Chapter One - Page 4

I wrote my first song over 40 years ago with my cousin Jack and I’ve been writing ever since. I’ve been fortunate enough to have songs I wrote or co-wrote ‘covered’ (recorded and released) by artists I really admire like Shawn Colvin, Chuck Prophet, Cliff Eberhardt, Mary Lou Lord, Thad Cockrell and Laurie MacAllister.  I’ve had eight music publishing deals.  I get royalty checks quarterly in the mail. Not for big amounts but still it makes checking the mail more interesting!

Shawn Colvin

 


It’s been very satisfying having songwriters of this caliber record my songs but what far outweighs the professional benefits has been the ancillary ones. Songwriting has enhanced my self image, it’s increased and improved my circle of friends, it’s given me a creative outlet, it’s provided travel opportunities, it’s gotten me through emotional hard times and it’s given me the opportunity to teach. If there were no songwriting business to speak of I’d still be writing and benefiting from it


Beginning songwriters are often enamored with the idea that their songs will generate income for them. It’s ok to dream but please be sure to keep it in perspective. I’d really love to have every one of my students generate income from this wonderful art form but the fact of the matter is that a miniscule percentage of songwriters ever see a dime for their efforts. This is the sad reality of the marketplace.  If you write simply for the joy of writing you’ll be way out ahead.

 

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t pursue songwriting business opportunities. I always have and always will but please understand that the business of music has very little in common with the art of music and is often at odds with it.


I urge you to emphasize the art. Further down the road when you have a substantial catalog of songs I hope that someday you’ll look at that list and be proud of what you’ve written.  I once read and to a certain extant believe, with caveats, that if you write a great song it’s hard for something not to happen to it.  I’m not sure how accurate that statement is but it’s certainly comforting to hear it!


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                                        Copyright © Jim Bruno 2013

© Jim Bruno 2014