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Article: Just Add Water

S.T.E.P.S!

Simple Techniques Equipping Personal Success!

“Just Add Water!”
(Will an artist add music to my poem or lyric?)

 Written by: Sheree’ Spoltore’

President, Global Songwriters Connection

Creating a successful career in the music industry is a process, not an overnight event.  GSC is committed to helping you make progress in your process of creating and developing a successful music industry career where YOU CAN earn a living doing what you love!  You don’t have to be the most talented or the best!  You just have to be consistent, disciplined and apply to your gifts and talents the skills that you give to your employers every day to create income for them!

STEPS articles are FREE and show you how at GSC we provide information, direction and motivation that is real and will help you get started no matter where you live in the world.  At GSC we are all about keeping it SIMPLE, DOABLE and UNDERSTANDABLE.

Just Add Water!

Below are some very common statements from beginning writers.  See if you can identify yourself in this list:

  1. I have written some great poems and I know if an artist would read them and add music or tweak the poem they could turn it into a song!
  2. I have written a poem and submitted it to a music company who says it is great and wants to add music to it and make it a song!
  3. I have written some great lyric and all the artist has to do is add the music!
  4. I have written a great melody and all the artist has to do is add the words!

 

Companies who make millions off of putting music to poems love these types of comments! Sometimes, when we are beginning as a writer, we often see the music industry as a “just add water” recipe.  If this company would just add music to my lyric, I would have a hit song. If so and so artist would just add the words to my music, I would have a hit song.  It sounds like the easiest way to potential riches.

The truth is, if it were that easy; everyone would have songs on the radio!  Another truth about this is scenario is that many companies make millions of dollars putting music to poems that will never be on the radio. There is nothing wrong with these types of services and they do offer a real service IF the person submitting the song understands the value of what they are paying for and the value of the end product.

On RARE occasions, I will even recommend a company of this type to members.  Here are a few samples of situations in which I would recommend to hire a company to put music to your poem or music to your lyrics.

  1. Perhaps you have written a poem for your mom for mother’s day or your dad for father’s day and you would love to present it as a gift and a keepsake with music in the background.
  2. It is someone’s birthday and you have written a special lyric or poem and you want music in the background to create a personalized gift.
  3. You are a poet and you would like a collection of your poems to have music in the background to leave as a legacy for your children or grandchildren.

There are real reasons to hire a company of this nature and for purposes similar to the ones listed above; the creative piece is intended for the sharing with family and friends and not for promotion to publishers, artists, and/or radio.

The truth is that if your goal is to try to promote these types of “songs” to an artist to sing or a publisher that a publisher will not accept a song “co-written” by a company.  A co-written song is with an individual and not a company. To get songs recorded you have to have legal documentation of ownership and releases.  This process becomes too challenging when dealing with a company rather than an individual and therefore, this is one reason publishers avoid this type of “song.”  Another reason is that the melody is usually what is referred to as a “stock” melody and hundreds of lyrics may have been laid on top of the same melody and frequently the melody is not uniquely inspiring.

Suggested tip: You could probably hire a starving local musician for these types of creative jobs and save yourself some money! I am all about keeping talented musicians in work!  And it is fun to be a part of the process of your work being put to music.

At GSC we always want to be very truthful and very real with you.  Poems are not songs but those who write poems often and frequently become really good songwriters!  The truth is that songwriting is an art, a craft that can take years of study, practice and work to become a master writer.

Many hit songwriters started off JUST LIKE YOU!  Many of them were writing poems, and all of them have written 100’s of songs that never made the radio because they were songs they had to write to develop their songwriting skills and become a professional songwriter.

If you write only the words to a song, those words are called Lyrics and you are called a Lyricist.  There are too many successful lyricists to even start naming them but just know that lyricist win Grammy Awards and recognition every day for the way they craft a lyric.

A SONG has two parts; the words and the lyrics.  A lyricist will need a cowriter to help them put music to their song which means that the lyricist will own 50% of the song and the melody writer will own 50% of the song. To find co-writers, talk to singers, musicians and music teachers at your church, local music store, high school or college and read my article on co-writing that includes tips on how to have a great co-writing session.

When you find a musician who is interested, show him several different lyrics you have written, and see if he can find one he thinks he’d like to put a melody to. Once you have both come up with an end product of a song that you are both excited about you can then hire a local singer to sing the song or perhaps your musician is a singer.

Often local singers who are just getting started like you might be willing to sing your song free of charge for the experience of being in a studio. Be sure the two of you have a clear idea of how you want the singer to sing the song, so you can be efficient with your time once you start to record it.

Most musicians have programs in their computer so they can make a good “demo” of the song. Demo is short for the word demonstration.  You are creating a recording that demonstrates how the song might sound on the radio.

You don’t have to go to an expensive studio for this first step in the demo process. If you work with a singer as your co-writer, show them your songs, and see if they come up with a melody you think works. Then the two of you can hire a guitar player or keyboard player to help you make the demo.

Many recording artists co-write, but that is not the same thing as “putting music” to words sent to them by someone they don’t know. Artists and  publishers are interested in seeing a complete song  only.  So I would never recommend paying someone to “pitch lyrics to artists and publishers” or present just a lyric to a publisher.

GSC has an amazing list of recommended books on songwriting and the music business. Learning the craft and business of songwriting takes a little while, but, like reading recipes and learning to cook, mix the right ingredients and you have a special song.

I share YOUR passion for reaching people and making a difference!  I want to make a difference for YOU.  When people in your local area, surrounding towns and regional demographics think of MUSIC, I want them to think of YOU!  Email me at sheree@globalsongwriters.com .  I would love to hear how these STEPS are working for you!  YOU CAN do this!  Go SING YOUR HEART OUT!

 Sheree’ Spoltore’

President, Global Songwriter’s Connection