People by the thousands submit their music to executives in the music industry year after year, aspiring to take their music to the next level professionally. But if you are an artist or musician who wants to submit your song to a music label, Songwriter Cliff Goldmacher shares some tips in this article that will help give you a better chance of getting your music heard.
So you’ve written a great song, made a fabulous demo and now you’ll live happily ever after, right? Well, kind of… This article is the official “chapter after” you’ve written and recorded your song. There’s no doubt that being a great songwriter and having beautifully recorded versions of your songs is an admirable goal in and of itself. However, if you’re interested in having your songs see the light of day then your work is really just beginning.
Like any business, it’s not only “what” you know but “who” you know that gets you ahead. What this means in the music world is getting yourself out there to open mics, writer’s nights and any industry events you can find. For those of you in music cities like New York, Nashville and Los Angeles there are an almost endless stream of opportunities. For everyone else, you might have to look a little harder or travel from time to time to one of the cities I just mentioned. I think it’s a universal truth that this kind of stuff isn’t always that much fun but especially when you’re starting out, it’s essential.
Did I mention we’re talking about the music business? This means it’s in your best interest to be professional about how you approach people in the industry. When reaching out to someone in the music industry, call or email first. Make this first contact short and to the point. Let your music speak for itself.
Let’s say you’re fortunate enough to reach someone by either phone or email and they’ve agreed to let you mail in a CD or email them an mp3. Here’s what you should expect. Nothing. In other words, it’s extremely rare that you’ll hear anything back quickly after you submit it. (See “thousands of CD’s” above…). As a matter of fact, you should put in your calendar to follow up two or three weeks after you’ve submitted something. This follow up should be even shorter than your initial contact. Email is probably best for this. A simple email saying you wanted to make sure they’d received your submission is enough.
I think it’s important to realize that no one in the industry owes you anything. This may sound harsh but it’s an important point. You may very well have great songs and it would be in the best interest of the industry professional you’re pursuing to listen to them, but there are a lot of great songs out there and only a limited number of opportunities for them. All this to say, if your song isn’t listened to right away or even if it’s lost or ignored, don’t take it personally
Given that there are so many artists, songwriters and songs out there vying for a limited number of spots, it all comes down to patience. Patience with yourself as you improve your musical skills and patience with the industry people you’re soliciting as they make their way through all of the material in line ahead of you. My recommendation is to have as many irons in the fire as you possibly can, at all times, so that you’re not waiting for any one thing to happen or not to happen as is so often the case. The more people you get to know, the more opportunities you explore and the more submissions you make, the less likely you are to get discouraged and the more likely you are to start having success.
Cliff Goldmacher is a songwriter, producer, session musician, engineer, author and owner of recording studios in Nashville, TN and Sonoma, CA. Cliff’s site, http://www.EducatedSongwriter.com, is full of resources for the aspiring songwriter including a brand new HD video series available at the link below. http://www.EducatedSongwriter.com/video-podcast-series Cliff’s company, http://www.NashvilleStudioLive.com, provides songwriters outside of Nashville with virtual access to Nashville’s best session musicians and singers for their songwriting demos. You can download a FREE sample of Cliff’s eBook “The Songwriter’s Guide To Recording Professional Demos” by going to http://www.EducatedSongwriter.com/ebook.