Archive | Q&A

Questions and Answers from John’s Book: “The Craft and Business of Songwriting”

Is A Jazz Guitar Degree Worthwhile?

I was just wondering if you could offer any advice to me as an aspiring musician. Many people have told me that jazz as a popular art form is dead. Some of my biggest influences are jazz guitarists, and I genuinely enjoy playing and listening to jazz. Do you think the skills and technique I […]

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Taxi Road Rally Virgin?

The Annual Taxi Road Rally is a major event that no songwriter should miss. It’s free for Taxi members + one guest, so if you’re not a member, attach yourself to one and get here to L.A. , usually on the first weekend in November. Details at These are my answers to some questions […]

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Q&A Pitching to Music Publishers

I have found some of the writers of (hit Country group) tunes. Their publishers are listed with ASCAP. Would it be common practice to contact the publisher of that writer in hopes that they could publish and pitch another tune to the band? Answer: Good work. You’re on the right track. However, sending the songs […]

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Do I Hold Out For Producer Credit?

Here’s a question I answered recently and I thought there might be some among you who could find it useful. I’m paraphrasing the question, which comes from a writer/producer who is not in a major music center and this is potentially his first major label cut. “My co-writer and I had a song picked up […]

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How Do You Know When A Song Is Ready?

When it meets your standards. Usually, it’s good to have a checklist to go through to make sure every aspect of the song is as good as it can get. Generally pros have higher standards for themselves than amateurs, but it also depends on what you see as the destination of the song. If you […]

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How to Present Your Demo: 10 Biggest Mistakes Artists Make and How to Avoid Them

Your demo will introduce you to the eyes and ears of many music industry professionals. Take this introduction very seriously — it’s your job interview. Here is a short checklist that summarizes the biggest mistakes I see new artists make all the time. Avoiding these will maximize your chances of getting heard and respect the […]

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