So you want to be a songwriter and your goal is to get your material through to a major publisher and score a hit? Guess what? It won’t be easy because there are legions of aspiring songwriters in this competitive entertainment field. We asked the experts on songwriting and came up with the following tips.
1. Start small.
Submit your work to small, independent production teams or even lone producers who have the time and energy to represent you fully. These guys will fight to get you a sync license (a music synchronization license) that allows your music to be paired with different kinds of media. Your song will end up on a major commercial or video game if everything goes well. Trying to contact a major producer without a portfolio or a little reputation will not work well. After you’ve been in the industry a bit, you’ll get to know resources and people to put together a team or crew who will push your work further along. The type of people you need are an attorney to negotiate the contract law and a manager who will take in a holistic view to make decisions on your behalf. These connections will only help improve your chances of getting heard by the majors.
2. Network with societies.
There are a number of groups or societies comprising songwriters much like screenwriters belong to a guild. Societies main function is to band together to create availability of scarce resources. For example your own society should think of ways to put together conferences, workshops, lessons that attract experienced talent who relate their experiences to neophytes. Usually attracting such people costs money or at least a modicum of publicity to make it worthwhile.
3. Look for ways to make up personal deficiencies.
Songwriters must wear many hats to be successful. Most songs will have a word component (lyrics) and a music component (melody, rhythm, etc). Many songwriters will be weak in one area but strong in another. If you’re able to train away a deficiency, you will stand out more in the crowd. It might help to work together with an experienced veteran. You might have to pay some money or set up an apprenticeship model to get these benefits. This will also work much better if you network as our 2nd tip above suggests.
Of course this means you should cover the basics on how to write a song before embarking on any of the high level honing of your career.
(Photo Credit: Game Online / Creative Commons)