The NSAI update for the Los Angeles area Workshop

November-December, 1996

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by Bev Nelson

If you gamble in Las Vegas, your best chance of winning is if you can place your bets where you have the best odds. The same is true when marketing songs. You can increase your odds by keeping on top of what’s happening in the music business.

Reading the music trade magazines will keep you current on many aspects of the industry. You can either subscribe or review them each week at the library. Trade magazines include Billboard, Cashbox, Radio and Records, Country Chart Analyst, and Music Row.

A valuable feature of the trades is the “charts”. Billboard charts list the producer, writer, label, and publisher for each song.

Another worthwhile place to look are the “Executive Turntable” in Billboard and similar columns in other trades. There’s a lot of musical chairs in this business, and it’s important to know who is in the decision making positions in the companies you contact.

If you’ve signed a song with a publisher and your contact has moved on, call and make an appointment with his replacement. This way, you make a new contact and make sure your song isn’t lost in the shuffle. Be sure to bring some new songs at the same time. Also, call and congratulate your old contact, and bring him some new material.

Tipsheets are periodicals that list producers and artists looking for material. Some are monthly, some are bi-weekly. With tipsheets, you are rarely going to be the first to know someone is looking. However, it’s quite possible the producers won’t find what they need right away and will keep looking. Some tipsheets available are Music City Trax Fax, Row Fax, and Tunesmith.

Don’t spend all your time crafting beautiful songs and neglect the homework that can increase the odds of getting your songs into the right hands

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Workshop Location

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.

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by Bev Nelson

Believe it or not, we are quickly approaching the end of another year! I don’t know how it always sneaks up on me, but it does. Reflecting on the kind of year we’ve had at NSAI, I thought about the wonderful guest speakers we’ve learned from in the past few months, such as Randy Sharp, James Dean Hicks, Jenny Yates, Steve Dorff, and David Quan. I remembered the fun showcases at Grounds Zero where we got to watch each other perform onstage with Denny Martin’s terrific band!

There were the informative nights of learning from each other discussing such topics as networking, collaborating, goal setting, and creativity techniques. Through our monthly song critiques, I’ve seen an unbelievable amount of growth in the writing! It’s so much fun to see us all getting better and better! No one can tell me that we don’t have future professional songwriters right here in our Los Angeles group!

Very special thanks go to Membership Coordinator/Treasurer Vickie Vining, Event Coordinator Cathy Carlson, Country Notes Editor Seth Jackson, and of course, Workshop Co-Coordinator Craig Lackey.

In Conclusion, I wish you all everything you dream of. Remember, the only way you are guaranteed not to achieve your goal is to quit. Keep writing!

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Seth Jackson

Craig Lackey
Bev Nelson

Vickie Vining

Cathy Carlson

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