How Do I Submit A Song As A Songwriter?

 

There seems to be a lot of confusion out there over the question “How do I submit a song?”. The truth of the matter is that there is no one way to “submit” a song. When you simplify the “song submission” idea, there are basically three categories of song submissions that a songwriter should educate themselves about. I’ll cover each of those here.

Educational submissions.

These are “safe” ways to submit a song that you aren’t sure about because the person you are submitting the song to knows that you are just trying to learn. You aren’t going to burn a bridge if the song isn’t there. These would include song critiques or feedback like we have in the pro forum on SongTown. They would also include mentoring sessions with one of our pros. None of the pros are going to close the door on you if you submit something that isn’t great. You’re there to learn and they are there to help you. The quality of your demo doesn’t matter much at all here as long as it’s easy to understand the lyrics and hear the melody. Simple work tapes are fine.

Pitches to publishers or PROS (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, etc).

These include more risk. If I waste a publisher’s or PRO rep’s time, I risk getting on their “do not work with” list. Most of them don’t have time to give you a second chance. These opportunities are not places to experiment or test the waters. You need to be confident that you are giving a publisher or PRO rep quality songs that they think they could get recorded in the current market unless you are meeting with them in a mentoring type setting. Otherwise, you are wasting their time. Pitching to publishers is much different than pitching to artists. Publishers are looking at the quality of your song, not so much the quality of the recording. The only way a publisher makes money is if they get a song recorded. So, if they can’t get your song(s) recorded, they aren’t going to be interested. If you get an opportunity to meet with and pitch to a publisher, you need to research what that publisher does, who their writers are, etc. That information will help you pitch that publisher something he or she might like. PRO reps can call publishers and get you meetings if they like what you do. Even though they personally are not trying to get songs recorded, their job is to help writers with their organization succeed. They can be great advocates for you if they love your music. Again, your demo quality needs to convey the song well and be easy to understand, but it doesn’t have to be a full studio demo or track.

Pitching for artists.

This is the highest risk pitch. I have Keith Urban’s e-mail. I’ve only sent him 3 songs in over a year. He has passed on all of them. I feel like I’m at a tipping point. If I keep sending him songs he doesn’t LOVE, he’s going to quit opening my e-mails. He doesn’t have time to keep fooling with someone that isn’t giving him what he needs. So, I’m going to be super careful with my next pitch. Even if he doesn’t cut it, I want him to think it’s an amazing song so that I can keep pitching to him. Whether you are pitching to the artist, a manager, a producer, or a record label, you want to be REALLY confident in the song you are pitching AND the quality of the demo. The closer the song can sound to something that would be on the radio, the better your chances will be. If you have a simple ballad, you might be able to get by with a guitar or piano vocal demo. Otherwise, you probably need a really good quality demo. You don’t get many of these direct-to-artist chances, so you need to really blow them away.

If you can’t afford full demos, that’s fine. Stick to the first two kinds of pitches as you work on improving your writing. Publishers can help pay for demos if they love your song. Don’t worry that you aren’t able to get to artists. Just make the most of your situation. And, I always recommend waiting until you get a “WOW” response from one of the safe opportunities before you climb on up the ladder. If you get a “WOW” response in the Pro Feedback forum, book a mentoring session with our pro publisher. If you get a “WOW” response there, you know you’ve got something. If not, you avoid burning a bridge by pitching in one of the more risky situations.

Many writers pitch songs WAY too soon and leave burning bridges smoking behind them. Don’t do that. Be patient. Keep writing and improving. That’s the ticket to success.

Write on!  ~Marty

marty-doson-songtown-small

Marty Dodson
Co-Founder Songtown/Songwriter/Corporate Trainer

21 thoughts on “How Do I Submit A Song As A Songwriter?

  1. Do you have a suggestion on how I can get a meeting with a writers’ rep at my PRO? Because I’ve tried, without success, to do that for three years. I contact them every 3 months or so just trying to set up a meeting. I’m not looking for them to personally connect me with co-writers or publishers, I politely ask if I could meet with them, get some general advice. But not only have I never gotten a meeting, my emails don’t even get replied to. It’s frustrating.

  2. Hey Marty thank you for sharing priceless insight. I look forward to networking and writing some grest songs..I have a link to a song we recorded live in 04..My first drum tracks and working on a new album.Love to hear some feed back..Thank you for your time and what you guys do for musicians like myself. Peace
    BK

  3. hi
    i’m Jean i’m writing for while and i believe i’ve been written some great work but i don’t know how to connect with a publisher is that any advice you can give me on that?

    1. Yes, our SongTown members have access to Pro Publishers and can book mentoring sessions any time to play them songs.

      Cheers, Clay

  4. I have written some songs. But I am not a singer but would like somone to tell me if they are good enough.

      1. So you say you have no pro feedback. How will someone know if they really good?
        Do you roughly listen to everyone who sent tracks?

  5. Keith Urban should consider cutting a 4th Radney Foster tune “another way to go”. From that same album the song “again” is perfect for 90’s era Aerosmith.

  6. I write lyrics and the music. Do you deal with country gospel?
    Can I sent shorts on mp3?
    Thanks in advance.
    Regards
    Nellie

    1. Nellie, I have personally written a Southern Gospel song of the year. We definitely can help with your writing in that arena.

      Cheers, Clay
      SongTown Co-founder

  7. Would you accept sheet music w/lyrics and an instrumental version? I don’t sing well and can’t afford a vocalist each time. Also, the sheet music is very simple – Like you find in music books. Chords (fretboards) over the melody instead of on a staff.

  8. Hi,
    I only just started writing I believe some of my works are okay. However, I do not know how to fully accomplish the whole music thing because im still a noob. I want my lyrics to be looked at or even published but I don’t know how to still.

    1. Kai, SongTown members get feedback from pro songwriters on their songs each month. Once you join you can submit to the pro feedback forum on the website. You will also find writers to write with as well.

      Cheers, Clay

  9. Himy name is James Chasen I’m a songwriter keyboardist who write different styles of songs lately I’ve written several country song pop country soulful country an Traditional country songs I would like to send you some of my songs please contact me
    Thanks
    James Chasen

    1. Hey James, SongTown members get feedback from pro songwriters on their songs each month. Once you join you can submit to the pro feedback forum on the website.

      Cheers, Clay

  10. I am in the middle of writing lyrics at the moment, but I was wondering if I could get someone’s email so that I can send my lyrics in so they can get looked over if they are any good… Please message me back!!! Thank you so much and have a wonderful day!

    1. Faith, all SongTown members get feedback from pro songwriters on their songs each month. Once you join you can submit to the pro feedback forum on the website.

      Cheers, Clay

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