Follow Up.

Didn’t hear back from someone you submitted music to? Normal people give up and move on at that point. Winners reach out and re-connect. When I lived in L.A. a very successful mixing engineer told me that you aren’t annoying someone until they tell you that you are. Don’t assume that by following up you will annoy people. It’s okay to do. It is also necessary. Most of the time your contact is just super busy. Imagine getting hundreds of songs everyday and trying to find a place for them. 3 – 4 weeks after submitting your music follow up! Touch base. See if there is anything they need that would make their lives easier. This is a chance to probe and try to find out what they are working on.

Bonus: I suggest using a CRM software to follow up. They keep track of your contacts, tasks, appointments, and your song projects. Business use them, and you’re in the business of songwriting. Use one. It’ll make your life wonderful. We use this one.

 

Well, there you have it. Take these tips into consideration before submitting songs to music companies. If you have any questions or suggestions we are always welcome to them! Leave them in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list at the bottom of this page. You’ll get awesome info like this in your inbox weekly!

 

Songwriter Websites – 10 Must Haves

Some of you have websites already and some of you don’t. If you don’t, you need one. Why? People want to know who you are before they reach out to develop a professional relationship. The reality is that looks are important. It’s not nice to “judge a book by it’s cover”, but in the beginning it’s really all we have to go by. If you have a professional web presence then others will take you more seriously. It is just how the world works in 2015. With that said, having a terrible website can do more damage than not having one at all. I don’t just mean aesthetically. That is a factor of course, but a terrible website can be one that lacks essential things. Below is a list of “10 must haves” for your artist and songwriter websites. Now, you may notice some established artists and songwriters who have a “landing page” site with minimal information. It’s more of a billboard. That is trendy now a days, and works for some folks who have already made their statement in the industry. But, for most of us having more of a “resume” type site is the best option.

(These are in no particular order of importance)

 

Songwriter Websites – Must Have #1: LOGO

Part of your overall brand is your logo. Songwriting and performing is your business, and you have to treat it like one. Most all business have a logo. It’s something for people to recognize. Subconsciously it makes them feel a certain way. It creates a first impression in their mind of what they think about you. Is this artist legitimate, or is this artist “not with it”? You can get professional logos created pretty inexpensively. I’ve put some resources at the bottom of this post. You’ll want to use your logo on everything from social media sites to show fliers. Brand consistency is important!

Example: Check out http://www.allisonveltzmusic.com

Allison’s logo is simply her name in a fresh and hip font. In my opinion, you don’t need much more than this.

 

Songwriter Websites – Must Have #2: TELL YOUR STORY

Why do you write songs? What are your goals? How did you start? What is your approach to songwriting? These are questions that you can answer in your bio section or “About me” page. It’s important that people know your story. Perhaps they will find something that they relate to. They’ll be more comfortable reaching out to you. Also, this is a great section on your site to list some of your accomplishments.

Example: http://www.danwilsonmusic.com/about

 

Songwriter Websites – Must Have #3: SAY CHEESE

Are you a creepy serial killer, a beauty queen, or just a normal dude? No one can tell unless you have a picture of yourself on your site. Not just any picture. Your photo is part of your brand. A nice high res photo of yourself is something that you should show right when people land on your site. I recommend not using low quality photos or Instagram selfies. It won’t look like you care.

Again, refer to Allison Veltz’s site.. It’s been around a professional photo of her. http://www.allisonveltzmusic.com

 

Songwriter Websites – Must Have #4: MUSIC!

If you are a songwriter that has a website with no music than are you really a songwriter? Visitors won’t have any way of knowing. Your music should be one of the first things people see on your home page. If not, it should be very clear where they can go to hear it (such as a separate page for your music). The easiest thing to do is upload some music to a Sound Cloud page. Then you can embed your Sound Cloud player on your website. Sound Cloud is also an awesome way to network with people and find new music, but we’ll chat more about that in another post.

 

Songwriter Websites – Must Have #5: A CALENDAR 

This is important for those of you that perform. If an industry professional is interested in your music then they will most likely want to see you do it live. They want to see if it is real. Have a show schedule that is easy to find on your page. www.songkick.com  and www.reverbnation.com provide tools to help you do this.

 

Songwriter Websites – Must Have #6: MAILING LIST

Having a mailing list is the easiest way to stay in touch with everyone in your circle. You can let people know about new songs, shows, news, etc. It keeps you on the forefront of people’s minds. I recommend using www.mailchimp.com because it is easy to use and free up until you have a large amount of subscribers.

 

Songwriter Websites – Must Have #7: BLOG!

Blogging is a great way to build a fan base and connect with people. You can blog about anything. Your music, your interests, whatever! That’s the beauty about your blog. It’s yours. Be consistent with your posting. It shows people that you are active. This is important. For example, if someone comes to our site and notices that the blog hasn’t been touched in a year then they probably won’t have much faith that we are a credible website. Most web platforms now-a-days have blog platforms built in.

 

Songwriter Websites – Must Have #8: BASIC INFORMATION

This seems like a given, but you need to include the essentials. Give clear instructions on how visitors can contact you. Maybe you have a separate email for fans and one for business dealings. If so, tell people. Also, include the city you live in. People want to know where are from and the city you represent. Sometimes I come across an awesome songwriter online, but have no idea where they are from. It’s a bummer. I’m curious. Are they in Nashville? Austin? But, If I come across one in Nashville or Los Angeles then I reach out to them because we have a connection point. I recommend putting your contact info right on your home page so that it is clear to see.

 

Songwriter Websites – Must Have #9: SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Nowadays, social media is the easiest way for us to all stay connected. Make sure that you have links to your social media sites on your site so that interested visitors have a way to keep up with you. Again, check out Alison’s website example above. Her social media links are clearly laid out at the bottom of her site.

 

Songwriter Websites – Must Have #10: VIDEOS

We live in a visual world, and people love watching videos. Create videos of you performing, working on your craft, talking about your craft, interview a fellow songwriter, etc etc. The options are endless. Videos are another great way for people to get to know you and see your personality.

 

There you have it. 10 must haves for your website. How does yours stack up? It’s 2015. Have an awesome website! If you are lost when it comes to web design then there are some great resources for you..

For you serious folks, www.12southmusic.com is who we recommend for branding and web development for musicians. They designed the awesome site for Alison Vetz used in the examples above. If you want to try the D.I.Y. route then I recommend www.squarespace.com because it is affordable and has really fresh looking templates.

If you have any additional “must haves” then please feel free to add them in the comment section below!

 

Keep Creating,

Dan from SongwritingTeam.com
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Hiring Demo Session Singers Online – Things to Consider

 

Hiring demo session singers online can be an awesome and convenient way to finish your songs. You may be a producer, songwriter, or composer who is sitting on some great music, but need to add “the center”. A compelling vocal that will convey the emotion of your music and make it connective with your clients, publishers, or listeners. We here at Songwriting Team get hired often to provide vocal talent to our clients and make their songs come alive. We’ve gone through this process countless times, and I decided that it would be a good idea to write a short post that covers what is to be expected and offer some tips and things to consider when hiring demo session singers online.

 

Choosing the right singer.

This is very important. There are some things that you will want to consider when hiring demo session singers online. If the singer isn’t a fit for your song artistically speaking then the song will not shine. Don’t feel bad if you don’t choose the right singer the first time. It happens. It isn’t anyone’s fault. But, take the following into consideration when choosing a studio vocalist for your song:

  • What key is the song in. Is the singer comfortable singing in that key?
  • Does the singers vocal range work with your song? They might be able to sing high notes, but maybe it gets thin up there. Is their strong point lower parts?
  • Do they like the style of music your presenting? If they do, they will feel awesome performing it. It won’t feel like a chore.
  • Make sure that you have heard samples of the singer that match the result that you are looking for!

 

Questions that you should ask before starting your project.

When hiring demo session singers online you want to make sure that you clearly understand the process. It’s never fun when there are surprises. Get clear with your vocal talent and producers before hiring the singer. The inter-web can be awesome, but it can also put a communication barrier in between you and the talent. Here are a some questions to ask before starting your project:

  • Does the singer record themselves or will you also need to hire a producer/recording engineer? Does the company that you are working with handle the entire process for you?
  • What does the cost include? Ask if their cost includes harmonies, background vocals, double tracking, vocal tuning, revisions, etc. Be upfront about everything that you will need so that your singer can quote you the appropriate price.
  • Ask if you’ll be getting the vocal multi-tracks. These are the individual dry vocal tracks so that you can mix your song.
  • Have your business questions covered. How much? What is the turnaround time? Is it work for hire? How do they accept payment? Will their be a write up with terms?

 

Doing your part to make everything go smoothly.

There are a few things that you can do on your side when hiring demo session singers online. These simple things will help the process go smoothly, make everyone involved happy, and keep you from having to spend more money on time to fix mistakes.

  • Be very clear with what you want your final result to be. Provide the producer and singer with a lot of references.
  • Explain the emotion that you want the song to convey so the singer can take that into consideration when performing.
  • Send over a clearly typed lyric sheet with all parts labeled (Verse, Chorus, Etc.)
  • If you have a reference recording with a “dummy vocal” on it make sure that the producer and singer can clearly hear the melodies and phrasing. Writing melodies and phrasing typically isn’t included with a “session vocal”. Chat with your singer and see if they are open to writing the melodies/phrasing if you don’t have that part written.
  • Send a good mix of the instrumental for the singer to perform to. Bad mixes can be uninspiring and complicated to perform with.

 

I hope this article provided you with some insight on hiring demo session singers online. Typically, going online for your studio vocals can be super affordable and a great experience.
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Thanks for reading “Hiring Demo Session Singers Online – Things to Consider”, and keep creating!

Tips for Lyricists – Making a List and Checking it Twice.

We write a lot of lyrics. On average at least a song a day either for ourselves, production libraries, or our wonderful clients. Since I am the primary lyric writer here I have to stay inspired all of the time. Somedays can be very tough. I’m sure you have had them. Sitting there scratching your head and nothing is coming out. This short post explains what I do to keep my creative juices flowing, how I organize my thoughts, and how I keep from running out of ideas.

 

The first thing I’ll say is that I am always searching for ideas even when I am not aware of it. In every day life doing every day tasks I have my ears open for little words and phrases that strike me. I’ll give you an example. I was listening to the radio the other day. It happened to be on the country station. The host of the radio show in between songs did a plug for something and she used the phrase “I hope you all are having a great Monday or at least trying to get it right!”. I thought it was funny because gettin’ it right would be a great modern country hook. I wrote it down. Last night, a good friend and I were writing a song for a Songwriting Team client and my “getting it right” phrase worked. Sort of. We didn’t use those exact words,  but that simple phrase I heard on the radio inspired us to create the line “Is this what it feels like to get it wrong?”. A very compelling first line for this particular song.

 

Keep a list. A good friend of mine that I co-write with often turned me on to keeping lists of words and phrases. Since then I’ve been keeping things in a document on my phone for easy access. He prefers notebooks, and boy does he have a bunch of them. On our first co-write we brought over 3 or 4 notebooks full of titles. Some great, some okay, and some that we probably wouldn’t ever use. It was long after scanning through I found a title that he had and we created the song “Love is Pop”.

 

Sometimes I’ll fill up my list with random things. Objects in a room, places I’ve traveled too, people I know, and so on. Hit songwriter Sia has spoken out about taking this approach. It is how she wrote her Grammy nominated song “Chandelier”. She saw a chandelier, and there you go.

 

I enjoy title writing. I feel that the toughest part of songwriting for me is creating a hook worthy title. When I focus my time on constantly listening for words and phrases that could be a song title I find that I have a much easier time when I sit down to write lyrics. Once I have a title in place the song comes naturally. Now, I don’t always write from a title. As you read in the first example above, my list inspired a great opening line. There are no set rules of where you should start while writing lyrics. It’ll be different each time. I feel lucky though when I already have a title. 9 times out of 10 it means that this write will be effortless.

 

To sum it up.. here are some points to take away:

  • Always be listening for words and phrases when you are watching TV, listening to the radio, out with your friends, reading a book, at work, on a boat, etc.
  • Always write them down! Even if you think they are dumb or worthless write them down. You’ll be surprised.
  • Seriously, always write them down. And do it quick. If you don’t do it then you probably won’t remember it. I can’t count how many great songs I have probably missed out on because of being lazy and saying “Oh, I’ll write it down later”.
  • Create a list of random things. People, places, objects, etc. Jot them down in your notebook.
  • Look for connections. Scroll through your words and phrases notebook and see if any titles come about from simply pairing up different words and phrases. This is a very common way for me to find titles.

 

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Find Serious Band Members | A How To Guide

In this article I’ll be discussing the best way to find serious band members. A lot of our clients come to us either before they start a band or after. The ones that come to us beforehand are doing it right. They want to create some great productions and songs first before seeking bandmates. Most of our clients who seek our help after being in a band do so because they had a bad experience. When I ask what went wrong 9 times out of 10 it comes down to how serious the band members were. It can be tough to find serious band members. So how do we do it? How do we find serious musicians to be in our group? Below I’ve outlined a few tips and thoughts to consider on the best way to find serious band members.

 

..and by “way” I mean multiple “ways” :)

 

Best way to find serious band members – #1 – Where to look?

When in a pinch, most people go to Craigslist to find band members. It’s easy and doesn’t require much work. I have nothing against Craigslist. It helped me start my business and I’ve been blessed with dozens of talented clients from Craigslist. But, for me the number one way to find serious bandmates is to get involved in your local scene and go to shows. Plan to go to a new show each week and meet the bands that are playing. DON’T bring up the fact that you are trying to start a band. Just hang out with them that night. Later on, catch up with them on social media or via phone/email. Simply let them know that you had a great time meeting them. After you have done this go ahead and bring it up. Ask them if they have any talented buddies that are looking to play in a band.

 

Best way to find serious band members – #2 – Get references.

You have to treat this like a company would treat hiring a new employee. Do your research on people. Look for musicians who have a history playing in bands. Reach out to their past band mates and get the scoop on them. Was it a good experience or was that person a total disaster? When people ask me how to find serious band members I start by telling them to seek out musicians with a good reputation.

 

Best way to find serious band members – #3 – Have high quality demos.

People will take you way more seriously if you have high quality tracks ready to present. Trying to sell someone on a whim can be tough and may not attract the best talent. If you have stellar demos ready to go then it gives them something to be excited about. It also shows them that you are 100% committed and ready to get the ball rolling!

 

Best way to find serious band members – #4 – Be clear, but be open minded.

The best way to find serious band members is to be clear with your vision and goals. If you sound like you are unsure about what you are doing then a serious musician will sense this and be turned off. Be excited and 100% confident with your ideas and thoughts. At the same time make sure you let them know that you are open minded to their ideas and that you care about and want to hear their thoughts. Being a dictator will turn people off. Being open minded shows that you are willing to work with a group and be a great leader.

 

Best way to find serious band members – #5 – Personality test.

This point is less about the best way to find serious band members and more about compatibility. If you aren’t familiar with the DiSC personality test then you should read about it.  It’s important to analyze your potential band mates and know where you and everyone else fit in. Having 2 “D” personalities in a group may cause problems. On the other hand a bunch of “S” personalities won’t be able to function without a “D”. Egos can run hot among serious musicians, but I truly believe that there is a match for everyone. Do a co-write and find out if you are a good fit for each other.

 

There you have it! My tips on how to find serious and talented band members. If you are struggling to find serious band members feel free to reach out to us and we’d be happy to shed more light on the topic.