The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > RECORD

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 08-22-2019, 04:07 PM
romancandle romancandle is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 34
Default Tips for a music and songwriting career?

Anybody have tips for learning music production, finding a fan base, and songwriting opportunities where I could potentially pitch my songs to other artists?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-22-2019, 06:45 PM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Kirkland, WA USA
Posts: 875
Default

Any one of those questions deserves a 1000 word answer, and a real plan.

For music production, there are schools all over the country that teach this. You can also attempt to learn by watching free or low-cost videos online, but what you usually miss is picking up stuff from observing peers and getting feedback from pros. If you are starting from scratch expect to spend a few years getting minimally competent, and at least a decade before you can do it professionally.

There is no true shortcut to finding a fan base. You need to play, play, play in lots of different situations, as you cannot know where your fans are hiding out until you and they cross paths. After that you have to regularly communicate/market to them or they will be your ex-fan base real soon.

There is a whole sub-industry built around song pitching and licensing. TAXI is the best known organization, but there may be others. Be aware that unless your songwriting chops are EXCELLENT, you will be wasting your time as the competition and quality level is fierce. If your songwriting is not ready yet, you need to spend significant time (and probably money) to get it there.

My feeling is that each one of these could take many years. If you are wanting to do all three then that is a serious time (and money) commitment as well as an organizational challenge. Are you ready?
__________________
-Gordon

1978 Larrivee L-26 cutaway | 1988 Larrivee L-28 cutaway | 2006 Larrivee L03-R | 2009 Larrivee LV03-R | 2016 Irvin SJ cutaway
K+K, Dazzo, Schatten/ToneDexter


Notable Journey website
Facebook page
CD Baby

"Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art." -Leonardo Da Vinci
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-22-2019, 07:43 PM
romancandle romancandle is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 34
Default

What do you think of services like Fiverr? I have vocals and guitar recorded that I could send to a producer with more experience. I could also send my other song lyrics to a singer-songwriter for them to do their own thing.

I'm not an American Idol contestant lvl singer and didn't even pick it up until much later than my guitar playing. I actually was thinking the other day shows like Songland I'd me more interested in. I'm all about the song and not flashy singing or guitar playing (although I once was into this).

I'm definently into production though and that is why I posted on the forum. I have a lot to learn and over the past 5 years I've gotten much better at editing, mixing and mastering music. It might take me another 5 years to produce a song I'm happy with but I'll do it!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-22-2019, 08:42 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,328
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by romancandle View Post
What do you think of services like Fiverr? I have vocals and guitar recorded that I could send to a producer with more experience. I could also send my other song lyrics to a singer-songwriter for them to do their own thing.
I don't know anything about Fiverr but there are people out there who will do either. However, hiring good talent isn't cheap.

But before you spend a bunch of money on hiring a producer or hiring talent ...and I don't intend this to be insulting in any way... how do you know you've written quality songs?
__________________
Jim

2017 Circle Strings 00 bastogne walnut/sinker redwood
2015 Circle Strings Parlor shedua/western red cedar
2009 Bamburg JSB Signature Baritone macassar ebony/carpathian spruce
2004 Taylor XXX-RS indian rosewood/sitka spruce
2002 Taylor 814ce Limited cocobolo/sitka spruce
1988 Martin D-16 mahogany/sitka spruce


SoundCloud link
Spotify
YouTube
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-22-2019, 09:04 PM
romancandle romancandle is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 34
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
I don't know anything about Fiverr but there are people out there who will do either. However, hiring good talent isn't cheap.

But before you spend a bunch of money on hiring a producer or hiring talent ...and I don't intend this to be insulting in any way... how do you know you've written quality songs?
I posted a video on You Tube that sounded like it was coming out of a tin can and people loved it. People complimented my voice but I'm still uncertain about it. So it had me thinking getting a professional singer involved would be the next step.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-22-2019, 10:01 PM
runamuck runamuck is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,525
Default

You could post stuff here and ask for specific feedback.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-22-2019, 10:38 PM
romancandle romancandle is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 34
Default

yeah... no.

I guess if the time comes that I can offer an artist my song I'll see if they are interested but until then I guess I'm just going to work on improving on producing my own music. I guess every once in a while you wish something will just fall in your lap but it sure as heck doesn't work like that.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-22-2019, 11:55 PM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Kirkland, WA USA
Posts: 875
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by romancandle View Post
yeah... no.

I guess if the time comes that I can offer an artist my song I'll see if they are interested but until then I guess I'm just going to work on improving on producing my own music. I guess every once in a while you wish something will just fall in your lap but it sure as heck doesn't work like that.
In my opinion, this approach is going to make it harder for you. You need to be getting pro level feedback AND writing constantly to ever get your songs to established artists. And you certainly don't want to be waiting for the 'perfect' artist - not when your competition is submitting to 10x the artists as you.
__________________
-Gordon

1978 Larrivee L-26 cutaway | 1988 Larrivee L-28 cutaway | 2006 Larrivee L03-R | 2009 Larrivee LV03-R | 2016 Irvin SJ cutaway
K+K, Dazzo, Schatten/ToneDexter


Notable Journey website
Facebook page
CD Baby

"Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art." -Leonardo Da Vinci
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-23-2019, 12:09 AM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Kirkland, WA USA
Posts: 875
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by romancandle View Post
I posted a video on You Tube that sounded like it was coming out of a tin can and people loved it. People complimented my voice but I'm still uncertain about it. So it had me thinking getting a professional singer involved would be the next step.
Your target is NOT people who love your YouTube clip.
__________________
-Gordon

1978 Larrivee L-26 cutaway | 1988 Larrivee L-28 cutaway | 2006 Larrivee L03-R | 2009 Larrivee LV03-R | 2016 Irvin SJ cutaway
K+K, Dazzo, Schatten/ToneDexter


Notable Journey website
Facebook page
CD Baby

"Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art." -Leonardo Da Vinci
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-23-2019, 01:07 AM
romancandle romancandle is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 34
Default

Thanks for the advice. I'm just in the early stages. Don't know what direction I'm going to go in but I'm just going to take a guess I'm not ready yet and take baby steps.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-23-2019, 06:23 AM
catdaddy catdaddy is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Backroads of Florida
Posts: 5,346
Default

First, let me say that my experience is exclusively within bluegrass and country music genres, so if your writing or interest is confined to other types of music this may be irrelevant to your situation.

What I have observed is that hard work, persistence, networking and talent are what lead to success. Even then, the level of success is not guaranteed. A good friend of mine has spent over 30 years in Nashville writing and performing. He's an amazingly talented multi-instrumentalist, an in-demand session player, a Grammy nominated songwriter, has had his songs covered by artists such as Johnny Cash, Dirks Bentley, Miranda Lambert and Del McCoury among many others. He did not experience overnight success, it took him nearly 20 years to establish himself in the music business. He still performs at mostly small venues and house concerts for almost 200 dates per year; as he says "winning one fan at a time".

Through my friend I've had an up close look at the country music business, and as a singer/songwriter myself I realize that I didn't have the dedication to make it. I cared too much about family obligations and a steady income to make the necessary sacrifices and go out on a limb and trust my talent to lead me to a successful career there. While I've ended up having some minimal success as a songwriter, winning some regional awards and getting some recognition, I would have starved to death long ago if I'd had to live off of the income from those few accomplishments.

Perhaps as I continue to meet people and make connections heading into my dotage I'll get lucky and have a song I've written (or co-written) get placed with an artist who'll take it to the top of the charts, but I'm sure glad I'm not counting on it to make ends meet in retirement.

Good luck to you in your musical endeavors! Hard work and dedication are the best ways to create your own luck.
__________________

AKA 'Screamin' Tooth Parker'


You can listen to Walt's award winning songs with his acoustic band The Porch Pickers @ the Dixie Moon album or rock out electrically with Rock 'n' Roll Reliquary
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-23-2019, 06:58 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: On the Mass/NH border
Posts: 5,901
Default

You definitely need more honest feedback than from youtube friends.

Are there any local songwriter circle/workshop groups near you? These are places where songwriters bring their work-in-progress for feedback, critique and suggestions. Many are free or have a nominal fee to attend.
Use an online forum for songwriters, such as https://www.musesongwriters.com/forums/
Note: there are other sites that are more 'attaboy' places, so keep things in perspective when looking at websites.
For mixing feedback, the MP3 Clinic of homerecording.com is an excellent place to start - as long as you participate (i.e., listen to and give comments on others' work), you will get some people with good ears and monitoring systems to listen and make suggestions. You can also read what they comment to others' songs and improve your listening ability that way.

Fiverr is a crapshoot, as is hiring any online 'producer' - maybe you can find one who is decent and understands what YOUR music should sound like. Listening to their posted samples doesn't really give you a good idea - if they are mixing, then what was the quality of the tracks they were delivered? If they are mastering, what was the quality of the mix they were delivered? I've heard some samples that were not impressive, for sure.
Usually the $5 initial offer is not what you want, and you could be spending much more for an untested end result.
__________________
Mike

My music: https://mikebirchmusic.bandcamp.com

2017 Taylor 114ce-N
2012 Taylor 310ce
2011 Fender CD140SCE
Ibanez 12 string a/e
73 Epiphone 6830E 6 string (made in 71?)

72 Fender Telecaster
Epiphone Dot Studio
Epiphone LP Jr
Chinese Strat clone ($25!)

Kala baritone ukulele
Seagull 'Merlin'
Washburn Mandolin
Luna 'tatoo' a/e ukulele
antique banjolin
Squire J bass
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-23-2019, 08:30 AM
Mr. Jelly Mr. Jelly is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Sioux City, Iowa
Posts: 3,784
Default

At one time I worked with a publisher in Nashville. I figured out that I didn't want to spend my time writing sellable songs. I'd suggest learning how the business of placing sellable songs works first. It will point out how little talent it takes to write generic lyrics and music. So the road to success is to be found somewhere else. Study the songs that are considered successful. But not the songs themselves. Study the people involved in the success of a song. There's a reason a song has five names as the writers. A hot star can get a hit from a hack song. A hack song is not sellable by a no name. To test your skills write a hit song. Take it someplace and play it for the public. If the audience doesn't react to it like it was candy to their ears. Go back and write another one and try again. A really great song is like a large piece of gold. Very precious. For a song to be a hit it has to be a hit to the person hearing it within thirty seconds. Put yourself in the place of the person listening to songs that they will try and sell. They are sick and tired of hearing crappy songs over and over again. Basically you need to write a song that a want to be star will want to sing So that it will get peoples attention and give him attention so that he may become a star and make a career out of it. Good luck with that.
__________________
Life blooms when existence is its own reward
Santa Cruz 1929 00
Waterloo WL-S Deluxe with K & K mini
Waterloo WL-12 with K & K mini
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-23-2019, 08:31 AM
KevWind's Avatar
KevWind KevWind is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Edge of Wilderness Wyoming
Posts: 11,797
Default

At this point I would not consider or recommend hiring a producer.

That money would be better spent .
First deciding on your personal priority list.
Learning music production and Songwriting are both life long endeavors

For music production If you need to stay put where you are, you can consider something like Berklee Collage of Music online courses
I learned more in a 12 week program than I did in the 5 years prior , of trying to learn Pro tools on my own. https://online.berklee.edu/

For promoting your original songs consider attending the Durango Songwriters Expo https://durango-songwriters-expo.com/you will be given the chance to have Music industry Pro's label AR people and Publishers etc. hear and evaluate your demos And they prefer simple guitar or piano and vocal demos
__________________
" Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." Albert Einstein
Enjoy the Journey.... Kev...


KevWind at Soundcloud

Last edited by KevWind; 08-23-2019 at 08:55 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-23-2019, 08:51 AM
619TF 619TF is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 415
Default



Never, EVER, listen to your family (especially Auntie Mimi)!
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > RECORD

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:20 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=