Jan 08, 2018, 12:36 PM

I know this is a BMI site and MAB is a BMI person but, I figured I’d ask anyway;

For small timers who think the time has come to have a PRO and start working on getting some things copy write-ed, small time public performance, bars, festivals, etc, anyone wanna chime in as to which way to go? Pros, cons?


Larry Gude Joined May 23, 2017
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Jan 08, 2018, 03:04 PM

Larry,  I just left ASCAP after 25 years and am GOING to join BMI, but have not actually done it yet. I have held off because my window came up on ASCAP and you have to wait for a little bit before joining another PRO. I will join BMI but just have not as of yet. Probably will very soon.

The main reason I have not is part of answering your question. Unless you have songs being played in media, radio, television, placements, etc. Neiither of them (or SESAC) can do a lot of things for you. They all offer workshops. They all have representatives you should sit down with.
They offer general advice, and in some cases, will assist you in direction.
You are actually expected to do most of the work for YOU.

They really no longer make publishing appointments or co-writing appointments. Sometimes they can provide some connections in their events and workshops. But it is very hard to get anyone to be able to do many things you cannot do yourself.

Now on things like this site. If you are learning here, you are benefitting from ASCAP. You are getting advice, direction making contacts.
They all have sites that you can check out.

Like everything when it comes to music, the basic problem is SO MANY PEOPLE WANTING THE SAME THINGS.
ASCAP, BMI and SESAC field HUNDREDS OF PHONE CALLS A DAY for appointments, trying to see representatives.
David Preston, the VP of BMI told me once that he got around 135 calls a day. There is just NO PHYSICAL WAY they can see everyone.

So what you need to be doing is finding your own pathway, writing and building relationships with others.

When they can really be a plus, is when you have a lot of things going on and need to make decisions on which might be your best bet. But you should work on building a RELATIONSHIP with representatives FIRST before you sign on the dotted line. Be patient and ask other writers what their experiences are. I can give you NO BAD experiences with any of them. I have been involved with all three. But there is nothing much anyone can do for me at this point that I can’t do myself.
I do get cuts. But most are independent so they are not going to get tons of airplay.
Many of the artists I am working with, do have shots at deals, but at this point it is not something I need to rush to do.

Those are my observations. Find others from other writers and then make a few phone calls, try to get some appointments. But make sure you have some AMAZING stuff. The biggest problem ASCAP, BMI and SESAC have is that most people trying to sign up are not really READY to sign with anyone. Gotta have some great material FIRST.


MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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