The C.L.I.M.B. #67: It Takes A Lot Of Swings To Get A Hit

It takes a lot of swings to get a hit in music.  We all miss the ball more times than we hit it.  But that doesn’t mean we give up!  We take another swing!

This week on The C.L.I.M.B., Brent & Johnny discuss why you shouldn’t give up on a song the first time someone passes on it- and you shouldn’t give up on the person who passed, either.  Give this episode a listen as we give YOU the tools you need to succeed as a songwriter.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON ITUNES

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON STITCHER (for Android)

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN ON THE C.L.I.M.B. WEBSITE

The C.L.I.M.B. stands for “Creating Leverage In The Music Business,” and that’s the goal of this podcast- to help singers, indie artists and songwriters like YOU to create leverage in the music business.  What is leverage?  It’s “strategic advantage; the power to act effectively.”  We want to help YOU make stuff happen in the music biz.

It’s exciting to see how folks are digging the show- and being helped on their CLIMB.  If YOU like it, we’d really appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave a rating or review on iTunes.  Positive ratings and reviews help us to climb the iTunes rankings so more people become aware of the show and we can help more singers, songwriters, and indie artists like you make The CLIMB!The CLIMB iTunes review 3

CLICK HERE TO LEAVE AN iTUNES REVIEW

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON ITUNES

If you aren’t on iTunes, you can listen to the show at our website:

TheCLIMBshow.com

If you have an Android phone, you can subscribe to the show on:

Stitcher

Thanks for your time. It means a lot to me, and hopefully it’ll be a lot of help for you!

God Bless and keep C.L.I.M.B.ing,

Brent

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.

How To Romance A Music Publisher

You can’t just get a publisher to lay down (a publishing deal) for you on the “first date.”  You have to romance them.  Here’s how.

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To BE a pro, you need to THINK like a pro, and this FREE ebook will help transform your thinking, your songwriting, and your success.  Get it today!

Click Here For The Book

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Getting a publisher to offer you a publishing deal is kinda like getting them to marry you.  It’s a big commitment, and it’s one that isn’t taken lightly by a publisher.  It’s a tough, tough business, and they need enough of their investments to pay off to keep the lights on.  Just because you show up in their office one day with a cool guitar and one awesome song doesn’t mean they’ll drop a staff songwriting contract on your lap.

You gotta romance a publisher.  Here are eight ways you can do that.

1. Have sexy songs.

No, I don’t mean make-out songs.  I mean there needs to be something sexy about your songs- something that captivates the publisher or something that pulls their attention back to your writing.

Maybe the whole song is great.  Maybe it moves them to tears or laughter.  Maybe there’s that one line in the second verse that is so honest and real that it takes their breath away.  Maybe it’s a hook (melodic or lyrical) they can’t get out of their head.  A sexy song has something about it that sticks with the publisher after you leave the room.

2. Be yourself.

Publishers want to see the real you in your songs.  They want some real heart, some real truth, some of what YOU have to say (happy or sad, funny or mad).  You may get a publisher’s attention by dressing your songs up like Craig Wiseman or Luke Laird, but it’s YOUR true creative voice that, if it resonates with them, will make them fall for you.

3. Be a good hang.

Ever date someone who is good looking but just leaves you exhausted (in a bad way)?  Someone who is overly needy, pessimistic, a lush, or is addicted to drama?  Eventually, their good looks (or good songs) aren’t worth the trouble.  You don’t have to be the publisher’s best friend.  But being a good hang is only going to improve your chances of getting to second base.

4. Be buzz worthy.

Ever notice how people get better-looking as soon as they start dating someone else?  It’s like they get some sort of social proof that, yes, they are in fact… dateable.  It repositions them in your mind.  A similar thing happens in the music business.  As publishers realize other people (writers, publishers, etc.) take you for real, they’ll naturally start to see you as more of a legit option.

5. Be committed.

I don’t mean to prove you’re committed to that publisher, like you’d never look for a deal anywhere else or play songs for another publisher.  Show you’re committed to songwriting and the music business.  Show you’re committed to getting better.  Show you’re in it for the long haul- you’re not just testing the waters and will bail if the “music thing” doesn’t work out.  Publishers invest a lot into their writers.  They’re serious, and they want to know you are, too.

6. Make a good first impression.

It’s always good to start off on the right foot.  A publisher’s first impression of you can either be a setup for success or a setback you have to overcome.  Personally, I’d rather have the setup.  Your first impression can come from the publisher seeing you at a writers night, hearing one of your songs through a cowriter, a “blind date” meeting, a workshop, or from word-of-mouth in the biz.

You don’t usually get to control when you make that first impression- or how you make it.  But doing quality, consistent work in a professional manner increases your odds of making a good first impression.

7. Have “good prospects.”

Of course, it helps to woo a publisher by having three songs on the charts.  But almost nobody is in that position.  But the more things you have going on, the more attractive you are as a potential staff writer.  Publishing is a business, and the publisher stays in business by making money.  So even if you aren’t coming into the deal just crushing it, you want to show (honestly) that you have “good prospects.”  It’s like a girl thinking, “yeah, he’s broke now… but he’s in med school…” But be real.  Don’t hype.  Hype is NOT attractive.

8. Go on a few dates.

A publisher who is interested in you may set you up to write with their writers.  This is their way of checking you out.  They’ll want to hear the songs you write with their writers.  They know what their writers bring to the room, so it’s their chance to see how you play in the sandbox with someone on the team whom they respect.  And they’ll usually ask their writer, “So, how was he/she?”

There ya go.  Eight ways to romance a music publisher.  I hope you go out, find that special someone who will change your life, and you make hundreds of beautiful song babies.

Just invite me to the wedding.

Now, if you’re ready to start romancing a publisher, I have an opportunity for you!

Tim Hunze is coming back to do another Play For A Publisher event in June!  He’s a successful publisher with Parallel Music in Nashville, Tennessee.  Tickets are on sale now, and space is limited.  CLICK HERE to check out all the details and submit YOUR song for Tim!

God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,

Brent

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.

SWP 4

The C.L.I.M.B. #66: Intelligent Design

Are you living by default or design?  Is your music career happening to you, or are you happening to your career?

This week on The C.L.I.M.B., Brent & Johnny discuss how your career can explode (in a good way) with just a little intelligent design.  Give this episode a listen as we give YOU the tools you need to succeed as a songwriter.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON ITUNES

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON STITCHER (for Android)

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN ON THE C.L.I.M.B. WEBSITE

The C.L.I.M.B. stands for “Creating Leverage In The Music Business,” and that’s the goal of this podcast- to help singers, indie artists and songwriters like YOU to create leverage in the music business.  What is leverage?  It’s “strategic advantage; the power to act effectively.”  We want to help YOU make stuff happen in the music biz.

It’s exciting to see how folks are digging the show- and being helped on their CLIMB.  If YOU like it, we’d really appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave a rating or review on iTunes.  Positive ratings and reviews help us to climb the iTunes rankings so more people become aware of the show and we can help more singers, songwriters, and indie artists like you make The CLIMB!The CLIMB iTunes review 3

CLICK HERE TO LEAVE AN iTUNES REVIEW

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON ITUNES

If you aren’t on iTunes, you can listen to the show at our website:

TheCLIMBshow.com

If you have an Android phone, you can subscribe to the show on:

Stitcher

Thanks for your time. It means a lot to me, and hopefully it’ll be a lot of help for you!

God Bless and keep C.L.I.M.B.ing,

Brent

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.

Wordplay Thursday #188

Welcome to Wordplay Thursday!

Today, we’re going to try something a little different for your writing prompt- something called “BURIED TREASURE.”

Check out this lyric video and look for possible titles or song ideas in the lyrics. Don’t use the same title as this song, of course. But see if you find some treasure buried in this lyric. Happy hunting!

I’d love to hear what you come up with- if you find a title and where that title leads you – so please share in the comments!

Wordplay Thursday is a fun way to generate new song ideas- and who doesn’t need more song ideas?  If you’d like MORE “creative kickstarters,” join the Frettie.com community!  In our private Facebook group, I share a handful of creative kickstarters every week.  Plus, there’s plenty more cool stuff for Frettie members!

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT FRETTIE!

God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,

Brent

Here’s What Music Publishers Want MORE Than A Hit Song

Yes, music publishers want a hit song.  But that’s not all they want.  And it’s not even what they want the most.  What is it they REALLY want?  Well, let’s just say they’re on a goose chase…

Of course publishers want to find hit songs.  Albums aren’t selling, so album cuts aren’t bringing in enough money to keep a publisher afloat.  They need songs on the radio.  So hit songs ARE important.  Without them, the publisher will die a slow death.

Hit songs are golden eggs, and publishers are excited to find one.

However, I don’t know of any hit songs that have been found by a publisher, signed to a single-song contract, pitched, cut and then run up the charts.  Yeah, that’s probably happened… but I can’t name any.  So what publishers love even more than finding hit songs are finding hit SONGWRITERS.

Hit songs may be golden eggs, but hit songwriters are the geese that lay golden eggs.

Publishers’ long-term success will come by finding and signing hit songwriters.  They want songwriters who consistently write commercial, cutable songs and have a hit songwriter’s work ethic and mindset (or they look for writers who have the work ethic and mindset, and are on the verge of having the songs- and might have the songs with some polishing and development by the publisher).

You wanna be the goose.  You want the publisher to see you as someone who can lay that golden egg again and again- not just as someone lucky enough to stumble upon a golden egg.  (Or you want the publisher to see you as a baby goose- one who hasn’t started laying eggs yet, but can start popping them out with some time and maturity).  The goose has a career.  The guy with one golden egg has a cool story to tell his buddies at work on Monday.

The goose doesn’t lay one golden egg and stop.  It gets to work on the next egg, then the next.  The goose is a pro who keeps on keeping on- no matter what.

So when you meet with a publisher, don’t be afraid to show them your eggs.  (Okay, that sounded weird.)  But always keep the long game in mind.  Conduct yourself professionally.  Be ready with an answer to, “what else ya got?”  Don’t be a one-egg wonder.

Be the mother-freaking goose.

Maybe you have a golden egg or two.  Maybe you’re a goose.  Maybe you’re ready for a “Yes, I love it!”  Or maybe it’s just time to see how you stack up.  Whatever your situation, I have an opportunity for you!

Tim Hunze is coming back to do another Play For A Publisher event in June!  He’s a successful publisher with Parallel Music in Nashville, Tennessee.  Tickets are on sale now, and space is limited.  CLICK HERE to check out all the details and submit YOUR song for Tim!

God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,

Brent

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.

SWP 4

Wordplay Thursday #187

Welcome to Wordplay Thursday!

Today, we’re going to try something a little different for your writing prompt- something called “NEW WINDOWS.”

Songwriters are always trying to describe an old room through a new window. For example, we all try to find a fresh, compelling way to tell a love story- or a heartbreak story. That fresh perspective is the “new window.”

For example, you might describe the “old room” of a love story through the “new window” of the guy’s dog.

The dog used to go camping with him every weekend- and loved it. Now the dog watches him shave, leave the house, and smells perfume on him when he gets home. Eventually, the dog watches her move in with him. How does that change things for our four-legged friend? One day they bring home a little baby who, before you know it, is crawling up to the dog and tugging his ears.

That’s a new window into an old room.

Today, try writing a love song through the window of an…

Airplane

I’d love to hear what you come up with, so please share in the comments. Oh, and please keep your posts below an R-rating. It’s a family show, after all!

Wordplay Thursday is a fun way to generate new song ideas- and who doesn’t need more song ideas?  If you’d like MORE “creative kickstarters,” join the Frettie.com community!  In our private Facebook group, I share a handful of creative kickstarters every week.  Plus, there’s plenty more cool stuff for Frettie members!

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT FRETTIE!

God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,

Brent

The C.L.I.M.B. #65: 6 Songwriting Tiebreakers

It takes a really good song to get a cut.  But artists usually find more than enough “really good” songs.  So what’s the difference between what song gets cut and what song doesn’t?

This week on The C.L.I.M.B., Brent & Johnny discuss 6 “tiebreakers” that may give YOUR song the edge it needs to beat out the competition.  Give this episode a listen as we give YOU the tools you need to succeed as a songwriter.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON ITUNES

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON STITCHER (for Android)

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN ON THE C.L.I.M.B. WEBSITE

The C.L.I.M.B. stands for “Creating Leverage In The Music Business,” and that’s the goal of this podcast- to help singers, indie artists and songwriters like YOU to create leverage in the music business.  What is leverage?  It’s “strategic advantage; the power to act effectively.”  We want to help YOU make stuff happen in the music biz.

It’s exciting to see how folks are digging the show- and being helped on their CLIMB.  If YOU like it, we’d really appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave a rating or review on iTunes.  Positive ratings and reviews help us to climb the iTunes rankings so more people become aware of the show and we can help more singers, songwriters, and indie artists like you make The CLIMB!The CLIMB iTunes review 3

CLICK HERE TO LEAVE AN iTUNES REVIEW

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON ITUNES

If you aren’t on iTunes, you can listen to the show at our website:

TheCLIMBshow.com

If you have an Android phone, you can subscribe to the show on:

Stitcher

Thanks for your time. It means a lot to me, and hopefully it’ll be a lot of help for you!

God Bless and keep C.L.I.M.B.ing,

Brent

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.

Great Advice For Songwriters From Hit Music Publishers!

Play For Pub

Here are some great lessons from our most recent Play For A Publisher Events!

So far, I’ve had the honor of hosting three great “Play For A Publisher” events. Our guest publishers, Tim Hunze of Parallel Music  and Chris Oglesby of BMG Music on Music Row in Nashville, Tennessee, have dropped some major value bombs. Today, I’d like to share some of the best takeaways from these evenings.

TIM HUNZE: PARALLEL MUSIC

I’m a “title freak.” If you have a great title, I’m already interested.

Don’t just sit in the same situation for the whole song. Have some sort of resolution or journey.

If you can demo it, do it.  Much of what is coming to him has at least a track or loop of some sort.  Most of his writers are writing with track guys. That said, if you’re not in the industry full time, a guitar/vocal will work. A great song will get through.

What’s the “WHY” of your song? Why are you sharing this song/story with the listener? Why should the listener care about hearing your song?

Keep writing up-tempo. I still get 10-to-1 ballads. Even from pro Nashville writers. I always need up tempo.

In songwriting, most of the time girls like sensual more than sexy. So don’t just talk at her, paint her into the scene.

Challenge yourself to come up with a new idea. A unique spin on an old thing. I listen to 100+ songs a day, so ideas, melodies, lines, titles, all need to be fresh.

Sometimes songwriters forget that they know more than the listener- and they don’t get enough of the important information out of their heads and onto the page. As a result, the listener is either confused or emotionally disconnected from the song.

There’s value in bringing a “change-up” song to a publisher or A&R person- a song that’s great but not “the usual.” Even if it’s not exactly what they need, it’ll be a breath of fresh air. (As long as the song is killer, of course.)

If you have a stale melody, the best lyric in the world won’t be heard.

How do songwriters get songs to a guy like him? Events like Play For A Publisher, NSAI, PROs (ASCAP, SESAC, BMI), attorneys…

CHRIS OGLESBY: BMG MUSIC

Classic country is pretty fresh right now because everything is so pop. I like to play things that stand out.

When songs are really good, sometimes it’s just about finding an artist that relates to it the most.

After a while, the “trick” of a lyric is over. We get how clever your idea is. Now just focus on the relationship in the 2nd verse. The “tricky” chorus will bring us back. Focus on the takeaway of the song. Everything points to the big takeaway. Focus on the takeaway, not the vehicle for the takeaway. (In other words, don’t get so clever with your theme or gimmick that you forget the heart.)

A song must connect on BOTH a lyrical and emotional level.

Mentioning things like “texting” or other in-the-moment technology (“Facebook” “MySpace”) is a red flag in a song. Those things can make a song obsolete overnight or keep it from aging well.

Just because a line is cool so say, it still has to sing well. Singability is huge!

Sometimes writers get so busy “writing the story” using all kinds of clever craft- that they forget to just TELL the story. Don’t get too much in your head that you forget the heart.

Assume the girl you’re singing about is in the audience and listening.  Especially when it’s a positive love song, make sure to weed out the lines that might offend her.  Just assume she’ll take things the wrong way.

Be sure that it’s clear from the beginning of your song who you’re singing to.  Don’t take me out of the song by making me try to figure it out.

Play songs for publishers that YOU love.  Don’t just play what you THINK the publisher will love.  After all, you probably don’t really know the publisher personally, so you don’t really know what they’ll like.  But songs that YOU love will tell the publisher a lot about YOU, and that’s valuable.

If YOU’D like your chance to play YOUR song for a real-deal Music Row publisher, I have good news!

Tim Hunze is coming back to do another Play For A Publisher event in June!  Tickets are on sale now, and space is limited.  CLICK HERE to check out all the details and submit YOUR song for Tim!

God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,

Brent

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.

SWP 4

Wordplay Thursday #186

Welcome to Wordplay Thursday!

Today, we’re going to try something a little different for your writing prompt- something called “NEW WINDOWS.”

Songwriters are always trying to describe an old room through a new window. For example, we all try to find a fresh, compelling way to tell a love story- or a heartbreak story. That fresh perspective is the “new window.”

For example, you might describe the “old room” of a love story through the “new window” of the guy’s dog.

The dog used to go camping with him every weekend- and loved it. Now the dog watches him shave, leave the house, and smells perfume on him when he gets home. Eventually, the dog watches her move in with him. How does that change things for our four-legged friend? One day they bring home a little baby who, before you know it, is crawling up to the dog and tugging his ears.

That’s a new window into an old room.

Today, try writing a love song through the window of a…

Storm

I’d love to hear what you come up with, so please share in the comments. Oh, and please keep your posts below an R-rating. It’s a family show, after all!

Wordplay Thursday is a fun way to generate new song ideas- and who doesn’t need more song ideas?  If you’d like MORE “creative kickstarters,” join the Frettie.com community!  In our private Facebook group, I share a handful of creative kickstarters every week.  Plus, there’s plenty more cool stuff for Frettie members!

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT FRETTIE!

God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,

Brent

The C.L.I.M.B. #64: Create Your Own Destiny

This week on The C.L.I.M.B., Johnny & Brent discuss an amazing artist with a major record deal, hit producer, famous management team and a killer album… who failed to break in America.

We reveal why they failed and what YOU can learn from this -so you can avoid the same fate.  So give this episode a listen as we give YOU the tools you need to succeed as a singer, songwriter or indie artist.

The C.L.I.M.B. Podcast Episodes 64 is live and ready for download!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON ITUNES

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON STITCHER (for Android)

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN ON THE C.L.I.M.B. WEBSITE

The C.L.I.M.B. stands for “Creating Leverage In The Music Business,” and that’s the goal of this podcast- to help singers, indie artists and songwriters like YOU to create leverage in the music business.  What is leverage?  It’s “strategic advantage; the power to act effectively.”  We want to help YOU make stuff happen in the music biz.

It’s exciting to see how folks are digging the show- and being helped on their CLIMB.  If YOU like it, we’d really appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave a rating or review on iTunes.  Positive ratings and reviews help us to climb the iTunes rankings so more people become aware of the show and we can help more singers, songwriters, and indie artists like you make The CLIMB!The CLIMB iTunes review 3

CLICK HERE TO LEAVE AN iTUNES REVIEW

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON ITUNES

If you aren’t on iTunes, you can listen to the show at our website:

TheCLIMBshow.com

If you have an Android phone, you can subscribe to the show on:

Stitcher

Thanks for your time. It means a lot to me, and hopefully it’ll be a lot of help for you!

God Bless and keep C.L.I.M.B.ing,

Brent

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.

Helping songwriters turn pro.