The Muse's Muse  
Muses MailMuses Newsmuse chatsongwriting resource home
Songwriting Chat Logs

A Log of our 9th Guest Speaker in the Songwriting Lounge - July 12, 1999
with songwriter/teacher, Sara Light.

Here's a brief bio:
Sara Light is a professional songwriter who holds a Master's Degree from Rutgers University in English Education. While living in NJ, she was an instructor at Rutgers University and studied lyric writing with Sheila Davis from 1989 to 1992. After moving to Nashville to pursue songwriting, she served as the Nashville Songwriters Association International's (NSAI) Membership Director until 1996 when she signed as a staff songwriter for Zamalama Music. She has been a guest lecturer at several NSAI regional workshops, the Nashville NSAI Workshop Pro-teaching series, and Belmont University. She has served as a judge in several national songwriting contests and teaches her popular class on lyric writing each spring in Nashville. She is currently a part-time faculty member at Vanderbilt University and a full-time staff songwriter. Several artists have recorded her songs including Steven McClintock and John Michael Montgomery. Her song, "Home To You" is the title cut on John Michael Montgomery's newly released album and the current single.

As per usual, we stuck with the "as is" format. Sara was a lot of fun and full of very useful information. Have a read through the log and you'll see just what I mean. I hope you can join us again for our next guest.


-- Log on saralog.log started at Mon Jul 12 18:02:01 PDT 1999

Martin Christian songs, fairly new at it , maybe a year or so.
JodiMuse Hi everyone. :-)
Martin Hi
JodiMuse Sorry... I don't think I'm late... How's everyone doing?
...........................JeffM joined............. :)
JodiMuse Hey there, Jeff.
IreneJ Hey there Jeff!
Sara You're not late. We're just chatting.
Sara Hi Jeff.
JodiMuse Irene - OUTTA my head. :-)
JeffM Hi Sara, Irene, Jodi
IreneJ You are? How come?
JodiMuse It's dusty in there.
IreneJ lol
JodiMuse So everyone's getting acquainted?
IreneJ Just starting, yes
Sara Yes, indeedy.
IreneJ I think this is the first time for Martin and WFBeam
Martin yes.:-)
JodiMuse Oh? Really? Welcome, guys! We're glad to have you here.
WFBeam It is for me you are right
IreneJ Yes, welcome
Sara Glad to meet you.
JeffM Welcome
Martin :-)
...........................MB joined............. :)
Sara Hi MB.
IreneJ Hi MB :-)
JodiMuse Welcome MB.
MB Hi Sara--it's Mary Beth Stone and Randi Drucker from New York NSAI
...........................DavidPiano joined............. :)
Sara Hi you two! Thanks for joining us!
DavidPiano Hello all.
IreneJ Hey there David :-)
JeffM Hi Mary Beth & Randi
DavidPiano Big group tonight.
JeffM Hi DP
JodiMuse Hi DP. :-)
DavidPiano Has the log started?
JeffM Because of our special guest of course!
IreneJ We're just getting started!
JodiMuse Hey - I'm hoping it gets bigger!
JeffM I'm sure it will
Sara MB, how are things in NY?
DavidPiano I'd just like to take a minute and plug to everybody that I got a paying gig!
JodiMuse There's lots of room. You guys who have done this before know the drill but those of you just joining us for the first time, here's how this usually goes. You type in a "?" and wait for a moderator to tell you to go ahead, ok?
IreneJ Good for you David :-)
Sara Great David!
JodiMuse Yay David!
DavidPiano Thanks.
IreneJ Paying gigs can be few and far between, lol!
DavidPiano :-).
JodiMuse Definitely!
Sara Gigs pay?
DavidPiano LOL.
JeffM lol
...........................Lisa joined............. :)
JeffM Hi Lisa
DavidPiano Hello Lisa.
JodiMuse Hi Lisa.
Sara Hi Lisa.
Lisa Hi everyone.
IreneJ Hi Lisa1
MB Things are going great in New York, Sara. Way to go on your John Michael cut! Hi Lisa--and everyone else we didn't greet!
IreneJ !
DavidPiano Has the seminar officially started yet?
JodiMuse Ok guys - are we ready? What do you think?
DavidPiano If so, ?
MB Let's do it.
IreneJ Go for it :-)
Sara Ready when you are!
JodiMuse Ok David. :-) Go for it!
Lisa ?
DavidPiano Sara - in browsing your bio, I see you hold a master's in English. Obviously that helps with lyrics, but has a knowledge of language helped musically at all?
JeffM ?
MB Not yet--we've just heard you got the cut
Sara Actually, I have a bit of a music background from playing violin through college. However, I had to learn about chord progressions after moving
Sara to Nashville. I still count on strong musician cowriters.
............................WFBeam left ............. :(
Sara Co-writing is very helpful.
MB Amen!
Sara done
JodiMuse Go ahead Lisa.
............................Martin left ............. :(
Lisa Sara - how do you go about writing a song - specific techniques, please, do you use piano, guitar, do you hum the tune, work on the lyrics first.. etc. Any helpful hints would do!
Sara I like to work from an idea first. A title usually, and then brainstorm on ideas about how to approach the title.
Sara Once I have something going I try to think of a lyric and work on music and lyric together, usually.
Sara Guitar is my instrument. And the chords seem to come before the melody.
...........................Martin joined............. :)
DavidPiano WB Martin.
JodiMuse Jeff, go ahead. :)
IreneJ WB Martin
JeffM What made you decide to become a songwriter?!
DavidPiano Working from the head down. . .logical.
Martin :-) got disconnected.:-(
DavidPiano ?
MB How do you deal with a co-writer going faster (or slower) than you do in coming up with ideas?
Sara I've always liked music, but never even thought of being a songwriter until my fiance (at the time), Danny, couldn't seem to think of words to our wedding song! I had to write them myself. True story.
Sara After that, I was hooked.
...........................thatguy joined............. :)
JeffM so to speak
DavidPiano Hello TG.
Sara lol
DavidPiano Ahh, I see the pun. :-)
thatguy Type HEREHello
DavidPiano<---- Bit slow tonight.
IreneJ Hi thatguy :-)
thatguy Nice to be here
JodiMuse Hi TG. If you have a question for our guest speaker, please type a "?" and then wait for a moderator to tell you to go ahead.
IreneJ Hooked, I git it :-)
Sara I think I missed MB's question, Jodi.
JeffM it's kind of like raising your hand
MB ?
JodiMuse No problem. He actually wasn't supposed to just ask like that - he was supposed to type in a "?" but we're forgiving here. ;-) Go ahead, MB. Can you ask again?
...........................len joined............. :)
thatguy ?
DavidPiano Hello len.
JodiMuse Hi Len.
MB Sure--it's about co-writing. Sara, what do you do if your co-writer is coming up ideas faster (or slower) than you?
...........................Kenna joined............. :)
len hi
DavidPiano Hello Kenna.
JodiMuse Hi Kenna.
Kenna Hi folks
IreneJ Hello Len and Kenna :-)
Kenna this is my first time coming in here. How goes it fellow songwriters?
DavidPiano It goes.
DavidPiano It comes, it goes.
Sara Good question. Cowriting is a very delicate thing. Sometimes there's just not a good chemistry. I've been in both the situation where my cowriter is thinking way too fast and other times where he/she's not thinking at all.
Kenna I can relate to that
Sara I usually give it two tries and then "break up."
JodiMuse That's actually the current songwriting survey on The Muse's Muse, guys. If you have an opinion on that, take a look. http://www.musesmuse.com/survey.html when this chat is done. :-)
...........................DKM joined............. :)
JodiMuse Ok. I think David was next?
DavidPiano OK.
IreneJ Hi DK
MB ?
Sara Interesting.
Lisa ?
Kenna Sara, how do we break in to the professional songwriting business?
DavidPiano Sara - do you find yourself incorporating elements of other styles of music in your own? What kinds and how?
DavidPiano Hello DKM.
Sara I always listen to the top 40 country and keep my stations alternating between country, pop and alternative.
DKM Hi, this is Danny and Kathy
JodiMuse Kenna, please type a "?" before you ask a question. One of the moderators will tell you when to go ahead, ok?
Kenna sure think jodi
JeffM Hi DKM
Sara Luckily the country music "box" has been expanding and now there's a lot more room for cool chord changes and interesting lyrics.
Kenna"?"
Sara It's good to try to stay a little ahead of the times.
IreneJ Yeah, that's a GOOD thing :-)
DKM ?
JodiMuse thatguy? Go ahead.
...........................bam joined............. :)
thatguy Maybe its already been answered but do you know yet if "Home to You" will be a single?
IreneJ Hello bam :-)
DavidPiano But don't be leaps and bounds ahead. . .
bam how de
DavidPiano That's bad.
DavidPiano Hello bam.
Sara Thanks for asking.
............................Martin left ............. :(
JeffM hi bam
Sara Yes it's the new single. Radio is going for adds this week.
thatguy great
Sara You can call your local station and request it :)
len I will
Sara Thanks!
Lisa I am about to co-write for the first time - so is my co-writer. We are both "virgins" in this (co-writing) - what is your best advice on how we should start at our first "session"?
MB Excuse me, gotta run--thanks from Randi and me!
Lisa Oops - sorry - hit the return by mistake - not my turn yet!!
JodiMuse Lisa, please wait for your turn, ok? You need to type a ? before we'll be abl eto tell you to go ahead.
............................MB left ............. :(
DavidPiano Bye MB.
Sara Actually...just talk and get to know each other. Let each other know that whatever you say dumb or not is ok.
JodiMuse Oops! We lost one. :-) Ok... MB was supposed to go next but since they're gone, it's Lisa's turn anyway. ;-)
JodiMuse That worked out well.
bam ?
Sara Try to come in with a few different ideas to see if either of you feels inclined to write about it. And maybe don't rush it.
Sara Does that help?
Lisa Yes, thanks so much - and I'll request your song too here in NY..
thatguy ?
Sara Thanks. My mom's heard it on NY station 107.
JodiMuse Ok. Go ahead, Kenna.
Kenna Thanks Jodi..Sara: What is the best way to get a song heard by professionals when you are new to the business?
...........................Martin joined............. :)
DavidPiano WB Martin.
...........................WFBeam joined............. :)
DavidPiano WB Beam.
Martin :-)
JeffM Rehi WFBeam&Martin
JodiMuse Welcome back, guys!
Sara First, make sure you've got a viable commercial product. Get feedback from organizations like NSAI, or the Songwriter's Guild.
Martin disconnections are no fun.
WFBeam Hi I got cutoff
IreneJ I have to run...appreciate the chat, Sara...and much luck to you :-)
DavidPiano Bye Irene.
Martin bye Irene
IreneJ Bye all!
Kenna I play the song and people stop dead in their tracks...local artists show interest in recording it
Sara Then contact the Performing Rights Organizations: ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and meet with one of their writer reps.
............................IreneJ left ............. :(
DavidPiano Great Kenna - what genre do you write?
DavidPiano That's a very positive reaction.
Kenna blues, country, r & r
Sara Let local artists record your songs...you never know who might hear it.
DavidPiano Cool.
Kenna cool...
JeffM jinx
DavidPiano :-)
Sara Also, call the publishers listed in Billboard magazine and request permission to send them your songs.
JodiMuse DKM, go ahead.
Kenna thanks I will do that...i been writing forever, just never persued it
Sara Go for it, Kenna!
Sara Hi Danny and Kathy!
DKM Sara, have you discussed rhyme scheme of Home To You Yet?
Sara No, what do you mean?
JeffM Maybe that was DKM's question
JeffM never mind
DKM well I like how it goes from hard rhyme to a creative rhyme from verse to verse , did you intend that?
............................len left ............. :(
WFBeam Sara, I have had some success writing and have had some recorded, by some not so well known talent, how do you get to the next level?
Sara There are some perfect rhymes like "day/way" and also some others like "work/sweatshirts" - I didn't think too hard.
Sara I just wanted it to sound real and natural and sincere.
...........................Len joined............. :)
DavidPiano WB Len.
JeffM Things are usually pretty natural if you don't think too hard
JodiMuse bam? Go ahead.
DKM Ok you didn't want it to sound forced
DavidPiano Even more so if you don't think at all. :-)
Sara Exactly.
bam I've been writing for about 15 yrs but my songs have been sitting idle. Recently I learned how to transfer my music to digital for4mat and into mp3s. Should I burn CDs myself and send them to Publishers or try to contact them over the internet and send/have them download mp3s?
Sara Most publishers are alittle behind the times - definitely send hard copies.
Kenna ?
JeffM ?
bam will cd be better than tape?
Sara CD or tape is fine.
bam thanks
JeffM both?
Sara Don't forget the lyric sheet, too
............................thatguy left ............. :(
JodiMuse thatguy? You're up. :)
DavidPiano Bam - sound wise CD is by far better.
DavidPiano But if they say tape, send tape.
JodiMuse Oops! Um... Ok. Kenna, go ahead. Jeff, if bam makes it back, I'll ask him to go, then you, ok?
DKM ?
Sara They're just looking for a great song...not the format.
...........................thatguy joined............. :)
DavidPiano WB TG.
Kenna Sara..do you find yourself writing songs from start to finish quickly or do they go on for months in revision?
Lisa ?
Sara I wrote "Home To You" in an hour...most of my songs take a few days (or writing sessions).
............................Martin left ............. :(
Kenna i find they either come in an instant or go on forever...
JodiMuse Ok thatguy. You're up. :-)
thatguy How do I talk to a new writer who takes offense to any criticism and is convinced they're great?
JeffM
Sara Hmmm. That's difficult.
DavidPiano You don't?
DavidPiano :-)
Sara Some people really just don't want to learn.
...........................Martin joined............. :)
thatguy should you just let them learn for themselves?
Sara They just want to be told they're great. Don't waste too much time with them
DavidPiano WB Martin.
Sara Yes. Eventually, they'll learn.
Sara Or more likely, give up.
Kenna ?
DKM sara, this is kathy- are they married (ha ha)
thatguy thanks
Sara lol
DavidPiano TG - I pity you for ever having to be in that situation.
JodiMuse Go ahead, Jeff.
JeffM After you wrote "Home To You" in an hour, what happened to the song then?
Sara We played it for our publishers who approved it for a demo.
Sara In a month we demoed it.
Sara Three months later my cowriter's publisher pitched it to the A&R rep at Atlantic.
Sara The A&R rep liked it and mailed it to John Michael Montgomery.
Sara Three months later, JMM called the publisher and asked him to stop pitching it to any other artists for a week (that's called a hold)
Sara The next week JMM went into the studio and recorded it along with 3 other songs. In all he recorded 14 songs for a 10 song album.
Sara Then I prayed.
bam thanks folks...bye
DavidPiano Bye Bam.
JodiMuse Bye bam!
............................bam left ............. :(
Sara Luckily, he decided to put it on the album.
thatguy ?
JeffM thanks
............................WFBeam left ............. :(
Sara By the way, Danny put that whole story with sound clips of the demo, etc on our website.
JeffM URL...? :-)
............................Len left ............. :(
Sara www.craftofsongwriting.com :)
Sara In the "Writers Room" section.
...........................Len joined............. :)
JodiMuse DKM? You're next.
DavidPiano WB Len.
JodiMuse Hi again, Len.
DKM has this led to more interest in your catalog?
Sara Good question. More people are answering my phone calls now. It helps, certainly.
JodiMuse Lisa? Go ahead.
Lisa I have some trouble with hooks, breaks, bridges, lifts - any advice there - any tricks on how to create that variety needed in a song to make it a hit?
Sara Do you mean what order to put things in?
Sara Or how to come up with ideas?
Lisa I mean that but also how to create the variety that breaks and bridges bring to a song.
Sara Usually, after we hear a verse/chorus/verse/chorus, we're ready for something different.
Sara A bridge should be a "relief" musically and lyrically.
Sara Something completely different.
JodiMuse Kenna, your turn. :-)
Kenna Sara..do you know Stephony Smith? She is from Memphis..so am I. She wrote Its your love for Tim Mcgraw/Faith Hill
Sara I don't know her personally.
............................Martin left ............. :(
Kenna She is a very talented songwriter, and I used to sing backup with her for a local artist here.
...........................Martin joined............. :)
DavidPiano WB Martin.
Sara Yes, she's great.
JodiMuse thatguy? Go ahead.
Martin keep getting network disconnectins:-(
thatguy Are you cautiously optimistic about how the song will do or have you already accepted the fact that its pretty much an automatic top 10??
DavidPiano Martin - here's a tip to stay on. When you haven't typed in a while type "."
Martin ok
JeffM You can Private Chat to yourself
Sara I never take anything in this biz for granted. Ever. I'm not spending any money yet!
Martin LOL
Sara Of course, I haven't seen any money yet either.
Kenna smart girl Sara...
JodiMuse Ok guys. Who's next ? :-)
Martin ?
JodiMuse Go ahead, Martin.
Kenna ?
thatguy ?
Lisa ?
Len ?
Martin so as someone starting out in this, what's a good place or way to bounce your stuff off of others to see if you're on the right track?
Sara NSAI offers a free critique service for members. TAXI does also.
Martin for someone without bucks?:-)
Sara Hmm. I believe NSAI still has a student rate.
JodiMuse Find your local songwriting organization, Martin. Most places have them. Or check out http://www.musesmuse.com/infohome.html and find one in your area. It might be listed there.
Martin what is NSAI?
Sara Thanks, Jodi
Martin ok
JodiMuse Go ahead, Kenna.
Kenna I tend to write love songs best. Is there a good market for those in nashville? Or is a good hook drinking song more in order?
Sara NSAI is the Nashville Songwriters Association International. They have workshops all over.
JeffM You're asking the right person Martin
............................DKM left ............. :(
Sara Yes, I used to be their membership director :) www.songs.org
Martin they have a URL?
JodiMuse lol
Martin thanks.:-)
...........................DKM joined............. :)
Sara Love songs are great in all markets! Write what you know best.
DavidPiano WB DKM
Len"."
Kenna well, I guess it will be love then...hehe
DKM ?
DavidPiano .
JodiMuse I have yet to know anyone that KNOWS love. I know lots of people that WANT to know. *laugh*
DavidPiano LOL
Sara There's a song for you!
JodiMuse thatguy? Your turn. :-)
thatguy When you were dreaming of who you might like to record the song, was JMM one of them? Who would have been your first choice?
JeffM That's sad. Love is everywhere
Kenna I can write about it, i didnt say I knew that much...
JodiMuse That might very well be true, Jeff - but it's impossible to know all about it. It constantly changes, doesn't it?
Sara I love JMM and was blown away that he wanted to record the song.
Kenna its mostly in your mind...that love thing
Sara All of these "love" ideas are angles for a love song...you see.
Sara Write it the way you know it.
DavidPiano Kenna - we're addicted to love.
JodiMuse lol
Sara Someone already wrote that!
Kenna lol too here
DavidPiano Dang.
DavidPiano :-)
JodiMuse Ready for the next one Sara? Or do you have more to add?
Sara Any other questions?
Sara I'm ready, sorry.
JodiMuse Ok Lisa. Your turn.
DKM reminds me of Shania's video too
DavidPiano Yeah, that Shania video struck me funny - Country New Wave?
Lisa The big publishers say no unsolicited material - I want to get to them - how do I get around that red tape?
DavidPiano ?
Sara Call the receptionist and ask for the name of the person who's listening to songs (to update your records).
Sara Then call back the next day and ask directly for that person...you may get through.
Sara Also, get the receptionists name and act like you know her when you call back.
Kenna cool sara...so we have to sneak our way in...
Sara Yeah. Sneaky, huh?
Lisa Ask for anyone who's listening to songs - all songs?
thatguy I'll be leaving now....Thanks everyone for a great night....Best of luck Sara....goodnight
Sara Yes, anyone at the company
DavidPiano Bye TG.
JodiMuse Bye TG!
Kenna bye tg
JodiMuse Ok, Len? Go ahead.
JeffM By thatguy
Len what recent top 40 country song(s) do you admire, and why?
Lisa Thanks Sara!
Sara"Single White Female" comes to mind because of the cool rhythm and rhyme pattern.
Sara"This Kiss" really broadened the country box too.
Sara"Everywhere" by Tim McGraw has great images.
JodiMuse I love that song. So whimsical. :-)
Sara I love Jodee Messina's new album too.
...........................pip joined............. :)
JodiMuse DKM? your turn.
DavidPiano Hello Pip.
DKM will a staff writer cowrite with someone who isn't a staff writer?
pip hi
JodiMuse Hi Pip.
Sara Yes, sometimes if they've heard what the other writer does and likes it.
Kenna hey pip
Sara Usually the unsigned writer will bring the idea to the table, though.
pip whats up
JodiMuse Go ahead, David. :)
DavidPiano Just going back to an earlier question, I always wondered what they meant by unsolicited material.
JodiMuse We're asking our guest speaker questions, Pip. If you have a question, just type a "?" and we'll let you know when you can go ahead, ok?
DavidPiano<---- real newbie.
DKM sounds like a good way to get in .
pip ok
Sara Unsolicited means they didn't ask you for it.
DavidPiano Like an "I don't know you get out of here" deal?
Sara Right.
Sara Unfortunately.
JodiMuse Anyone else?
Kenna ?
DavidPiano Doesn't that work against new writers though. . .
Sara That's why you have to be alittle sneaky.
JodiMuse Go ahead, Kenna.
DavidPiano Argh.
JodiMuse Or get yourself good management. ;-)
DavidPiano It sucks to be new!
Kenna I wonder how to get in with the IN croud
Sara It's all about building relationships
Sara That's why it takes so much patience.
Lisa ?
Sara Most people give up before they can "get in"
Kenna I will never give up..I may be in a rockin chair by the time one of my songs gets recorded but i wont give up
DavidPiano Good motivation Kenna!
Sara Keep making calls. Don't be a nuisance, but be persistent. Get to know receptionists first.
Sara Also, stick with your friends who are serious about making it in the music business.
Sara You all move up together.
Kenna cool thanks Sara
Sara People who moved to town with me are now suddenly artists and A&R people, but it's taken 7 years for us to get there.
pip ?
JodiMuse Lisa? Go ahead.
Lisa A songwriter friend of mine just sends hundreds of tapes to the publishers listed in Songwriter's Market (the book). She and I argue about this - because I think it is like shooting arrows into the sky and trying to hit the target. What do you think about just mailing demos to publishers from Songwriter's Market?
DavidPiano I'm gonna go now.
Kenna bye david
Sara It would be much better to call first and get a name otherwise it'll probably end up in the garbage.
DavidPiano It was a great seminar Sara I learned a lot regardless of the genres that we both write, most information works all ways.
Sara Also, check out the people in Songwriter's Market and see what they're really about first.
DavidPiano See you all later.
Len"."
............................JeffM left ............. :(
............................thatguy left ............. :(
............................DavidPiano left ............. :(
Lisa Thanks, Sara, (again).
Sara Sure.
Kenna i gotta go too..nice to chat with you all. Thanks for your great advice Sara. I'll listen for your song..hope you make big bucks!!!
Sara I think Pip was next?
pip what about the net or was this covered already?like putting your music up there?
DKM ?
Sara Thanks!
...........................JeffM joined............. :)
Sara Pip, as a writer or as an artist?
............................Kenna left ............. :(
pip as a writer with someone singing the demo
Sara Probably won't be much help. Artists don't usually look for material on the net.
JodiMuse Go ahead, DKM.
pip ahhh thanks
DKM is the market still lean for staff writing positions? also hope you get heavy air play.
JodiMuse Think of your page as a "resume" of sorts and you won't be too dissapointed, Pip. Direct people there to get to know you but don't expect them to find it on their own. ;-)
pip yes thats what i was thinking as opposed to sending hundreds of tapes
Sara Thanks for the good wishes. Right now, staff writing positions are hard to come by, but a lot of new little publishers are cropping up.
Sara I hate to tell you, Pip, but a lot of the publishers I know don't even have internet access yet.
Sara Hard to believe, I know.
JeffM
pip jeez
DKM ?
Len ?
Sara I'm ready.
JodiMuse DKM, I'm going to let Len go first, ok? Then you can go.
JodiMuse Just because you just asked a question. ;-)
JodiMuse So go ahead, Len?
Len wouldn't it stand to reason that staff writers get axed on a continuos basis, and there should be a need for staff writers?
Sara Usually, staff writers sign deals with 3 - 5 year options. And often especially lately, the positions aren't being re-filled once they let someone go.
JodiMuse Go ahead, DKM
DKM If i could pay for my own demos would a publisher be more interested in working with me?
Sara Yes. If you could send them a song that they can pitch at a meeting the next day, they'll be very willing to work with you.
Len ?
JodiMuse Go for it, Len. :-)
Len what is the average pay for a staff writer
Sara They're happy not to spend money if they don't have to .
JeffM That works for both questions!
JodiMuse lol
Sara Anywhere from nothing to about 24,000 a year, or if you're established up to $100,000
JodiMuse Wow. Where do I sign? ;-)
Sara However a staff writers salary is totally recoupable.
DKM but, I'd want to know if they even liked the song then I'd demo it
Sara It's not a salary it's a "draw"
Sara For example, if my song didn't become a single, I probably wouldn't see a penny because my draw would be recouped from mechanical royalties.
JodiMuse Is that the situation for you now, Sara or are you on your own at the moment?
Sara Luckily, the publisher can't recoup on performance royalties.
pip ?
Sara"Home To You" belongs to Zamalama Publishing.
Sara Right now, I'm in contract negotiations with a new publisher.
JodiMuse Good for you, Sara. Pip? Go ahead.
pip what do you mean that you could spend a year writing a song and don't make a dime?
Sara Yes. That's the more common situation. Don't mean to be grim.
DKM ?
pip even though its a hit?
JeffM not a dime over your salary that is
Sara Right. First the publisher gets to recoup on my entire draw (including demo costs)...after that I might see some mechanical royalties.
Sara Now if the song becomes a single, then that
Sara is performance royalties (for airplay) and I can actually earn some money.
Sara The statutory rate for mechanical royalties is about 7 cents.
JeffM And take us all out for dinner!
JodiMuse lol
Sara I guess I'll have to fly you all to Nashville first!
JeffM I accept
JodiMuse I was just about to suggest that... ;-)
............................Lisa left ............. :(
Sara Oh, the burden of fame :)
pip so how does one really make it then ,I'm sure some have?
...........................Lisa joined............. :)
JeffM ;-)
JodiMuse :-)
Lisa ?
Sara Yes, Pip. If as a writer, I can score several singles in a row for example...or get a single that gets
Sara re-recorded several times, I'll definitely make some money.
JodiMuse DKM? Your turn.
DKM So, is there a chance of a relationship with a publisher who will listen to my material if I offer to pay demo expenses if he likes the song or would i be setting myself up to be taken advatage of?
Len ?
Sara You can work with a publisher on a "single song contract" basis. Sign a separate contract for each song and get a reversion (you get the song back) clause after a couple years if they can't get it recorded.
JodiMuse Go for it, Lisa.
Lisa Sara - how long did it take you to get something recorded? How long were you writing before that happened?
Sara I was writing professionally (for a publisher) for two years, but...
Sara I've been writing songs for about 9 years.
Sara And I've had some independent cuts too
Lisa You have patience!
Sara It's like getting in line for the best ride at the amusement park,
Sara some people get tired or hot and leave...
Sara if you can stick it out, you get to go for the ride.
DKM good metaphor
JeffM unless the park closes while you're first in line...
JodiMuse Go ahead, Len.
Len which chart do songwriters follow to see how their income will turn out? and what is the prime money positions?
JodiMuse lol
Sara #1, #1, #1
Sara Really, I guess Billboard, Gavin, R& R
Sara Different performing rights orgs use different calculations for payment.
JodiMuse Anyone else?
JeffM I should be going...
JodiMuse Ok Jeff. Take care!
Sara Thanks for chatting, Jeff.
JeffM thanks for chatting, Sara
Sara I enjoyed it.
JeffM It was great to have you as our guest for a change
JeffM bye all
JodiMuse :-) She makes a good one, doesn't she?
Sara Thanks! I'm blushing.
JodiMuse Bye Jeff!
Len YES!!
JodiMuse :-)
Lisa bye Jeff!
DKM bye
Sara Bye Danny and Kathy.
JodiMuse Shall we end it here folks or are there more questions?
Len thanks Sara!
Sara You're welcome, Len. Thanks for dropping by.
Lisa thanks Sara, your advice was some of the best I've ever gotten!
Sara I'm glad I could help, Lisa.
Martin Thanks Sara
Sara You're welcome, Martin.
............................pip left ............. :(
Len Bye all!
JodiMuse Ok guys. It looks like things are winding down so let's call this to a close. Thanks for dropping by, folks! Stay tuned for other guest speakers - and thanks VERY much for being our guest, Sara. You were excellent.
JodiMuse Bye Len.
............................Lisa left ............. :(
............................Len left ............. :(
Sara Thanks, all. Thanks Jodi!
............................Martin left ............. :(

-- Log stopped at Mon Jul 12 19:52:4

Help For Newcomers
Help for Newcomers
Interactivities
Interactivities
Helpful Resources
Helpful Resources
Berklee Music Resources
The Muse's News
Organizations
Entertainment Cyberscope
Articles
Newer Articles
Past Columnists
Past Columnists - After March 2007
Market Information
Songwriting Contests
Chat Logs
Songwriting Books
Regular Columnists
Columnists
Spotlights
Spotlights
Services
Services Offered
About the  Muse's Muse
About Muse's Muse
Subscribe to The Muse's News, free monthly newsletter for songwriters
with exclusive articles, copyright & publishing advice, music, website & book reviews, contest & market information, a chance to win prizes & more!

Join today!



Created & Maintained
by Jodi Krangle


Design:


1995 - 2016, The Muse's Muse Songwriting Resource. All rights reserved.

Read The Muse's Muse Privacy Statement