The NSAI update
for the Los Angeles area Workshop
by Bev Nelson
I'd like to share some ideas from a great book I recently read, "Life Is A Contact Sport" by Ken Kragen, manager for Trisha Yearwood, Travis Tritt, and Kenny Rogers and organizer of We Are The World and Hands Across America. He also teaches a course at UCLA called “Stardom Strategy”. I like this book because it discusses ten great career strategies, and networking is a very important one.
Did you know it was an electrician who got Travis Tritt going on his music career? It’s legendary that Trisha Yearwood began her career singing demos with the then-unknown Garth Brooks.
Kragen says, "In a way, contacts are like the building blocks of a career. You start with relatively few and keep adding and multiplying until you have a strong, interlocking web of people whose talents and reputations help boost your career." Here are some ideas for networking in the music business:
Target people responsive to the type of music you write. Do your homework. What type of music does that publisher sign? Pitch what they are looking for and avoid unnecessary rejection.
Target events and places where you're likely to find people you need to meet. Let them see your face a lot. Even if you don’t get to meet them immediately, someday you may.
Get involved in organizing special events.
Retail music stores are frequently a barometer of the music community in a city.
Music business classes at local colleges can be hotbeds for ambitious music people.
Churches, especially ones that use contemporary music in their services, can be good places to meet people in a supportive environment.
Attend and perform at showcases in Nashville and Los Angeles.
Attend Nashville NSAI seminars, where you can meet publishers and pro writers as well as up-and-coming writers and artists like yourself.
Use the NSAI Song Evaluation Service. You’ll get constructive feedback on you songs, and your song may be pitched to a Nashville publisher is the critiquer feels it’s ready.
Co-write. Co-writing gives you the advantage of your co-writer's contacts as well as yours.
Meet artists when their careers are beginning. Be part of the nurturing process and become an integral part of what they're doing. Remember, all singers need great songs! If you can co-write with the artist, that’s all the better.
Use the performing rights organizations. Have a writer's rep listen to your music and ask for an honest opinion. If they like what you've done, they may refer you to a publisher or a collaborator.
A good thing to remember when it comes to networking is to be the kind of person other people want to see succeed.
AUGUST-SEPTEMBER WORKSHOP SCHEDULE
- Sunday, August 4, 5-8PM at Musician's Institute, Group Song Critiques.
Getting feedback on your material and giving feedback to others is one of the best ways to improve your writing. Bring a song on cassette or play it live, plus 20 copies of your lyric sheet. The group can also critique lyrics only or music only.
- Sunday, August 18, 5-8PM at Musician’s Institute, Creative Writing Exercises/Guitar Pull.
Creative writing exercises designed by some of Nashville’s most successful songwriters will help you sharpen your craft. This will be followed by a good ole-fashioned guitar pull, where we can share our songs in a non-critique environment. Play songs live or on cassette or read lyrics. We’ll do as many rounds as time allows.
- Sunday, Sept. 8, 5-8PM at Musician's Institute - Group Song Critiques.
Come get feedback on that new hit song you’ve been working on. Bring 20 copies of the lyric to pass out to the group.
- Sunday, Sept. 29, Creative Writing/Guitar Pull.
Get the creative juices flowing as you hone your craft, and then share some of your finished songs or lyrics with your fellow writers.
Unless otherwise noted, workshops are held from 5-8 p.m. at Musician's
Institute, 1655 McCadden Place, just off Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood.
Admission is free for NSAI members
and NAS members, $10 for non-members. For more information, call Bev Nelson
at (714)733-2717, or Craig Lackey at (310)439-4069.
Los Angeles Area NSAI
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NSAI LOS ANGELES