Table of Contents

Introduction 8
How Did I Learn What I Know? – Songwriting Principles – Can Songwriting Be Taught? – What’s New in This Edition? – Find Ongoing Updates to This Book at www.johnbraheny.com

Part 1: THE CRAFT
1 Creativity and Inspiration 14

Creativity: What Is It and Do You Have It? – Developing Your Creativity – Motivation: Overcoming the Barriers – Craft vs. Inspiration – Developing a Songwriter’s Consciousness – Finding Your Own Creative Process – Breaking Writer’s Block – Stream of Consciousness – Problem Solving – Developing Good Work Habits
2 Subject Matter 28
Finding Ideas – The Commerciality of Subject Matter: Mass Appeal – Writing From Emotion – Message Songs – Novelty Songs – Lifestyle Songs — Christmas Songs
3 The Media and Listeners 42
The Media
A Poem Is Not a Lyric – A Song Is Not a Record – Writing for Radio – Song Length – Singles, Albums, Live Performances, Video – The Listener: Know Your Audience
4 Writing Lyrics 60
Simplicity – Focus – Attitude – Titles – First Lines – Second Verse Curse (a.k.a. Second Verse Hell) – Rhyme – Poetic Devices – Pronouns – Prosody and Meter – Lyric Context – Clich©s
5 Constructing a Song 81
Basic Principles of Commercial Songwriting – Words and Music Together – Hooks – Chorus Construction – Repetition – Song Dynamics – Rewriting
6 Writing Music (by Cat Cohen) 114
Melody – Completing Songs – Range – Scale Context – Harmony – Groove
7 Collaboration 132
Why Two (Or More) Heads Can Be Better Than One – Finding Your Match – Can This Marriage Work? – Collaboration Business – Preliminary Business Meeting – Writing As a Band; Working It Out

Part 2: THE BUSINESS
8 Protecting Your Songs 153

The Importance of Taking Care of Business – Your Song Is Your Property – Copyright Registration – Copyright Infringement – Public Domain – Online Resources – Avoiding the Songsharks
9 Where Your Money Comes From 169
Methods of Payment – Split Publishing or Co-Publishing – Mechanical Royalties – The Compulsory License – Controlled Composition Clauses – Samples – Performance Royalties: BMI, ASCAP, AND SESAC – Synchronization Royalties – Music in Print – Researching Print Music Deals – Income From Digital Sources and the Home Recording Act – SoundExchange – Royalty Logic – Royalties From the Home Recording Act of 1992 – AFM & AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund
10 Publishing 191
What Publishers Do – Exploring the Possibilities – Finding a Publisher – Getting Feedback From Publishers – Uncontracted Songplugging – Single Song Contracts – Your Chances For Advances – Exclusive Staff Writing Positions – Writing on Assignment
11 Self-Publishing 217
Why Publish Your Own Songs? – How to Start Your Own Publishing Company – Business Expenses and the IRS – Casting: The Right Song for the Right Artist – Successful Pitching Strategies – Negotiating – Holds – Foreign Sub-Publishing – Administration Deals – Independent Songpluggers
12 Demos 238
Why You Need Demos – Types of Demos – Who Gets What and How Elaborate Does It Need to Be? – What You Can Do at Home – Choosing a Studio € The Recording Process – Arrangements – Demo Production Services – CDs vs. Digital Audio Files vs. Cassettes – Presenting Your Demo – Using the Internet:- Your Demo As Audio File
13 Marketing Yourself and Your Songs 269
Where Do You Start? – Writers, Writer/Artists, and Writer/Producers in the Marketplace – Reading Your Road Map: Researching the Music Industry – Getting Ready to Face the Industry – Dealing With Rejection – In-Person Interviews – Getting Heard in a ‘No Unsolicited Material’ World – Getting Through the Doors – Making the Calls – Survival – The Options of an Out-of-Towner – Marketing Your Lyrics – Organize Your Song Shopping – Showcasing – Contests – Your Home on the Web – Blogs – Legal Questions About Podcasts – Free Music Marketing Advice and Newsletters
14 Additional Markets 322
Writing for Audio-Visual Media – Production Music Libraries- Children’s Music – Music for Video Games – Cell Phone Ringtones and Master Tones – Music for Commercials – Musical Theater – Organizations
15 Getting a Record Deal 364
The Artist vs. The Writer/Artist – How Record Companies Listen to your Music – Marketability – The Professional Team – The Campaign – Your Web Site Is a Critical Factor – Why a Major Label Deal May Not Be Best for You — Should You Do It Yourself? – The Future of the Music Revolution
Appendix: Songwriter’s Resources 384
For Industry Contacts – For Getting Your Demos Directly to Music Industry Pros No Matter Where You Live – Online Pitch Services – Local Organizations – National Organizations – Local Newsletters – Performing Rights Organizations: BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC – Online Songwriters Resources – Music Industry Information Sites – Tipsheets – The Trade Magazines – Songwriters – Print Periodicals – Film and TV Trades – Audio-Visual Media Tip Sheets
Bibliography 392
Additional Recommended Books
Index 396

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