If you love to write melodies, lyrics, or both, you might be wondering if you can make a career out of it.
Do record labels have songwriters on staff?
How do you find an interested label and get hired?
Make Sure You’re REALLY Good
I’m sure you love your songs, and maybe your family does too, but that’s not the same as being market-ready.
You have to really study your craft in order to put your finger on what makes a song a hit.
Playing some kind of instrument, like a guitar or keyboard, will help you work out your favorite songs and produce demos.
If you can’t play an instrument, you’ll want to collaborate with someone who can.
If you only write melodies, you’ll need someone to help you with the lyrics, and vice versa.
You’ll need to produce demo recordings of your completed songs to show them to record labels.
Network, Network, Network
You’ve got a long haul before you reach the ‘in’ crowd.
Labels don’t listen to random demo CDs sent in the mail and you can’t just walk up and play them your songs.
You’ve gotta be introduced.
That means networking in the music industry.
Hang around local bands, venue managers, producers, and promoters.
Be helpful and willing to work, and you may just get the chance to play one of your songs for someone who can introduce you further up the ladder.
Don’t come in trying to play all of your songs.
Very few compositions have #1 hit potential.
Most of your songs are going to be rejected, possibly more than once.
You want to take your chances on only your best songs.
Labels are Choosy
You can’t just call up a label and ask for a songwriting interview.
They want to hear about your abilities from someone they trust.
That means you have to put in the work from the bottom up.
Build and refine your collection of songs until your skills are razor-sharp.
Labels do hire staff songwriters to write songs for their signed bands, but you have to demonstrate the ability to produce hits.
And once you’re signed on, you have to continue writing songs that perform well.
Often, there is a quota written into any contract you sign with a label.
You will have to produce a certain number of well-performing songs per year, or perhaps even per quarter.
If you get paid up-front when you sign an employment contract, you will owe back that advance, which will come from your future earnings.
As a writer, you are due a certain percentage of the performance, sales, and streaming royalties of every song that you write.
The better the song performs, the more money you will make.
That’s why it’s so important to learn what goes into making a hit song.
Don’t Expect to Get Rich Overnight
The path to professional songwriting can take years.
You may need to collaborate with guitarists, lyricists, and those who produce backing tracks in order to complete a song or demo.
You only get paid if an artist or label buys your song
You will produce many songs that go nowhere, or sing take off into the time is right.
Once you’ve produced a few songs that sell and do well commercially, labels might start looking at you.
That’s when you have to start pitching and setting up meetings so that you can play your demos.
With a lot of work and perseverance, you might eventually get your break.
Most songwriters still need day jobs, because only #1 hits produce real income replacement.
But only those who stay the course will ever get the chance to strut their stuff.
Keep jotting down melodies and any rhyme that comes to you.
Many great songs have started on cocktail napkins or scraps of paper.
Don’t give up, and someday, it could be you writing grammy-winning smash hits.
But you’ll never know unless you try.
GigFaster is here for you.
Thanks for reading.
At GigFaster, we maintain a database of venues and labels, so that your can make your search a whole lot easier.
Pitch to venues, upload and manage your demos, and manage your replies, all from over dashboard.
Sign up today for your one-week free trial!