Business plan?

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Jun 01, 2017, 07:48 AM

Hey folks,

Anyone who knows, please feel free to comment.

The goal is to be song writers/performers, with the emphasis on the former and the latter being more for promotional purposes as well as honing our skills.

I searched around and could not find a definitive answer so, I’ll just start a new thread and look forward to y’alls thoughts.

What should the business model be?

At present, from the reading and searching all over I have done, this is the current thinking;

1. choose a PRO, most likely either BMI or ASCAP

2. do solid recordings of finished songs and send in for copy write (planing on sending them in as ‘albums, ie, 12-15 songs at a time as group, as they become finished and recorded to save registration fees as well as give some form and order to the thing). register them in our personal names.

3. Set up an LLC as our publishing company to receive all income be it royalties, performance, licensing, merchandise, song sales or video ‘hits’ as well as to pay ourselves through, collect and pay taxes, run our expenses through.

4. Register band name (whatever we’re going to use to bill ourselves as), set up web presence (FB, youtube, itunes, patronage site)

5. Keep writing and performing, networking and watch the pennies flood in!

Any and all comments are welcome!

We’re US based, there are two of us.

Thanks!

[ Edited: 01 June 2017 08:44 AM by Larry Gude]
 
     
Larry Gude Joined May 23, 2017
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Jun 01, 2017, 06:44 PM

Seems to make sense. The most important thing since there are two of you is to make sure your LLC agreement is solid and covers everything, so that during and after your partnership you both know exactly where you stand and there is no room or reason for argument. Make sure everything to do with finances and rights is really clearly spelled out. That way, you never need to discuss these aspects again.

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Jun 01, 2017, 11:26 PM

Well, you are sort of right. Actually the “business plan should be:

#1. Write, rehearse and develop your songs.
#2. Find where you fit in the marketplace. Finding live gigs around your area. Play as much as you can and build a following for your music.
#3. Record songs to fit the demand for your product.
#5. Utilize social media, web sites, etc. to continue the demand for your product.
#6. Expand your range, to the next town, cities, larger audiences as your reputation grows.
#7 CATER TO YOUR FANS that are ACTUALLY CUSTOMERS FOR YOUR MUSIC.
#8. Expand your search into major music marketplaces, LA, NEW YORK OR NASHVILLE in the US.
#9. Repeat process in the newer locations without losing your home base. Build political clout in that area.
#10. Contact a PRO, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, when you have RADIO AIRPLAY or are getting DEMAND for your product. They are COLLECTION AGENCIES and are of no use to you until there are things to collect.
#11, Repeat the process and watch the pennies roll in.

If you have ever watched the business show SHARK TANK, you will from time to time see music groups, duos or singers, trying to audition to get monetary investments in their “business plans.” The “Sharks” NEVER go for one of them, because music is one of the WORST INVESTMENTS there is for financial return.

Start locally. Build there. Expand regionally. Build there. Shoot for National. Build there.
One step at a time.

MAB

 
     
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Marc-Alan Barnette Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Jun 02, 2017, 05:53 AM

Gavin, thanks for your thoughts! I hope we end up with something worth fighting over!!! LOL


MAB,

Yeah, can’t emphasize #1 enough. We walked into a studio about a month ago, hit it off and is probably the guy we’ll use. We did a number we know in our sleep. Would play in front of anyone, any time. However, we ALWAYS do it together and never with…a metronome or drums. Nice, gentle, happy piece, guit and vox. Just to get a little run through, he had me lay down a guitar, no vox, and then her sing to it. Metronome in my ears. I was a wreck trying to keep in mind where I was because it seems I’ve come to totally key off of her. I was all alone, man! LOL

You know what happened next. LOL

“Ah, dude, you sound great. How about maybe a little rehearsing with a metronome or drum machine and lets go from there? We gotta have something a little tighter to work off of to fix and patch and so forth…”

Now, plenty of what we do IS to drum tracks but this particular one, I never really paid much attention to the timing as it’s always been JUST one guitar and her and we are LOCKED into one another.

In any event, it was humbling more for me than I’d expected and I did achieve my main goal; get her in front of a REAL mic with a real engineer.

I’m printing out your list and taping it to the wall. My one question though is about copy write; She’s paranoid and thinks everyone is out to ##### us and steal our songs. I told her that was silly to think that. Of COURSE people will just take our songs. LOL. In any event, when do you think CR matters and should be done? Unlike EVERYONE else, OUR songs are REALLY super catchy and people with LOTS of money will want to license them and so on and blah blah blah. LOL

 
     
Larry Gude Joined May 23, 2017
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Jun 04, 2017, 08:55 AM

So you’ve been together a WHOLE MONTH huh? Wow. Since the majority of duos, combos, bands, groups, etc never make it past 6 months, I might hold off a bit before getting too tied up with anyone in legal mumbo jumbo land. Would get a bit of experience under your belt before you start making plans for the wedding. You’ve just gotten one lesson. Imagine when you are in the studio, clock running, and fighting over WHICH one’s idea is going to win out. Who is going to cover the bill for studio cost overruns? Who is going to pay bills when no money is coming in?
Who is going to be the one to sacrifice their regular job, because the other one wants to take a gig out of town? Who is the one who is going to cover extra hotel bills, and payments to musicians, when the venue says they didn’t make enough to pay you?

There are a few million things like this that come up all the time, so you should really get a bit more experience first. And it is a WOMAN with you? That really gets interesting when you are on the road, with only enough money for one room with a single bed. The significant others LOVE that one. And if you are single, and are “out there” the “other urges” start coming up. And that opens a WHOLE NOTHER CAN OF WORMS!!
What happens if she gets pregnant, and suddenly can’t perform and if SHE CAN’T DO IT, SHE WON’T LET YOU DO IT! 4

Instead of “worrying about the ‘pennies’ coming in, you probably should be talking about who is going to PAY for things that come up all the time that costs money. The “music business” is a very expensive business, and EVERYTHING costs. Not just directly, like recording, but getting publicity pictures, having web sites, getting videos done, travel to and from gigs, and let me give you a very big bucket of ice water, but until you are KNOWN, you are probably NOT going to get paid. Not only that, but more and more venues are going to “pay for play”, where you pay some sort of fee, before you are even accepted to play. In places like New York or Los Angeles, for decades they have had artists sell tickets, and if they don’t sell enough, they don’t play. Even smaller venues are economizing, and getting someone that will play 4 hours for $50 and if they don’t bring in people, they are not booked back.
You will have CD’s that you pay money for, recording, packaging, etc., and sell literally NONE of them, giving them away for exposure.

You are going to have to think of all of this. Eventually. For now:

#1. Get to know each other. Spend time together socially. Know their families, significant others, whatever. Find out their personality quirks. Get to know their friends and “hang out circles.”

#2. WRITE MORE SONGS!!!! This drives me nuts when people have two or three songs and are SURE THEY ARE GOING TO BE HITS!
Work on your writing idiosyncricies. If you are going to be together “FOREVER” you want to know who you are dealing with. Their passions/ Write songs about that. Explore styles, messages. What happens when you are both on OPPOSITE SIDES of political or ethical arguments?
You need a LOT of songs. It builds your abilities and your options.

#3. DON’T WORRY ABOUT COPYRIGHTS. The silliest things people spend time on are worrying someone is going to “STEAL YOUR SONGS.”
People innocently borrow and lift stuff all the time. And you can’t copyright a title or idea. And it might be YOU that are lifting an idea, hook or melody from SOMEONE ELSE. One thing you learn when you start getting out and really doing this is finding out how COMMON most songs are They all sound alike. Trust me on this.
You copyright when you have something to COPYRIGHT. When you are ready to RELEASE SOMETHING COMMERCIALLY. You have to have it recorded in an “affixed form.”

#4. FIND OUT WHERE YOU FIT IN THE SCENE. Go to clubs, venues, and see other people doing this. Chances are you are find a lot of your ideas, approaches, styles of music, already being done. You have to find out where you fit in. To do that is to FIND OUT WHAT IS ALREADY OUT THERE.

#5. PERFORM AS MUCH AS YOU CAN.  Get out of your living room. Perform live. Find your audience. Cater to that audience.

Everything else will take care of itself. In a business that is built on relationships and YEARS of work and experimentation, you are JUST GETTING STARTED. You are frankly still in the DELIVERY ROOM of musical relationships. Have a LONG way to go.

Good luck, but take your time.

MAB

 
     
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Marc-Alan Barnette Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Jun 04, 2017, 09:03 AM
Marc-Alan Barnette - 04 June 2017 08:55 AM

So you’ve been together a WHOLE MONTH huh? Wow. 

MAB


Poor writing on my part. What I meant was; After a year of working at it together, doing a couple open mics, finding that we just really enjoy this and seem to be able to keep writing song after song that we really enjoy, friends like, encouragement at the open mics, etc, we decided to go check out a studio; THAT was a month ago and the ‘hitting off’ was meant to say we liked the engineer and his studio and had a good feel about working with him.

He sent us home humbled that we have PLENTY of work to do before recording including a much better control of tempo on my part.

 
     
Larry Gude Joined May 23, 2017
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Jun 04, 2017, 09:27 AM

Part II COPYRIGHTS.

I do this because it is one of the most common things people worry about at the first of their careers, and is actually one of the most INSIGNIFICANT things people worry about. In the words of one of my friends who has had numerous number one songs, and was the president of NASHVILLE SONGWRITERS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL, for a number of years:

“You spend the first part of your career, worrying about people STEALING your songs.
You spend the second half of your career, worrying you have something WORTH STEALING.”

There are ONLY SO MANY NOTES. ONLY SO MANY EMOTIONS. ONLY SO MANY WAYS TO SAY THE SAME THING.
And with a BILLION songs a MONTH being put out there, the chances of you saying something so totally original that no one has ever done before is practically impossible.

We all live and write things going on in our lives. So we’re writing pretty much the same thing, often in the same way. And in the day of endless information, with the Internet this stuff is going around floating in the universe all the time. So the chances of you lifting a melody, lyrical phrase, subject matter, even the same details, are pretty good.

  My experience with it is pretty endless. I have listened to thousands upon thousands upon tens of thousands of songs in my career. It’s what I do. Listen to songs and songwriters. And I have NEVER heard songs that were SO UNIQUE and interesting that I had never heard them before. Now granted, hit and established writers, very experienced writers, very talented people often will find some DIFFERENT way to say THE SAME THING, and find those special moments, lyrically and musically, that make you go, “WOW, I’ve heard that a million times, but not in the same way. But it doesn’t make you go, “Wow! Let me STEAL that!!!

The artistic ego is such that they don’t want to feel they are just stealing from any one. And if they ARE stealing, they rarely go anywhere.

Now, there are exceptions to every rule. Much of hip hop and rap music simply takes from others, even down to the actual RECORDED TRACKS, of others and just building their own from there. That is often DIRIVATIVE WORK, and is another very grey area. And often they don’t acknowledge or pay for it. Totally unethical for me, but none of my business.

There are people who do “air of familarity” and make a song very similar on purpose, to remind someone of the original song, and that is a different thing. The artist “KID ROCK” did that in a song “SWEET HOME ALABAMA ALL SUMMER LONG”. In that he highly “borrowed” from two hit songs, “WEREWOLVES OF LONDON” by WARREN ZEVON and “SWEET HOME ALABAMA” by Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, and Ronnie Van Zant. He used very distinct passages of both those songs as the basic make up of his song. And even SANG about those passages IN HIS SONG. But he not only credited the other writers, he got permission AND made them co-writers on his song.

So it does happen. But most of the time it is simply coincidence. And in all those cases, the songs being “Borrowed” are hit songs and very established. In a copyright lawsuit, you have to prove someone had INTENT to defraud you. A very hard case to make, especially if your song is earning nothing.

The next thing is that according to copyright laws, YOU ARE PROTECTED FROM THE TIME THE PEN LEAVES THE PAPER. If you are using computers, you have a time and date stamp, which would serve you if any issue ever came.

And yes you can go ahead and get the copyright at $35 per song, or copyright an entire COLLECTION of songs. The Library of Congress is backed up about two years, so you should get your forms back in a couple years.

I don’t really worry about it myself because I write a LOT LOT LOT of songs. Around 75 this year so far and will probably double that before the year is out. Most of those will never venture past my computer. You write a lot of songs to weed it down to just a few. I work with other people in TEACHING LESSONS on songwriting, so many of those songs are simply that. A teaching lesson. The other writers or myself, might perform them a few times life, possibly even record them, but probably very few are destined to be a “yeah I liked that song, but HERE IS MY NEW ONE!!!”

And that is the final thing. You know the greatest songs in history?
#!. THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD
#2. YESTERDAY
#3. THE ONE I JUST WROTE THIS MORNING!!!

We all get very excited when we write songs. Sometimes we say JUST WHAT WE WANT TO SAY IT THE WAY WE WANT IT. It hits ALL those bases and people LOVE IT! But most of the time, around 90%, they are really just GOOD IDEAS AT THE TIME. We’ll play around with them for a little while, then replace them with other songs we LOVE BETTER!

So I wouldn’t worry about it. Register songs AFTER you have written a bunch and decide which are the BEST OF THE BEST. Live with them. Play them for others. Test them in front of AUDIENCES. Then see how you feel. Time will tell all.

MAB

 
     
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Marc-Alan Barnette Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Jun 04, 2017, 09:38 AM

Larry,

At any rate, take it as LESSON #1. You are not quite as good as you think you are, and are still very early in your relationship. You had a very sensible engineer do you a great service. Usually what happens, is the Engineer just sits back, lets you make mistakes, and hopes that you will keep missing it because that runs the studio rates up, while you are learning your lessons. The engineers are usually doing other things, checking their emails, making phone calls, playing games, while you try to work it out. Anything in the studio that runs up the clock, COSTS MORE MONEY. So this guy was very nice to you. Live and learn.

It would be better on that front if you had home recording equipment and do basic work tapes there long before you get into the studio.
The studio is NOT THE PLACE TO LEARN. WAY TOO EXPENSIVE.

And all the things I mentioned above are STILL RELEVANT. You need to be getting to know each other much better, writing many many more songs, performing and finding your AUDIENCE before you worry too much about getting records done.

Most people are WAY too excited at the beginnings of careers or partnerships to have any sense of perspective. That is what you need now.

And doing ANY FORM of partnership agreement at this point is WAY too premature. People get too involved in legal things WAY too early.
Take your time. If it is something REAL, it will manifest itself. But it takes time.

This is the equivalent of MUSICAL DATING. You are NOT getting married yet. Take it easy. Let it find it’s way. I’d hold off on the marriage licence until I know how much I really like this person. Give it a year and see how you feel.
And for GOD’S SAKE, DO SOME THINGS FIRST!!!

Do you understand much about the MUSIC BUSINESS? How people get PAID? How HARD IT IS TO COLLECT MONEY? How much FREE stuff you have to give away to even get started? “Free stuff” that YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR?

I’d learn about that first, before I start shopping for chapels and ministers.

MAB

 
     
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Marc-Alan Barnette Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Jun 04, 2017, 09:58 AM

MAB,

Thank you, bro! You just made our day!!! LOL. The misunderstanding on the ‘month ago’ comment and what it inspired you to write, man, you couldn’t have done any better had I flat out said “Hey, I met some chick a month ago and we wrote this one song and we wanna be stars!!!!

We’re a couple and have been together for several years, known each other for 15, families, all of that. We’ve been kicking music around for more than a year and the ‘month’ ago was us deciding to look into that next step and get something well recorded so that when we are giving away free CD’s they sound good and not like they were done on a phone. Same for web presence.

It makes me feel like we’re really doing a good job on our home work as everything you mentioned, we’ve discussed and at great length.

Except the pregnancy part. LOL

Thank you for the comment about copy write. That is what the real point of contention. I’ve been gung ho to just put stuff up and use it to build audience and support and she’s far more conservative (works in legal field) and wants every i dotted and t crossed before it goes on line. And yeah, we’re conscious that we might be lifting someone elses stuff. I’m gonna put up a tune here in a couple minutes and I expect to hear a bunch of ‘you sound like so and so…’ comments.

As for songs, we’re up to 25 we really like and rehearse and work on regularly with another 50 either on the trash heap or recycle bin. THAT is what inspired us to start thinking about it; we just keep writing songs. It’s a recurring conversation; are we just biased? Yes. Are they really that good? Of course! Can they hold there own? We think so.

Your comment about how all songs sound alike was also good for a deep smile. There was a point before we decided to give this a go where we were both, at the same time, trying to remember a song on the radio and, after a couple minutes, I picked part of it out and we both laughed when we realized it was one of ours. Nothing special, just a solid little tune that, while, as you say, they all sound alike, and no, we don’t think we’re SPECIAL, we just think we’re pretty good at this. When you roam around all the time humming your own tunes and even hearing them in your sleep, you can’t be too bad!

So, THANK you for the comments! We’re a good bit further down the beginning of our journey than I’d mentioned because I didn’t wanna waste a lot of other people’s time on stuff we’d already considered, and still debate over, but it has put a smile on our faces this morning and has been affirming that we ARE thinking clearly. Frankly, reading a lot of what YOU wrote before joining the forum served as a check list as to where we’re really at.

We ARE just getting started but we think we’re out of the maternity ward and on to pre school!!!

THANK YOU! (there’s a song in this story and you’re getting some creative credit!)

 
     
Larry Gude Joined May 23, 2017
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Jun 04, 2017, 10:06 AM
Marc-Alan Barnette - 04 June 2017 09:38 AM


Do you understand much about the MUSIC BUSINESS? How people get PAID? How HARD IT IS TO COLLECT MONEY? How much FREE stuff you have to give away to even get started? “Free stuff” that YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR?

I’d learn about that first, before I start shopping for chapels and ministers.

MAB


Yup. I was lucky enough to spend some of my teen years around several SUPREMELY talented guys who did that very thing for 15 to 20 years before moving on to sensible adulthood and only one of them actually makes a living at it today.

One of them put it this way; the music business, unlike any other talent or skill in the US, is where you will find virtuoso’s driving cabs. (he said this awhile back, pre uber).

 
     
Larry Gude Joined May 23, 2017
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Jun 04, 2017, 10:32 AM

Hey Larry, thanks for filling me in. If I’ve taken you back to pre-school, sorry, but whenever someone starts talking about “BUSINESS PLANS” when they are talking about the “music business” it makes me pretty much laugh my butt off. Becauase it is a “MAKE IT UP AS YOU GO ALONG” business. And yes, it is usually the legal people, who are always wanting to dot the “I’s” and cross the “T’s” on everything. Of course these are people who MAKE A LIVING WRITING CONTRACTS, AND LITIGATING THOSE CONTRACTS AFTER THEY END UP BEING WORTHLESS. So I’d pretty much take that with a grain of salt.

I like your friend’s definition. Here is mine:

You know you are in Nashville when your UBER or LYFT driver had “SONG OF THE YEAR” two years ago.
The more you know about the “BUSINESS OF MUSIC”, THE LESS YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE MUSIC BUSINESS.”

Even the best written contracts are usually not worth the paper they are written on, because there is always someone who can find a clause or chapter that no one thought about (if you had to include EVERYTHING YOU HAVE TO THINK ABOUT, YOU WOULD HAVE ONE OF THE GOVERNMENT BUDGET DOCUMENTS, OF THOUSANDS OF PAGES, AND COST MORE TO PRINT OUT THAN THE PARTICIPANTS WILL EVER EARN!

So, again, I would go slow.

In Nashville we have the “ONE HUNDRED SONG RULE.” WE don’t even consider that you have started writing until you have your first hundred songs. As your abilitiles and relationships grow, you always write better songs. And even if you have a few of the “oldies” with you, the much the better. I have more than a few songs I have written 10-20-30 years ago, I still perform. And THOUSANDS OF SONGS FROM THE SAME PERIOD ROTTING AT THE BOTTOM ON NASHVILLE’S LANDFILL, WHERE THEY BELONG!

Sure, it is a good sign when you walk around singing your own songs. But I have a caveat to that to. I’ve also found myself humming or singing some melody that I don’t know where it came from and trying to place the song. Then I find out it was some HORRIBLE TERRIBLE SONG I DID A CRITIQUE ON MONTHS OR EVEN A YEAR AGO!!! You remember the BAD ONE’S sometimes as well as the GOOD ONE’S.
So while you keep humming, searching, etc. don’t put your eggs in one basket. Keep writing.

If you are this far along, and have some that are rising up, it might not be a bad idea to have a “general agreement” between you two. For me. having had an attorney destroy the best deal I was ever offered, this is just not going to be something I would be worried about. But if you guys have gotten past the dating phase, it could be a time to do it. Each of you list what you want AND expect, and draw up something. Might be a good idea to see it in writing. But make sure it has some ways to GET OUT OF IT. There is nothing like having one of these things and then end up HATING each other!

When I first moved to Nashville, I would go to numerous NUMBER ONE PARTIES. This is where publishing companies, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, etc. have a big dog and pony show for some hit record on the radio. The artists, writers, publishers, producers, all show up, give out awards, make vapid speeches about how bright the future is, etc. blah, blah blah, and basically an excuse for free food and drinks. We do that a lot here.

I often would notice that the writers often would not stand next to each other in the press photos. I asked why that was and was told that “years ago they had a business falling out, and now couldn’t STAND EACH OTHER. But the song was written a decade ago when they were still on speaking terms.”

None of this is a perfect situation. You are dealing with egos, creative differences and similarities, and basically…THE HUMAN EMOTIONS!” Can really SUCK! But can also be fun and productive.

If you have some songs that are RECORDED, and you feel strongly enough about getting them out there, go ahead and copyright them if it will make you feel better. (Or make HER feel better.) But proving these legal lawsuits, are a pretty big bear and most of the time usually just best forgotten.

ALWAYS WRITE MORE SONGS!!

MAB

 
     
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Marc-Alan Barnette Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Jun 04, 2017, 10:41 AM

Hey dude,

In the interest of clarity, it’s not about disagreement between she and I. As I say, it’s her comfort level, not mine. I’m with you on the worry level. I’d be like “They like us enough to feel we’re worth thieving from!!!”  LOL And I told her a yea ago, the MOMENT we write it, it’s OURS. Just wanted YOUR take on it.

I wanna put everything we do up, vids on HOW we write, in the middle of writing, put up everything we do, even the clunkers, and she’s like ‘NO!!!!!!!!!”  LOL.

 
     
Larry Gude Joined May 23, 2017
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Jun 04, 2017, 11:12 AM

Well I’d probably take a bit of both views. I would NEVER want to put up anything OTHER than the best stuff that reflects you well.

ONE CHANCE TO MAKE A BAD FIRST IMPRESSION. You never know who is going to come in on your site and THAT will be the ONLY thing they see or hear.

I would have my ducks in a row.
WRITING A LOT of songs.
TESTING THOSE SONGS OUT ON REAL AUDIENCES.
RECORDING ONLY THE BEST.
HAVING VIDEOS FOR A WEB SITE AND SOCIAL PRESENCE, NOT TO MENTION BOOKING.
BUILD MY FOLLOWING.
REPEAT THE PROCESS.

If She is the one insisting on some form of agreement, LET HER WRITE IT. And you can both agree or disagree on it. Again, I can’t give you a lot of guidance on this because I have tried my best to AVOID agreements like this. I know of the fleeting nature of the music business.
People who are your best friends, suddenly find OTHER best friends.
Musical and personal disagreements happen all the time. Minor and major.

But you have to do whatever will keep you both happy.  Again, in my experience, if I have to have a piece of paper to let me know I have a relationship, I don’t have much of a relationship. I am not you. You have to make that evaluation.

I would say that most people are not interested early in your career “how you write, what you are doing, etc.” I’d say that is something a little farther down the road and you can get TOO MUCH INFORMATION. But again, only you can make that judgement. Personally, I get DOZENS AND DOZENS OF THOSE KINDS OF VIDEOS, LINKS TO SONGS, (PLEADING FOR MONEY FOR GO-FUND ME stuff) every day on the web, Facebook, etc. So I could really CARE LESS ABOUT THAT. I actually had started doing some of that and then realized most people JUST DON’T CARE.

So I would be judicious on what you put up. Make things look and sound good. QUALITY over QUANTITY.

Mab

 
     
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Marc-Alan Barnette Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Jun 04, 2017, 11:37 AM
Marc-Alan Barnette - 04 June 2017 11:12 AM

Well I’d probably take a bit of both views. I would NEVER want to put up anything OTHER than the best stuff that reflects you well.

ONE CHANCE TO MAKE A BAD FIRST IMPRESSION. You never know who is going to come in on your site and THAT will be the ONLY thing they see or hear.

I would have my ducks in a row.
WRITING A LOT of songs.
TESTING THOSE SONGS OUT ON REAL AUDIENCES.
RECORDING ONLY THE BEST.
HAVING VIDEOS FOR A WEB SITE AND SOCIAL PRESENCE, NOT TO MENTION BOOKING.
BUILD MY FOLLOWING.
REPEAT THE PROCESS.

If She is the one insisting on some form of agreement, LET HER WRITE IT. And you can both agree or disagree on it. Again, I can’t give you a lot of guidance on this because I have tried my best to AVOID agreements like this. I know of the fleeting nature of the music business.
People who are your best friends, suddenly find OTHER best friends.
Musical and personal disagreements happen all the time. Minor and major.

But you have to do whatever will keep you both happy.  Again, in my experience, if I have to have a piece of paper to let me know I have a relationship, I don’t have much of a relationship. I am not you. You have to make that evaluation.

I would say that most people are not interested early in your career “how you write, what you are doing, etc.” I’d say that is something a little farther down the road and you can get TOO MUCH INFORMATION. But again, only you can make that judgement. Personally, I get DOZENS AND DOZENS OF THOSE KINDS OF VIDEOS, LINKS TO SONGS, (PLEADING FOR MONEY FOR GO-FUND ME stuff) every day on the web, Facebook, etc. So I could really CARE LESS ABOUT THAT. I actually had started doing some of that and then realized most people JUST DON’T CARE.

So I would be judicious on what you put up. Make things look and sound good. QUALITY over QUANTITY.

Mab

I hope I play guitar better than I write on forums! Again, the issue isn’t between she and I. She’s just scared of people ripping off songs.

The LLC would simply be to have a legal entity to run income and expenses through. Ok, fine…to run expenses through. LOL

In any event, what you’ve written this AM has helped put her at ease, the words of an actual life long pro. It’s also helped my cause to play out more. She had stage fright as a kid and has made incredible progress. And you’re helping her cause of quality of recording over convenience, so, you’ve been of GREAT help, my man!

 
     
Larry Gude Joined May 23, 2017
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Jun 04, 2017, 11:56 AM

Larry,

I get that it is NOT a problem. People with “legal minds” are always worried about someone ripping them off, stealing songs, etc. Usually they are the ones who never have anything worth stealing. Song theft is mostly a myth. Period. They just all sound the same and the more you are around actually LISTENING to other people’s music, the more you see it.

I was talking about your original post about a “BUSINESS PLAN” and getting a “legal aggreement” written between you two .

 
     
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Marc-Alan Barnette Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Jun 04, 2017, 11:56 AM

Larry,

I get that it is NOT a problem. People with “legal minds” are always worried about someone ripping them off, stealing songs, etc. Usually they are the ones who never have anything worth stealing. Song theft is mostly a myth. Period. They just all sound the same and the more you are around actually LISTENING to other people’s music, the more you see it.

I was talking about your original post about a “BUSINESS PLAN” and getting a “legal aggreement” written between you two .If that is not a problem then you don’t worry about it.

On song theft, I have a million stories, but always the ones that stood out were two women that came to Nashville to do one of my “songwriting tours.” This is where I work with them on their songs, do critiques, performance evaluations, and help them get booked on writers nights, meet people, etc. These two women were coming because one wanted someone to listen to her performance and get tips as well as play on a writers night. The other had songs but didn’t want to play them because she heard people in Nashville “STOLE SONGS.”

We went through the whole day and she kept fighting me. Finally, she let me listen to three of her songs. They were all horribly average, basically kind of like saying “I love you baby…” They were that common. But she didn’t believe me and had NEVER played her songs for anyone.

When we got to the writers night, I had the host put someone up before us. THE FIRST SONG, FIRST WRITER, FIRST THING WE HEARD, WAS EXACTLY THE SAME SONG AS ONE OF HERS! Same melody, same idea, almost EXACTLY THE SAME LYRICS!!! Her mouth stood open. SHE HAD NEVER PLAYED HER SONG FOR ANYONE!!!  NO ONE COULD HAVE HEARD IT. YET THEY WERE EXACTLY THE SAME!!!!
WELCOME TO TWANG TOWN!!

The other was a woman who had the entire melody and lyrics down that she had been waiting for a year to write with me. As I listened to her, (and she had her eyes closed the same time) I recognized what she was doing and went to my lap top and pulled up YOU TUBE. I found what I was looking for and waiting till she finished. Then I looked at her and said “Do you mean like THIS?”

The song was a well known hit song from the 70’s that has been all over radio, commercials, in movies, etc. She was shocked because she never realized what she was doing. And she was FOUR YEARS OLD when that song was a hit. It has just been used all the time since.

The point is that there really is NO SONG THEFT. Ideas, concepts, lines, melodies, all get recycled all the time. It can’t be avoided. You have to hope that you have something SO UNDENIABLE that people will respect what you have done. But you have to realize REALITY.

If you ever go to YOU TUBE and see thousands upon thousands of people using HIT SONGS for their slide shows, to put their own lyrics to, to use in however they want, you will see that it often can be more trouble than it’s worth to stop it. I know of a few hit writers who found their songs used in PORNO movies and they were not happy to find that out, but not a lot they could do about it.

So I’d just worry about writing your best songs and let the chips fall where they may.

MAB

 
     
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Marc-Alan Barnette Joined Jul 29, 2010
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