Saturday, September 26, 2009

Getting your music heard, part two.

We all have a different goal in mind. A goal is different than a dream. The difference is that a goal requires that a person come up with a plan that details the steps involved in obtaining a goal. A plan directs the path that we take in order to achieve our musical goals. Having a goal in mind, and a plan that will take us to that goal is what keeps us plugging away at our craft, day after day.

For some of us the goal is to complete a project that they are currently working on with, or for others. Yet for some others the goal is to simply get that song out of their head and onto the world’s ears. Whatever your goal is, you must take each step and inch closer and closer to the completion of your musical goal.

My goal is to get my home recordings into the hands (or ears) of some people that will give me some honest feedback. I have a burning desire to learn just where my music stands. Is my stuff worthy of submitting for use in radio and T.V. jingles? How about the recordings quality itself? Can I assume that these demos of mine are ready to be pitched at all? Great questions, if I do say so myself.

So, with a goal stated, I then moved on to defining the steps that I would now take in order to reach this goal of mine. I want answers to these questions. The catch is that I do not have a ton of cash to tie up in the music industry. In fact, I have very little.

What could I do in order to get my stuff heard by the very people that know how to listen? How am I going to obtain this much needed feedback? The answers are all around us, especially in this, the digital age.

First of all, I decided to target the lowest costing methods in which to get closer to achieving my goal.

One method that I decided to try is song writing contests. In particular, I would target the song contests that are cheap to enter and that offer little more than a pat on the back to the winners.

Contests that offer all kinds of cash and prizes are perfect for some, but not me. These contests also require a stiff entry fee. I would be competing with millions of folks that enter these sorts of contests for perhaps the income potential of them. I am not at that level. I can not afford to hire musicians, singers, and rent studio space to do it all in. I figure winning these contests is akin to winning a “musical lottery”.

With cost and the competition in mind, I chose some “almost free” song contests to enter. The reasons for entering are to get my music heard by professionals, and to obtain their feedback. This will let me know where I stand. Plus, if I come in close to the top, I will then have my name, song, and links posted on a site other than my own! This is worth more than I could ever afford to pay for!

One contest that caught my eye is the Songbird monthly songwriting contest. The entry fee is just one dollar! Heck, even a poor musician like me could cough up the one dollar entry fee in exchange for the press that the winner will receive in return. This was a no brainer. If you have not been to the Songbird site, follow the link provided and please go ahead and submit a song or two! Did I mention that as well as all of the “press”, the winner receives fifty dollars? That aint a lot in most folk’s eyes, but it is better than a broken guitar string.

Next up, the radio!

How much would you pay to have your song played over the air waves? How about if it were free? It’s true that in everyplace that I have ever been, there is at least one radio station “within pick up range” that hosts a local music show. This will not make you a star, but it will get your name, links, and music out there. I have had the good fortune to be picked, and then played on two radio stations. The feedback was limited though, as the DJ’s would never say anything negative about our work. However, it would not be a good idea to play only the bad songs on the air. Getting picked is quite an honor all by itself.

Seek out the radio stations that support the local artists and then submit your songs. Now, before you dismiss this idea, take a second and think about how many radio stations there are that might host a local music show, past your local broadcast area. With the uploading style of MP3’s, a song can be submitted in seconds! The radio stations that I have been played on still have a link to my information posted on them to this very day. What is the worst that could happen? You might just get your foot in the door!

These ideas are just a couple in my plan of attack. Stay tuned to the Home Recording Weekly blog to see some others. Feel free to submit to me some of your ideas, and I will be sure to post them, and your links. Please feel free to subscribe, and/or bookmark this blog. You do not want to miss a single post! Thanks so much for stopping by, and for your ideas.

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