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  World Of Music

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Autor priloga: Matt Dorman, songwriter, Las Vegas, USA

Here are a few of the ways you can promote your songs today:

1) You can contact publishers, and see if they are accepting "outside material". Most publishers have their own staff writers, or artists that write, and don't accept material from other sources, unless the writer has a track record of great hit writing.

2) You can give a song to an artist to listen to, if you run into them by chance, or on purpose. One famous story about that is long ago - an unknown songwriter (at that time) named Kris Kristofferson, used a helicopter and landed it on the front lawn of Johnny Cash, and told him he wanted him to listen to his song "Sunday Morning Sidewalk". Johnny did, and the song became a smash hit, propelling Kris to songwriting stardom, which led to many many other songs being played by other artists, including "Bobby McGee" and other chart-topping hits.

3) You can participate in songwriting associations, which have "listening sessions" by artists and publishers and record label people occasionally. If they like what they hear, they take the song, and publish it, promote it, and release it on the radio. I am a member of the Las Vegas Songwriter's Association, and Nashville Songwriting Association International (NSAI). These organizations have lots of opportunities for getting your songs heard.

4) You can "buy" into releases with companies like "Comstock Records". I have done this twice, and had songs played on the radio in Europe. It's costly, and only good songs are chosen for this compillation disc, which is shipped to many radio stations across the world. Back when I did it, the cost was $1,300.00 U.S. dollars per song. I think now it's around $2,000.00 U.S. dollars. Most American radio stations won't play songs that they don't have from record labels with big stars, but in Europe, alot don't care, and play these songs. I was on the charts as high as number 3 with song of mine - "Another You".

4) You can move to Nashville, (or go there alot), and get known in the writer's "circles" with your songs by performing them alot around town at the writer's nights. Sometimes there's people at those writer's nights that are looking for songs. Some writers are looking for other writers to write songs with.

5) You can start a publishing company, and publish your own songs, and "pitch" them to the labels directly. Getting permission to send songs to the labels is a mountain to climb in itself.

6) you can hire a "songplugger". Somebody who, for a large fee, will take your songs to the publishers and record labels for you. I paid one plugger $3,000.00 U.S. dollars to pitch five of my songs for one year. Nothing came of it, except now that song plugger and I have signed a publishing deal for those songs, and she pitches them without cost.

7) You can send songs to established writers who, for a fee (usually around $25.00 U.S. dollars per song), will review the song, and make suggestions on how to improve it. If they like the song, they may pass it along to their contacts for you, sometimes for a fee, but sometimes free.

8) You can "know somebody who knows somebody". A friend, or acquaintance that knows some artist, or their mother, or some link to the artist. Believe it or not, lots of bus drivers for tour busses get songs on the radio. Artists usually accept songs from their Producer first, and where that producer gets his songs is up to him. It can be his cousin, his dentist, or whomever! Like the saying goes: "It's not what you know, it's who you know". There's lots of talented songwriters around the world that write songs 100 times better than you hear on the radio, but they aren't in the "loop".

I hope this helps. There are more ways to promote your songs. These are but a few.

The Nashville Trip By Matt Dorman

The last time I had been in Nashville was in 1998. So in a week, I was going to try and make up for seven years of absence. In advance of the trip, I had 100 cd’s made up, with 8 songs. They were drop shipped to one of my publishers, so I didn’t have to pack them on the plane.

We got into Nashville on Tuesday afternoon June 14th. I called Douglas Corners to sign up for their writer’s night, just making the deadline. After checking into our hotel, which was just north of the airport, we made some daytime dry runs to some of our evening destinations. We found the best way into Nashville was from Donaldson Pike north and left on Lebanon Pike (route 70), which took us directly into Lower Broadway. We used that road our entire trip, avoiding the freeway.

Tuesday night, we arrived at Douglas Corners early, and got a great seat by the stage. Soon the place was packed with guitar toting writers. The night was filled with many different types of songs; finger-picked ballads (lots), fast songs, funny songs, and some desperately sad. Some songs were great, and some were not so good. But, each writer performed his song with confidence and conviction. Nobody said “this song sucks, but I’m going to do it anyways”. They all thought their songs were good.

Wednesday, We went to Harlan Howard Songs for a meeting with Sara Johnson. I’ve been sending songs to HHS since 1995. I met Harlan while in Nashville in ’98. Being in his office is a very humbling experience. Sara listened to three of my songs, and chose “Another You” to play for Melanie Howard. She played some of her writer’s songs, as a sample of what they were looking for. She called it “Americana”. Nice songs. Artists that wrote their own songs without co-writers and performed them on guitar/vocal demo’s. Plain and simple.

We had lunch at the Longhorn Steakhouse, at the North end of Music Row, a place where last trip I saw Deana Carter, Trace Adkins, and met Harlan Howard. No stars there that day; at least none that I recognized. Had some great Cajun shrimp.

Wednesday night, we went to Lower Broadway, had dinner, and saw my friend (and studio owner) Galen play at the “Stage” with his band. “Third Wheel”. Galen played guitar, while Dave Brooks, (who sings on most of my current demo’s), co-fronted the band. They invited me up on stage, and we took some pictures. We saw lots of guitar players on the sidewalk, with open cases, playing for whatever passersby would donate. The sights and sounds of Lower Broadway are something every writer should experience. It’s unforgettable and very inspiring.

Thursday we visited my writer’s rep at BMI. I just missed a listening session, but got some great info on upcoming events. I gave him a c.d., and he promised to let me know what he thought of it. We had lunch just north of the BMI building at a great café in a little strip mall by the roundabout on Division St. The BMI building is huge, and seeing it made me proud to be a member.

Thursday night, I performed at a writer’s night at the French Quarter café, just east of the Titan’s football stadium. After some scheduled “in the round” performances, the open mic session started around 10 pm. I performed two songs, to a mostly empty house, but had the chance to meet lots of great writers, and handed out over a dozen c.d.’s. I gave one to the owner who told me he would listen to it.

Friday morning, we went to the Waffle House on Donaldson Pike. The cook was really friendly, and told us Vince Gill and Amy Grant eat there a lot. I gave him a c.d. for himself, and one for Vince Gill. He said he’d hold onto it until the next time he saw Vince and give it to him. I told him I met Vince in Arizona in 1988, and asked him for a guitar pick. He gave me one of his wife’s “Sweethearts Of The Rodeo” picks. I told him he needed to get his own picks, because he was a great artist that was going to be a star. That night, I solidified my intent to become a famous songwriter. I still have that pink guitar pick.

We were going to go to the Opry that afternoon, but were tired and took a nap, since I had a late set at the Songwriter’s Festival scheduled. Good thing we stayed at the hotel. My wife woke me up around three and told me there was water pouring from our ceiling! Turns out, the guy upstairs was running water on a dirty dish in his sink, (which covered the drain!) and fell asleep. I have a great video of the ceiling fountain. Needles to say, we spent the afternoon moving to another room, which turned out to be better than the first.

Friday night, we went to the Songwriter’s festival so I could perform my 11pm set. Before and after my performance, I gave out over 25 c.d’s to writers, and whom ever would take one. (Hey, you never know!). The stage was right behind Curb Records, and got some great pics of me on stage with Curb in the background. Met some great writers, and saw a lot of writers’ I had met at Douglas Corners, and the French Quarter. It was nice to see them. Just like me, they came to Nashville to make a difference. We saw the cutest little girl sing with her dad on stage. She was only four years old.

Saturday, we met with a friend, Jenny Pforr, who is from Denver, where my wife is from. She moved to Nashville to be a star, and like others, holds a day job until her break. She met with me before she moved there, and took four of my songs with her to pitch. She’s been writing a lot, and sings demo’s for studio’s.

Saturday afternoon, we went back to Music Row for my 4:30 set. We got there early, and got to play two sets. Met a lot of writers, and gave out about 25 more c.d’s. And, saw the writer’s I’ve been running into all week. We went back to Lower Broadway to get our souvenirs, and visit Gruhn Guitars. We stayed in Saturday night, to take an early Sunday flight home.

One thing I love about Nashville that you don’t find in Vegas too much is the ability to get up on stage and play your songs and have the whole room listening intently. I don’t go to “jam” sessions in Vegas because the band doesn’t know my songs, so they don’t want to play them, and if I get up on their break to do them by myself, nobody listens. In Vegas, you’ve gotta do somebody’s cover songs, and in Nashville, you can do your songs. I used to have a writer’s night thing going on at Larry’s Hideaway years ago, but couldn’t get the interest.

So, until one of my songs is a cover song, I’ll take my act to Nashville. And, I’m going to go there more that every 5 years! I’m going to make the trip at least once a year, or more. This trip I didn’t focus on the Row as much as on the writers. Yes, I did make over 60 calls to publishers from a list I got off the internet. Funny, most of them were no longer in business…

It’s a one in a million shot, getting that cut, but I sure am enjoying the ride. Just to be a part of the music I grew up on, and love today, is very satisfying. I’ll continue networking from Vegas, and making Nashville trips. I’ll keep my fingers crossed, and Never Say Never. Matt Dorman.

Matt Dorman - Biography

Matt has been writing songs most of his life. In 1994, Matt got his first break. A local artist named Randy Anderson called to see if he could put Matt's song "Two Time, One Time" on his CD release, "One More Lifetime". Then in 1995, Matt's song, "Shadows On The Wall" was recorded by famous country artist Jerry Hanlon, and the CD "Living On Dreams" was released to independent radio stations around the world, with "Shadows On The Wall" being Matt's first charted song.

Not long after that, more CD releases followed. Jerry Hanlon put two more of Matt's songs on a CD release, and Matt got his first title cut with "Country Nights", which was released to radio stations worldwide.

Randy Anderson cut three of Matt's songs on his "Loving You Up" CD, including a song co written by Matt and Randy, called "Another Man's Castle". Matt's songs were released on two Comstock Records releases to radio worldwide, and did very well, with his song "Another You" going as high as number 3 on Indie charts.

Another artist, Craig Caffall, released a song co written by Matt and Craig on his CD "Roll On Big Sister" by his band "Big Train", called "God Will Take Care Of The Rest". Randy Anderson recently cut a song co written by Matt and himself, called "Lucky Guy". The CD, "Hello Everybody, We're Back!" is offered at Randy's live shows, and on the Internet. Matt continues to pitch his songs to whomever will listen. Currently, he has over 150 songs in his catalog, with over 50 songs published to date. 30 years after making up his mind to become a famous songwriter, Matt is still chasing that dream. Matt's motto is "Never say never!"

Matt Dorman Music / BMI
3510 Gold Sluice Ave., North Las Vegas, NV 89032, USA

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