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Boost Your Career With the Top 10 ‘MusicWorld Online’ Features of 2014

Posted in News on December 23, 2014

BMI’s MusicWorld Online is your guide to what’s happening in the industry, with expert advice on career development and the business of songwriting. Every issue has something for everyone, whether it’s an interview with a top songwriter, an update on how we’re advocating for your rights, or a valuable tip that you can use on your recordings, when buying gear or getting your music ready for the marketplace. Here’s a look back at the top 10 most popular MWO articles of 2014. And, if you haven’t already subscribed to MusicWorld Online, do it now! Enjoy!

The Top 5 Demo Pitfalls—and Their Remedies

Back in the days of Tin Pan Alley, songwriters performed their songs live for prospective buyers. In today’s world, songwriters are responsible not only for creating songs, but for producing “demos”—recordings that demonstrate their songs’ potential. Similarly, aspiring recording artists need to produce demos that convey the full potential of their artistry. Read more…

10 Things You Need to Know About Placing Music on TV and in Films

You want every chance to generate income from your music, and while mechanical royalties (for sales of tangible product and digital downloads) have diminished, there are more opportunities than ever to have your music heard on television and in movies. In addition to the financial benefit, for songwriters who are also recording artists, prominent placements in TV shows and films can help expand your fan base, in addition to looking great on a resume. Read more…

I Know I’ve Got A Great Song — Now What?

While there’s no guaranteed formula for songwriting success, there are steps you can take to maximize your chances. The first thing to do—after writing your masterpiece—is to confirm that it’s as strong as you think it is. This will require getting objective professional feedback. (Your mother doesn’t count—unless she’s a music publisher.) Presuming the verdict is that you have indeed nailed a terrific song, pat yourself on the back. Now it’s time for the hard work. Read more…

5 Tips to Turn Good Songs into Hit Songs

I recently hosted one of my monthly BMI Nashville Songwriter Workshops, where each of the 50 attendees had an opportunity to pitch one song to a successful publisher. Typically, at these workshops, with few exceptions, every song played was perfectly crafted. The writers have mastered the use of current song structures; the lyrics made sense and were well written; rhymes were where my ear expected them to be; and the melodies worked well with the chords—avoiding any dissonance. Yet the publisher took copies of only five songs—10 percent of those that were pitched. Read more…

3 Smart Steps to Being Your Own Music Publisher

So often as songwriters we hold the publishing deal out there as some kind of holy grail. I understand the mindset, as so much of our work is solitary and the kind of industry acknowledgement that a publishing deal represents can be a very tempting proposition. In fact, signing with a publisher is a business arrangement, and, as with any business deal, it deserves the kind of heightened scrutiny that songwriters may not be giving it. Read more…

How to Write and Pitch for Different Genres and Music Centers

Great songs are at the heart of every style of music. But the process of writing and demoing those songs—as well as business practices—varies by genre, and is approached differently in various music centers. This article will examine those differences. Read more…

Writing and Placing Songs Internationally

With so many artists and producers writing or co-writing their own material, there seem to be fewer opportunities than ever for writers and music publishers to pitch and place songs. It’s become increasingly important to think outside the box when writing and promoting material—and that includes looking beyond our own borders. Read more…

6 Industry Trends That Can Advance Your Career as a Songwriter

Predicting the future of the music business in the rapidly evolving digital age is tricky. In the past decade, innovations like the iTunes Store and streaming Internet radio have radically changed the playing field. As 2014 continues to unfold, there are several trends that indicate opportunities for songwriters and musicians. Read more…

How to Make Your Songwriting Career Last

It’s been said that it’s not easy to get to the top—but it’s even harder to stay there. The music business is notoriously fickle. Writers who have a hot streak of hits—then disappear from the charts—are more the norm than those who have careers that span a decade or more. Yet somehow, some songwriters (and recording artists) manage to sustain their success—despite changing tastes and styles. Read more…

Band on the Run: Sometimes the Best Studio is the One in Your Pocket

Unlike our tape-threading ancestors who needed big, pricey gear in order to sound good, these days, demo making can be accomplished on an increasingly small budget, using equally miniscule apparatus. In the digital domain, computer-based software programs and peripherals offer the most bang for the buck, however the proliferation of low-cost (or even no-cost) recording apps for both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems make it possible to capture basic sound ideas right on your mobile device, anywhere at any time. Read more…

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