Music nowadays is very competitive. Some issues such as cutting royalty rates, increasing recording cost and rampant music piracy hurts songwriting income and the entire music publishing business. Before, songwriter used to be just creating songs,will look for publisher and recording label will be asking songs from publisher to record.
Now things are very different, with more and more competition, music industry demands completed products almost right away from a songwriter or unsigned artist. And these completed products needs to be in extreme high quality compared to compete the increasing demos being submitted. The term “demo” does not anymore apply to a rough recording, it needs to be “excellent”.
Based on my experience, below are the proven tips you can become a competitive songwriter:
1. Learn to master a single genre which you are really good at.
A misleading tips is to master the most profitable and high demand genre: THIS IS WRONG! After all you end up competing with billions of songwriters out there such as in pop and rock genre. Of course, when you believe you can be the best POP songwriter then go on. Other genres are not highly in demand but there are only few competitors. Say, jazz…there are only very few jazz songwriters, but if you are extremely good at this then you will really be successful.
2. Let others seriously criticize your song
The best song reviewers are the ones that do not know you. So if you can do this , you can obtain a lot of information about your song which can be used to improve the quality of your catalog.
3. Write lyrics to touch people’s lives
A well written lyrics aim at people can have meanings in them. This will make your song useful and meaningful. As a result, it will make your song remembered and can give you fortune for the rest of your lives.
4. Melody is still extremely important particularly the hook
I love songs with great melodies. Melody is a great factor in writing hit songs. Hook is the most memorable part of the song. To test how good is the hook, is very simple. I follow Beatles writing guide: “If we wrote the melodies of the song, we hum it using a guitar but we are still not recording it in any way. The next day, we will hum it again without even using a guitar, if we are able to remember it…the melody is great and memorable, if not it is a crap and we should not regret forgetting it”.
5. Think of Recording Quality as the Image of Yourself
We will not like having a bad image/appearance in front of people we need to impress, it is the same with recording quality of your songs. A well written and catchy song is not enough, you need to have excellent recording quality. It is like beautiful people will not all become super models unless they have to make their image marketable.
6. Treat music “SERIOUSLY” as a business
Competitive songwriter thinks of his songs as product, the way any entrepreneur or business does. To do this seriously, consider copyrighting all your work in US Copyright office. Then be affiliated with most songwriter associations. Learn music publishing with heart.
7. An IronClad in the midst of Rejections
This is the most useful advice, you will be spending years in rejection and looking opportunities before you could earn a good songwriting income. Trust me, you cannot be successful in this business if you do not have the ironclad in your self. Famous songwriters such as Diane Warren (”I don’t wanna miss a thing” by Aerosmith and “Because you love me” by Celine Dion) spent years in rejection before being successful.
8. Work hard and have a music goal for yourself
A million miles journey must begin with a single step! This is true if you need to become competitive. Make sure you have a plan for your music. Make your plan simple and formulate strategies such as:
5 year Goal: To fully establish a 50 song catalog, and completed all needed documentation such as copyright registration certificates, websites, licenses and audio sample recordings.
Strategies: (How will you able to achieve your Goal):
1st: Write 2 songs per month
2nd: Complete 50 songs in two years.
3rd: Record audio samples for 50 songs in one year
4th: File copyright for your sound recording and songs.
5th: Establish a music publishing and upload all your songs
With these strategies you can be sure that after 5 years, you now have a full functioning catalog with all supporting documentation plus a website you could promote your songs. You are now ready to accept a client!