The Woodshed

Original music. What’s a guy to do?

1

So my new project is coming along nicely. 13 songs into one Album/CD/Media stream whatever they're called these days.

This guy, me, has an aging face,a balding head, and an expanding waistline. I also have about 4 hours of original music some recorded stuff, some not. I am a nobody in the music industry but I believe I have some pretty marketable stuff. I am totally okay with the fact that I will never be a ROCKSTAR. I get it. My thing is I would just love for somebody that is a ROCKSTAR to record one of my songs.

I occasionally write songs with certain artists in mind. Other songs are just unique to my style of writing but I'm sure anyone could make it theirs, if you know what I mean. My question is, how can I get these songs into the right peoples ears? What do I need to do or how much do I need to spend? I have already gone to youtube to all of the songs that CDBaby attached and commented "This song is for sale.Contact me if interested." but that has gotten me nowhere and I doubt that Dave Grohl or anyone like that is streaming original music online just for entertainment value alone, for that matter, let alone to find new songs. As well, If my stuff sucks, I'd rather be told that than just be led along or even told why it sucks. If I understand correctly, there are only two people that write everything being played on Pop radio and a small group of three to four people that write everything that goes on the Country stations. It seems to me like the world is missing out on some great music, with that narrow minded way of thinking. JMO, right? I know a guy who pays good money to go to songwriting school in Nashville but seems to know he'll never get to sell a song for those reasons. I listen to his songs and think, man that's way better than chew tobacco, chew tobacco, chew tobacco, spit.

Any suggestions for a struggling Rockstar/songwriter? Seriously, I can't be the only one. I know I'm not.

2

Yes I feel you! I'm also in the mixing stage for songs I've written and now recorded over the years. I don't know how to navigate it but I'm going to try to see how to get songs placed in trailers, TV, movies and wherever I can. If an established artist wants to sing one of my songs I would love that too! If I learn anything once I'm at this stage I'll share it. Please do the same!

3

Some years back I took a production seminar from Nile Rodgers. One of the most valuable things he explained was that well-known artists are pretty much forbidden from even listening to unsolicited song demos, because of the potential for copyright claims later. He said the best way to get a demo into the hands of an artist whom you feel might appreciate the song is to send it to the artist's attorney. It can take some digging to find out who that is, but it certainly can be done. Often times CD's will include contact information for the management group or legal representative, but if not, the interwebs can be very helpful.

4

Absolutely, Buddy! Thanks, Parabar. That's helpful.

5

Have you tried Bandcamp or Reverb to market your tunes? Even posting your links on Facebook might get you some hits. Do you have a website/domain name for people to check out? You also may look into cost on pressing a hundred to several hundred CD's and trying to market them at your local or area music and music equipment stores. I have a couple of friends that do Bandcamp and it generates a small revenue stream for them. I think small is the key word, unfortunately. Good luck!

6

You won't get anywhere without an entertainment lawyer.

All those sights that promise they'll get you places are selling the same service to thousands, or even millions of patrons. Don't believe that hype.

Look for someone who believes in your material, that thinks they can do something with it. They're tough, if not impossible to find, but you can find them, and they can get your songs in front of the right people.

7

Have you tried Bandcamp or Reverb to market your tunes? Even posting your links on Facebook might get you some hits. Do you have a website/domain name for people to check out? You also may look into cost on pressing a hundred to several hundred CD's and trying to market them at your local or area music and music equipment stores. I have a couple of friends that do Bandcamp and it generates a small revenue stream for them. I think small is the key word, unfortunately. Good luck!

– BigJImSlade

I haven't tried bandcamp or reverb but I had a website dedicated and paid a yearly hosting fee for years with no results and very few hits. I even had a banner that was behind us when we would play with our URL posted. I even attached search keys like "original music" "original music for sale" music for sale" etc and when I would do a search on google, we never popped up. We now only have a facebook page which does nothing as well. Our first CD was pressed into 100 copies and we gave half of them away. I'm sure it helps to give them to the right people though. Not that fans are the wrong people but I think you know where I'm going. I'd have to press 2-300 copies to have them in local stores and then do the marketing and management myself, which wouldn't be terrible but I'm not sure how profitable it would be since people in our area don't appreciate original music. I can barely get a gig. (I know, stop whining Dave) All great advice. Thanks.

8

I'm starting to think you're right, CB. Your stuff is pretty marketable. Have you tried to do anything with those songs?

9

Certainly as Crowbone says without the right people, representation, contacts, and large financial backing you'd really have to just get lucky-catch a major break, etc. Kinda like winning the lottery. Since I have a real job my music is more hobbyist. I'm not gonna make any money doing it. I try and make quality stuff and have it as professionally produced as possible. But, it's music I like and wanna make - from indy to rock to alternative to surf....It is just about the only thing I will leave behind when I pass the Pearly Gates - for better or worse.

10

Well there's that. Just thought it would be nice to share with the world and make a buck in return. I let you know when I'm famous.

11

Shoot, I'll buy your LP if you sign it!!!!!! Then, I'm off to eBay to make a real killing!!!!!

12

As an aside, I have a bunch of friends that use Bandcamp and other sites and when they have something ready I buy it, 'cause I like 'em and sometimes even their music. So, it gives them something to take the Missus out with, at least.

13

I'm starting to think you're right, CB. Your stuff is pretty marketable. Have you tried to do anything with those songs?

– Suprdave

I've had some people in the past have faith in my songs. It's a great feeling.

Most of them have passed away.

Now I just make music because I'm compelled to do so. I, like you, know I'm an old guy, don't want to have to tour to make a living, but love to write, love to play, and if someone picks up one of my tunes, awesome.

I've had a couple people record my tunes. It's a special feeling, for sure, meaning they do something you wouldn't have, making it their own.

Good luck with it.

14

Easy. Commit a crime and get arrested (on video) while singing your song. Oh, and the less clothes you wear the higher the YouTube traffic. You'll have a record one way or the other.

15

And this is why I love you, Bob! Great ideas!

16

See?

Make Bob your manager!

17

Land your helicopter in Johnny Cash's yard and hand him a cassette.

Obviously, I have no answer for you, Dave, but I do wish you luck.

18

Easy. Commit a crime and get arrested (on video) while singing your song. Oh, and the less clothes you wear the higher the YouTube traffic. You'll have a record one way or the other.

– NJBob

Dave, NJ makes a good point.

I can see you doing a "Dave's" version of Mellencamp's "Dance Naked" with your Falcon.

Then break into some of your originals.

Best of luck....as they haul the latest new star off.

19

Oh hell! Nobody wants to see me naked anymore.

You guys kill me. Keep em coming.

See you on the National news.

20

Oh hell! Nobody wants to see me naked anymore.

You guys kill me. Keep em coming.

See you on the National news.

– Suprdave

Wear the "sock" Dave. Folks will scream for more! Lol

22

Oh JD...

– Suprdave

Dave, I've only met you at a Roundup, but I can tell that you're a " free spirit" with drive and talent.

24

Isn't the traditional way for a songwriter to join ASCAP? That's what they taught us in music school in Nashville at least. Groups like ASCAP and BMI exist to get songwriters' songs in the hands of artists and producers.

25

I did join the Canadian version (SOCAN) and have several originals registered, but how many song-buyers actually troll those places just looking for the right tune??

On the other hand, I was personally invited (once) to send something to a well-known artist who it turned out was just being polite. I'd had a reasonably decent conversation about my music with him and it ended with a set of instructions to make sure it got "right to me and not just one of my guys"

I followed instructions to the letter and several months later I rec'd a letter from his "management team" saying he can't listen to unsolicited material. (sigh)

So in the end, I too am struggling with a slowly-evolving catalogue and nowhere to show it.


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