4 Tips for Songwriters

It’s become a stereotype—the “record company guy” with the little ponytail calling everyone “Babe,” who isn’t really sincere about breaking your band or producing your songs.

But songwriters beware—like any industry, there are people who are “ethically challenged” and will tell you what you want to hear without having your best interest at heart. As the saying goes, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Here’s some advice from 2002 Songwriters Market to protect you from “song sharks.”

  • Never pay to have your music “reviewed” by a company that may be interested in publishing, producing or recording it. Reputable companies review material free of charge.
  • Never pay to have your lyrics or poems set to music. “Music mills”—for a price—may use the same melody for hundreds of lyrics and poems, whether it sounds good or not. Publishers recognize one of these melodies as soon as they hear it.
  • Never pay to have your songs published. A reputable company interested in your songs assumes the responsibility and cost of promoting them, in hopes of realizing a profit once the songs are recorded and released.
  • No record company should ask you to make or pay for a demo. Their job is to make records and decide which artist to sign after listening to demo submissions.

    Get more tips from the current edition of Songwriters Market

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