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Becoming a Professional Songwriter

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by Voiceofallanger, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Hey guys, long story short, people have been very kind to me about my songwriting skills claiming that I can write anything I want to so I've chosen to try and (against my natural beliefs).. put some faith in myself and check out how to become a songwriter for such things as video games.

    Could anybody give me the first clue how I can do this ?

    I can play everything required to make songs and I can program/produce/drum. Unfortunately I don't know the business side and I'd really like to make a name for myself.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks guys, love y'all.
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    It's a tough nut to crack, Voice.

    Not all that different from chasing that brass ring of "the record deal".

    The first thing you need is a great song. Then you need the contacts to get that song to the people who make the decisions to use that song with one of their artists.

    And, you need a thick skin, because you could shop the song for a year and be able to wallpaper your studio with rejection letters.

    You might consider a service like Taxi, which is a company that sends out daily requests for songs of particular styles that they then forward to the people who have asked them to find songs for them.

    TAXI: record deals, publishing deal, film TV placement, recording your music, songwriting

    Taxi is not free. There is a yearly fee, and a per song submission fee as well. However, they do not take any piece of any payments you would receive if your song makes money.

    Some people don't like it, others swear by it. I personally know two people who have had songs placed and who have made money. I also know more than a few who have been at it for years without success - now, this could be because they simply haven't gotten lucky in getting the right song to the right publisher or artist, or... it could be because their songs suck.

    Keep writing. I mean, if you are a songwriter, you're gonna write anyway, right? Hone your craft, be critical of yourself, don't think that every single song you write is gold, and be critical of yourself enough to follow the guidelines of the style and vibe of the type of songs being asked for.

    It probably wouldn't hurt for you to have a website that presents a "face" for your abilities... something that shows your skills. You are your strongest advocate - no one else will do it for you.

    Hope this helped... good luck.

  3. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Thanks for the reply Donny, you're a top bloke. You have been very helpful and even the more "obvious" parts of your reply have reassured me of things enough to start heading in enough of a direction. I'll definitely check out that taxi thing. In my opinion business requires investment and nothing decent is free so I am quite happy to pay for a service if I am GETTING said service. I'll check that out right away! I was thinking about making a website for myself and so I've already pretty much planned one which will eventually be full of my music ranging from classical - electronic - rock - progressive... With any luck if I throw it around enough someone might clock onto it as well as of course advertising and promoting myself in as many other ways as I can. I guess people are more likely to want to know me if I show how much I can do on my own (similarly to a record deal). Excellent. I think I've got a rough idea, I'll just roll with it and keep pushing.

    Thanks again Donny.

    PS. I am excellent at rejection, no ego here. Failure is not "failing" it's not trying hard enough in my eyes haha!
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    as a followup to my post, I thought that it was important to add that more and more requests for songs from these various publishers, music supervisers and media buyers are also requesting finished product.

    Many of these requests are for songs in various commercial uses, and they want the song to be ready to go, short of perhaps some final mastering. These various uses would include things like TV shows; series, etc.

    So if you don't already have one, you may want to look at investing in a solid DAW program/platform. Add to that a nice audio I/O that has nice pre's and converters.... and accordingly, work on your engineering chops, too... hone that side of the craft as well, because you might have a great song that is perfect for a particular use, but if it's not "broadcast ready", it could knock you out of the running.

  5. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    No problems there amigo! Got my own studio and all the software/hardware I need. And my friend Rob is a rather nifty mastering engineer! Wahey!
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    So much of it is having the right song at the right time and getting it into the right person's hands, which is why I likened it to a record deal. But, as I said, keep writing, and I mean that you should do that regardless of whether you have a "target" for that particular song at that time or not. Something you write today might not find a home until 5 years from now, so write them as the ideas come and as the muse strikes.

    Also - and this is just me talking here - I tend to shy away from writing from a particular "formula". For a while I tried it, following current song style trends, but truthfully it was like chasing the dragon, because every time I would do so, styles would up and change on me, leaving me with a lot of dated material. LOL.

    Just write what you feel, write what comes to you at the time, and forget about trying to write for a particular artist or style. Be as critical as you can with yourself, just shy of tucking them in a drawer because you are too critical, because you have to have a certain measure of confidence as well to succeed in this business - but realize that you have to be your own worst critic.

    And, don't neglect the re-write process, either. Lots of songs have been saved from the trash heap by simply hitting them from a different angle and with a different approach.

    IMHO of course.

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