How to Get a Job as a Songwriter


Getting a job as a songwriter is not easy. You cannot simply look in the help-wanted classifieds and send in your resume. It takes talent and hard work to be a songwriter. You have to be willing to take rejection after rejection and still not give up your dreams. There are some things you can do to help increase your chances. Besides talent, the most important traits you need to reach this goal are determination, tenaciousness and perseverance.

  • Practice your craft. No matter how much natural talent you have, nothing can replace practicing. With very few exceptions, even the most talented songwriters were not writing hit after hit immediately. It took time and hard work.

  • Play your music for your friends, family and other songwriters to get their opinions on how good the songs are. Let's face it: We are not always the best judge of our own talent. It is important to get an objective opinion. Chances are, if you think the song is great, but the response you are getting from those who hear it is negative, it is probably not going to be considered great by an agent, record company or potential publisher.

  • Record a professional-sounding demo. A demo is a "demonstration" of your songs, and if the quality of the recording is muddled, noisy or in any way sub-par, you are greatly decreasing your chances of success.

  • Enter your demo in as many songwriting competitions as possible. Winning songwriting competitions is a way to get your song heard by professionals, who may have the power and connections to help you get your foot in the door.

  • Look in Billboard magazine to find publishers in your genre of music. Research these publishing companies to determine the names of those on staff who listen to songwriting demos. If they accept unsolicited demos (meaning they accept songs they did not request), then you can mail your demo directly to them. If they like your songs, they may purchase one, ask for more to evaluate or even hire you as a staff writer.

  • Send your demo to music managers and agents looking for new clients. Agents and managers can help get your song into the hands of publishers and other professionals, who may want to buy some songs from you.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure to research copyright laws to protect your music.

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