The Big Yes


Brent is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ray Stevens, and more.  He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

When pitching a song, there is a “Little Yes” and a “Big Yes.”  The Little Yes is a person who only has the power to pass your song up the ladder.  The Big Yes is one of those very few people on a project who actually decides what gets cut.

Don’t just assume that the artist is always the Big Yes.  If he’s brand new, the producer or the head of A&R might be the Big Yes.  If you’re pitching for a specific project, don’t be satisfied with just pitching to the Little Yes.  Try to identify the Big Yes.  After all, a Little Yes can’t really say “yes,” but they can say “no.”

God Bless,



Anything you’d like to add or ask?  Leave a comment!  Are there any topics  you’d like to see addressed in a future MvR post?  Thanks!


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9 thoughts on “The Big Yes”

  1. The problem is….all the Big Yes folks live in a castle surrounded by a moat full of alligators. They only let the draw gate down to let in the Little Yes messengers. Seriously, is there any way to pitch a song other than going to the NSAI open pitch to publisher nights? Paraphrased….”if I tape a CD and lyric sheet to a big rock, how big of a catapult do I need to get it over the wall?”

    1. Roger,
      True, this post is more for folks who have been able to find a way across the moat (and to those who eventually will). It’s easy to sometimes settle for the little yes, because it gives you the most hope for the least effort. There’s no one-step way to get into the castle that I know of. It’s step by step, building relationships, building cred, etc. good luck!

    2. Truer words were never spoken. I had a song for a certain singer who won Nashville Star that was perfect for that singer and that singer wanted to sing it and was familiar with it because I had used that singer to sing the demo. The then head of A&R who shall remain nameless at the label who shall remain nameless that the singer won a deal with was the decision maker and went with songs that for the most part were wrong for this singer. Two years later both the head of A&R and the singer were cut from the label.

  2. So, someone like me from southern WV, who has written a DARN GOOD song (in my opinion) this week, doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of making contact with anyone with any clout in Nashville. Well, I’ll just keep STOP PLAYIN’ WITH THIS HEART OF MINE to myself!!! LOL

    1. I would think (but don’t know from experience) that you should keep writing, and keep plugging away. Write a hundred more great tunes. I think it’s fantastic that Brent is shining a light on the process, but there are no guarantees (trite but true — everyone knows this, just had to say it), but whatever you do: have a plan B. I’m not actively pitching tunes to anyone — I just love songs of all types. I played in an orchestra for 25 years and piano/organ at Church and bars for most of my life –> just to be a part of music. Ironically, I do write tunes — but I don’t pitch. So maybe, you shouldn’t listen to any of my comments because I’m not even to little yes! Best to you and keep the faith!!

  3. I have had songs pitched in Nashville through the Artist Development Network. I guess my frustration comes from not knowing if those who seek songs actually listen to them, even for a moment. If they ask I think there should be at least a one-sentence feedback. Otherwise, why bother to solicit songs? A simple constructive comment would be appreciated. Something like, “too mature a theme for this artist”, or “poor imagery”, etc. It seems like a fair exchange to me.

  4. Hi Brent – thanks for taking your time and providing positive springboard talk.

    I’m retiring early from fed career because I love the songwriting process so much. I can’t wait to come to town an be around sober people to co write with !

    Listening & learning!


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