Songwriter Dreamers & Indie Scammers

Remember the Fun!

Out late last night.  Began the recording process.  We got in the click track and vocal and guitar scratch-tracks for five songs.  At one point we started to get stupid and made a couple of dumb mistakes, and we knew then it was PIZZA TIME.  Everything went a lot smother after that.

I used to thing it was all about the songwriting, not so anymore.  Songwriting is only the first stage.  With Indie Music and especially with DIYers, it’s all about everything.  If a songwriter wants a song heard, it needs to he hear-able.  That means that cash in the pocket begins with cash out of the pocket, and this is where the scammers get rich.

If you can believe this, there are entire organizations and companies built around scamming songwriters.  I get a letter from a record label on a regular basis, that asks me to submit songs to their A&R people for them to review.  How it works is that, should I be silly enough to submit anything they will review it (who knows if they actually review it) and write back to me that it is wonderful music and only needs to be spiffyed  up and little, and that for a thousand or so a song they will be glad to do this so they can put the material on their latest compilation.  Last year I received a phone call from  a promotion firm that would match me up with actual recording artists, but needed, get this, $12,000.00 a song to produce it and get it ready for the pitch.  I said, “You’ve gotta be shitting me?”  The answer was that they work with pros.  I’ll tell you, they’re pros, they even sounded hurt by my response.  YIKES!

Songwriters are dreamers, and there are many who want to take full of advantage of the dreams of others.  But it is possible, with the technology available in our own time, to make listenable recordings.  I have discovered that even if I don’t play multiple instruments, I can always find a musician friend who is willing to lay in a track just for the fun of it.
Remember, fun is what it is about.  The trick is to match the sound and arrangement AND the song itself to the people to whom the submission is being made.  And it is a lot of work.  But it is good work, and fun work.


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