Here we are in the age of Covid, elections, and about every part of unrest we have ever seen. I guess it's the "END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT." Do we feel fine? That remains to be seen I guess.
As for me, I try to keep my mind on music and my participation in it, and use the overall world as the backdrop for my comments. The focus of this blog is about SUBJECT MATTER and different ways to look at that.
Songwriters often will first go for the NEGATIVE, in every situation. We don't hold jobs well, we don't…
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I was talking to a fellow today from New York City, who has been going through a very familiar situation to anyone who does music.
WHAT IS THE POINT?
I mean, we have to be realistic in all of this. We're in a world of DREAMS. Every writer, musician, producer, artist, manager. promoter, you name it, are just really MAKING STUFF UP. And being able to MONETIZE that is becoming harder and harder every single day. Here are some things to keep in mind:
THERE ARE APPROXIMATELY 30-60 MILLION artists, writers,…
ONE CHANCE TO MAKE A BAD FIRST IMPRESSIONS
BEING PREPARED FOR NASHVILLE STYLE WRITERS NIGHTS,OPEN MICS, AND AUDITIONS By MAB
In the current era of music, one of the most common events for performer and writer wanna be’s are OPEN STAGES, OPEN MICS, SONGWRITER’S NIGHTS OR SHOWCASES, as well as the dreaded AUDITION process, for everything from reality shows, contests, and the first and continuous steps of a performing…
SANTA, CAN I HAVE A CUT FOR CHRISTMAS by MAB
Every year, kind of like clockwork, people go through their “NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS” and of course with songwriters, it always includes, “THIS IS THE YEAR TO GET MY MAJOR LABEL CUT!” I understand all the “Norman Vincent Pealeism’s” of “The power of Positive thinking, and all, and do understand the propensity to “If I put it OUT THERE in the UNIVERSE it’ll happen. Yeah, I know that one well. Every year when I used…
CELEBRATE EACH VICTORY! By MAB
Over the past two days I have written on the subject of the difficulty of getting major cuts in this day and age. It is hard even for "inside" writers and publishers to get them and ESPECIALLY hard for independent, non-connected, OUTSIDE writers. There are a LOT of steps, aside from writing the songs themselves, getting them recorded, getting inside people to pay attention, being patient, building and maintaining relationships, all have to be done and have to be done…Read more
MUSIC OUTSIDER’S, INSIDER
By MARC-ALAN BARNETTE
This Is going to be written for people from outside Nashville, or those trying to find out about the “inner circles” that they are going to have to be involved in to advance in their careers. Most are pretty much common sense, like “BE POLITE” but sometimes need to be reminded. Let’s go.
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS
Most people preparing for a career in music (whatever that is these days) are always concerned about the “Big time.” All they seem to…Read more
I thought since a lot of people here don't live in Nashville, don't care to, or even some don't make trips, it might be interesting to share an experience with you of some people that are "finding other ways" around the normal conventions in music.
The subject is a group of people I work with called "THE CHILI PEPPERS SONGWRITING CLUB' and they are located in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I was just up there for their 5th Anniversery, did private meetings, teachings, writing, and a…Read more
Since some of our guys are a little more exhuberant, and want follow ups, I thought I would post those as well:
#1. "When you say 'relationships', MAB, I assume you mean writing songs about past relationships, and 'love songs gone wrong' songs. That makes sense because that is mostly what I hear when I listen to someone performiong in a coffee shop or a show at a writers room during a visit to Nashville."
A. Not, exactly. I am talking writing, performing, networking 'RELATIONSHIPS." Those are with other…
Since we are on the subject of writing, I would like to answer to Matt’s comment on “writing what you know” and Jimmy’s “conversational, and in addition, the “paying attention to small articles In the news on television and in papers as well as “writing for artists. I am going to break down the surrounding issues of all of these in one of my favorite songs written with Allen Shervelle, and Bonnie Lee Panda. I believe It demonstrates all four of these.
A friend and client of mine, Mr. Steve Harris, of Columbus Ohio, asked a few questions he wanted to know when he started this songwriter’s journey. I thought his questions summed up what most newbies need to know. Hope they help. Thank you OD. (Steve)
1. I have some poems that my friends think are pretty good and my family thinks are GREAT! What should I do with them?
Everyone has a parent, grandparent. Teacher, friend, who love them and think everything is BETTER THAN THAT CRAP ON THE…Read more
When writers and artists start getting into songwriting in a more realistic and competitive way, traveling to Nashville, getting on web sites, learning the realities, they start to hear a term, "the Nashville Bar." What does that mean? Well aside from the clubs and bars that us writers hang out in, there is a very real term that speaks to the QUALITY OF SONGS AND SONGWRITERS. But what does…Read more
(HOW DO PEOPLE GET “DEALS” ANYWAY?)
As people start their journeys in the music business, they always want to know about the people at the top of the pyramid, and “how did they get there?” Or “How did that song get on the radio?” Usually those are about as interesting stories as the songs or people themselves. I have kind of a general outline of how these things work. Not always true, but more often than not they are.
We call Nashville a “Ten Year Town.” Mostly, because that is the…Read more
Someone sends you a link to a song, video, etc. The song is really cool, well recorded, but for some certain television show that is out there currently. Or for a cause, National calmity, emergency, (Hurricanes, Global Warming, 9-11, War, am starting to see the "SANDY HOOK" School shooting" songs). Now remember, it is a cool song, well written, good melody, nice video. They ask "WHAT's NEXT?"
The answer is "Maybe nothing." If they are promoting it, getting it on YOU TUBE, FACEBOOK,…Read more
Since we've kind of swerved into a subject here, and I need a new blog post, I thought I would post one of my long one's on a subject that can address a lot these other posts. Writing the truth.
The past few pages all can touch on this. From Matt H's observations on why it is so hard for him to focus on what he wants to and the desire of so many to "write for the cut or the hit," Matt C's list of songs and artists he really admires, my own mention of Sir Mac, the efforts Dana mentions about how…Read more
Since she came to the forground five years ago, she has become the standard all young, female artists are judged by and who they all emulate at this point. I can't go anywhere without encountering some 13-17 year old, with her "Momager" in tow, trying to impress me as to how they are the "Next Taylor."…Read more
A lot of confusion can be on this subject. There are times that one co-writer or another may be very fast, very accurate and write the majority of a song. I have been in situations where I have…Read more
I'd like to take a minute and talk about one of the most misunderstood processes in all of songwriting. COPYRIGHTS.
Copyrighting is a process that protects creative works, particlarly songs, magazine articles, books, and other creative works against theft and make sure creators are paid money they deserve. In theory that works. Not always in reality. These days, in the Internet age, it seems nothing is protectable. With millions of communications an hour, and everyone putting everything out…Read more
Hello and Happy Holidays.
Have been away. Sorry about that but I am back. Here goes.
The most prominate question that seems to be in the songwriting/entertainment community is always "I have written songs, now WHAT do I do with them?
That is a very good question and doesn't have an easy answer. But I will do my best as some explinations.
Before you start this entire discussion you have to understand some basic realities.
#1. EVERYBODY IS DOING THE SAME THING.
Everybody is a writer or singer now. If you have…
I hope it doesn't seem like I am just running on and on to hear myself talk. People ask me about this and many times I have new people coming around asking about the process. I hope it has given you some…Read more
Okay, all of this had come over two weeks and 8 writing days. Eleven songs, nine people involved. Back to the guys. Another person out of Montana was AL COOPER. Al, is over 35, lived in Nashville a while several years back, and has been trying to find a way to get back to town. He feels he never did much when he was here and wasted his time. He never went out, never plugged into the town. He feels isolated and needs to touch base with his creative side. He currently sells Insurance.…Read more
I talk a lot about the need to write with younger artists, and the difficulties inherent in that. Nichol Wild is an 18 year old VERY cute big voiced female singer our of Montanna. She has been singing since she was 8, and her voice can tell it. She has as much stuff as you want in a singer and is a joy to be around. Very adaptable and very polite, she is a joy to be around. On this tour, I invited her Grandparents along. I like people to…
My next Monday was another one of those "collisions" that I didn't see coming. My tour was with Shelly Duboise" another Canadian, from Edmonton. She is a wonderfully funny housewife and mother, who has wanted to come to Nashville for many years. She is a local artist who plays shows, up there and wants to expand her knowledge of songwriting. So she met Doak Turner in Montana at a songwriter's conference, and in turn, found…Read more