Tag Archives: Frettie

6 People Who Can Introduce You To Songwriting Pros

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, at lunch in midtown, and out at songwriter nights.  But how do you connect?

Maybe someone can introduce you.

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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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I know.  Easier said than done, right?  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 a membership representative.  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 the 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.

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 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 bringing both sides value and being in the room, too.  And “great idea” + “pro songwriter” increases his chances 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 songwriter.  Don’t abuse your friendships, but do be on the lookout for opportunities to meet those pros.  Maybe it’s at a kid’s birthday party.  Maybe it’s at a Christmas party.  You never know.  Just be aware of the situation, and act appropriately.  And be patient.  Nobody wants a CD slammed in their hand at the neighborhood swimming pool.

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 making yourself happy, 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!  Now… on to #6!

6. Frettie & Songwriting Pro

That’s right, part of the mission of Frettie.com and Songwriting Pro is to connect YOU to the pros.  I don’t want to just give you ADVICE, I want to give you ACCESS.

 

Every quarter, I host Frettie’s “Know The Row,” with an industry pro.  And our next event is coming up in February with hit songwriter, Byron Hill!

This is your chance to sit down face-to-face (online) with a real-deal professional songwriter. Since moving to Nashville and signing his first publishing deal in 1978, Byron’s songs have generated more than 700 recordings, and have been released on ninety-one industry certified Gold and Platinum albums and singles!  Wow.

You and I BOTH want to learn what Byron has to share.

Here’s the deal.  You can join us online from anywhere in the world on Thursday, February 8, 2018 from 7pm-8pm Central time.  And this special event is FREE to members of Frettie.com!  (But don’t worry- you can still purchase a ticket even if you don’t want to take advantage of all of Frettie’s membership benefits.)

CLICK HERE TO GET ALL THE DETAILS & MEET HIT SONGWRITER BYRON HILL.

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, a #1 in Canada & a top 10 in Texas… so far.

5 Things You Must Know To Become A Songwriting Pro

Nobody can provide you with an exact roadmap on how to get from being an amateur songwriter to being a professional songwriter.  But here are five things you must know – and act upon – if you want to go pro.  Read on!

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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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1. Nobody turns pro alone.

You have to build a network.  Songs move from hand to hand (or inbox to inbox) and into the right hands based on relationships.  These relationships can range anywhere from business acquaintances to best friends.  You MUST get to know people, and they must get to know your music.  Knowing the “right people” isn’t cheating.  It’s a vital part of succeeding as a pro songwriter.

2. “Professional” means your songs earn money.

In order to earn money, your songs have to have value in the market.  At the end of the day, some artist wants to record them, and a bunch of fans want to buy them.  To become a full-time songwriter or to get and keep a publishing deal, your songs have to earn income.  Your job is NOT to write songs.  Your job is to write songs that make money.

3. Songwriting is NOT your hobby – it’s your business.

If you treat it like a hobby, that’s all songwriting will ever be for you.  Just a hobby.  And that’s fine, if that’s your goal.  But if you want it to be a business, you have to act like a professional.  You have to treat it like a business.  The serious songwriters are the ones who get the serious cuts.

4. Good enough isn’t good enough.

To break into the biz, your songs can’t be “just as good as” the worst stuff on records and radio.  If an artist wants to cut mediocre songs, they’ll cut THEIR OWN mediocre songs, or their buddy’s or their producer’s.  Your song has to compete against everybody else’s BEST songs.

5. You WILL have to sacrifice.

The professional songwriters are the ones who have been willing to sacrifice.  They came home from their day jobs and picked up the guitar instead of the tv remote.  They spent their Spring Break in Nashville instead of at the beach.  They left family to move to Nashville.  They waited tables – even though they had a masters degree – just to be where the music is.  They don’t just TALK like they want success.  They WORK like the want success!

But you don’t have to just take my word for it.  If you REALLY want to go pro, you need advice from as many pro songwriters as possible.  And I have good news for you.

I’m gonna hook you up with an awesome multi-hit songwriter.

In February, I’m hosting Frettie’s “Know The Row” with hit songwriter, Byron Hill!  This is your chance to sit down face-to-face (online) with a real-deal professional songwriter. Since moving to Nashville and signing his first publishing deal in 1978, Byron’s songs have generated more than 700 recordings, and have been released on ninety-one industry certified Gold and Platinum albums and singles!  Wow.

You and I BOTH want to learn what Byron has to share.

Here’s the deal.  You can join us online from anywhere in the world on Thursday, February 8, 2018 from 7pm-8pm Central time.  And this special event is FREE to members of Frettie.com!  (But don’t worry- you can still purchase a ticket even if you don’t want to take advantage of all of Frettie’s membership benefits.)

CLICK HERE TO GET ALL THE DETAILS & MEET HIT SONGWRITER BYRON HILL.

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, a #1 in Canada & a top 10 in Texas… so far.

7 Ways Songwriters Can Stay Motivated

Whether you’re an amateur songwriter hoping to “go pro” or you’re a young pro trying to break through to the next level, a key element of success is simply to keep going.  But that isn’t always easy.

For every person pulling a U-Haul into Nashville, there’s someone moving back home because they just don’t have the heart anymore.  So, how do you give yourself the best chance to keep going?  Here are a few ways.

________________________________

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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1. Connect with your “why.”

If you don’t have a clear understanding of WHY you write, it’s really hard to answer the dark-valley question, “Why should I keep trying?”  When the music biz knocks you down (and it will), you need to know why getting up matters.  Maybe not why it matters to the world, but at least why it matters to YOU.

Maybe you write because you know that’s how you’re wired, and you’ll go crazy if you abandon it.  Maybe you write to leave a legacy of song for your children’s children.  Maybe you write to share life lessons- to remind yourself as well as others of hard-earned truth.  Maybe it’s to prove to yourself that you can do it.  Or maybe you write to make people smile for three minutes in an often heartbreaking world.

Whatever drives you to write, you should have a clear picture of it.  The “why” is what will give you a reason to dust yourself off and get back in the arena.

2. Celebrate the small victories.

Don’t ignore or downplay the small victories- especially early in your journey.  Be grateful.  Let the little victories give you confidence and fuel for the journey.

These are YOUR victories.  They don’t have to meet anyone else’s standards of what’s worth celebrating.

For a few years, some buddies and I passed around a football- a “game ball” – when we’d have a music victory.  It got passed around for everything from indie cuts, publishing deals, big cowrites, 1st demo sessions, and more.  Those weren’t the victories that the biggest writers in town were probably celebrating, but they were new, positive steps for us.  It gave us a reason to celebrate together.  We also had a friendly rivalry going, because each of us wanted to “get the game ball” back on our own mantles!

3. Connect with a supportive community.

We all need people who encourage, support, and believe in us.  They can be online or face-to-face, family or friends, cowriters or non-songwriting creatives.  It doesn’t matter who they are, just that they will support you.  And be sure and support them, too!

If you’re looking for a supportive community, I suggest the Songwriting Pro Facebook Group and Frettie.com.  I host both groups, and I love watching songwriters like you making progress and earning new victories on your songwriting journeys.

4. Display visual reminders.

Remind yourself that you’re a songwriter.  Remind yourself of your dreams and goals.  Remind yourself of your victories.  Create a vision board with pictures of your songwriting-dream-come-true.

Get a good song review from a community like Frettie.com?  Print it out and hang in your writing space!  Score an indie cut?  Congrats!  It doesn’t matter if it goes gold, platinum or plywood- get a CD frame and hang it up to remind yourself that someone likes one of your songs enough to record it.

Also, keep your guitar and/or writing notebook out where they’re visible – and available.  Don’t keep them hidden in a closet or a drawer somewhere.  You’re a writer.  Don’t let yourself forget that.

5. Pace yourself.

This is a marathon, not a sprint.  Be persistent, but be patient.  You have to find a family/money/music balance that is sustainable over the course of years, not just months.

It might mean you can’t quit your day job just yet.  Maybe you can only write one night a week for now.  Sure, we all want instant gratification, but patience pays off.

Be patient.

6. Protect a positive attitude.

To stay in it for the long haul, you have to believe success is possible, and a lot of belief simply comes from your mind-set.

Seeing the glass as half-empty will cause your dreams to die of thirst.

Watch what comes out of your mouth.  Not only does what you say reflect what’s in your heart, it reinforces it.  Practice speaking positively- strengthen that part of yourself.

Had a bad publisher meeting?  Don’t focus on the disappointment.  Focus on what you were able to learn from that meeting (even if all you learned is that you have more to learn).  Get a song to an artist, but they didn’t record it?  Focus on the fact that you were able to actually get a song heard!  I bet that wasn’t always the case.  So you’ve made progress!

7. Make a new connection.

Yes, we’d all love to suddenly become best buddies with <insert your favorite artist or songwriter>.  But that’s probably not going to happen today or tomorrow.  But who CAN you reach out to?  Where can you become a blip on someone’s radar and begin to build a relationship?

The music business is based on both music AND relationships.  Sometimes when then music isn’t working like we’d hope, we can keep some forward progress by focusing on relationship-building.  “Well, Publisher X didn’t love my song, but I got to meet Hit Writer Z this week!”

And you know I don’t like to throw out suggestions without providing an opportunity to put them into practice.  So I have a really great opportunity coming up for you!

In February, I’m hosting Frettie’s “Know The Row” with hit songwriter, Byron Hill!  This is your chance to sit down face-to-face (online) with a real-deal professional songwriter. Since moving to Nashville and signing his first publishing deal in 1978, Byron’s songs have generated more than 700 recordings, and have been released on ninety-one industry certified Gold and Platinum albums and singles!  Wow.

You and I BOTH want to learn what Byron has to share.

Here’s the deal.  You can join us online from anywhere in the world on Thursday, February 8, 2018 from 7pm-8pm Central time.  And this special event is FREE to members of Frettie.com!  (But don’t worry- you can still purchase a ticket even if you don’t want to take advantage of all of Frettie’s membership benefits.)

CLICK HERE TO GET ALL THE DETAILS & MEET HIT SONGWRITER BYRON HILL.

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, a #1 in Canada & a top 10 in Texas… so far.

Are you missing out on THIS valuable resource?

Did you know I have another blog, too?

You might’ve heard me talk about Frettie before.  It’s an online songwriter community I have the honor of leading.  It’s cool.  Anyway, I’ve also started blogging over there, and I wanted you to know about it.

The blog posts tend to be shorter than over here at Songwriting Pro. If you’re looking for some quick songwriting nuggets, that’s a great place to go.  I post on Wednesdays.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE NEWEST POST ON THE FRETTIE JOURNAL.

Thanks.  I hope it serves you well!

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

I’d like to introduce you to YOUR new songwriting friend… Frettie.

Songwriting Pro + Frettie = great for you!  

I just wanted you to know about some really exciting developments here at Songwriting Pro- and how they can help YOU turn pro.

I’ve recently had the blessing to assume leadership of Frettie.com! I’ve been a member for a few years now, and I’ve always been a fan. Dennis and his wife, Julie, started something pretty special for songwriters. So when they approached me about shepherding the Frettie community, I jumped at the chance.

But, hey, this isn’t about me- it’s about YOU.

My mission here at Songwriting Pro is to help songwriters like you turn pro in your craft, art, and business. So I’m not walking away from Songwriting Pro. Songwriting Pro and Frettie will work together to serve you.

Frettie will help YOU turn pro by:

*Connecting you with other songwriters who will give you helpful feedback…

*Connecting you with pro songwriters who are available to give you feedback on your songs…

*Providing you with a professional-looking page where you can share a single song or your whole catalog…

*Exclusive access to the Frettie Members Forum private Facebook group.

*Private access to Frettie’s monthly online J.A.M. (“Just Ask Me”) Sessions where I’ll reveal pro songwriting tips and tactics- and where you’ll have the chance to ask your most burning songwriting questions face-to-face.

…and more!

CLICK HERE to join Frettie today!”

If you’d like to check out Frettie.com for yourself, CLICK HERE. I can’t wait for you to join us!

God bless,

Brent

 

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.

A Pro Songwriter’s Team

Man vs Row

Songwriting is a team sport. I’ve said that a thousand times if I’ve said it once. But, until now, I don’t guess I’ve written about who makes up a pro songwriter’s team. Well, here ya go. Not all of these members are necessary for every songwriter at every career stage. Some are only needed when money is being generated from your songs. So don’t get overwhelmed- you don’t have to find all these folks today.  

Also, this list is for pro songwriters or those who want to make money. If you just want to write good songs, pick and choose accordingly.

1. The Cowriters.

There are very, very few songwriters who turn pro (and stay that way) who are exclusively solo writers. Your cowriters help keep you fresh and break you out of creative ruts and stale habits. They also provide song ideas so you don’t have to come up with all your own ideas. Cowriters provide creative strengths to compliment your weaknesses (lyrics for your melodies, etc.) They share valuable information (who’s cutting, what they want, who’s about to get a record deal, etc.). They (and their publishers) help pitch your songs. They provide political advantages- writing with the artist, the producer, or with someone in a powerful publishing company.

Rise

2. The Songpluggers.

If you want cuts, somebody has to be out there actively pitching your songs and getting them heard by folks who can say “yes.” Oftentimes, this is done by a music publisher, who has at least one songplugger on staff. Many pros also pitch their songs themselves. I’m an “all hands on deck” kinda guy, so I like to have both when I can. People who might plug your songs: you, your publisher, a (legit) independent songplugger, your cowriters, your cowriters’ songpluggers. If nobody is plugging your songs, nobody will hear them. If nobody hears your songs, nobody will cut them.

3. The PROs.

Performing Rights Organizations (PROs) are basically companies who collect and distribute airplay royalties for publishers and songwriters. There are three PROs in the United States- ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. Every other country / territory has only one. If you’re blessed to get some airplay, you and your song won’t get a dime of airplay money if you (and your song) aren’t registered with a PRO. That’s the big service they offer. Other benefits include networking and educational opportunities. EVERY money-making pro must have a PRO.

4. The Recorders.

All the songplugging in the world isn’t gonna do you much good if all your demos / recordings sound terrible. There’s just too much competition and too many quality demos out there for an A&R person to do the work to hear through a bad recording. They just don’t have to. Unless you’re an established hit songwriter with a good track record, they’ll just trash it and move on to a recording that sounds like it was done by a pro. It’s great if you have the musician and production chops to get good sound on your own. But most songwriters don’t have that, so it needs to be outsourced. Maybe your cowriters can perform this function, or maybe you hire a track guy or some studio musicians. I hesitated to list them as part of your team since they’re hired guns… but getting quality recordings is so important, I couldn’t keep them off the list.

Team Sport

5. The Administrators.

Somebody better be watching the money. Your administrators are the folks that make sure your songs are registered with a PRO, licensed properly by the record labels, the copyright forms are sent in and that your royalties make it (properly and promptly) from the record labels to the songwriters. This function is usually done by the publisher, but you can also hire an admin firm for a percentage of what they collect on your behalf. For example, my Major Bob Music catalog is partly administered in-house and partly by The Harry Fox Agency. My personal publishing company, Cowboy Chords Music, outsources my admin to Bluewater Music. They handle my licensing and royalty collections for a percentage of the money they collect.

6. The Sharpeners.

These are the folks who help you sharpen your skills, both on the artistic and business sides of songwriting. This may include cowriters who inspire and challenge you to do your best, it may include NSAI, Global Songwriters Connection, Man vs. Row, Frettie, song evaluators, and coaches. It may be your publisher or songplugger. It may be a writer’s rep at a PRO or a publisher who will listen to your songs and give feedback. The Sharpeners are hugely important for amateurs turning pro and for seasoned pros trying to keep current and to adapt as the commercial market changes. These are the folks who will tell us the truth and challenge us, even when it’s unpleasant.

7. The Believers.

Who’s going to pick you up when the biz knocks you down? When you’re lost in doubt? You’ll find The Believers in several of the other categories- The Cowriters, The Pluggers, and sometimes The PROS and The Sharpeners. The Believers may also include folks outside of music- your family and friends. This isn’t just for the aspiring songwriter. We ALL need The Believers. But the most important believer will always be one person. Yourself.

There ya go. A pro songwriter’s team. Like I said earlier, you may not need all these folks right now, depending on where you are in your career. But as you climb that mountain, you’ll add more and more of them.

What about you?  Would you add anyone else to “a pro songwriter’s team?” How’s your team-building coming along?  Leave a comment- I’d love to hear from you.

Pro songwriters know they need a team.  And if YOU want to become a pro, you need to think like a pro, too.  In my FREE e-book, “THINK LIKE A PRO SONGWRITER,” I not only reveal several of the mindsets which separate the pro songwriter from the amateur, but also…

  1. How to get on a music publisher’s radar
  2. How the pros know who is looking for songs
  3. Six simple ways to make your songs more commercial
  4. And more!

To get your FREE, INSTANT download of “THINK LIKE A PRO SONGWRITER,” just click on the image below, or CLICK HERE!

think like a pro songwriter 3D

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.

Man vs Row