|Songwriter Stephen Bautista|
"My music is best understood by children and animals." - Igor Stravinsky
So, you’re a songwriter and you work weekly if not daily on your songs. You toil, you suffer, you pull your hair out for the right line or melody or hook. Then you finish and think, “OK, so now what?”
You may look for and find a mentor, a songwriting pro, or musician and get a stamp of approval, but this isn’t always necessary. Sometimes, it’s just nice to get it out and see what people think. And that’s easier than ever with the tools we have at our fingertips (including the one you’re reading now!)
First things first: Demoing the Song
OK, now for artists and many songwriters, I usually suggest a well produced demo to help most in getting things moving, but for the purpose of just getting people’s thoughts, let’s keep it simple.
Sometimes a nice Youtube video, low budget, just you and a guitar, or piano, is all you need for this. We’re not trying to sell this, or get noticed by labels or even publishers with this. Our goal here is to get this out to friends, family, and fans (or to build fans if you have none).
Here's an terrific example from songwriter Stephen Bautista. He even has gotten a few comments from random listeners on his Youtube page.
Another answer is a simple program like Garageband, that can give you a quick way to play a virtual piano, or record your guitar and voice. Mixdown is a snap.
The point here is, simple is best. Don’t try to get too fancy or spend too much time here. You can go down those roads later with the pro demo for publishers and/or sales.
Where to Find an Audience, Part One: The Internet
This is easy if you are a social media creature. Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Pages, and even LinkedIn are great places to let your friends, fans, and family give their thoughts. All these make it easy to share a Youtube clip or MP3.
But there are other places you can find a good following as well. Reverbnation.com is the new MySpace for musicians. It has a large following, and is very easy to setup and use. You can find new folks to follow you, and best of all it’s a nice way to show off music to social media as it integrates very well with Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc.
Other places like Bandcamp.com, Soundclick.com, and SoundCloud.com are also great places to start getting feedback on your songs.
Where to Find an Audience, Part Two: LIVE
Well, this can be easy or it can be hard.
Easy is playing for your family, and having some friends over and have a listening party.
Maybe your church is open to letting you sing a song for a service, or special event.
Coffeehouses are also great places to find a small but attentive crowd. Tell them you are looking for feedback, and gauge their reaction.
Wherever you can, however you can, sharing your songs with folks you can get to is an integral part to getting feedback, criticism, and just some simple interaction on your craft.
"Feedback is the breakfast of champions." - Ken Blanchard
Have a great week!
Eric Copeland is a producer, songwriter, and has been showing his songs to people (whether they liked them or not) for almost 40 years. If you are a songwriter and need help recording and sharing your songs with the world, check out http://www.CreativeSoulOnline.com