While many dream of a career as a singer/songwriter, few know how to go about getting bookings, copywrighting and protecting their songs, making promotional recordings, getting radio and print coverage and negotiating contracts for appearances. This book covers all of these topics and more, aimed at everyone from the absolute beginner to the more seasoned performer, to help them avoid the common pitfalls and problems encountered along the road to success.
The authors draw on years of experience as songwriters and performers. They have conducted interviews with many singer/songwriters who share their experiences, both good and bad, as they’ve worked their way up from local gigs to full-time careers. Throughout, practical tips are highlighted and real-life stories help illuminate common issues faced by all performers/songwriters.
Table of Contents
Introduction Chapter 1: Just Starting Out/Background and Important Information Different Kinds of Composers. Copyrights for Your Songs. Performing Rights Organizations (PROS) Chapter 2: First Steps, Songs and Gigs in Becoming a Working Composer/Performer First Professional Engagements and How Professional Composer/Performers Obtained Them. Insights from Featured Songwriters and Others on Writing Early Songs and How Others Made the Decision to Pursue Composing and Performing as a Career. Putting Together an Effective Demo/Early Album of Your Songs. The Role of Formal Music Education in Being a Successful Composer. Songwriting Influences and Importance of Traditional Music and Melody in Being a Composer Chapter 3: Where do I go From Here? Getting Your Songs Heard ... On Stage and Beyond Performing Using Your Original Compositions. Contracts. Songwriters Associations. The Musicians Union/AFTRA/Other Professional Organizations. Booking Your Own Small Concerts. Turning Points in Artists Careers, and How They Occurred. Arts Council Concerts, Community Concert Series, and Other Cultural Presenters. Recording Your First Album. The Role of Radio and Other Media in Establishing a Career as a Composer; How to Get Your Songs Played. Chapter 4: Today’s Album/ CD/ Record Business Chapter 5: The Equipment you Need to do the Job Chapter 6: Next Steps; Moving Forward The Importance of Festivals and Songwriting Competitions in a Composer’s Career. The Songwriting Process, Continued; Editing Your Songs; Expanding Your Songwriting Subjects and Horizons. Recording and Distributing Your Own Album or Signing with an Established Company? The Importance of Producers in the Recording Process Chapter 7: Creating an Audience for Your Songs/Making Your Audience Aware Who You Are; Promotion, Booking and Placing Songs The Role of Publicists, Booking Agents and Managers in a Composer/Performers Life. Touring, Domestically and Internationally. Dealing With the Dreaded "Writers Block." MTV, Music Videos and Promotional DVD’s. Distribution…..CD Baby, Amazon.com and Other Ways to Sell Your CD’s. Chapter 8: Other Opportunities for Songwriters and Musicians Chapter 9: Reasons for it all/ The Lovin’of the Game Reflections by Featured Artists on the Lifestyle of a Composer/Performer. Perspectives by the Authors on a Life in the Music Business From Songwriter/Composers Viewpoint
Tom May has an over 30 year career as a singer/songwriter, journalist, and radio and TV host. As a performer, he has appeared at major festivals and in local concerts throughout the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, and Belgium. He is producer/host of River City Folk, a radio program heard weekly over 200 radio stations.
Dick Weissman taught for twelve years in the Music & Entertainment Industry program at the University of Colorado at Denver, was VP for the Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association, and has a long-term career as a studio musician, recording artist, songwriter, and record producer. He has written Guitar Tunings and Blues:The Basics for Routledge. His book The Music Industry; Career Opportunities, Self Defense, is currently in its 4th edition.
"Anyone who has ever dreamed of becoming a professional singer/songwriter, but doesn't know how, or perhaps needs a refresher course, can learn something from Promoting Your Music. Folk musicians Tom May and Dick Weissman share with the reader their wealth of experiences and the insights of their peers in a practical way so that the lessons become an indispensible reference for beginning and seasoned performers." --Dirty Linen