We recently received this question from one of our readers:
“I am a singer/songwriter and it is a summer goal of mine to connect with 20-25 other songwriters (specifically those who are making their primary living as singer/songwriters) in order to gain industry knowledge, advice, and feedback about my material. Can this site help me do that?”
Our first thought was what a great goal this person set, and what a great first step to make toward taking the plunge into the sea of songwriting. There are so many people in the world that write, compose and perform music who all share the same passion for songwriting and/or performing. Some do it for the pure love of artistic creation, others may want to go beyond personal gratification and pursue songwriting as a profession.
Our second thought was this: Yes, Songwriters Marketplace was created to do just what you are asking, and more. It is a place you can come for information, to make connections, find support and purchase learning materials and merchandise.
Like anything in this world networking and promoting “YOU” is key to success, and although Twitter, Facebook, Google+, My Space, LinkedIn, and many other Internet communities are very useful, this goes well beyond the Internet. We would suggest that you check your local community for organizations, clubs and support groups for songwriters. Check out MeetUp.com for songwriting groups in your town, nearly every community has at least a couple. You will find some great support and meet other local songwriters. If you are a Performing Songwriter, find the area venues such as coffee houses, restaurant/bars, and so on, to see if you can perform. Craigslist.org is another good resource to check, as is the local Songwriters Guild and/or Music Guild. Also, do a search on Google using the keywords “Your Town” “songwriter” “songwriting” and see what you will find.
The more people you meet, the more information you will gather. So as we mentioned earlier start with your local community, a Grass Roots approach, and branch out from there. You will be amazed at the talented people who live right in your own hometown, and they will be more than willing to speak with you and answer your questions. All you need to do is ask.
Another thing, if you perform your own material and have some audio files such as MP3’s, or some video performances, setup an account on YouTube and post your songs there as well as your social network pages for others to hear. It’s Free! If you’re not a performer you need to hook-up with a collaborator or two who can sing/play instruments and record your songs so you can post them. These demos don’t have to be extravagant, a simple voice/guitar or voice/piano will do fine. Remember, extravagant production alone won’t make a song great, its greatness will come from creative use of the basics– melody, lyric, rhythm and tempo along with an understanding of song composition and structure.
Whether you perform your music or just write the songs, and if you have any professional aspirations at all, you have to get yourself “out there”. So use the Internet, as well as your local community clubs, organizations, and electronic and print media. Network, interact, make new relationships, collaborate, expose your creative talents, and keep on writing, playing and singing. The one true universal language is music, and we’re sure the universe will listen to you.
We wish you the best of luck with your songwriting career!