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May 07, 2018, 07:56 AM

But my “Friends LOVE what I do…”

I was contacted recently by someone telling me that, “I have some songs that people around me just LOVE.” They all tell me they “have to be on the radio” and I just HAVE to get them out there…” This is a pretty normal thing a lot of people say. Almost everyone that comes to Nashville have parents, significant others, friends, grandparents, that tell them ” what you do is SO MUCH BETTER than what’s on the radio. You’ve GOT to get them to so…and so…” It is part of the world of songwriting.

Unfortunately, our parents, grandparents, friends and significant others usually DON’T own record labels, publishing companies, or radio stations, so the comments don’t really go much past personally liking what we do. And there is nothing wrong with that. They are genuine. They LOVE our stuff; And in a perfect world, everyone WOULD have their stuff on the radio.
It’s NOT a perfect world.

So what to do?

Well first of all like the person that likes to play sandlot baseball or soft ball, just because you are good in one league or situation, doesn’t mean you are really “ready for prime time.” It means you need to step up your game and get around other people who do this so you’ll have some things to compare what you do to. Make sure you TEST out your material. That can be putting it on web sites, or online, but be aware, those are usually just more of your friends. Getting them around other writers, getting professional feedback, etc. can be invaluable.
And make sure you have full songs. A lot of “LYRIC ONLY” writers have got to have music to make them songs. Until then, they are POETRY. And just about the only people who care about poetry are other poets.

There are ways to do this. Most every town, hamlet, city, province, state, have other writers, performers. Find them in your area. Find some people you can sit down with and show your lyrics or play your songs, either recorded or otherwise.

Then how do you get them to RADIO? Well that gets really tough.
You see, most radio stations are owned by CONGLOMERATES, and the MAJOR LABELS are the only ones that are going to get artists or songs on there. There are very short play lists, they have about 22 minutes of commercials an hour. They are programmed by large companies and are having A LOT OF ADVERTISING DOLLARS spent on them. So in most cases, you are not going to call up your favorite DJ and get the to play your song. They can’t.

There are small stations, college markets, niche markets, and now, POD CASTING. These are Internet based radio stations, that can be accessed, but each one have their own rules and ettacite. Do some research and find out what those are.

Personally, I wish people would spend more time learning the craft, meeting people, doing the social networking things that the professional industry HAS to do. At some point you have to have other people to help you along. And you are going to have to build allies, or you are just someone whose Mother likes them.
But people interested in going that EXTRA mile and getting songs “out there” are going to have to do a lot of work to get where you want to be. And that first step is making sure you have something WORTH getting “OUT THERE,” That’s where most things break down. So spending as much time as possible on the craft and follow through and research, is going to be your friend.

Hey, your friends MIGHT be right. You might have some incredible stuff and really does NEED to be heard by the world. All the more reason to make sure it is great by everyone that hears it. Some of the most amazing songs, amazing performers, incredible music is out there by people most of us will never hear from. One of the sad things about the music industry is that people who deserve it, don’t always end up on top. But if you can take it one step at a time, put the time and effort in, most times you will be heard by more people than you could sitting in your living room. That is all any of us can do.

Good luck,

MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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May 29, 2018, 02:56 AM

I think it´s the same everywhere.
Ya know, I am an Amateur writer. Every 2 or 3 years a befriended author (who writes books) is looking for a song to be included in his books as Single/digital download and in the audio books. I wrote several Songs for him (all connected to the book) ..

My nice loves the books and is always telling me “Uncle Martin, the song is so beautiful, I love it. Can you teach me how to play it on the piano” and so. And then she plays the song to my mother and my mother is telling me: “Wow, send the song to a Producer it will be a Major hit” ...

Looks like, I am the realistic Person. I mean, I am happy that a song is invluded in a book and the book sells pretty good ... and that a child asks me to teach one of my Songs on the piano ...

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

Martin G Joined May 27, 2009
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May 29, 2018, 08:49 AM


There are usually two very distinct reactions from family, friends, significant others, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.:


It is great that everyone loves our stuff. Hopefully we have to impress our close people and our local areas before we can move on to bigger targets. And we need that pat on the back to keep going.
Gotta take it with a GIANT grain of salt.

Even if it is, GREAT song, stellar performance, hits every button, makes people INSANE, still there is NOT REALLY ANYWHERE TO “SEND” anything. It is a great challenge, even among those of us that have been around for a long time and have higher level contacts within the industry. And there are a lot of things “Beyond the song” that has to happen for something to get “out there.”

But now there is the internet and many people (LORD there are a LOT of people) all doing this. Putting their songs on YOU TUBE, FACEBOOK, other social media platforms, getting responses, gaining friends, and getting their songs “OUT THERE.”
I just hope before they put it “out there”, they make sure it’s worth BEING “OUT THERE.”

Far too many are not. Songs that are poorly written, that are not well performed, that are just pale imitations of other songs.

Do an interesting test.
Pick a new song out by some star artist. For the sake of this, will say Adele’, a huge international superstar, that is well known.
Find her latest video on YOU TUBE, and watch it or part of it. Now look to the right of that video. What do you see?

Dozens, tens of dozens, sometimes HUNDREDS of young, middle age, older, men and women, doing THEIR camera phone video of THE EXACT SAME SONG, DONE THE EXACT SAME WAY.
These are all people expecting this to be THEIR BIG BREAK IN THE SUN.


Look, I have nothing against finding a great song and doing a cover of it. I just want it to be an INTERESTING version that is different from the radio version. But doing the EXACT same thing? Nope.

And we hear it in the songs they write themselves and post , not only on Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube, but on sites such as these. I attended a writers night last night here in Nashville, and dozens of younger, middle aged, and older writers all doings songs that are just tired retreads of what is already out there. And this is pretty much everywhere you look.

And people wonder why no one is wanting to PAY for what is coming out.

So enjoy yourself. Write what you feel. But LEARN about what you are doing. Ask people that know more than you for their opinion. And LISTEN to other people’s work. You may ##### up and LEARN SOMETHING.

Thanks for commenting Martin.


MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Aug 18, 2018, 05:44 AM

Over the years I have used many Musicians , some very good ones and sadly

last minute substitutes who were complete IDIOTS

Many Years ago when One Bass Player turned up as a substitute recommended by

A couple of Goons who were running a Club We Played At

This Particular Bass Player could only read

the dots , he could not play by ear, and yet he was a Pro Player hired to back a Four piece

Band who had a Number One Song following the fact that they had Won The Eurovision Song Contest

this was back in the late Seventies or early Eighties

The Same Band turned up to watch him perform with us It was so embarrassing for them and us

We had to change our programme because he had no idea with songs like UPTOWN GIRL by Billy Joel

This song had some clever modulations as you would know

Terrible experience and the management wanted to stop some of the fee   I told them it was you lot

that recommended him, so its out of my hands   Anyhow we got paid

Another guy who turned up as a Drummer Replacement he could play the drums well but in the intervall

he wanted paying before the gig had finished   I said no i haven’t got the cash till the gig is finished

He stormed off never to be seen again,  We were lucky though because the drums belonged to our band

and a guy in the audience finished the gig for us and he was also top class

I must say I have had lots of problems with Drummers more than any other musicians

Still that life as they say

[ Edited: 18 August 2018 05:47 AM by Peter Kristian]
Peter Kristian Joined Jan 11, 2008
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