FAQ - I want to break in as a songwriter. What should I do?

Be smart, do your homework! Take advantage of the resources that are available to you, such as organizations like TAXI or Circle of Songs. There are great classes and seminars offered by organizations like BMI that can further help you develop your songwriting skills. In addition there are several trade magazines, such as Performing Songwriter, that offer valuable information for the beginning songwriter.

Member Comments

Posted by tinzley bradford on 2004-12-02 at 1:48:35 am

I have really been using wha i thought were the proper networking tools trying to be a working songwriter. I have had producers tell me they love my songs and want to work with me, but it always seem to wound up with some of them wanting to get me in bed. I have have some even come out and say that they don’t think I ‘m ready and they don’t hear any hits at all. Yet there are those who love my work. How do I seperate the two? I really want a shot at this i do know I have what it takes, just haven’t got a break yet.

Posted by Jimi Heath on 2004-12-09 at 4:06:29 am

Hi Tinzley,

If you are serious about being a professional songwriter, you need to educate yourself about the craft and business of this profession.

Producers are not gonna be your ticket to success if your craft isnt honed. 

Learn how to write great songs in the genre of music that you intend writing in.  The best way to network to and cultivate relatonships with the contacts you desire is to co-write.

Keep writing and definately take the advice above, use songwriting services that offer critiques and feedback from pros.

Jimi-Lyn

Posted by corey levesque on 2005-01-06 at 6:02:13 am

ive got really honed in respected material ive been writing songs in notebooks for years i just want to get rid of them for some cash please help

Posted by JamieRoberts on 2005-01-11 at 9:41:17 pm

Just a comment from someone in radio:
I’m sure the song writing classes, services, and seminars are all very helpful. But I find it hard to swallow that every successful songwriter currently working has had to go through that much time and effort (outside writing) to get to where they are. Writing is a natural God given ability, just waiting for the right break from the right person. Or, should I say, the right person in the right position to say “YES” to you.

Posted by Ian Rhett on 2005-01-15 at 3:32:12 am

I’d appreciate some comments on songwriting contests. I see a lot of them, and it definitely occurs as a great money making device for the organizer(s). What about the artist/songwriters? What are the reputable songwriter contests, and is it worth spending the money on these?

Posted by Soldier on 2005-01-19 at 11:56:50 pm

i have been writing for a very long time now, but i don’t play an instument, people say its crazy and can’t be done, well that is i’ll be no good, but if i can say so my self my lyrics are pretty strong and i’m doing well. its just that i dont know where to go from here. Please help me.

Posted by ray mcintosh on 2005-02-27 at 6:26:51 pm

I just recently sent five of my songs to paramountsong group in nashville,one song called i found a rose I entered in the valentine contest.I sent them money to do a professional demo of thoughtful memories with a five peice band,I just hoping that it turns out good,they said they would pitch it for me,they never gave me a time frame as to when it would be done,they want me to sign a contract for my other songs and I said no,as Im waiting to hear my demo that there doing for me.I will let everybody know when I actualy get it,Im just hoping that they don;t ##### me.thanks for any advice you can give me,sincerley,Ray McIntosh

Posted by Kate Lammie on 2005-03-01 at 8:25:32 am

Ray, I’ve been thinking of having a demo done by Paramount in Nashville aslo, and would love if you could email me regarding your experience with them. I would *really* appreciate it! I am curious if the demos are any good or if I should just keep shopping around. Thanks :) .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted by Donald G Ovsak on 2005-03-03 at 3:05:22 am

Kate: Try this.
enter mitch snow in your web browser.
Mitch does great demo work at a truly
small fee. Tell him I sent you.
Good luck, Don

Posted by tinzley bradford on 2005-03-03 at 6:28:20 am

this is tinzley. who is mitch? I would love a good demo done please tell me how i can reach him. Thank you Tinzley

Posted by ashley dennard on 2005-03-07 at 5:30:40 am

currently, i’m not a songwriter but i write poetry that could be used as songs. how do i go about finding a publisher or agent i could trust to review my work?

Posted by Jonah Taylor on 2014-10-22 at 2:26:42 am

I am looking for a traditional country songwriter, I am a young singer. I have been in nĂºmero use plays and have done many pretty we’ll sized concerts. If anyone writes traditional country music, email me.
God bless,
Jonah

Posted by Gary E. Andrews on 2014-11-16 at 2:33:31 am

Jonah, do you have anything we can hear?

Posted by Marc-Alan Barnette on 2016-07-18 at 10:44:24 pm

One of the main things people need to understand is what a songwriter IS now. There are no more “JUST” songwriters. Songwriters today have to be artist developers, have to be political people, have to be working in many avenues and many hats. And there are thousands upon thousand of hundreds of thousands who want to be songwriters too.

Corey, don’t look for any “cash” for your unfinished songs. Money is only collected on songs that SELL product, receive mainstream radio airplay, numerous (and I mean NUMEROUS) streams and downloads.And those have to be finished songs, not notes in a notebook. Those are half songs. Find songwriter groups in your area, and build relationships. Don’t look for songs as a “fast cash” ATM machine. They won’t be, and trying to get people to “pay you” for that will only result in YOU being ripped off by people who take advantage of your naivate.’

They should work to build RELATIONSHIPS, particularly with ARTISTS, who are the key to getting songs OUT THERE. The money has decreased incredibly, so having other forms of income is a nessacity.

On contests, they have a lot of publicity build up, sometimes money or prizes involved, but once they are over they generally are OVER. And hit songs have never come out of contests. If they are meaningful to you, by all means go for them, but don’t expect them to make you a star. They won’t.

Song pitching or placement services are legitimate, but often over promise and under deliver. If you are looking for cuts on an artist,p you need to be building personal relationships with the artists of tomorrow today.

There are many studios and song services. Find their clients and get REFERENCES. Find people and do research.

Like everything, educate yourselves. Join writers groups. Ask questions here. Visit OTHER people’s web sites, find out what THEY are doing. If you want friends and supporters, FIRST BE A FRIEND AND SUPPORTER.
Good luck to you all.

MAB

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