"Imagination running wild ever since I was a kid
I could tell you crazy stories about things I never did
Spinning tires, breathing fire, dancing on thin ice
You'd have thought I'd done it all and seen most places twice..."
When people enter the world of Nashville, and in fact pretty much all of music these days, particularly if you are trying to “up the level of your odds”, by expanding your chances, they find themselves in a co-writing session. It is not easy, songwriting is a very internal art form, and yet you are trying to exist in a very extroverted world. Many don’t really understand etiquette, or even how to approach it. So here, I’ve tried to list a few things you might think of before the appointment, to make it go a little faster, and easier.
It happens a good deal. An old friend of mine contacted me about helping her with a song written by her husband, who passed away some time ago. It is a "Military" type song, and while I have not heard it yet, I am sure it is a very special song. She wanted me to help her get it "out there" and while I will do what I can, the reality is that it is difficult to get any song "out there" in any fashion, particularly, one that is from a while back.
Last week, I posted five guidelines I share with people I work with about the demo (recording) process. For those of you interested, having children, relatives, friends, taking the plunge along the musical Yellow Brick Road, this might give you some things to think about.
Feel free to post comments or ask questions. I don't know it all, but I DO KNOW PEOPLE WHO DO!
It used to be that every writer would write songs, do rudimentary, work tapes, with an acoustic guitar, or piano, and be able to wander around the vaunted halls of publishing offices, playing either live, or their “tapes” (that’s how long ago that was), and artists, producers, or labels would hear the song, take in the studio, and BINGO, magic happened. HIT SONGS!!! Well, yes and no. In some cases, in the very early days, that happened.
BEING PREPARED FOR NASHVILLE STYLE
WRITERS NIGHTS,OPEN MICS, AND AUDITIONS By MAB
In the current era of music, one of the most common events for performer and writer wanna be’s are OPEN STAGES, OPEN MICS, SONGWRITER’S NIGHTS OR SHOWCASES, as well as the dreaded AUDITION process, for everything from reality shows, contests, and the first and continuous steps of a performing music career. And you get ONE CHANCE TO MAKE A BAD FIRST IMPRESSION. So best to prepare. Just like a sports team getting ready to go out on the field, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT.
So you get invited to a party in the music business, or a conference/workshop, a #1 party or other music industry function and you want to do the right things at these events, but what are they? Research the people that will be at the event in advance – if it is a #1 party, find out who are the writers and research the writers and publishers to learn a little about them in advance Arrive on time for the event – to make the most of the networking.
I’m in my eighteenth year of teaching BMI’s Nashville Songwriters’ Workshop. In those classes I’ve listened to 40 to 50 songs at least 10 times a year. I did some math: I’ve reviewed more than 8,000 songs—and that does not include the songs I critiqued in the master classes, song camps, and workshops I’ve taught throughout the world.
A singer/songwriter from Monroe, North Carolina USA. Born around 1987. The January 2010 winner of the Colgate Country Showdown in Nashville, TN. Influenced by Eva Cassidy, Joss Stone, Janis Joplin, Etta James, Carrie Underwood, Jason Mraz, Bobbi Gentry, and John Legend.
Nashville Ear awards the Best of the Best honor to the songwriter that we feel stood out with exceptional songwriting and performances. Please join us in congratulating this years award winner Chris Gantry.