Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most popular questions we receive.
Is this an introductory course for beginners? What if I have never written a song before?
Whether you are a beginner or have written many songs, have released CDs of your songs, we mainly teach the same simple formula that will not allow your songs to gather dust on the shelf but get in the hands of music industry professionals. Those who attend introduction to beginners classes or a weekend seminars (except for already trained writers) do not really produce great songs afterwards. Why not learn all the aspects of songwriting and write quality materials when you have the opportunity? What makes a difference is knowledge and practice. Some of our previous students have never written a song before doing the course. Some of their work can be heard on the Testimonials Page.
Do I Need To Know Music Theory To Do This Course.
No one ever said that you need to have learned music theory or be a trained musician or even a singer to write a hit song or win a major songwriting contest? Most successful songwriters aren't necessarily musicians or singers, and many have never had music lessons. This is not to say that having these skills would not help you along the way. But the key to success as a songwriter do not depend on any of these skills.
After my song is published through the course, does it mean I will get heard on the radio?
Publishing a song is one thing, releasing a song is another. While these details are explained through the course, you may be the performer on your song if you can perform or we can get another performer to record your course song demo. This demo will be shopped to record companies and major artists for you. It's the song that we publish, not you the songwriter.
What if the genre I write isn't marketable?
Writing for popular market doesn't necessarily mean writing pop songs. While pop songs are the most mainstream and marketable radio format, there is a market for any type of songs. Which is why in this course we show you have to adapt your style writing to a formula that applies to most style if you want to market your songs. We will cover topics addressing writing songs for the alternate market.
Why do I need to learn to write to a formula?
You must have heard many singer-songwriters say that they do not write to a formula. It might be true to them, and yes there are names such as Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen who do not write songs following a specific formula. However These songwriters are artists signed to record companies already and do not need to convince their A&R that their work is marketable because they already have their fan base. When writing for other artists, not understanding the formula is the kiss of death. That is why many CD's gets thrown in the bin after only being listened for 15 seconds if they do get listened. However many singer-songwriters who do write for themselves while they follow the formula are the ones which greater chance of achieving success, being discovered by a record label.
I am a performer myself, why would I want other artists to sing my songs?
We hear over and over: "I don't think I want anyone else singing MY song unless it's me."
We've seen even the best songwriters thinking that someday they will break through the music industry and therefore not allowing other renowned artists to perform their songs while others who do understand the business of writing great songs are struggling to get that same opportunity. We mean opportunities like studio execs and A&Rs lining up to swoop through songs to give to their Top 40 artists.
At this point in time, you may be ready to share your songs with the world, but as of now no one really knows you in the industry or cares to see your band's Myspace page. It's played out. But walking into a club and instead announcing that you were the writer to that new Britney Spears, Justin Bieber or Black Eyed Peas song that everyone is bobbing their heads to, I think you'll get the immediate attention of people and the definite attention of industry professionals. Its all about positioning yourself and that's what we are here to help you do. Think of it as coaching. Many people have paid their dues making it in this town, and though everyone's path is different, we all pay them. However, while you're taking on your journey here, we are here to mentor you and give you these honest bits of experience.
If Rhianna or Robbie Williams would perform your song, what do you have to lose? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. You have indeed EVERYTHING TO GAIN since the song is always yours. If you want to release it on your own CD and sell them to family and friends and beyond, you can still do that. You can always perform your song in clubs and shows. But you have the advantage of receiving an income for your song playing on the radio by Rhianna or Robby WIlliams. Carol King is known to be the first woman in the music industry to market her songs successfully since she didn't start her career as a famous solo performer but as a songwriter. The Shirelles for example performed 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow' in the 60's. That didn't stop Carol to release her own album with the song she wrote included. Carol might have never been known by the industry if she had only thought of singing all her songs herself.
There's more chance to achieve your dream if you are a great performer in allowing already established artists to perform your songs or your might only be a dreamer and never making it in the music industry if you do not understand how it all works. And this is part of what we teach.
While there are doors that will remain locked to untalented artists and writers, there are doors already open to many talented ones that are just not found but there are also doors wide open to talented songwriters who refuse to walk through because of either their ignorance about the music business or their ego.
Why should I sell my songs?
First of all the term 'selling a song' has caused a misconception about song licensing. Though it is used as such in the music industry, you are not really selling a song, but licensing it for use by someone else, generating an income for you. Whether you write for film or allow somebody else to perform your songs, even if you have offered the publishing to a music publishing company (unless you have signed a Work For Hire agreement), your name should always remain into the writers credit of that song.
By licensing their songs many songwriters today are making a living from the songs you hear on the radio, yet you probably do not know their names. Perhaps you've heard about Diane Warren with her credits on so many hit songs including How Do I Live (Lee Ann Rimes), Because You Loved Me (Celine Dion), Don't Want To Miss A Thing (Aerosmith) etc. You've probably heard of Desmond Child, David Foster... But what about names of writers who writes for artists who do not write their own songs such as Anders Bagge (Cover On My Heart - Guy Sebastian), Andreas Carlsson (I Want It That Way - Backstreet Boys), John Reid (You're The Voice - John Farnham) , Jorgen Elofsson (Sometimes - Britney Spears & Angels Brought Me Here - Guy Sebastian), Tom Nicholls (Touched BY Love - Eran James), Klaus Derendorf (Somewhere In The World Tonight - Altiyan Childs) and Sydney based songwriter Adam Reily (All I Need Is You - Guy Sebastian) amongst many others. These talented writers aren't signed to record companies as performers and have no intention into becoming one, even though they could sing wonderfully beside writing the most marketable songs, but now make a fortune simply by writing materials that fit the standards or formula expected by record companies.
What if I prefer to be an independent artist?
There again, the lack of understanding of the music business had led most singer-songwriters into thinking that an independent release means bypassing the need of a record company. This is not the case. An independent release is one that is not released by a major record company, but an independent label. An example of an independent artist is Ricki Lee Coulter who reached the top of the chart after leaving Australian Idol. However while known as an independent artist, she was released by an independent label. The details about how these labels work towards distribution etc. is explained through the course.
That doesn't mean that it is impossible to launch yourself independently without any label, or have one of your own. However, unless you have learned how the music industry works and having the resources needed to make your career successful, you will realise sooner that doing another day job is a much better option.
Can I do the course without the publishing opportunity?
Yes, you can do the course for your own knowledge only, and will not require you to submit a song at the end of the course. However, you must clearly specify at the beginning of the course. You will still be required to do all studies. The details are on the Courses Options page.
That doesn't mean that it is impossible to launch yourself independently without any label, or have one of your own. Unless you have learned how the music industry works and having the resources needed to make your career successful, you will realise sooner that doing another day job is a much better option.
What is the course fee?
You'll find details about the course cost and your options of payment is in the Courses Options page.