Pitching songs that are not ready or that are not in the ballpark for the artist you are pitching to is one of the fastest ways to burn bridges. In fact, doing either of those things is effectively pouring gasoline on the bridge. Way too many people pitch songs prematurely and significantly hurt their chances of being heard for any of their pitches in the future. So, here are some things I recommend doing BEFORE you pitch a song.
Get feedback from someone with a track record of getting songs recorded.
Our pro feedback pros in SongTown have all written hits. They can give you reliable feedback on your song before you pitch it. If you know someone else with a proven history of getting songs recorded, get their feedback before you make a pitch.
Make sure you know where the artist you are pitching to is headed before you pitch.
For instance, MANY people ask me to pitch Billy Currington a song that is in the vein of my song “Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right”. That song was a hit in 2005 and Billy hasn’t cut anything like that in a long time. Pitching an artist a song that sounds like what they did 15 years ago is the kiss of death. It shows that you are out of touch. Don’t do that! Listen to the LAST record the artist recorded and see if your song would fit on THAT record.
Pay attention to pitch sheets and artist interviews.
Interviews can help you learn where an artist’s head is at. Are they in love? Just went through a breakup or divorce? Are they worn out from a long tour? All of those things can help you see if your song fits the headspace the artist is in. Our SongTown pitch sheets give you a list of who’s looking and often notes about the type of songs as well.
Listen to your song and visualize the artist singing it.
What would it do to that artist’s show? How does it make the artist look? Does it fit the artist’s brand? Every artist has a brand that defines what their fans expect from them. Pitching an artist that doesn’t do love songs a love song is “off brand”. It may be a great song, but it’s not what that artist’s fans want to hear from her/him. Make sure that your song fits the brand of the artist you are pitching to.
Prepare your “pitch”.
My recommendation is to send ONE song. Tell the person you are pitching to that you believe you have ONE song that is perfect for their artist. Don’t waste their time by pitching 5 songs. Take your shot with a rifle, not a shotgun. If you take one good shot, they may ask you to send more, even if that song doesn’t quite work. The last thing you want to do is send 5 that don’t work. Your next pitch will go in the trash if you do that.
If you do those 5 things, you’ve got a chance of making a pitch that counts – one that they either cut or like enough to ask you for more. You win either way!
Write on! MD