Written by Barry DeVorzon – Follow us on Twitter
You have some great songs…Now what?
You have some great demos of some great songs, and when I say great I don’t mean good or even very good, I mean great! Now what? Now is when the songwriter has to become a detective and identify and find the people and companies that he should be sending his songs to. This used to be an impossible task but today you can find almost anything you’re looking for on the Internet.
Music magazines are also great sources of information and often publish lists of record companies, producers, and publishers. There are also a great many songwriter resources on the Internet that will give you all the information you need. Spend whatever time it takes, but leave no stone unturned. Your goal is to get your songs in the hands of as many artists, producers, publishers and record labels as you can. Here are 7 places you should be sending your songs to:
1. Record Labels
In addition to the majors, there are a lot of smaller labels that are even more accessible and just as effective as any major. Everyday, more independent labels come on line and this is a trend that I think will continue.
Getting your song to the producers of the various artists is one of the most effective ways to get your songs cut. Who they are is information that is out there, how to get to them is not so easy. It’s been my experience that less is more, try and keep your submittals to one or two songs and no more than four. Here again, all you need is for one producer to take the time to listen.
The best way to get to artists is through a personal relationship or mutual friends, or members of their band. If that’s not possible, try contacting their managers or you can send your songs to the A&R departments of the record companies for a particular artist.
Publishers are easy to get to but the only Publishers really pitching songs these days seem to be in Nashville and Austin. There may be some exceptions in LA and New York, but not many.
5. Music Libraries
While you’re trying to get your songs recorded a great place to make money are Music Libraries. Usages and the subsequent performance royalties can really add up. Some major Music Libraries are: APM, Killer Tracks, Extreme, 5 Alarm, Megatrax, and First Com. For the entire list, check out PMA, Production Music Association. You may have to give them exclusive rights in as far as production music is concerned, but don’t give up your copyrights.
6. Music Departments at Movie and Television Studios
Music Departments at movie and television studios always need production music. Sometimes they augment the music in a film by adding a song or two from their music libraries in scenes where they need them. If for any reason they are unhappy with the Main or End Title you may even get a shot at one of those. Sometimes they use songs from their music libraries as a temp track for a movie or television show, and sometimes producers and directors fall in love with those songs and they stay in the film. That’s happened for me a number of times.
If you don’t feel like doing all of the above, there is a company that does it for you named TAXI. Check it out, it’s worked for a lot of songwriters. Michael Laskow, is the President of Taxi, and he has assembled a great staff to help songwriters in a number of ways. They not only do what they can to place your songs, they critique them as well, pointing out the weaknesses, and suggesting how you can make them better.
Leave no stone unturned.
Some people will argue that spending the time, effort, and money that is required to do the above isn’t worth it since you’d have to consider taking this approach as somewhat of a long shot. Some of my biggest hits came as a result of taking long shots rather than following the obvious path. Most of what I’ve suggested to you will be a waste of time, with the exception of TAXI, but this is a business that is all about percentages, all you need is one or two people to hear something in your songs and the result could be life changing.
If anyone out there has any additional suggestions on how to get your songs heard, we’d love to hear from you. Share in the comments below. Thanks for adding to the conversation.
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