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.
I have good news and bad news.
Bad news: These days, it’s so hard to make a living writing songs that a lot of great, talented professional songwriters need to look for additional income outside of just publishing deals and royalties. Yeah. That’s the bad.
Here’s the good. A lot of those pro songwriters are turning to teaching and coaching as a way to make ends meet, so there has never been a better time for you to learn the art and craft of songwriting!
Yeah, that’s pretty messed up when you think about it, I guess. But it is what it is.
You probably can’t do much to affect the state of the music industry, but you CAN take advantage of the situation by seizing as many learning opportunities as you can.
Whether it’s through folks like me who are writing ebooks and doing the occasional workshop or coaching session, or the fine folks at NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International) or GSC (Global Songwriters Connection) who hold workshops and give you the chance to connect with publishers, there are plenty of options.
There is really no excuse for you NOT to be learning a ton about the music business.
Even if you can’t afford to join a songwriting association or pay for coaching right now, there are still free blogs (like Man vs. Row) and YouTube videos that are free- and full of great information and inspiration.
Beware of sharks.
Out of desperation or greed, some “coaches” may lie to you. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If he or she says you’ll have a good chance at a big cut if you pay a few hundred dollars for a cowrite… run. After all, if this pro can get cuts that easily, why are they writing with anyone who’ll pay them?
However, if a pro offers up a paid cowrite as a chance to “learn by doing” while you work on a song together and the pro teaches as you write… well, that’s a lot more realistic and could be a worthwhile investment.
The royalty scraps we’re being thrown is leading to a heaping buffet of learning opportunities. So pile up your plate, pig out, and come back for more!