It is important for today’s songwriter to get away from the concept of being an employee.

To many, the dream is to write a hit song and make money from it. The traditional route involves working for a music publisher who pays a salary and takes at least half of the earnings.

Or it involves working for an organization that supports recording artists by providing them songs for recordings and live concerts.

But those days are long gone.

Today the music business has evolved because of the digital revolution.

Profits used to come from selling a tangible object — sheet music, discs or tapes.

Now there is no physical object involved. The music is a series of electrons. Profits come from performance royalties, and the royalties are miniscule compared to what they were 30 to 50 years ago.

Because the profits are smaller the opportunities are fewer. Big organizations consolidate most of the business and earn most of the money.

The dream of being discovered, of your merit being recognized and rewarded by somebody with a lot of money is remote. Actually it is very, very rare that this happens in today’s music world.

But not all is lost — if you have the right mind-set.

This is the golden age of Do-It-Yourself (DIY).

You can be your own record label, your own music publisher, your own TV/Radio station thanks to the very same digital revolution that put an end to the old ways.

It is easier and cheaper to record a high-quality song than ever before. Gone are the days of recording studios packed with expensive gear. Now we have the same — or better — capabilities with home computers and even telephones.

The big record labels have been replaced by YouTube and specialized websites like SoundCloud and Band Camp and Reverb Nation.

And best of all — you can make music directly from the consumer instead of having “the middle-men” take the majority of the money and giving you a small percentage.

The key to everything is what’s called “Tribal Marketing.”

You carve our your territory — your niche — and build your fan base. This is your Tribe. This is your cult. They will reward you for your creativity.

You can DIY with your mailing list, people who are specifically interested in what you do. You can reach them directly or you can use a service like Patreon to distribute what you do.

You not only can sell them your music, you can interact real-time with them in a way that traditional concerts cannot. And you don’t have to tour the world — you can do it via the World Wide Web.

If you get out of the employee mindset and take charge of the DIY mindset, this is the best time in history to be a music creator.

If you don’t do it yourself, nobody else is going to do it for you.

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My Funny Valentine — You will still hear this every Valentine’s Day, even 80 years after it was written. The song is tender but odd — like the person who wrote it.

Actually, the beautiful music was written by “Richard Rodgers” — the guy who wrote Oklahoma and The Sound of Music and a lot of other classic Broadway musicals that were hits on the big screen.

But the lyrics were not written by Hammerstein — the better known of Rodgers’ partners.

For about 25 years, Richard Rodgers wrote with Lorenz — or Larry — Hart. And no story from Broadway or Hollywood could match the real-life story of this tortured but talented soul.

Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart composing a song

Larry Hart and Dick Rodgers

“Funny Valentine” was written for (in most opinions) the greatest of Richard Rodgers’ musicals — “Babes in Arms.” The score of that show is like a greatest-hits compilation of Rodgers & Hart. “The Lady Is A Tramp,” “Have You Seen Miss Jones,” “Where or When” all have been adopted as

Read more on My Funny Valentine — Lorenz Hart…

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Record yourself and record everything.

I recently bought a small digital recorder, and it plugs in to my car stereo, awesome way to sing along with the rhythms you lay down as you are riding and thinking, turn off your radio ,let your thoughts roll, and pay attention to your inner conversations,listen for sentences that sounds like something you’ve never heard before, in a book or in a movie, always looking for unique thoughts and sentences. Listen to your friends as they gossip, or are telling you a story…

Songwriting Tips

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The SongWriting Fever Blog is adding a new forum section: SongWriting Collaboration Requests

In that section you can describe your songwriting collaboration needs and your project and what you do and ask for songwriters who are interested in collaborating with you.

I’ve done a lot of internet collaboration over the years — with people from Australia, Canada and all over the USA.  I’ve only met two of them — but made some great friends.

Collaboration opens up a lot of doors — you can take part in things you could never do on your own.

Check it out — you may get hooked on collaboration.


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Make your songs as easy for your potential listeners as possible.

Pretty good advice — and surprising how many songwriters don’t follow it.

I’ve sat through enough workshops and seminars through the years to realize that many artists think that obscurity makes them seem deep. Or maybe they try to camoflage their lack of ideas, musicality or originality in (what basically amounts to) dreck.

You can learn a lot of things about songwriting over at Corey Stewart Songwriting Tips.

He currently has an article by Sheena Metal which outlines some of the barriers that songwriters put up and how you can remove them from your audiences way.


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