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Need advice as a songwriter
18 April 2013
3.40am
Funny Paper
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I've recently begun to post ads (e.g., on craigslist) looking for other musicians to collaborate with me -- telling them up front that I am not a professional and have very poor recording equipment, but that I've written about 150 songs and many of them could be popular given the right recording and instrumentation.

Anyway, my question involves what I do when people actually respond to my ad.  I received two responses so far from two guys who just say "Send me a couple of your songs, thanks".

Should I trust them and just send them a couple of recordings?  If not, how do I vet them to make sure they are trustworthy?

What do you think?

 

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
18 April 2013
5.18pm
Joe
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Sure. You won't get anywhere if you don't share your music with other people. If they turn out to not be interested, you've not lost anything. Are you worried they'll steal your ideas?

Think about why they'd ask the question. If you were going to work with a songwriter, you'd want to know they were capable, wouldn't you?

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18 April 2013
6.24pm
fabfouremily
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 Agreed. You are running a slight risk by sharing your music with someone you don't know but how else are you going to get want you want? I'd say go for it :D

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

19 April 2013
1.11am
Funny Paper
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Thanks Joe and fabfouremily.  Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I guess I'll go for it.  I'm only sending it to the guy who offered in a follow-up email to give me his own email address, rather than the craigslist one.

 

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
19 April 2013
1.21am
Ron Nasty
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I know we're different sides of the pond, FP, but you may have seen my writing if you've looked at the "Poetry" thread. A good tip I got early on to copyright is to send it to yourself in a sealed "registered" letter. You write the title on the envelope, if possible get the post office to put a couple of stamps across the flap, and don't open it. Then you have a dated document that proves authorship.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
19 April 2013
1.32am
Funny Paper
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thanks mja, I've heard of that idea before. It seems it would be rather costly to do that with 150 songs, however (plus there's always the musical part of them which I am unable to write down).

 

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19 April 2013
1.35am
Egroeg Evoli
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I could help you with musical notation... somehow...

Do you want to know a secret? Read my username backwards. ~ ~ ~ - - - . . . - - - ~ ~ ~ Also known as Egg-Rock, Egg-Roll, E-George, Eggy...

☮ & <3

19 April 2013
1.45am
Ron Nasty
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Funny Paper said
thanks mja, I've heard of that idea before. It seems it would be rather costly to do that with 150 songs, however (plus there's always the musical part of them which I am unable to write down).

 

One audio-DVD would probably do it if you are able to do it. I save up my poetry, send myself a whole bunch saying, "date-date". Early on I did individuals, then I switched to time periods, because if it needed to be opened for one, it would be in some kind of court, and they could re-seal without any chance of additions or subtractions.

 

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
19 April 2013
2.54am
Von Bontee
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Wow, Funny Paper, if you've got a huge cache of 150 (!) songs all written and ready to be heard by the world, I wouldn't worry about the possibility of having a few of 'em stolen - assuming your worst fear is true and any potential collaborators are truly out to screw you. (Which doesn't sound very likely to me.) Maybe you can just cover all bases by choosing two of your songs to send out. Let them hear what you would consider your least impressive effort (so it won't matter overmuch if they steal it) and also one of your best ones (so they'll know just how good you can be.)

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
19 April 2013
4.50am
Funny Paper
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mja6758 said

Funny Paper said
thanks mja, I've heard of that idea before. It seems it would be rather costly to do that with 150 songs, however (plus there's always the musical part of them which I am unable to write down).

 

One audio-DVD would probably do it if you are able to do it. I save up my poetry, send myself a whole bunch saying, "date-date". Early on I did individuals, then I switched to time periods, because if it needed to be opened for one, it would be in some kind of court, and they could re-seal without any chance of additions or subtractions.

 

Ah right, of course.  Once I record them all, they can all be put onto one DVD.  Good idea.  But recording them all has been a very big project I keep putting off.  One reason is that my voice is rarely good enough on a given day, and I'm kind of a perfectionist.  Also if I make a couple of guitar mistakes, I feel like scrapping the recording.  I should just forge ahead and look at the recordings as all "rough drafts" -- sufficient to have them on record.

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
19 April 2013
4.52am
Funny Paper
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Egroeg Evoli said
I could help you with musical notation... somehow...

I appreciate that, but I have yet to really dig into the project of recording them all.  I only have done about 9, out of some 150.  Part of the reason I explained in my comment to mja above.  Are you able to write down the notes to a song you just hear?  That's amazing.

 

 

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
19 April 2013
4.55am
Funny Paper
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Von Bontee said
Wow, Funny Paper, if you've got a huge cache of 150 (!) songs all written and ready to be heard by the world, I wouldn't worry about the possibility of having a few of 'em stolen - assuming your worst fear is true and any potential collaborators are truly out to screw you. (Which doesn't sound very likely to me.) Maybe you can just cover all bases by choosing two of your songs to send out. Let them hear what you would consider your least impressive effort (so it won't matter overmuch if they steal it) and also one of your best ones (so they'll know just how good you can be.)

Sounds like a good idea.  A good compromise.

Part of the problem is that most of my songs in my mind would be fleshed out by many different instruments, but I only have an acoustic guitar and my voice -- so to the listener who is not putting on his imagination cap, they may all sound merely "folky" when actually the majority of them should be a good deal more than that (though still somewhere in the general "pop" genre).

 

 

 

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
19 April 2013
6.04am
Von Bontee
A Hole In The Road
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Maybe you could get a drum machine or something - electronic drumbeats and acoustic guitar sounds like a really unusual instrumental combination to me! It'd sound like a totally NEW type of folk music - if it sounded folky at all. Folky and funky. Foulnky!

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
19 April 2013
6.18am
Egroeg Evoli
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 Was that supposed to be "Folunky"? Awesome word, but "Foulnky" makes think of a cross between a falcon and a baseball... and car keys... don't ask. It's late and my brain gets weird when it's late.

Do you want to know a secret? Read my username backwards. ~ ~ ~ - - - . . . - - - ~ ~ ~ Also known as Egg-Rock, Egg-Roll, E-George, Eggy...

☮ & <3

19 April 2013
6.39am
Von Bontee
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"Folunky" is even better! (But no, "Foulnky" was indeed intentional.)

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
19 April 2013
6.41am
Egroeg Evoli
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Oh. Well, "Foulnky" makes me think of baseballs, falcons, and car keys. But it's still awesome.

Do you want to know a secret? Read my username backwards. ~ ~ ~ - - - . . . - - - ~ ~ ~ Also known as Egg-Rock, Egg-Roll, E-George, Eggy...

☮ & <3

19 April 2013
4.11pm
Funny Paper
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How about "Fulk".

 

I'm afraid I can't afford such a machine now -- and besides, it would require a multi-track machine in addition. 

 

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
22 April 2013
4.11pm
Joe
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I wouldn't bother with the postage thing. It's probably only useful if you went to court to prove ownership. It'd be usable once, since after it'd been opened you could, in theory, have tampered with the contents to include things you hadn't written at the time. And if you were in court you'd still have to deal with musicologists and judges, who may think you (or someone else) didn't write it after all.

Also, the postmark might be illegible making the whole thing redundant.

Better, cheaper and simpler to upload to Soundcloud or another service which will datestamp your uploads and provide a permanent record. Do it on a third party site where you can't change the upload date. It'll also make it easier to share your work.

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

Can buy me love! Please consider using these links to support the Beatles Bible: Amazon | iTunes

22 April 2013
4.18pm
parlance
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You're in the US, right? If you want to protect yourself, you need to register your songs with the US Copyright Office. I register photos, not music, so I can't say exactly how it'll work for you. But it's been impressed on me several times over that the mailing thing - at least for those in the US - is a myth and won't protect you if you need to take someone to court. The good thing is that you might be able do it all in one shot for one price as long as you're okay with the copyright year being the same - 2013 - for all of them. You can research more here.

parlance

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22 April 2013
8.06pm
Funny Paper
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Thanks Joe and parlance -- useful advice from both of you.

 

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