‣ Songwriter Resources
[ TIP SHEETS & SONG SUBMISSIONS ] [ MUSIC INSTRUCTION ]
[ CONTESTS ] [ FORUMS ] [ WEB SITES ]
‣ BOOKSBooks on the craft and business of songwriting are a small investment that can pay big dividends. Here are a few of my favorites - including, of course, my own. :-)
Shortcuts to Hit Songwriting: 126 Proven Techniques for Writing Songs That Sell
Shortcuts to Songwriting for Film & TV: 114 Tips for Writing, Recording & Pitching in Today's Hottest Market
The Craft and Business of Songwriting: Third Edition
6 Steps To Songwriting Success: Guide to Writing and Marketing Hit Songs
Writing Music for Hit Songs
‣ MUSIC SOFTWARE
There are many excellent midi and digital audio sequencers available on the market. I couldn't possibly list them all and describe all their bells and whistles because it would take too long. But here are a few inexpensive programs that will get you started. If you've never used a sequencer before, be aware that these programs come with a learning curve attached!
Acid Music Studio
Garageband for MAC
‣ LYRIC WRITING SOFTWARE
‣ DEMO RECORDING
You can make a good rough demo of your song with any of the software mentioned above. If you're looking for the sound of a live band but don't have a big budget, here are a few suggestions.
Beaird Music Group
Session Singer Online
‣ PITCH SHEETS & SUBMISSION SERVICES
Music Publishers' Association
‣ Music Instruction - Songwriting
SongU.com This is a GREAT resource if you're looking for songwriting instruction and a supportive, warm-hearted, talented community of songwriters. I not only recommend SongU.com as an excellent place to find mentors, coaches, and songwriting classes, I actually teach there myself. I'm proud to be part of a first-rate faculty of songwriting teachers including Craig Bickhardt, Sara Light, Jai Josefs, Fett, Pamela Phillips Oland, and many more. And, guess what... it's incredibly affordable! Take classes live online or self-paced courses at your own speed. Collaborate with other songwriters every month and get personal feedback on your songs. It's definitely worth checking out.
‣ Music Instruction - Piano & Guitar
Learning to play chords on piano or guitar is easy and fun and it's all you need to be able to write songs! Here are a couple of good, easy-to-follow instruction guides for beginners or musicians who want to fill in their knowledge of chords.
Play Piano In A Flash!
Winner of the 2002 Pinnacle Award in the category of "how-to" book. From their website: "Have you ever wished you could play the piano? Well, now you can! Scott "The Piano Guy" Houston teaches you to play the way the pros play, in a style enormously simpler than traditional classical piano and with an absolute minimum of note-reading. By focusing on playing the melody with the right hand (one note at a time) and simple chords with the left hand, Houston gives you the tools you need for a lifetime of musical enjoyment. Best of all, your tour guide to this adventure forces you to have fun along the way!" And this from me: If you've seen Scott Houston's PBS special, you know how enormously entertaining he is, but more important, how simple and fun it can be to learn the chords and melody basics of piano playing. This is an inexpensive way to get started. Scott's course is also available on
DVD and VHS. It's fun and entertaining!
"How To Play The Guitar in 30 Days!" -
From their web site: "Learn to play the guitar in 30 days online. Over 70 jam packed guitar lessons with image, text, songs, sounds, tabs, and more. It is completely online so you can access it anywhere at any time." I checked this out pretty thoroughly and I'm impressed. I do recommend it. They've done a good job of teaching guitar in a fun, easy to understand way with plenty of photos and demonstrations. There are lots of tips and techniques for avoiding common problems. The emphasis is on getting yourself up and playing as quickly as possible. There's a 90-day money back guarantee. Click here to check it out. COST: One-time fee of $49.95.
Popular Chord Style Piano (Book & CD or Book & Cassette)
The First Stage Guitar Book: Learn How to Play Guitar Easily & Quickly
The John Lennon Song Contest
The Great American Song Contest
Indie International Songwriting Contest
Songwriter Universe: "Best Song of the Month"
Forums & Message Boards
Looking for information, constructive criticism, or just someone to grouse with about how hard it is to get a little respect in this business? Here are a few places you can go to find like-minded souls. Usually you can read as many posts as you like but if you want to post something yourself, you'll need to sign up. As with all message boards, take what you read with a grain of salt; people are trying to help each other out but not everyone knows what they're talking about.
The Muse's Muse
Songwriting Resource Web Sites
ASCAP - performance royalties (airplay)
Over her 35 years in the music industry, Robin Frederick has written more than 500 songs for television, records, theater, and audio products. She is a former Director of A&R for Rhino Records , Executive Producer of 60 albums, and the author of "Shortcuts to Hit Songwriting." Robin currently oversees the A&R Team for TAXI, the world's leading independent A&R company.
Robin's books are used to teach songwriting at top universities and schools in the U.S. They're fun to read and filled with practical, real world information. Buy them at Amazon.com...
Shortcuts to Hit Songwriting
Shortcuts to Songwriting for Film & TV