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Get Ready for the New Year With the Best of ‘MusicWorld’ 2017

Posted in MusicWorld on December 27, 2017

If you’re getting ready to turn up the volume on your music career in the New Year, now’s the time to take another look at BMI’s best advice featured in MusicWorld during 2017. Here are the Top 10 stories. Cheers!

6 Top Recording Mistakes (and How to Avoid Making Them)
Over the years whenever one of my favorite iconic recordings would come on the radio, invariably I’d wonder, “Why can’t my stuff sound as good as this?” Aside from the obvious pro-studio advantages, those responsible for capturing these exquisite tracks not only knew what to do in the studio, they also knew what not to do—which, from my standpoint, is at least as important. Read more…

Staff-Writing: What it Really Means and How to Get a Deal
For many songwriters signing a staff-writing deal is the ultimate prize— the ticket to getting paid to write songs, quitting the day job, gaining the credibility to write with other signed writers, and having a staff of publishers who have a vested interest in your success pitch your songs and plug you in to co-write with successful writers and recording artists. But for a surprising number of my songwriting students what staff-writing really entails—and how to get one of these deals—remains a mystery. Read more…

5 Tips for Songwriting Success in the New Year
Turning the page on a new year is exciting! We get 365 new opportunities to accomplish goals and live our dreams. But success is rarely realized by dreaming unless it is accompanied by action. So … here are some tips to help you attain all that you hope for in the coming year. Read more…

The How and Why of Building Bridges in Your Songs
At a songwriting conference I attended, GRAMMY winning singer/songwriter Colbie Caillat shared some comments that her father, record producer and engineer Ken Caillat (Fleetwood Mac, Frank Sinatra, the Beach Boys) had made regarding bridges in songs. He had stated that bridges are crucial elements because they are typically the final new component introduced in a song. They are the last chance to convince a listener that they are hearing something exceptional—the last chance to take a song to the next level and seal the deal. Read more…

Tips for Recording in a Small Space
Back in the day when tracks were few, you needed a big room with live players to get a good sound—hence the number of studios fashioned from abandoned churches, old factories and the like. The advent of big multitracking eventually took the room out of the equation, though, and today most of us can get by with little more than a laptop and a closet. Read more…

The Ups and Downs of Songs “On Hold”
A Nashville music publisher posted on Facebook that a song she represents had been placed “on hold.” The responses and questions that followed pointed out how much misinformation and confusion there is about what having a song on hold means–and what it does not mean. Read more…

When Clever is Too Clever in Songwriting
Before addressing what might constitute being “too clever” in lyrics, I’ll begin by defining what I mean by “clever” lyrics. For the purposes of this article I’m referring to songs with lyrics that are witty, tongue-in-cheek, humorous, or amusing. These are in contrast to those that fall into the category of comedy and novelty songs. The delineation between “clever” and “novelty” or “comedy” is subjective and is sometimes a subtle distinction. While comedy songs make listeners laugh, clever songs make them smile. Read more…

The Inside Track to Writing Songs With Artists
I can’t count how many times I’ve heard songwriters complain that they can’t get a song recorded unless they write it with the artist. It’s true that you would be hard-pressed to find more than a handful of current pop, R&B, hip-hop, rock, Americana, or alternative recording artists who rely solely on outside material–songs they and their producers did not write or co-write. Indeed, many singers and bands never record songs they did not write. Read more…

Reality Check: Looking at Your Songs Objectively
In the early years of my songwriting journey there was nothing anyone could have said to convince me that my songs were anything less than GRAMMY-worthy. I was certain that each new song I demoed would be the one that would change my life. That belief in my songs often kept me working past midnight typing cover letters and sending out copies to anyone I’d ever met who was even remotely connected to the music business. Believing that it was just a matter of time until my songs would top the charts kept me plugging away despite the countless disappointments and rejections. But the reality is that back then my songs were mediocre at best. Read more…

Does Your Song Need a New Demo?
I have hundreds of songs sitting on shelves collecting dust—instead of royalties. Many of them were written decades ago and they were in sync, lyrically and melodically, to the eras in which they were composed. But as Larry Beaird, top session guitarist and owner of Beaird Music Group, stated, “Times change and so does music. Read more…

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