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2017 Best of BMI’s ‘The Weekly’

Posted in The Weekly on December 18, 2017

The numbers are in and here are The Weekly’s Top 10 stories of 2017! From “How to ‘Sell’ Your Songs” to “3 Quick Tips for Making a Rough Recording,” we at BMI wish you a happy holiday and happy reading!

How To “Sell” Your Songs
The question I am most often asked by songwriters is, “How do I sell my songs?” The misconception underlying this question is that recording artists purchase the songs they record. But that is not the way it works. The more appropriate question would be, “How do I get my songs recorded by artists and included in TV shows and movies?” Read more…

“Nobody Writes a Hit Song by Accident”
As a songwriter, Ross Golan is well accustomed to telling stories, as proven by his discography – which includes No. 1 Pop Songs “Same Old Love” from Selena Gomez and “My House” by Flo Rida. Following his days at University of Southern California, where he started a label, formed a band and started landing deals as a solo artist, the Illinois-native explored a number of different musical ventures. But songwriting was really where he found his groove. Justin Bieber, Keith Urban, Jason Derulo and many of the biggest names in music have benefited from his touch. Now, the in-demand Golan is making a name for himself with a different type of storytelling. His new podcast, And the Writer Is…. Read more…

What if Your Songs Are “Better” Than the Ones on the Radio?
“My songs are better than the ones on the radio.” I recall when, as an aspiring songwriter, nothing could have convinced me otherwise. My songs were deep, cathartic expressions of poetic angst that came from my soul, and in my estimation they were far superior to the commercial fluff that so often topped the charts. Read more…

Two Big Mistakes Songwriters Make
In the twenty-five years that I’ve been writing songs and, more recently, since I’ve been teaching, I’ve made and/or seen some common mistakes in both writing and navigating a songwriting career that can be avoided. Here are two of them. Read more…

Poor Man’s Copyright is No Substitute for the Real Thing
My songwriting students often ask about the viability and legality of the “poor man’s copyright.” This refers to mailing a copy of your song and/or lyric to yourself via registered mail, with the belief that if the song’s ownership were ever contested, producing the unopened envelope would be evidence that you had claimed ownership of the work on the date of the postmark. While it sounds like a convincing plan… Read more…

What if the Music You Love to Write Isn’t What’s on the Charts?
I’ve heard it said that the songs and styles of music that make the profoundest impressions—the ones that embed most deeply in our hearts—are the ones we listen to in high school. These tend to be the kinds of songs we are drawn to throughout our lives, and the styles songwriters are moved to write. But musical styles are evolving so quickly in the current climate that even those that climbed the charts last year may not be the sound that’s hitting the charts now. So, what do you do if the kinds of songs you love to write don’t seem to have outlets? Read more…

Can the Industry Hear Through Your Demo?
In the twenty years I’ve been teaching the BMI Nashville Songwriters’ Workshops, I’ve had music publishers screen songs at more than fifty of my events. One of the questions most frequently asked of the publishers is, “Can you hear through a rough demo?” I’ve heard countless responses along the lines of, “No problem. A hit song can shine through.” I have never heard a publisher, a record producer, or a recording artist state, “Sorry, I have no idea whether your song could be a hit because the demo is terrible.” Read more…

3 Tips for Meeting With a Music Publisher
Getting a chance to sit down with a music publisher to play them some of your songs is a genuine opportunity and one not to be taken lightly. While bringing great songs is certainly an important part of the equation to build a relationship, it is by no means the only thing that counts. Publishers are more likely to want to work with people that make it easy for them to do so. To that end, I’ve listed a few things below that you should consider in order to help your cause. Read more…

The Do’s and Don’ts of Following Up on Your Songs
So … you’ve got a song that is an undeniable hit-waiting-to-happen for a particular artist, and you’ve learned that this artist is looking for songs. You’ve sent an MP3 (or a CD or link, if that’s what the recipient prefers) to the artist’s A & R rep, producer, and manager. Or … you’ve just written and demoed the best song of your career, and you’ve sent it to a few publishers. A week goes by—maybe two—with no responses. Now what? Do you send an email? Leave a phone message? Read more…

3 Quick Tips for Making a Rough Recording
As much as we’d like to admit it, not all of our songs are going to be worth spending the kind of money and time that professional recordings require. In order to know whether or not your song is - or can be - worth that investment, song critiques are invaluable. In order to get your song up to a “listenable” level, though, you’ll need to make a good rough recording. And, even though your rough recording won’t be the final, finished product, it’s still important to give your listeners the best representation of your song that you can. To that end, I’ve put together a few quick tips to help you avoid some of the speed bumps that have nothing to do with the quality of your song, but can distract your listener and prevent them from giving you a constructive critique. Read more…

SOURCEThe Weekly TAGS Career Advice