Is My Music Profitable?
By: Jerry A. Greene
Question: I am a songwriter that doesn't write songs in the mainstream. I haven't tried to get my songs recorded by anyone other than me in my studio. Since my music doesn't really follow any particular genre, is there an audience for my songs and how can I find the people that would even like my music? Even more, how can I find the artists that would want to record my music?
Answer: If there is a market for funeral durges (and there is, believe it, or not) there is a market for your music as long as it's "good music" to someone other than you.
What Genre Is My Music?
You may have a hard time trying to put yourself into a specific category of music. Some days, you can find me writing everything from country music to marching band music, then the next day, video game and film scores then barbershop! It's obviously hard for me to say what type of genre I am in at any moment, but if your music isn't as diverse as that you should be able to find places that would play your music. You may want to do some research on sites like Live365.Com and look at the music categories. Listen to some of the shows and see where your music might fit, even if it's not an exact fit. You may want to look at the "song level" instead of your "overall musical genre", thinking about how each one of your songs might be able to fit somewhere.
Production Can Make Music Cross Genres
Always remember that the way your song is produced, can have a huge effect on what genre it sounds like. Just look at how many pop songs become country hits and vice-versa. You'll also hear folk versions of pop songs, if you go into some of your local coffee houses. You'll even hear orchestral versions of some heavy metal songs if you look hard enough!
Transcribe Your Music Into A Lead Sheet
What you may want to do, is write down your songs in a lead sheet form. If you don't have the ability to do that, you may want to record it and send it to a music transcriptionist. This way you'll have a bare-bones version of the song on paper, without any production associated with it. The next step would either be to take it your recording and transcription to a music publisher that handles music of different genres, or take it directly to a producer and see what they feel can be done with the song.
The Long Tail Of Music
If you have not already read the book, The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More, by Chris Anderson, you will definitely want to. It will explain to you just how your music can find an audience through the internet. You'll also want to read my article about getting your music played on the internet. The future of the music business is online, and the internet is making it easier for songwriters that write in obscure genres of music, to get their music out to the people that can appreciate their music! Your music can make a profit, even if it's the equivalent of a part-time income to start.
Artists That Will Record Your Type Of Music
After reading "The Long Tail" you'll definitely feel a little reassured that there is a place for your music. To find an artist that will record your music may take a little digging. A music publisher, as I mentioned above, may be the best way to go at first. If they believe in your song, they may offer you a single-song contract. If you don't seem to have any luck pitching to your song to publishers, then you may want to go at it as a recording artist and performer yourself.
Performing And Recording Your Own Music
There is a lot of great opportunity out there for you to make it, even if in a small way, in the music business. Again, the internet has opened up a world of opportunity and you can use it to market your music to the type of people that want to hear it.
Don't be shy about becoming a performer. If you think that you "just don't have the look", or "don't have a great voice", don't worry. You can always get some vocal coaching and instrumental lessons. You can work on your "look". You'll never know how successful you can be if you don't try.