a composer but not a singer

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Oct 16, 2017, 12:00 PM

Hello guys I am about to finish 3 demo songs I recorded in a studio I hired the vocalist and drummer and violinist , after the music producer mix and master the songs , How can I make my songs heard as I am not a singer and I don’t have a band to go to do gigs…etc, what do you suggest ??

 
     
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Navil Joined Oct 15, 2017
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Oct 16, 2017, 03:16 PM

Well, you can put them on SoundCloud, of course. That makes them available for anyone to hear. It doesn’t mean that people will look for them or find them though. It’s also become easier to get songs on Spotify, etc. than it once was.

What do you want to achieve from having the songs heard? Satisfaction, fun, money, be “discovered,” sell your songs?

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Oct 16, 2017, 06:31 PM
Gavin Sinclair - 16 October 2017 03:16 PM

Well, you can put them on SoundCloud, of course. That makes them available for anyone to hear. It doesn’t mean that people will look for them or find them though. It’s also become easier to get songs on Spotify, etc. than it once was.

What do you want to achieve from having the songs heard? Satisfaction, fun, money, be “discovered,” sell your songs?

Well I am doing it for fun and I am spending lots of money in recording and hiring vocalist and drummer so I would like making some money from it to keep me going and doing my music.

 
     
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Navil Joined Oct 15, 2017
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Oct 17, 2017, 06:05 PM

Navil,

The first thing I would probably de-emphasize is making money. It is very difficult in the era of “free music” where a majority of the billions of songs out there, sometimes even major songs, make very little money. It is very difficult to get songs heard much less get them recorded, and then it often is for “exposure,” so you need to be careful about what you spend.

An idea would be to check out people in your area. Musicians, bands, duos, etc. and try to recruit them to work WITH you on your songs. If you are writing with artists, that is going to be a step down the line of getting songs “out there”, since most artists now will not record songs outside of what they themselves write. So pairing up early and often with artists themselves, is a good first step. There are many songwriter’s groups, and artists on the Internet, and probably ones in areas around you.

Hiring demo singers, is a good thing if you are pitching songs and you do need to have someone to help you get your songs into a working order. They are your calling card. But you have to “up the level of your odds,” and one of the ways you do that is by working WITH the artists themselves.

I’d take steps toward that in the first place.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Oct 17, 2017, 07:00 PM

The singer I am hiring is already in a band , what if the songs very catchy ballads and powerful

 
     
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Navil Joined Oct 15, 2017
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Oct 17, 2017, 07:24 PM

Navil,

It could happen and has before. But I wouldn’t count on it. “Hiring” a demo singer, is usually just that. You hire a singer or musicians to do that particular or other songs you hire them for. Most of the time they look at it as a job, and then are on to other things. In order to get a larger part of this picture, you have to go back about 20 years.

When the Internet started coming on, in the late 90’s, the value of songs themselves started coming down. This was due to the fact that first with illegal downloading, and later file sharing and now streaming, songwriters were paid less per unit because people no longer PAID for songs. They would stream or share them for free, and everyone from writers, to publishers, to PRO’s to record labels, all had to shift in the way they did music.

Publishers, who no longer would get publishing revenue, shifted to “ARTIST development” and would sign writers with shots at record deals,thereby being a part of the overall artists’ package. They would develop them, and present them to record labels. At the same time, hit and established writers would start their own PUBLISHING companies, thereby getting into the game as the development of an artist. This would shut out all outside people from presenting material. They would have to develop their own artists.
Artists themselves could write, record, promote their own songs, put them online, and go directly to their fan bases, without record labels. They would promote themselves and if they reached a certain level, record labels would come in and build upon what they had already done.

And as artists got younger and younger (now artists start at 13, 14, 15 years old) and there are around 30-60 million of them on the Internet, with one billion songs a month on the Net, they have become less and less to consider doing songs by anyone except themselves or their tight network of friends, co-writers, sponsors, managers, publishers, etc. that they come into contact with. Hence. the reason for us to start finding and developing artists on our own.

Now, the basic framework is that new artists come in, are “discovered” by established and hit writers and publishers, are developed long before anyone else has a chance to even pitch songs to them. So by the time they are “out there”, they are untouchable by the outside. The “inside” people, who are investing, time money, reputation, business contacts, political machines” have the artists locked down before the general public even know they are there.

So this leaves all of us who are currently attempting to get material “out there” to find our own “artists of tomorrow” today. So in a way to answer your original question,
” How can I make my songs heard as I am not a singer and I don’t have a band to go to do gigs…etc, what do you suggest ?”
That would be my first step in the process.

But artists are EVERYWHERE. You can find some here, and many all over the Net. but there is nothing like going out to someone in your area, sit down with them, have conversations with them, and develop the most important thing of all in this, RELATIONSHIPS.

And if you start writing with these people and write about THEM and their situations, you are going to be cutting through a lot of other levels, going with THEIR emotions, THEIR experiences, THEIR JOURNEYS. Having songs about them really hits closer to the mark instead of bringing in songs that SORT of sound like them. Proprietary interest.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Oct 18, 2017, 08:05 AM

Hi,

I apologize for my Alien-English :). From my personal perspective I would not spend ANY money for Demos, as long as the direction you are heading for is unclear and uncertain.

Songs need to be devoloped. A good way of developing them is performing them live in front of an audience. Well, it can be in a concert, it can be as an opener for another act, it can be done as a street musician. Best is, to be or become a part of a band.

Well, I for example make rough demos of my songs. It´s because sometimes I like to “listen” to this stuff that is spinning around in my head. Therefore my voice is enough. If I need someone else to sing/to play an Instrument I ask friends to help out. Sometimes I can manage to find someone on the Internet as well. So, no money to spend and the results are ok. IF the song is good and an Artist is interessted he/or she will have to rerecord it anyway. Then the song needs to be rearranged/put into another key ... so what good would a professional demo do? :( A demo is kind of “scratch” to test the arrangend, the melody, the instruments ... and so on.

Even well known songwriters are doin scratch-demos first. So it´s easier to showcast the bands/artists/vocalist what´s your plan, what you want and so. Does that make sence?

I only spend money on recordings/not on a “demo”. And only if the songs are released (until now, only a Hand full of my songs made it to be released officially… )

...every once in a while, I get in the mood or so…and start to play..

http://www.songcycle.org

 
     
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Martin G Joined May 27, 2009
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Oct 18, 2017, 08:50 AM

Martin,

You are correct on most of that. However, one thing here is that Navil is NOT a singer. So he has to find someone to sing his songs for him. And for most, the process of getting a polished demo, is the “calling card” that most writers use to get artists attracted to them in the first place. It is still something that most people have to do at a certain point, to get their songs at least considered. In most cases, if songs do get cut, it is usually reproducing the original demo, and since songs have to go through so many steps to be heard, through managers, publishers, assistants, A&R people, often BEFORE they even get to artists, they have to be polished to even get a fair listening.

So in ways, he is doing what he has to to get the ball started. My suggestions come from a more “new reality” of the music industry in that there has to be a certain element of “Proprietary ownership” in a song for it to rise to the top against the competition. And here is the real rub of all that.

Music is VERY SUBJECTIVE. WE all have written songs that we thought were incredible yet just fell flat with other people, audiences, industry contacts. Those songs that “COULD NOT MISS” do. And the ones we threw together in just a few minutes, resonate with people and take on a life of their own with the public. I can name you many. many hit songs that the writers thought were “just throw aways.”
Interestingly enough, at this very moment, I am watching a documentary on the American rock band “THE DOOBIE BROTHERS”, one of my favorite bands. One of their strongest hits was a song called “BLACK WATER” which came out in 1977 and was an instant classic, actually being played today in millions of areas. I even performed it two nights ago.
There are interviews with the band and all of them thought it was simply a throw away song, that was not even intended for that band. The writer, Patrick Simmons, intended it for a solo acoustic project. But they recorded and released it and it became their first number one and a worldwide sensation.

So you just don’t know. Getting the full “recording” is now essential at some point.  I don’t like to use the word “DEMO” either, as now they are not demonstrations, and more of the full representation of the artist and writer, ending up on web sites, CD’“s Downloads, YOU TUBE, REVERBNATION, PANDORA, SPOTIFY, etc. So now, EVERYTHING is a recording, not just a demo.

What Navil is doing makes sense, from a certain perspective. But there is another side to it. And that is what I am talking about.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Oct 18, 2017, 09:25 AM

Martin,

My comments on this subject are something I have to deal with on a pretty continuous basis because a lot of the writers I deal with in my teaching and mentoring business are composers, lyricists and non performers. Or, in many cases, “Older” artists/writers. In this day and age, anyone over the age of 30 is considered “ANCIENT” in the eyes of the mainstream record business. Doesn’t mean they can not have long and rewarding careers, they actually can, but getting record or publishing deals decrease, the further people get from it age wise. At least in the eyes of a youth obsessed industry. That is the reason we have to seek out our own artists and develop them ourselves to stay vibrant.

I had a similar situation just last week. I work with three gentlemen from Sarycuse, New York, who come to Nashville once a year, perform around town, do co-writes, and spend one day working with me. They have been coming down for 6 years and each year we write several songs in one day, I critique things they are doing, and send them back home with some goals to work on. They are a very good vocal trio, and have many very good songs (I wrote a lot of those with them) and are known in the area. People are glad to see them come back.

For the past three years I have stressed the need for them to find artists in their own area. They have some pretty attractive things for an artist. They are part owners in a recording studio, one owns a strip mall with a bar in it that they can perform in, and all three guys are good writers and performers, so younger people could benefit from their experience. And since they all work pretty established jobs, they don’t have to have money from a younger person.

But they have problems actually writing with younger people because they have a little bit of difficulty dealing with the often immature attitudes of younger people. As we all do. They’ve tried it with a few, but have not found anyone that works yet. So I was determined that last weeks trip I would try to give them some tips on how to do it.

Last week we were all performing on a show in town and also on that show, on the open mic (the open call at the end of the main show) was a mid 20’s girl from THEIR HOME TOWN. She actually plays all over including cruise ships and is very talented. They ended up meeting her, sharing information, and then invited her into one of our writing sessions, that we did later in the week.

With that session, all four of them came over, and we proceeded to write a song that none of them probably would have gone to because it was not exactly in any of their “wheelhouse”, but was very much in mine. So it gave them all a different song, and in the process I showed them how to bring out some elements of working with artists they hadn’t done before. Now they are all talking and are planning a couple of shows when they get back to New York, as well as getting her in the studio for some new recordings, which she needed for a new EP.

That is what I am trying to instruct to everyone here. That while yes, we all need to write songs for our own journey and mental health. It is what we do. And many will still write, get demos, pitch songs. That will never stop. But in my opinion and experience, we now have to add the addtional feature of RECRUITING our own artists and write songs AROUND them that will take us all to the next steps.

Having an actual song out there being performed, going on web sites, reaching actual people, beats another song sitting on a computer or in a library.
That’s my point.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Oct 19, 2017, 04:48 AM

@MAB: Yeah, you are right as usual. It always the best to simply try to do a share of networking in the communitiy BUT also to ask for advice. Just like the three gentlemen, you mentioned above, are doin. Your guidance must be very helpful for them.

But I think too many people are spending too much money on songs. I understand that it´s important to have a high quality radio ready production of songs - I know that some A&R Managers are still looking for songs for their artists. The artist does not want to use his or her´s Imagination, they are eager to hear something close to the final product. Still I think, that even IF you have a high quality product, chances of beeing “signed” are LOW. Without knowing anyone it is almost impossible.

A former co-worker of mine managed to pitch some songs to artists. He is a profiled Bass player. I think he is playing in 4 or 5 bands and works in the Studio as a session bass player. Most of the times he is booked by artists who are in need of a pro bass player. And you know it better then I do, budget for an album is pretty low. Specially in Austria.

An artists is awarded with a “golden record” for 7.500 sold units. So there´s not much to earn with a record :). So, in his early years, he hardly earned any money, simply because the artists/Producers did not had the budget to pay the studio musicians. So most of times my former co-worker offered to work on the album/as studio musician for free. Therefore the artists included one of his original songs on their album. 

During that time, 5 of his songs were relased as Single, 2 of them went gold, 1 went platinum. For him it was a perfect start with a proven track record. Nowadays he is a full time Songwriter/Session Musician/Producer/Performer…

...every once in a while, I get in the mood or so…and start to play..

http://www.songcycle.org

 
     
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Martin G Joined May 27, 2009
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Oct 19, 2017, 09:20 AM

Martin,

You are correct that people spend too much money on demos. They often demo songs that are not ready or are not there in the first place. A vast majority of songs I am asked to critique, simply sound like other songs and artists. I actually had one this week. A very nice guy, from the Midwest, he had several songs in the “Dave Mathews/John Mayer rock genre. Even while listening to his songs and reading the lyrics, I couldn’t help think how much he sounds like almost everyone else out there in that particular genre. Same guitar chords, same medlodys, same rhythmic patterns, on pretty much every song. But that is his influences and works for where he is. He is going to have to work here to stand out or will probably end up staying where he is, decent part time career doing music around his home area.

But even with people like that, they don’t entertain the idea of performing anyone else’s songs. That is what makes the “pitches” aspect so hard.

Just like the Beatles changed the definition of rock and pop writers in the 60’s, the vast majority of artists that have come since, simply don’t have a concept of outside songs. Just not in their definition of music.

But pitches will continue, at least for now. And people need to have quality recording on songs. My process goes something like this:

Having a well written, (in the pocket) song is the key. Then a stand out recording helps the odds.

BUT. If you also have an ARTIST who is singing that song, putting it on their web sites, you also have ACTIVITY on the song. You still can PITCH it, actually you multiply the opportunities, because the artist is advertising that song as well as anything that you do. So it doesn’t limit the pitch opportunities, it actually INCREASES THEM. Several songs I’ve had recorded have come through either myself or other artists I’ve written with, performing them, having them on CD’s. etc.

So we have to do everything until we can get someone else to “take over the job.” That includes getting quality recordings. And if you are going to spend money on recording a song ANYWAY, it seems to make sense to have an ARTIST involved with that going in.

Upping the level of your odds. That’s what I am talking about.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Oct 19, 2017, 03:41 PM
Navil - 16 October 2017 12:00 PM

Hello guys I am about to finish 3 demo songs I recorded in a studio I hired the vocalist and drummer and violinist , after the music producer mix and master the songs , How can I make my songs heard as I am not a singer and I don’t have a band to go to do gigs…etc, what do you suggest ??

Hey Navil

I think if you want to get your songs heard and also if i may say so reviewed (thats very important) then you need to post them on songwriter forums using music sites like soundcloud, reverbnation YouTube or others, that way then you can join in with a community of lyric writers song writers musicians and maybe even get involve in collaboration with others, its all part of getting yourself known as a song and lyric writer and also, it can be a very enjoyable journey.

 
     
Patrick F Joined Mar 03, 2013
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Oct 20, 2017, 03:07 AM

Hello,

but still - music business is a relationship business.
There are hardly any Elvis, Frank´s or other people to find, who are just “singing”. An Artist needs to be authentic. Right now it´s “standard” that most of the artists write or co-write their own songs. Many others are doin Cover Versions. Just look at the song “Despacito”. Singer Luis Fonsi wrote the song together with his girlfriend. He released it. Until today it was covered for about 100 times and was a chart-success for several singers. And that´s how it goes. There are several Versions of several songs, released at the same time, goin to the charts.

1) Artists write their own songs. If they need a co-writer they pick someone who already has/or had a hit or simply take a friend
2) Artists picks a Person to produce the Album. Most of the times the Producer co-writes the songs and/or friends of his are writing/co-writing songs…
3) Artists (only singers) do cover songs of songs, that are already in the charts and have good success with it
4) Artists do cover Versions of traditional songs
5) Band memebers of the Artist are offering songs or do some co-writing


So - how big are the chances… IF you write a song, polish it, make a high Quality recording - how big are the chances that ANYONE is goin to listen to it. ...

...every once in a while, I get in the mood or so…and start to play..

http://www.songcycle.org

 
     
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Martin G Joined May 27, 2009
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Jan 23, 2018, 05:18 AM

If you are posting on YOU TUBE make sure the song is worth listening to

There are too many songs on YOU TUBE that are quite frankly awful

And people will avoid you like The Plague if your songs are un singable


If you cant sing or play an instrument your chances of success are ridiculously

low,  The worse thing you can do is write a great song and use a singer who

cant put the song across in a professional manner

I can tell if a song is worth listening to after the fist 8 bars and sometimes even

less that that

How do you know if the song is worth spending money on ?  Sleep on it ,  When you

say you are not a singer , is that because your voice does not sound commercial or

the fact that you cant even sing a scale or mode ???  because if the latter is the case

you need to collaborate with someone who can do what you cant and do it well  


Why dont you direct us to something you have recorded and then we should have

a better picture of your capabilities

 
     
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Peter Kristian Joined Jan 11, 2008
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Jan 23, 2018, 07:06 AM

Your contract with the performers in your recordings may prohibit commercial use. Be sure you have written contractual permission to use what they sell you in the ways you intend to use it. Do they want their names credited? Or would they prefer anonymity? You can’t assume the answers to these questions. You need it in writing or they could come back later with a cease and desist order that brings whatever you’ve got going to a screeching halt.

There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? http://www.garyeandrews.com

 
     
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Gary E. Andrews Joined Apr 12, 2005
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Jan 23, 2018, 08:15 AM

My perspective is different from that of many (or most) writers.  Having composed and self-recorded in excess of a hundred songs, I can’t think of a single instance in which I actually worked at creating one.  They just came to me, so I don’t have as much personal effort invested in them.

I’ve received quite a few unsolicited compliments for my lyrics from pros and amateurs alike, but no amount of promotion on my part has sparked any interest that might generate income.  Early in my seven-year span of songwriting, I was told that I was very good at it, and so I believed for a while that some success was possible.  I had three demos produced in Nashville.  While it was amazing to hear what professional musicians and a better arrangement could do with my material, the reaction to them was no better than what my own home-baked recordings generated.

Every once in a while, someone contacts me to say he really likes my stuff and would like to perform some of it.  I always encourage people to do so.  We briefly go through the motions, and then the person just drops out of sight.  It’s a strange pattern of events, but I’ve become accustomed to it.

My attitude now is that it’s sufficient if my music is heard and, hopefully, enjoyed.  I have my SoundCloud page and my online radio station.  And I no longer harbor any illusions that what I have done will bring me anything more than the satisfaction that comes with having been the conduit for some songs that I’m proud of.

[ Edited: 23 January 2018 08:20 AM by KenDixon]
 
     
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KenDixon Joined Feb 25, 2008
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