Some time ago I wrote a blog post specifically to people involved in music called “What If We Gave It Away?” It was met with one part celebration, one part scorn and ridicule, and one part…huh?
A Great First Step
We believe that most of you reading this are mainly looking for simple answers: “What is my next, best step?” “Where am I as a Songwriter?” and “Can you help me with my dream of doing this?”
Or maybe you know for certain you need to find the right production team, and the right company to help you market your music to the world. This is what we do every day for dozens of clients all around the world.
If you think that a serious regional or national music ministry is what God has planned for you, you have songs you want to share with the world, or you are planning on recording a single, EP, or CD project, we suggest all artists and songwriters begin with our consulting services. It’s the best way to make sure you make the right move.
“Good leaders look for the good in people and affirm it. Only then do they address the problems.” – John C. Maxwell
We offer several great ways for you to get started: (Click any for more information)
- The Christian Artist Workshop (Word Entertainment, Music Row, Nashville TN)
- The Phone Coaching Package
- The 3-Song Critique
- The Christian Artist Workshop PDF
We encourage you to check each option out and see which fits your particular need and budget.
In working for several decades as a music and recording company, we have found that our real value comes in helping music artists introduce their brand, find and grow their audience, and reach people with their music and message. Yes, we help them develop and record, but that’s just the beginning. We all get into this work so that God can use our gifts, and get them to the world. We think we’ve found the best way in this current day and age to do that.
Infinite Creativity, On Display
Music and visuals have been around a very long time. In fact, the early movie musicals helped kick off the age of talking motion pictures in the 1930’s. MTV helped fuel the biggest run for the music business in the 80’s and 90’s. And now, in this age of YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and other visual online and mobile technology, I think there may be nothing more important for music than the visual, viral opportunities music and video provide for artists and songwriters.
We have quietly stockpiled music related video material we have done for artists over the last 20 years, and now feel like this is a direction we must not only explore, but put our focus on. Cre8iv.tv is our newest site that will serve as a sister company to all our Cre8iv Entertainment channels, including Creative Soul Records, Creative Soul Jazz and Instrumental, Music History Matters, and the forthcoming Creative Soul Classical. Our goal is to bring the audiences of all artists to Cre8iv.tv so that we can impact more people with the positive message and music our artists produce.
The New Way to Build Your Brand
Well, it’s not really new. But in a day where touring or live performance in some genres is harder to attain, reaching people through social media might be the best way to build your brand. Think about it. The main thing we need as artists and songwriters is to be seen and heard. Before 1900 that meant performing live in front of people. In the last century it meant making a “record” and promoting it through live performance and sales. But in this new century we are seeing a different model form. It’s about building a brand that grows in value through the quality of its product, and serving the audience via the tools they use everyday: chiefly the computer, and/or mobile device.
Constant New QUALITY Music Content and Shows
We are currently at work on more video content than we have ever produced. At least half a dozen of our artists are working on new videos at this writing, from simple lyric videos to high end productions. We have original programming including a Music Business show, and some other original ideas based on our brands. We feel that Cre8iv.tv and visual content of the music we produce is the natural next step for the artists and songwriters we serve daily. And don’t get us wrong, the music and its quality are still the most important thing we do. But it has been impressed upon us that making sure that music is heard is also part of our primary ministry.
You can help us now by tuning in, and signing up to be notified when new videos debut. The link is just below. We also are always looking for new artists in all genres. We have so many opportunities in our Christian, Jazz, Classical, and even Pop, Film, and TV genres! We want to make amazing music, amazing videos, and get them to the world!
Want to record a single and make a video to premiere on Cre8iv.tv ? Contact us now about getting started!
(Guest post by the inimitable Robert Sterling. Find out more about Robert here.)
The single most common Poetic Device used in songwriting is without a doubt – rhyme. Unfortunately rhyme is seemingly so simple, the beginner songwriter may assume it to be easy. (Simple is very different than easy.) Really great rhyme is a well-practiced craft.
For those of you songwriters that haven’t read my book (Shame on you, by the way.)here are some quick tips that might help you better master a part of the craft we all too often take for granted.
Rhyme the important stuff. Rhyme draws attention to itself, so try to land your rhymes on words that reinforce the song’s message or atmosphere. If you rhyme unimportant words, you’re telling the listener you’ve written an unimportant song.
Save the stronger, more creative rhyme line for the second half of the rhyme. Make your listeners wait for that great rhyming line.
Avoid predictable rhymes. Predictable rhymes telegraph to the listener what’s coming, spoiling the surprise. Because double and triple rhymes have fewer obvious rhyme choices, they have a greater tendency to create predictability than do single rhymes. This is a tough thing to do, but it’s worth the effort.
Vary the color of rhymes within a song. Using only one kind of rhyme is boring. Mix up the use of single, double, and triple rhymes. Try slipping an internal rhyme in occasionally. Avoid the overuse of the same rhyme vowel.
Rhyme naturally. A classic problem of novice writers is inverting words in a phrase to force a rhyme. I call this “Yoda speak.” Better to write the words the way people actually speak, and look for a new rhyme.
When you’re stuck for a rhyme, try rephrasing the line. Sometimes you can say the same thing another way and open up new rhyming possibilities. For example, the line “Love always ends that way” can be rephrased to “That’s how love always ends,” and suddenly you have a new rhyming word without changing the meaning or the message of the lyrics.
Don’t settle for sloppy rhyme. Even imperfect rhymes shouldn’t be weak. Rather than settle, dig a little deeper. You may find something terrific.
Get a good rhyming dictionary. Not even the most brilliant wordsmith can think of every possible rhyme for a line. A rhyming dictionary, whether an actual book or in software form, is a great tool for finding an elusive rhyme or for jump-starting the rhyming process.
Every now and then, don’t use rhyme. Sometimes little or no rhyme can be very effective if it is done purposefully and with solid craftsmanship. Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins used almost no rhyme at all in their song “What a Fool Believes.” But the lack of rhyme suits the unusual musical phrasing of the song.
That’s it for today. Now go read my book.
(Excepted and edited from The Craft of Christian Songwriting by Robert Sterling.)
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17
I’ve been right where you are.
At some point in your life, it became apparent that you could put words and music together and make a song.
People know you as a songwriter.
But for some reason, no one has realized your genius (or least no one that MATTERS!) There has been no publishing contract with Word. There has been no calls from Toby Mac because he heard your music on Soundcloud. There has been no word from Hollywood, Nashville, or New York, even though you’ve sent a few demos that way.
So what is the deal?
You’re not a novice. You’ve been doing this for a while. You’re most likely one of the best, if not the best songwriter in your whole town.
Why would God give you this talent if it never goes farther than a few miles from your house?
Well, folks, I have been there. I know exactly how you feel.
You have a job most likely that has little to do with music making, and it’s fine. But you long to know some success with your writing. Maybe just an artist who records one of your songs, or a publisher that shows some interest.
Well, let’s talk about the “why”. Why has your music not reached that next level yet?
In my experience or writing, producing, and promoting music, I have found there is only one way to get to a new level, and that is, to work with better people.
I was in the place where I felt, “Okay, people know who I am locally, and even a bit on the net, but I personally feel like I can’t get better than this”. Well that was incorrect. I just had to go out and sharpen my tools with other writers, musicians, and engineers.
So I started looking around town for studios and folks to hang with and work with. I eventually started a studio of my own, and I improved.
When I hit another ceiling, I moved to Nashville and started to meet Grammy-winning engineers and musicians that helped my projects get to a point now where I feel like they are where I want them.
Now, I don’t always think moving to Nashville is necessary or even needed. For me it was since my business was music production for artists and Nashville was a no-brainer for my clients. For you folks who are writers only and not making your living at it, moving here can have mixed results.
The important thing is to get out and get working with folks who are better than you. Whether it’s someone in Nashville, or someone locally.
Iron sharpens iron. We can’t just buy a new piece of software or microphone or join a new online service. We have to work with other people who do what we do, and maybe at a slightly higher level, to grow our own talents.
I think it’s very biblical actually. The story of the talents is very clear with what you should do with them (even though talents meant something different in the verse). But for our use, we have to go out and make those talents grow. That is what the Master wants to see.
We can’t just sit on our talents and only have what He gives. We must grow.
So, if you have questions, give me a shout, I’m glad to help.
Otherwise, keep writing!
Eric Copeland is a songwriter, producer, and consultant and heads Creative Soul in Nashville, TN. He is lucky enough to be able to sharpen his iron with artists and writers around the world. Find out more on how to get started here >