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My question is what advice would you give this 46 year old man as far as getting signed to a major label. How much "Age" is the factor in this regard for any one interested in this business. Thank You Sirs .... Steven Patrick

StevenPatrick Sunday 26 Aug 2007 Age is a major factor. Most A & R people at Majors are not going to sign anyone in their 30's, much less their 40's unless there's an incredible buzz surrounding that artist. My suggestion would be gather your coins, find some seasoned songwriting and studio vets, go in the studio produce your own material and start marketing yourself. Find your own niche, at least you'll be doing what you love and hopefully making some money at it. I don't think it's realistic to try and get signed at 46 without a huge independent hit. Most talented young people are never gonna get signed, at 46 it's virtually impossible. I'm sorry Steven, but I'd rather tell you the truth than lie to you, and watch you waste your time chasing something that isn't there.

I have noticed that almost every singing entertainer in the business writes their own songs or is with someone who writes original songs. How do I make a cd for example as a tribute to Johnny Cash or Merle Haggard or just an assortment of great established songs that were not written by me? How do I do that without getting into copyright problems? Thanks. Joe

Joe Wednesday 23 May 2007 Contact Harry Fox Agency or the publisher of the song, which is right on the CD label. You have to pay for the licensing.

I have an Audio engineering questions. I would like to your opinions on using "doubles" on a track; can they be used througout the entire song, or only parts of the song? Is there a 'general rule of thumb' as to where they should be used and when they are the most effective? Also, what is your advice when it comes to harmonies. What is the "technique" used in audio engineering to make them sound 'tighter' so they don't sound like a background vocal?

Mark Healey May 20th 2007 I'm not an engineer so I can only give my experience, what I do and what I've seen other successful producers do. Coming from a R&B/Hip Hop/Pop background, we double just about everything. I'm told some artist like Pac and Micheal J stack their vocals in multiple layers in the studio. It's hard to learn but it gives you a richer sound. Plus they got the budget and the time to do that, most of us don't. For harmonies, keep them tight and close, half step, two part harmony works best for me, used only to accentuate and highlight. Harmony loses it's effectiveness if it's overdone. If you really want get a good handle on harmony, listen to old Motown and Stax/Volt records. Or groups like America, Fleetwood Mac and Steely Dan. Listen to Aja or Rumors, or 80's Michael Jackson. Don't try and re-invent the wheel, it's already been done, just go get it. Listen to Kool and Gangs 80's stuff. And a little reverb is the only thing I know to do to get a better blend, but only works if you sing it tight. I think the key in your situation is the singers have to be tight, phrasing and vibrato are important. If you're relying the engineer to make your harmony tighter, what are you gonna do when you perform live. Sing it right, sing it tight!, and you won't have to worry about the engineering.

How does one make an earned living as a lyricist? Also, how can someone get their songs published?

Jimmie Lee May 20th 2007 Get a guitar! Lyrics with out music, is not a song, it's a poem, as Cuba Gooding Sr., lead singer of the Main Ingredient(not his son Cuba Gooding Jr., the actor) once told me when I was pitching him a song. The only way you make money as lyricist is if you can get an artist of substance to sing one of your songs. Or find a hot producer to team up with. Get a guitar and write some songs, then perform them yourself at these songwriter cafes. Two good things ahppen at these places. One, you find out pretty quick how good or bad your songs are, and two, you meet other up and coming songwriters. In the music business networking is the key. To get a song published all you have to do is copyright it and perform it in front of somebody, lol, it's published. Now to get paid by a publisher, or to get a publishing deal, an artist of substance has to perform your song. If that happens you won't have to find a publisher, they'll find you. You'll have publishing companies coming out of your butt to give you a deal. Key point, copyright everything.

how do I send my Demo to a label company?and how do you know wich one is reliable?

Nathalie-joan Limon 2007-03-25 Waste of time. That model doesn't exist anymore. You're better off making your CD and selling it at your live shows. The way to get signed these days is to put something out yourself, create a buzz by selling some units and establishing a fan base. Most big labels today are outsourcing to independent A&R companies anyway. People work for years to get A&R jobs so they can bring talent they've discovered already, or in most cases they're friends from the old days before they got the A&R V.P. Most A&R's are wanna be artists who're now wanna be manangers. I've been in A&R offices when the mail came in, guess where your Demo went. That's right, deep sixed in the pearl harbor file. The gopher getting coffee for A&R V.P. can get your demo heard. MAJOR LABELS DO NOT WANT UNSOLICITED MATERIAL.

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