Writing, Critiquing, and other Notes
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Writing, Critiquing, and Miscellaneous thoughts/comments/lists you might find interesting and useful.


1. "hook" is the title
2. 3 verses each leading to the hook each verse leading to the next
3. Chorus repeats hook several times
4. Format: Vs 1/ Vs 2/ Chorus/ Vs 3/ Instrumental Break/ Chorus


Songwriting Rules
1. Pick a subject and stick with it.
2. Everything revolves around the chorus.
    It should be simple and easily learned.
3. The verses should lead to the chorus. Try starting with the last phrase of
  the verse and work backwards.
4. Have a specific target.
5. Song should make sense when read without the music.
6. Music needs to match the lyrics.
7. Don't be afraid to use filler lines and melodies to get the flow going.
   You can change them later.
8. God can only give you songs with chords you know. Brush up on your theory.
9. All songwriting rules are made to be broken.


Songwriting thoughts
--God sends you anointing. You are responsible to perfect your gift to broaden
   your use of the anointing.
--All your songs are equally important; the ones you write for lots of people; the
   ones you write for a few people and the ones you write for yourself.
--Look for inspiring moments. Sometimes you have to make them happen.
--Always be open to suggestion. Always believe in your gift.
--Don't defend bad lyrics by blaming it on God. He knows proper grammar.
--You can learn from secular music. Why should it be better?
--Write for your audience. (Who is your audience?)
--Title should be strong. Use repetition to enforce it throughout the song.
--Know your audience. Will they understand you?
--Chorus should be strong and memorable.
--Versus should flow well.
--Bridge should flow well.
--Is there a story? Is there a beginning, middle and an end?
--Is there a wording/syllable pattern?
--What do you like/not like?
--What do you feel could be improved?
--Do you walk away humming it?
--Is there a pattern?
--Is there variety?
--Don't rhyme all lines with the same rhyme type.
--A soaring or pedestrian melody
--Words should fit the music.
--Metrical poetry
--Complete ideas?
--Is there a hook line?
--Is line flow important avoid stiltedness of commonly metered rhyme.
--How often it rhymes
--Number of lines
--Is the melody memorable--catchy?
--Slow--fast--medium tempo
--Praise, encouraging, testimony
--Patterns--don't have one
--Familiarity--doesn't feel
--Chords, melody,shouldn't be hard on the ear but soothing,
   not complex, flowing but interesting without distracting our
   attention from enjoying the song.
--Humming along like it is natural to hum to it
--Phrase (motiff, riff)
   Do you see the imagery, scenery; does it challenge, evoke conversation;
   memorable themes or images?
--Come up with a phrase, rhythm, or chord progression
--Borrow melodies from other songs and modify tune?
--Don't bore the listener.
--Get to the hook.
--The hook is almost always the song title.
--The hook is found in the chorus.
--The hook is the most dynamic part of the song.
--Most hooks are lyrical lines followed by a musical figure that enhances the lyrical line.
--Is it interesting, catchy, memorable?
--Symmetry vs asymmetry
--Chords and melody shouldn't be hard on the ear; more soothing; not so complex;
   flowing, but interesting enough without distracting the listeners attention from
   enjoying the song.
--Humming along like it was meant to be there
   Have a phrase=motif=motive=riff
   Develop it by altering the rhythm slightly, lengthening it or playing it in a different
   key. Develop additional phrases or restate original phrase.
--Build in a repetitive character.
   Need recognizeable patterns but also novelty.
   Vary motif by raising it a tone or two; maybe invert it so notes move in
   the appropriate direction.
   Don't meander around the key-notes in the chords.
--Patterns and variety are important.
   Use good words, be concise.
   Have a strong chorus.
   Have at least one rhyme in each verse.
--Have you good bridge.
   Word pattern and music pattern must flow together.
--Syllable, word pattern similar to prose pattern
   Use different modes
--Basic rhythms - so that extra syllables are not unnaturally forced into an inappropriate
   musical for
--The whole sound of a word matters in key phrases in a song
--Even a single syllable word, that technically fits in a song, can be wrong if it doesn't
  have the right feel
--Lyrics too regular in rhythm
--Listen for ideas - sunday sermons, newspapers, everyday converstaions
--Write one good line, write another to compliment, and rhyme with it
--4 line verse
   4 line chorus
   rhyme pattern - 1st, 3rd lines; 2nd,4th lines
--metaphor - comparison between two rather unlikely things
--simile - compares two things using "like" or "as" or "is"
--don't use cliches or dead metaphors
--don't be obscure, confusing or guardy
--don't over elaborate or mix metaphors
--don't go from simile to metaphor
--is there expressed identity between nouns
--find connections in the words
--the bible is poetic and uses many metaphors
--tension and conflict are essential in metaphors
--key thing is pattern in the music - involves rhythm, intervals, tempo, # of lines,
   how often it rhymes
--it's patters and variety
--provide enough detail and imagery
--be very specific, people will be able to relate
--short rhyming chorus
--rhyme patterns that match other verses
--switch keys - ie., from minor to major for chorus or vice versa
--flow of song
--instrumentation - guitar with keyboard backing
--musical cliches, be careful in their use
--message clear
--music fit
--does it work
--parts of the song integrated as a whole, or is it choppy
--sharp, concrete phrases
--stock christian phraseology overdone
--how might the song be used
--speed, rhythm, instrumentation
--who do you envision singing it, to whom, and to what purpose
--strong rhythms, words
--music is the prime ingredient
--what environment are you working, aiming at
--how will people react to song as a whole
--bold honesty
--does the song speak
--meaning of the words clear
--music fir lyrics
--four-square rhythm
--stressed notes tonic
--passionate lyrics
--tone down some of the emotion
--needs a highly flexible melodic rhythm
--verses too forced
--song structure intact
--hook strong
--too much rhyming?
--story told
--poetic words
--paint strong image
--make strong impression
--1st line strong
--express passion convinvingly (either positive or negative)
--sound strained and fake?
--repeat hook in chorus
--stay in the same person throughout (1st,2nd,3rd)
--political correctness in wording? (are we that hung up?)
--avoid apostrophes
--avoid using "just"
--1st,3rd person - be consistent, don't flip flop
--avoid using "must"
--singular or plural?
--are you preaching a sermon?
--does it speak to you?
--simple words can convey a lot of meaning
--are there inconsistencies?
--use "child" or "soul" or "friend" instead of ""man""
--honest lyric
--honest feeling
--send critiques privately or to group?
--why do you like a song
--are there issues the group could talk about?
--is the song not very good?
--point out what you like
--encourage the writer
--offer input/suggestions
--if they are new to writing cover the basics
--look for solid structure
--rhyming format is kept
--story - verse development through the song
--length of verses/chorus
--song title, and repeated enough
--are we saying something in a new way or from a different angle
--pray over the comments/songs
--decide what is meat and what is bones
--what is the purpose of the song
   is it to fit a particular mold?
   is it to glorify God?
   is it pleasing to you?
   does it touch your heart?
   does it express your innermost feelings?
--do you feel the song has a 'prophetic edge?
--strong start is imperative in songwriting
--strong hook - chorus
--does opening line of verse do it justice?
--1st or 3rd person (we or they)
--political correctness observed? (are we that hung up as christians to follow this?)
--is the song a preaching sermon?
--do yo seem remote/distant/lacking in empathy?
--what is the message?
--connectibility - for the listener to relate to, for them to want to sing along.
   need to have the song relate to the listener, so that they can sing along,
   so they know where we're coming from
--if you can whistle it or hum it, and you can't get the tune out of your head,
   then it has possibility - this is a "rule" with record producers when they
   look for hit songs.
--who is the song for, to be sung by, to be sung to?
--who are you writing to? who is your inteded audience?
   family and friends?
   mainstream audience?
   and why?
--write to glorify God?
--dissect verse/chorus - might give you fresh lyrics, idea for a title
--can anyone else understand the message besides me?
--is the message clear?
--can I amplify the meaning?
--how's the meter? does it flow, easy to sing, do you have to force the words
   into the rhyme pattern?
--are the words harsh or smooth sounding?
--is it something that someone else would want to sing?
--use frinds, family as sounding boards - gauge their reaction.
--can the non-christians understand your song?
--christian vs secualr audience?


write the hook line at the bottom of your chorus
work/write up instead of down


More thoughts on Songwriting
1. Cluster on a word (use a dictionary/thesaurus)
2. Outline what you want to say in the verses/chorus/bridge
3. Write down list of power words and rhymes
4. Try looking for metaphors or symbols
5. Write down list of possible questions that might need answering
     in each section of the lyric
6. Write the chorus
7. Create a lead
    Try to make the first line answer a question
8. Write the melody to the verses and chorus
9. Write a bridge
10. Develop the song


Some Songwriting Resources
Songwriting Tip Sheets
Song Plugger (818-761-5859)
Am. Songwriters Network (www.tiac.net/users/asn)
The Lead Sheets (716-357-2988)
TAXI (www.taxi.com)
Tunesmith (818-761-5859)

Song Plugging Info
Matthew J. Roberts
Big Time Music

Songwriters Accessories

Praise and Worship Songs
Southern Images Christian Midi Music
600 Manor Place
Melbourne, FL 32904

Free Songwriters Page and Workshop
Matthew J. Roberts (BMI)

Classic Music Publishing
George Cumbee
Aimee Birdwell (assisting on publishing end)

Terry Mike Jeffrey
TMJ Productions
135 Myrna Drive
Paducah, KY 42003


New IRC channel for songwriters/producers, etc.
#Songwriters on EFNet


copyright sign
alt + g key
alt + 0,1,6,9 then release alt key


ASCAP - songwriters
BMI - broadcasters


Warren Stroud
http://www.peaces.com (has a Music Copyright page)


click products
click adobe printer drivers
under product click


ASCAP better than BMI (writers vs broadcasters)

bio - age, height, where from, what you play, hobbies, picture

cakewalk - make sure save as a media file is unchecked in the save dialogue

to set up a company check out

learn about bio's
bio's - how long have you been performing/writing, etc.
           description of your style and influences
           any reviews or press you've had
   what your plans are
           don't make it wordy

request copyright forms from Washington
use PA form to copyright songs enmasse with cassette tape attached

say whether you want a "soft" or "tough" critique

songs range from 2 - 7 mins (should be as long as it needs to be)
doing music first provides a rhythm and suggests a mood to fit the lyrics to
doing lyric first may suggest a mood for the music


BMI is free
ASCAP, SECAP, etc. charge


free web pages


Writer's Block Cures:
1. compose in a different key
2. give up music for a week
3. do something different for a while
4. read some interesting provocative books
5. try to distract yourself a bit
6. take a long walk on a nice day in a serene/quiet environment
7. practice your instrument for a while then go back to writing
8. listen to music you normally don't or wouldn't
9. try writing melodies to some freat poetry as an exercise
10. develop a strong concept
      go from "what do i do now" to "how do I express what I want to say"
11. seek out an aspect of the human condition
   humor, tragedy, success, irony
12. change your entire day
13. eat different foods
14. walk/drive/ride via a different route
15. shop at a different store
16. listen to a different radio station
17. try different things, chord patterns, styles
18. write down many ideas, pick a few interesting ideas and write down ideas for them
19. use the who, what, why, where, how approach
20. use names and senses, not just adjectives
21. pick up your bible or newspaper and pick a story or theme
22. start with a hook and build a concept of a song around that
23. build a chorus, having done that, build a logical structure
24. try different chords
25. let some notes dissonant
26. use harmony
27. relax
28. keep journals
29. change chords
30. change rhythm
31. use life experiences
32. use joy and sadness of living
33. search for identity
34. search for life partner
35. search for life's work
36. expression of faith
37. try different musical arrangements
38. try different recording techniques
39. try different interpretations (of ideas)
40. try different compositions
41. use imagery (new descriptive ways)
42. use metaphors or use less
43. target an audience (which audience)
44. performance issues (easy,hard)
45. try alternate tunings for guitar
46. try electric vs acoustic guitar and vice versa
47. use a capo on the 5th fret or higher fret
48. try reversing note order


Steps to writing a song:
1. find, develop, write down lyrics
     decide on a topic, verses, expressional phrase
     brainstorm an entire page of notes on how you feel about it
     build addtional verses, expressions on the subject
     find two, three, four key lines or thoughts to develop
     the key thoughts could be topic headers for the verses, chorus, or bridge
     make them rhythmic
     develop the key lines into a metered environment
     develop your feelings on the subsequent lines or add some other thoughts
2. play with a chord progression, tune in your head, guitar, keyboard
     decide on the musical style (upbeat/ballad?etc)
3. decide on a chord progrssion and write it down
     do the chord progressions fit the metering style the lyrics dictate
4. develop melody that fits the lyrics, chord progression
     adjust lyrics, chords, melody as needed
     write it down in musical form
     either chord progression over the lyrics and/or melody in musical notation
        with the chord progression
     work with guitar arrangement - does the chord progression flow
     work with the lyrics and try to make a symmetrical presentation
     record the song, listen to it, and make any adjustments
5. seek comments, observations, suggestions from others (critique)
6. make adjustments based on item 5 (rewrite) or consider song finished
7. arrange the song for performance, final presentation


Tip Sheets
Parade of Stars
Contact Chuck Chellman
PO 121365
Nashville, TN 37212-1355


N. J. Factory Service
600 Industrial Ave.
Paramus, NJ 07652

Free webspace:
Angelfire - 5MB
Tripod - 11MB or you can get 23MB for $36/yr
Xoom - 11MB
Geocities - 10MB
FortuneCity - 11MB
check out your local ISP provider


More Songwriting thoughts
1. honest story songs
2. able to feel the natural rhythm in the lyrics
     when they are simply spoken
3. being a wordsmith helps in finding it easier
     to rhyme
4. music intro to song is important - should be short and catchy
5. subject of song of universal interest?
6. is it timely?
7. is it easy to understand?
8. use rhyme with care?
9. do you feel the rhymes?
     they shouldn't be predictable
10. chorus is recognition part of your song
      is it catchy? will people remember it?
11. is the song worth doing?
12. using the right words
13. development of a train of thought
14. twists included in narrative
15. leading to a conclusion
16. rhythm of language
17. rhyme, alliteration
18. use of metaphor and illustration
19. refinement, self-criticism, pruning
20. what about grammatical construction
21. obvious rhymes
22. forced parts
23. message get across
24. what is the author saying to his/her audience
25. song content


Article on Synch by Craig Anderton

protect your music for $38 one time fee


Theology of Creativity


use an equalizer
use trax and live instruments
sound quality is very important
CD is better - it implies qualityin a uniform appearance (matching outfits)

in cool edit compress first then normalize < 100% (use 99%)


Text As Music: ( a way of setting lyrics to music)
repetition of a phrase
repetition with variation
metric pattern that suggests rhythm
deriving melody from the inflection of the words when spoken naturally
do other lines fit into the same metric pattern
does the form make sense, as in ABA, AABA, ABAC
do different sections imply key changes, mood changes


Christian Songwriters Chats
There are chats scheduled each Tuesday at 9 PM Eastern and
each Saturday at 3 PM Eastern. For those who can't get mIRC
available at http://www.mirc.com there is a web site at
http://www.christian-chat.net. Go to the Christian-Chat site
then click on the "chat now" icon. That takes you to a page where
you have to type in a nickname or just your first name, your email
address (which doesn't show in the chat), and the room to join, which
is #christian-songwriters (just erase the #lobby), then click "connect"
and you'll be able to join others who are there using mIRC. You must
have a JAVA capable browser to go this route.
If you'd like to get mIRC to go to the chats, go to http://www.mirc.com.
If you'd like more information on how to add the CCNet server we chat on
to mIRC go to http://members.tripod.com/~TakeCourage/addserver.html.


- concert/worship ministry helps
- songs being in used in churchs helps
- songs being on a recording helps
- pitch CD to market segment where you will get a good return
- make up a marketing package: photo, bio
- sing around town, in churchs
- sound quality is very important
- CD vs Cassette - how many (at least 20)
- use shrink wrap (many developmental disability agencies of Goodwill type
                                 with workshops do shrink wrapping)
                                (cost can run .20 to .40 for quantities from 1 to 100)
- send to record labels: lyric sheets, letters of introduction
- vocals should be up front on recordings
- send out to 3 labels at a time
- send sound clips via email (keep them under 10 mins)
- get permission first before sending sound clips to bands and publishers
- get a website and get it found

- concentrate on the tune
- put harmony in later
- if can't remember it or sing it 2 days later tune needs serious work. Period.
- learn harmony and work on that

How to be Heard:
1. Start with a good clean demo tape of 3 songs.
     Vary the type of song. keep in mind your audience.
     Are they young or older?

2. You can creat your own demo by
     playing the tape and singing
    and recording on a second recorder.

3. If you go through a mixer it would be best.
    You can mix your voice and music.
    because using a microphone you might pick up room echos

4. if you a microphone which is choice 2
    Definately Second best.
    You are limited to the fidelity of the microphone.
    if your mike is really good it could pick up
    the music and your voice.

5. Make up post cards and mail them.
     If the reply send them a tape.and a Bio.

6. Find someone with a scanner and color printer.
     scan a photo of yourself and print it
     on your letter. It's looks cool and
     may be cheaper then reprints.

7. Start with your pastor and friends for referals.
    Youth groups are much easiest to get.
    than a Sunday Morning service.
    Sunday and Week day services are the next easiest.

8. Make sure you have a program of 10 - 12 songs.
    So you can vary the program.

9. Don't be come frustrated.
    God will allow it when you are ready but not
    until then.

10. WARNING!!!
      Ministry is a big responsibility.
      You are held accountable to God for
      what you say and do both On and Off stage.


An Item of interest from the CSGList and also posted at rec.music.makers.songwriting:

Disagree and discuss if you like, but this is what I got out of it. These
points are mostly from the writing for another artist perspective. Bullets
beginning with "o" are things I learned or were acutely re-enforced.
 General Song craft:
 o In Country, don't bother with anything that does not have a repeated
   AABA songs are useless as pitch material.
 o Cookie cutter form songs can get picked, everything else is a waste of
 * Differentiate the melody between verse and chorus in VCVC....
 * Don't start a VCVC.... song with a melodic climax save it for the
 o Don't let your melody fall right before the chorus.
 * VVCVC is ok just don't ramble on.
 * Pick your spots for riffs. Be dynamic.
 * If you don't have a payoff, don't bother to write.
 * Write to your title on the very first line. Don't lead up to it; get
   to the point you're making, and add to it with every line.
 * Use imagery where ever you can to show. Make the audience see what you
 * Don't use tired metaphors - especially those dealing with weather.
 * Don't write love victim, oh woe is me, lyrics.
 o If you're not writing with metaphor, make it clear.
 * If you are writing with metaphor, make sure to show the relationship.
 * Write with craft, but not without heart.

 * Don't write profound lyrics that only the writer can understand.
 * The audience has to "get it" or you're wasting your time.
 o If you have a really strong hook, put your chorus at the top.
 * "You" songs: don't change the "you" character between verse and
 * Adventures, fascinating people and places are good subjects.
 * Don't distract from the idea of the song with anything in production.
 * Use a quality tape for your demo - one guy's tape practically
 o Produce full demos for a musically handicapped audience.
 o Produce simple guitar/piano and vocal demos for a musical audience.
 o Start lyrics on the very first beat for simple demos.
 * Don't use a $20 cassette recorder to make your demo.
 * If you can't sing, get someone else to do it. A quality vocal goes
   a long way to keep attention; a crappy one get the song cut off
 o If you don't know how to play an instrument in a particular genre',
   someone else to do it for you. You could have the best country lyric
   ever written, but if the music does not have a country groove ... file
Record Label Question (from a newsgroup post):

What Yala has said is very, very good advice in general. If you are doing
something more dance/electronic oriented, the business is geared to
individuals with a little bit of cash to invest BUT you shouldn't expect to
make much (if any) money. If you go down this route, you will have to be
ready to deal with tens of pokey little distributors all over the place
(lots of phone calls and postage) and take it on the chin when they waste
your time / don't pay you / go bust owing you money. You will also have to
send promos to college radio, magazines, stores etc (again a lot of postage,
phone calls). Making the music is *by far* the easy part. If you can break
even at the start, you are doing very well. Most labels accept a small loss
or no profit in the first 4 or 5 releases in order to gain profile.

There was a good section on hyperreal.net about setting up a dance label
written by someone who has actually been successful at it.

Yala wrote in message <3611A2BE.5FFB0C03@tm.net.my>...
>Jonathan Camp wrote:
>> I recently finished recording a few songs and want to realase them out
>> to the public. I took my demos to the local record labels and nobody
>> took me. Does anyone know about how I can create my own record Label?
>> Can I just create my own label for this realease cause its a small
>> project?
>You can either incorporate a company, utilise an existing company you
>own, or go sole proprietorship. The step which "officially" makes you a
>"label" is registration with your relevant local recording label
>association like IFPI or whatever.
>Since you've already recorded the stuff, you're already a label... just
>not registered.
>Normally the job of the record label is to:
>a) Invest in the recording of your music
>b) Print copies of your music
>c) Distribute and Sell your music
>d) Handle Promotion and Plugging of your music
>You have already done step (a) which has saved them a lot of money so
>they should be happy but they're not. Fear not as this is normal because
>nobody said they had any taste.
>I presume from your question that you are now willing to pay for step
>(b) yourself. Brave man!
>Now you could got to a record label for a "distribution" deal which
>should include the promotional aspects too (ie steps (c) and (d)). For
>this you don't need to see any A&R people... just the distribution dept.
>But let me tell you a little secret... Wrestling is fixed! Apart from
>that, Record Labels say they do distribution... you would have thought
>that it means actually distributing it... They actually usually go to
>the "wholesaler" who isn't really a wholesaler but a distributor. The
>Wholesaler then handles the distribution of the album.
>This begs the question... why use a record label at all? You can go
>direct to the Wholesaler yourself. But you gotta be real careful with
>these guys cos they've been known to be less than honest. If you wanna
>do it this way, advice given to me is "don't go to the number one
>wholesaler... go to number two (who wants to be number one)". Apparently
>they'll work harder (like Avis). Check the contracts with several
>So why use a record label at all? Because they're usually good at
>promotions and plugging. Promotions you can probably handle yourself
>like making posters, placeing adverts, spamming newsgroups etc etc...
>And you may want to consider some arty-farty abstract blurred music
>video too (you can see the costs starting to pile up by now).
>Plugging is much harder. How many DJ in how many radio stations are you
>willing to "visit" and "pay respects" to? In how many states? In how
>many countries? You can pay a professional Plugger but nobody knows what
>they'll actually do! Hmmm!
>Which now nicely brings you back to the record label for steps (c) and
>(d). Nobody said this was gonna be easy!
>Yup! It's a conspiracy from the highest level! That's what happens when
>you let the music industry be run by solicitors (literally).
>I'll be embarking on a similar escapade as this soon... let me know what
>happens... Good Luck!
>| YALA, your hero and mine
>| http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Underground/2288
>| http://www.freeyellow.com/members2/tyala
>| Music, Synthesizers, Television

Publishing Thread Messages of Interest:

In a message dated 9/8/98 10:48:22 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
emporium@mail.microserve.net writes:

<< #1. In a song, what could I say and get away with it, without intruding on
 companies name. Say for instance, I was writing a song called "Big Mac
 blues." A spoof of McDonalds hamburger or something for instance. Could I
 say "Big Mac" or McDonalds, or happy meal?
 #2. As far as ASCAP, BMI, etc. when should a writer join one, what all do
 they do for you, who do you recommend, etc. Why?

Dear Dave:

Re: #1 -- I would strongly advise NOT using their names nor slogans directly.
These are "trademarked" and subject to lawsuits. I once co-wrote a song where
the lyricist originally had written, "Now half a mile up the road was a
stalled "Greyhound" bus..."
I said "Whoa -- don't do that!" I ultimately changed it to "...stalled
"Trailhound bus." Everybody knew what was meant, but it was indirect -- sort
of like forming our own company!

Maybe you can write around it and call it "The Burger Blues," or some other
vague connection. Keep in mind that these huge conglomerates house their own
staff lawyers, and they don't mind using them to earn their keep! Also, any
established publisher would be well aware of the potential legalities involved
and either change the lyric/s accordingly (if they loved the concept of the
song) or, simply decide not to "touch it with a ten-foot pole!"

Re: #2 -- From what I understand, there is no need to join ASCAP, BMI, SESAC,
etc., until one of your works become published and released for sale. These
agencies primarily monitor the logging of record sales and airplay from the
entire country/ies record stores, radio & TV stations, and issue royalty
payments. The primary difference between these companies is their method of
payment, quarterly, semi-annually, etc. (At one time, years ago, publishers
would argue which was better to belong to. And, at one time, it essentially
depended on what TYPE of music was being published, like "Mozart" was more
BMI, (since more of those kinds of works were monitored by that outfit) while
ASCAPmight be country, etc. But that's all changed now.

Not to worry, however. If you are not a member of one of these companies, you
will be if and when a publisher has your song/s ready for sale. It's a simply
form that the publisher will send, or complete for you, when the time comes.

Hope I helped!

-Wayne :^)

The Gillis & Barry Show -- Thursday evenings -- 8PM -- QPTV
Hey Mike B. Welcome back!

Nice to here your comments and clarifications on your experiences. On
the "what does publishing accomplish" thread by Ken, I only wanted to
add that IMHO it depends on what you are called to do with your gifts.
 As Mike said some have said that a Christian shouldn't make money
from this gift and that's a bunch of hooey!!
There will be some, if not most of us, who primarily do this for glory
of God (just as we strive to do with the rest of our lives) and there
will be some who do this primarily for the glory of God and will try
to make a living. Last I checked there's no commandment that says you
can't. But I do agree with Ken's main feeling on the subject. For
me, I do it primarily for His glory and secondarily for income.

ALSO, let's talk about publishing (and I'm far from an expert) First
and foremost is that according to the copyright laws, the author owns
the rights to the first publication. Publication is the distribution,
via sales OR givin' them away to the public. So, depending on your
intentions you could look at this from a couple of different angles.
First of all, since you, the author, own the right to the first
publication, if you record your own CD or send tapes to publishers YOU
WILL HAVE TO BARGAIN AWAY some or all of your publishing rights (there
are multiple scenarios). Just know this going in to the fire whenever
you approach a publisher. I suggest the book "Publishing: A
Songwriter's Guide" by Randy Poe.

I also realize that to some people, this stuff really doesn't matter.
If a person could get a song recognized, they may gladly give a way
all of their publishing rights. But I'm telling you that you are
giving away, generally, 50% of the income of the song when you do.

On the thread about 2 questions from Dave B:

In a song, what can you get away with saying without infringing...

Quite a bit, I would say. But no company's gonna bother and sue you
unless you're making money off the song or they see that you're made
of money. But whenever you publish a song, consult a lawyer. He'll
probably get a release from liability from the company. Henry Groce
wrote "Junk Food Junkie" (third verse: Aw, folks but lately I have
been spotted with a Big Mac on my breath. Stumblin' in to a Col.
Sander's with a face as white as death. I'm afraid someday they'll
find me just a-stretched out on my bed with a handfull of Pringle's
potato chips and a Ding-Dong by my head..." The song was very popular
in the '70s. I don't know how he handled it, but I'll bet that
McDonald's loved the advertising!!

As far as ASCAP, BMI, SESAC: when should a writer join one?

Good question! You can join any of these Performance Rights agencies
at anytime that you have a song that has been copyrighted and you have
received the registration for the copyright. You can join as an
Associate Member (none of your stuff has been published) or as a Full
Member (your stuff has been published and you can proove it) Note:
If you've recorded a CD in your basement and you've distributed it,
then it's published. There are various priviledges afforded both
types of membership. One of the main ones is that you cannot, of
course, receive any performance royalties from your songs being played
unless you join as a full member and register your songs with the
Performance Rights Agency (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC).

Now, is it worth it? Of course, if your published. Only you have the
right, or your publisher if you gave him/her that right, to perform
your music in public. Let's face it. If the song's gonna get any air
time, then it's going to be played and there's going to be income.
SO, a certain percentage of your performance rights may also be
negotiable with a publisher or label. As Wayne said, not to worry if
you've got a publisher pushing your songs. It's part of the
publisher's job to take care of these things (along with collecting
100% of the publisher's share royalties).

On the other hand, you might ask that if your songs aren't going to be
popular why join?

How do you know whether or not the songs you write are going to be
popular or not? In the year 2020, Dave B's Greatest Hits might be a
smash. On fantasy, this could be a legacy you leave to your heirs.
Only God knows because He's in control!! Even if it's a small amount
of income it is what the Father has provided for you. The other
advantage is the songwriter's conferences, the monthly magazine with
industry news, etc. It's really inexpensive to join and I'd recommend
it. Now, which organization ? ? ? ? I belong to ASCAP.

Enough ramblin' for a while...

In Him,


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