by Marty Dodson
Dec 28, 2016
If you are trying to get a song recorded on a major artist, you are competing with pro writers who write a song almost every day. Those pros are pumping out more than 200 songs a year in many cases. The sheer volume of material they produce increases their chances of getting a cut exponentially. Why, you might ask?
Here’s a story to illustrate. Last week, I pitched a song to an A&R person for Lady Antebellum. She responded that she loved the song, but she thought that it had already been cut. I told her that I had no knowledge of it being recorded.
I had my former publisher (who published the song in question) look into the situation. They discovered that the song was schedule to be the first single for a rising star artist that had just been signed to a major record deal.
Neither I nor my publisher had any idea that the artist in question was planning to cut the song. The publisher of one of my co-writers had pitched the song and was working through the licensing process with the artist. They had neglected to let any of the other publishers know what was going on. A slight problem, but a good problem to have.
I thanked the A&R person for letting me know and apologizing for pitching her a song that was already on “hold”. She was very gracious.
The moral of the story is that if you write a LOT of great songs, good things will happen without you even knowing about them. You’ll get a call out of the blue that you got a cut, or that someone is going to single your song. Those are nice surprises. The key is to just keep writing. Don’t focus too much on making things “happen” with your songs. Focus more on write more, better songs. Work at making each song better than the last. Don’t settle for decent ideas. Hold out for great ones. Those are the keys to writing songs that will get attention.
Write great songs. A lot of them. And then write another one.
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