6 People Who Can Introduce You To Pro Songwriters

Man vs Row

Trying to connect with pro songwriters in towns like Nashville can feel like standing knee-deep in a river and dying of thirst.

Pros are all around you- you see them at the coffee shop, walking up and down the sidewalks of Music Row, out at lunch in midtown, and out at songwriter nights.  But how do you connect?

Maybe someone can introduce you.

I know.  Easier said than done.  But here are some people who have the possibility of connecting you to a pro.  By “connecting,” I don’t necessarily mean booking a cowrite.  I mean anything from “Bill Hitmaker, this is Manny Row,” to “Bill, you and Manny should write sometime!” to “Manny, let me book you with Bill.”

1. Your PRO Rep

If you’re a member of ASCAP, SESAC, or BMI, try to get a meeting with your rep.  If you can make a fan out of him (or her), he might connect you with some other up and coming songwriters.  Absolutely blow your rep’s mind, and he might connect you to a pro.

2. A Music Publisher

If a publisher really digs what you do, he/she might book you with some pro cowrites.  Of course, connecting with a publisher isn’t easy.  But I’ve written about that before.  CLICK HERE to learn how to get on a music publisher’s radar.

3. Industry Contacts

Pro songwriters know people at organizations like NSAI.  They hang out there sometimes.  As these folks at these places get to know you (and become a fan of your writing and of you as a person), they may just grab you one day and say, “I want you to meet Bill Hitmaker.  Bill, this is Manny Row…”  Those kind of personal introductions are great.

relationship biz

4. Other Songwriters

Who do your current cowriters and songwriting friends know?  Who are their cowriters?  Maybe you can arrange a lunch or (better yet) a cowrite between the three of you.  But don’t just expect your cowriters to just do you a favor.  Make it easy on them by presenting an amazing idea or melody that you want to write with a pro.  It could be pretty attractive for your cowriter to hook up your amazing idea/melody with an established pro who has connections.  Your cowriter wins by bring both sides value and being in the room, too.  And “great idea” + “pro songwriter” increases his chance of a cut, so he should be happy to get all three of you together.

5. Personal Relationships

If you live in Nashville, odds are you know somebody who knows a pro.  Don’t abuse your friendships, but do be on the lookout for opportunities to meet those pros.  Maybe it’s their kid’s birthday party.  Maybe it’s at a Christmas party.  You never know.

6. You

That’s right, YOU can introduce yourself to pro songwriters.  There are several ways to do this.  As a matter of fact, it’s worth it’s own post.  And that’s exactly what we’ll discuss next Monday.

Please remember that all of these people don’t just exist to solve your problems and make you happy (you don’t even exist for the sole purpose of solving your problems, but that’s for more of a theological post…).  You have to be patient.  Don’t just walk in these folks’ doors and expect them to pick up the phone and call a pro on your behalf.  It’s a big compliment for someone to make a professional introduction.  Treat it- AND THEM- with respect.  Build a relationship.

Hopefully, these folks will become a fan of both you and your songs.  If it’s not happening, keep working to write better songs.  Also, take a look at how you present yourself.  Are you coming off as too aggressive, too negative, too desperate, too unprofessional, etc.?  Every time a person makes a contact/recommendation on your behalf, it’s a reflection on them.  Do your best to make them look good by introducing people to you!

What about you?  Did I miss anyone?  Have you used any of these avenues to meet & connect with a pro?  Have you used different avenues?  I’d love to hear your comments!

By the way…

1-to-1 Coaching

Want some personalized help and guidance for your songwriting journey? I’ve just opened up some spots for 1-to-1 coaching. I’m happy to be your “personal pro”- to give feedback on your songs, answer any questions I can, help you develop your song ideas, and discuss goals and “next steps.” I also have some coach-writing spots open. This is when you and I actually write a song together! If you’re interested, CLICK HERE.

God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,


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

Man vs Row

11 thoughts on “6 People Who Can Introduce You To Pro Songwriters”

  1. Paying a pro songwriter for mentoring is a pretty obvious way to meet a pro.

    They’re a lot friendlier that way because they know you value your time (because you actually PAID for it).

    I’m pretty sure Brent does mentoring and I’ve heard it’s excellent (the quality of his blog posts should be a clue).

    I was lucky enough to get some mentoring with Max T Barnes (one of Brent’s co-writers) and with Marc-Alan Barnette.

    Marc introduced me to a pile of different people in Nashville including other songwriters.

    He also gave me some brutally honest feedback that substantially cut my learning time down.

  2. Hey Brent!
    Already have this and can’t wait for the additions! Just wanted to give you a heads up though. In the post, you first mention the cutoff date for buying the original version at its current price as March 22nd…then a couple of paragraphs down you mention it as April 22nd. Just wanted to let you know in case you wanted to send out a fix:)

  3. Hey Howdy Brent!

    Just a quick Go SEC as we enter March Madness!

    Reading this one actually rang a mission bell for me. I’ve been hokey pokey-ing (left leg in, left leg out etc) with songwriting going on 10 years now…?

    Reading this I was like.. I’ve really met some great people, writers, publishers, label A&R and on and on. Mostly from being a very handy tech savvy guy to have around at events/conferences/workshops, etc.

    Somehow, I’ve never actually walked into NSAI or a PRO office and met with anyone there. New tasks for the task list!

    My circle is made of dashed lines, but the gaps between lines keeps getting smaller!

  4. Hi Brent,

    NSAI workshops have been an excellent way of meeting pro writers. Lately, when some of the pros have been up to D.C. to lobby in Congress, Bart and the pros have been kind enough to share some of their valuable time by having informal meet and greets between the pros and our membership in the Baltimore/Washington area. It has been a wonderful experience with them telling us how they started in the business and how things currently are in Nashville.

    In addition, Tin Pan South/NSAI Spring Training has been a great way for me to meet a lot of the up-and-comers as well as the established pro songwriters.

    In my opinion, I think the most important thing in dealing with pros is, not necessarily to write a song with them (although a co-write with them would be a dream come true, especially for a new songwriter!) as much as it is to build a friendship with them and to learn from their experiences. Pros have spent years in the business, have gone through what we are going through and can share their trials and tribulations. Their insights are invaluable. (And . . . Brent, I for one definitely appreciate the time and the wealth of knowledge that you share with us!)

    1. Hi, Donna! I agree completely. Aim first for a personal connection of some sort, then see where things go. Thanks for adding to the conversation!

  5. IKR!
    I wrote a song for Stevie at her sixty-something birthday concert in Vegas a couple years back–cant recall the exact year, because I’ve seen her perform live many times–anyway, I threw the ‘durn written song up on stage, and you wanna know what that rascal Mick did?? He done went all out and kicked it with his bullcorn boot like it was a cow chip!

    1. Haha! So you’re saying “throw a CD on stage during their show” should have made the list at #7… right? 🙂

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