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  • Marketing advice, please - I'm stuck!

    How does an ordinary guy with some songs get them published or recorded? I'm not a singer or a hot musician - but I write good songs! (I write bad songs, too, but this post is about the good ones.)

    It's mostly roots-American styles - blues, country, folky stuff, R&B, and Americana, whatever that means anymore. It doesn't fit what I hear on commercial radio - no punk, emo, new country, album rock, or hip-hop - but a guy can dream. So I do.

    I've recorded a lot of them in my basement on my trusty Tascam and have started getting them copyrighted.Here are some examples:

    Bide a Wee Inn:
    http://www.thefullertons.net/uploads..._a_wee_inn.mp3

    The Monkey's Business:
    http://www.thefullertons.net/uploads...s_business.mp3

    Decorating My Mind:
    http://www.thefullertons.net/uploads...ng_my_mind.mp3

    Ain't She a Caution:
    http://www.thefullertons.net/uploads..._a_caution.mp3

    El Gusano (The Worm):
    http://www.thefullertons.net/uploads..._01_gusano.mp3

    Bad B Movie:
    http://www.thefullertons.net/uploads...ad_b_movie.mp3

    Mystery Town:
    http://www.thefullertons.net/uploads...stery_town.mp3

    Nashville:
    http://www.thefullertons.net/uploads.../nashville.mp3

    The Crossing:
    http://www.thefullertons.net/uploads...e_crossing.mp3

    The instruments and vocals on those recordings are all just me, but I do have a band together, and we're talking about doing some recording. Our gigs have been few and far between and are likely to stay that way. Meanwile, there are a (very) few people in the music business and in non-commercial radio whom I know slightly - not close friends at all, just friendly distant acquaintances.

    So how does a music business outsider get some tunes launched? I have over a hundred songs and would like to get some artists or a producer to record a few of them. Based on all the above info, have any advice?

    Thanks!

    Del
    Last edited by Delmont; 07-02-2014, 06:45 AM.
    Del
    www.thefullertons.net
    ( •)—:::
    Sent on my six-string jumbo ukelele

  • #2
    I'm sure others have very different opinions but here's mine:

    I'll tell you honestly. The only way you're going to get any traction with your stuff is to start performing it. And that entails all the headaches or joys, depending on your perspective, of being a... performer. Image, likability, charisma, ability to get it across to a crowd.

    You've got a cool sound and there's no reason you shouldn't be out there playing at open mics, etc. Build your skill set by doing a weekly live gig for 6 months, and then hire a local producer to help put together a 5 song EP to offer at your future gigs.

    Without living in one of the major music towns and working that system, there really is no other way. Even living in one of those towns and working the system is a long shot.
    __________
    Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
    Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
    Jesus

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks, Lee! Makes sense. Maybe just getting the band recording and scaring up more gigs is a good next step.

      Now excuse me while I go find that charisma and likeability!

      =O]

      Del
      Last edited by Delmont; 07-02-2014, 12:32 PM.
      Del
      www.thefullertons.net
      ( •)—:::
      Sent on my six-string jumbo ukelele

      Comment


      • #4
        If we knew the definitive answer we'd all be somewhere already, lol! A good start would be to pick up a handy little guide book called, http://www.amazon.com/2014-Songwrite.../dp/1599637316 a songwriters market or similar which lists all the agencies or people you could contact with your songs and how to go about doing it. While not ALL the information is relevant to you and some of the information is outdated the stuff that IS good can be GOLD.

        Get your music registered with bmi/ascap that would be a good start. Don't fall into any scams, never put money up front-- do gigs! BUT NOT ANY GIGS!

        The ones that will get you the best exposure. The throw away gigs are good for when you're first starting out but only then- otherwise you'll just be wasting your time-- and time is precious especially if you're still young and trying to hit the game.

        I used to play at this one place in NYC called the Delancy all the time! Tuesdays....... it was fun, I got to know people and I knew that if I kept at it I would be asked to play other venues (which i was) and it would all lead up from there, I got people wanting to record me, to be my manager, to style me, give me all kinds of drugs, drinks, wiminz, etc-- anyways- Let the offers come to you is one sort of approach.

        it's a tough road, don't give up.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks, Volt!

          I'll check out the book. Actually, I'm not young and have no interest in making a name. (For music, I don't even use mine! I'd rather make a name-de-plume) Plus, I'm a happily married one-beer kind of guy. Not the far-out berzerker street person I was 40, 45 years ago. Now I just want to get some tunes out there. Sell some, give some away. Been writing 'em since around '68, and they're starting to clog up my brain. I'm no performer. Never been able to memorize lyrics, carry a tune like a concealed weapon. Imagine an introvert Wild Man Fischer.

          Never thought of BMI/ASCAP. The book probably details the how-tos. Will do.

          Delancy's sounds like some great memories. Love New York. Used to hang out at the Fillmore when I was a teen. I doubt I'll ever live down there again.

          There are a couple of places I used to play at regularly down in Portland, but they're long gone, and nothing I've found since has been a good experience. I did make musical friends that way, and I still play with one them. At the open mics within an hour of my town, you don't do much but wait two hours for a chance to back up old drunks playing Steve Earle or young drunks playing Glen Hansard. (Or worse, have them back YOU up!) Not worth the price of gas and a beer. I'd actually pay to not have to go, but luckily, I can stay home for free.

          Now that I've gotten that rant out of the way, I will take your and Lee's advice and give one of the local bars another couple of chances. Place called the Wharf. They never mop up the beer because the river floods every spring and rinses the suds away. Haven't been there in seven or eight years. Maybe it's gotten better. Or stickier.

          Here's what it looks like:
          https://www.facebook.com/pages/THE-K...05899162774850

          Love watching the bikers smoking by the propane tanks. (From a distance.)
          Last edited by Delmont; 07-02-2014, 09:37 PM.
          Del
          www.thefullertons.net
          ( •)—:::
          Sent on my six-string jumbo ukelele

          Comment


          • #6
            Maybe a different approach is what is needed! Basically you need to get your songs down in recorded well mixed and mastered form. Three or so would be fine to be sending around to different agencies. Even though you might be sinking a bit into the recordings not meant for public ears it is what the talent scouts will hear. If they hear some lo-fi shmegegle they'll turn it off E-MEDIATELY!........ i know.

            It's all about sending the right material to the right people. I like your music, personally and can see it in a few different applications. Maybe not the radio per se, but for film and television! It's not as current as what is going on right now but definitely evokes some emotions when I listen.


            My most interesting memory of the delancey?.. Wading through the upstairs part of the club to get to the downstairs where the bands play. One time there was about 10 naked dudes running around with warpaint on their faces. The place always employed some shady people, did a whole bunch of things to try to get the place packed on a weeknight. Nothing really worked, lol.

            Comment


            • #7
              "...It's not as current as what is going on right now...."

              Yup. I hate almost all the current stuff and am SO glad my stuff doesn't sound like it. It's like listening to Prozac. Very controlled, very programmed, not very spontaneous-sounding, not very soulful or exuberant. Hendrix and Garcia are definitely still dead.

              The daily paper here had a pair of side-by-side articles on the entertainment page a couple of weeks ago. The one on the left was Alice Cooper complaining about how tame popular musicians are these days. The one on the right was about a boy band that was terribly embarrassed that one of them had been caught smoking pot on video. They were apologizing for the video's "controversial" content. Like - since when is there a self-respecting rock band that doesn't endorse judicious drug abuse?!

              I know that the formula for a hit song is to say the same old thing in the new way. I like doing just the opposite: saying something new in a traditional way. So the Grammys will have to soldier on somehow without me.

              Delancey's sounds like a hoot. I heart New York.

              And by the way, my wife and I swung by the Wharf today to check the open mic/jam schedule. Looks like there's an acoustic thing Sundays and an electric thing Wednesdays. Gonna get back in the saddle again! Thanks to you and Lee for the nudge.

              Del
              Last edited by Delmont; 07-03-2014, 10:17 PM.
              Del
              www.thefullertons.net
              ( •)—:::
              Sent on my six-string jumbo ukelele

              Comment


              • #8
                Yeah, but asked how to be marketable, lol. And of course no musician likes what is main stream or on the radio- I'd rather stab my ears with a knife then listen to the radio for 10 minutes.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I enjoyed what little I could make out of the two songs I listened to, especially "Monkey Business." But your voice is too low in the mix.

                  Best of luck!
                  “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by voltaire1 View Post
                    Yeah, but asked how to be marketable, lol. And of course no musician likes what is main stream or on the radio- I'd rather stab my ears with a knife then listen to the radio for 10 minutes.
                    =O]
                    Del
                    www.thefullertons.net
                    ( •)—:::
                    Sent on my six-string jumbo ukelele

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LCK View Post
                      I enjoyed what little I could make out of the two songs I listened to, especially "Monkey Business." But your voice is too low in the mix.

                      Best of luck!
                      That helps, thanks, L! I'll try to push the vocals up more. Any advice that helps get me there is welcome.

                      What I want in the end is to find a better singer (or singers) to do the singing. I love playing guitar and writing but I've never found my singing voice.

                      Del

                      "The Monkey's Business"

                      Hopped a freight train in Seattle,
                      I was bound for Buffalo.
                      Turned out the car was occupied:
                      A bandy-legged ‘bo
                      was deep in conversation
                      with an itinerant chimpanzee.
                      They were tending to a bottle.
                      The hobo offered it to me.

                      The chimp was saying, “Lookee here,
                      one more thing you should know --
                      ancient wisdom late acquired
                      while escaping Kokomo:
                      Keep your eye upon the key ring
                      and not upon the lock,
                      keep an ace beneath your fez
                      and a razor in your sock.

                      I passed the chimp the bottle.
                      He said, “Here’s blood in your pie,”
                      and took a mighty swallow.
                      A flame lept to his eye.
                      Dogs and cats were plummeting.
                      He said, “Midnight is near.
                      Who could calculate the odds against
                      the fates that brought us here,

                      the fates that brought us here,
                      the fates that brought us here,
                      the fates that brought us here,
                      the fates that brought us here.
                      He said, “I’ve rode the rods for many a night,
                      but this might be my last.
                      One day I knew a thing or two,
                      but that day is long past.
                      I’ve considered many questions,
                      but cannot fathom why
                      such misfortunes must befall us
                      before monkeys learn to fly.”

                      He passed the ‘bo the bottle,
                      said, “Here’s to good times, Joe,”
                      drew a gold watch from his waistcoat
                      and tossed it to the ‘bo.
                      “Thank you kindly,” said the hobo, “but
                      you need this more than I.”

                      The monkey grinned, rolled wide the door,
                      and lept into the sky,
                      and vanished in the darkness
                      and the pounding of the rain,
                      leaving us the bottle and
                      a few things to explain:
                      What was that monkey’s business?
                      Was his sacrifice in vain?
                      We pondered the imponderable
                      ‘cross mountain, town, and plain,

                      mountain, town, and plain,
                      mountain, town, and plain,
                      mountain, town, and plain,
                      mountain, town, and plain.

                      Last edited by Delmont; 07-04-2014, 10:06 PM.
                      Del
                      www.thefullertons.net
                      ( •)—:::
                      Sent on my six-string jumbo ukelele

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=I'd rather stab my ears with a knife then listen to the radio for 10 minutes. [/QUOTE]

                        PS - If you can't find an ice pick, you can borrow my Tele!
                        Del
                        www.thefullertons.net
                        ( •)—:::
                        Sent on my six-string jumbo ukelele

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What a cool tune. Keep your eye on the key ring, and not upon the lock. That's great, man. I got to say though, I think your voice is really good for this stuff. It's fine to be dreaming of another singer, but the best way to sell that is to sing your songs. John Prine does not have the prettiest voice but he sure has the greatest songs. People hear him sing his songs and want to do them as well. This is really good.
                          Originally posted by Delmont View Post
                          That helps, thanks, L! I'll try to push the vocals up more. Any advice that helps get me there is welcome. What I want in the end is to find a better singer (or singers) to do the singing. I love playing guitar and writing but I've never found my singing voice. Del "The Monkey's Business"
                          Hopped a freight train in Seattle, I was bound for Buffalo. Turned out the car was occupied: A bandy-legged ‘bo was deep in conversation with an itinerant chimpanzee. They were tending to a bottle. The hobo offered it to me. The chimp was saying, “Lookee here, one more thing you should know -- ancient wisdom late acquired while escaping Kokomo: Keep your eye upon the key ring and not upon the lock, keep an ace beneath your fez and a razor in your sock. I passed the chimp the bottle. He said, “Here’s blood in your pie,” and took a mighty swallow. A flame lept to his eye. Dogs and cats were plummeting. He said, “Midnight is near. Who could calculate the odds against the fates that brought us here, the fates that brought us here, the fates that brought us here, the fates that brought us here, the fates that brought us here.
                          He said, “I’ve rode the rods for many a night, but this might be my last. One day I knew a thing or two, but that day is long past. I’ve considered many questions, but cannot fathom why such misfortunes must befall us before monkeys learn to fly.” He passed the ‘bo the bottle, said, “Here’s to good times, Joe,” drew a gold watch from his waistcoat and tossed it to the ‘bo. “Thank you kindly,” said the hobo, “but you need this more than I.” The monkey grinned, rolled wide the door, and lept into the sky, and vanished in the darkness and the pounding of the rain,
                          leaving us the bottle and a few things to explain: What was that monkey’s business? Was his sacrifice in vain? We pondered the imponderable ‘cross mountain, town, and plain, mountain, town, and plain, mountain, town, and plain, mountain, town, and plain, mountain, town, and plain.
                          __________
                          Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
                          Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
                          Jesus

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Delmont View Post

                            That helps, thanks, L! I'll try to push the vocals up more. Any advice that helps get me there is welcome.

                            What I want in the end is to find a better singer (or singers) to do the singing. I love playing guitar and writing but I've never found my singing voice.
                            I just want to be able to hear it. It's an amazing lyric!
                            “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks, guys! That helps, too. As you can tell, I have more confidence in the quality of the songs themselves than in my singing - including my ability to remember words on stage. I'm one of those people who even forgets his phone number and debit card PIN sometimes.

                              So in the short run, I'll take your advice and keep on doing my own singing. Long-term, I'm still hoping to give and sell songs to other artists to cover. That's the part I'm trying to figure out - and your suggestions help!
                              Del
                              www.thefullertons.net
                              ( •)—:::
                              Sent on my six-string jumbo ukelele

                              Comment













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