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Becoming More Noticeable in the Songwriting World

There are many reasons why people write songs, but almost all writers of music get into it for the same reason: as a means of personal expression.

Some eventually enter the professional world, while others remain happily amateur, writing mainly for themselves, family and friends. Regardless of the eventual direction, composing songs requires the songwriter to enjoy the process of putting thoughts and feelings into musical form.

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If you’re someone who has been pursuing songwriting as a career, it’s not enough to look at songwriting exclusively as a way to express yourself. You want — in fact, need — a fanbase. And you want that fanbase to grow without compromising your tastes.

In short, you want to become more noticeable to the people and agencies that matter. If that describes you, here are 6 tips for making sure that you move solidly toward writing songs that get the attention of all the right people.

  1. Don’t forget your original reasons for writing. Remember that songwriting needs to continue to be a way to express your thoughts and feelings. There is an honesty to good songwriting that needs to be obvious to those who listen to it.
  2. Don’t sell out. I don’t know of a songwriter who doesn’t nudge their style to be more in line with the current styles and fads, but there’s a difference between a nudge and a sell-out. Trust that your audience wants to hear the real you. Let your organic songwriting style shine forth, and be proud of it.
  3. Become a more prolific songwriter. Have several songs on the go at any one time, and move from song to song as you feel yourself getting stuck.
  4. Create partnerships within songwriting and performing circles. It’s important to keep your playing chops strong and versatile. Play in support of other songwriters when they perform, and partner up with other writers as a way to tap into their fanbase.
  5. Keep a professional social media and web presence, and keep it up-to-date. Don’t have your website displaying last year’s concerts in your “Upcoming concerts” section. It makes you look like yesterday’s news.
  6. Make use of professionals whenever costs allow. When you allow professionals to guide your career (producers, managers, etc.), you give yourself the best chance forward, and the best opportunities to impress the right people. Research properly and make inquiries for hiring the right people.

Building a fanbase also means making sure you’re streaming good music. Don’t put weak demo-style recordings out there for others to hear. These days, when a nicely recorded version of a song is so easy to do, you can do irreparable harm to your career by allowing fans to hear your songs in an unpolished state.

Gary EwerWritten by Gary Ewer. Follow Gary on Twitter

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