Pitching Songs Music Publishers, Producers and A&R Departments

By: Jerry A. Greene

Question: What is the best way for me to submit my songs to a music publisher, or music producer?

Answer: First thing you must do is have a demo CD ready to go. You want to make sure that it is completely finished and that you are immediately prepared to send something out in the mail, or by email. This includes having any other paper materials ready, such as lead sheets, and bio information.

You also must know EXACTLY what you want from a relationship with a music publisher, or producer. Are you looking to be signed to a recording contract...how about a staff writing position for a music publisher, etc... Before you contact ANY music business professional, it is extremely important that you know WHY you are doing it. This helps prevent you from wasting your time and theirs!

You then want to make a list of potential music business contacts and prepare yourself to make the calls. Then get on the phone and make contact with the highest person that you can. Make sure that they understand that you are interested in sending them a demo CD for "the reason" that you are looking to make contact with them. If the answer is "no" then, don't despair. Ask them if there would be a better time to contact them again in the future and if it would be alright with them. If again the answer is "no", make a note of it and make sure you don't call them again. You never want to be known in the music business as a "bug"....it'll get you nowhere and only give you a bad reputation. If they do give you the go ahead to send something, ask them if you can have a certain way of marking the package that you send them. A lot of times, they will ask you to put a "codeword" on the outside of the envelope, or in the subject line of the email. This will ensure that your demo CD gets listened to and not thrown in the garbage with the rest of the unsolicited material that a lot of these guys get every single day. Also make sure you ask for an exact time and day that you can follow up once your package has been sent and then DO IT!

If you call the publisher, or producer, A&R department, when they told you to and they don't have an answer for you, simply thank them for their time and ask them again for an exact time and day that they can be reached again. This is important! Again, you don't want to be a "bug".

Keep doing this until you either get what you want, or they tell you "no, thank you". If they do give you a "no", ask them if it would be alright to submit something again in the future. You want to always be sure that you keep your music business contacts in good standing. Once you have made a good contact, nuture it. Make sure you always say "thank you" for everything that anyone helps you out with. Showing genuine appreciation will help you to advance your career more than you may ever have thought. Remember, this may be the music business...but it is also a people business!