Newbie Strategy

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CaseyK
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Newbie Strategy

Post by CaseyK » Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:33 pm

Hey all! So excited that I can post to the forums now! As you may have guessed by the subject line, I am new to Taxi. I had been a member before, but I was that guy who was bound and determined to make his previous recordings fit any listing remotely close to its description (square peg, round hole as Michael says). But I have come back with a new determination and mindset to write music that will fit the listings. However, I am having some trouble knowing where to start and how to strategize.

To give some brief info about myself, my goal with Taxi is to build a career and make a living creating instrumentals and cues for film and TV. I also aspire to eventually branch out to writing songs with lyrics. My wheelhouse stylistically is rock, blues, and singer-songwriter type stuff. I'm not entirely sure of how strong I am even in my "comfort zone", so I hope to get some feedback from Taxi about that. But I believe I have the ability to mimic and emulate different styles or genres. For example, I tried writing a dramedy piece and I was fairly pleased with the results. Still, I have a lot to learn. But all of this leaves me uncertain of what steps to take with Taxi.

The main question I am asking right now is what should I be writing? Should I just write what comes naturally to me and build up my catalog? Should I write in genres that are consistently posted for (dramedy, hip-hop instrumentals, etc...)? Should I write specifically for active postings with the hope of being able to have something ready to submit by the deadline?

I would be so thankful for any advice you guys could give. Thank you for taking the time to read this!

-Casey

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Re: Newbie Strategy

Post by CTWF » Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:50 am

CaseyK wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:33 pm
Hey all!
Hi Casey, welcome to the Taxi forum. Pretty much still a newbie myself, the general advice seems to be to compose for specific listings and submit. Submissions will result in feedback from Taxi screeners, but you can also post your stuff on the feedback forum and hope that someone will listen and comment on it. Once you have found your niche, you can obviously produce in the hope that more similar listings come along, but maybe you should observe the market for a while to see what is in demand and suits you. Tom

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Re: Newbie Strategy

Post by ttully » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:31 am

Hi Casey,

You will have the best results by writing for specific listings.... not writing something and then trying to find a listing to fit it into.
The only way to know if anything you write is good enough.... is to submit it and see what happens.

The feedback from the screeners is INVALUABLE!!!!

My 2 cents,
Tim

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Re: Newbie Strategy

Post by Casey H » Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:47 pm

Well you're starting off with a great name! :lol:

Welcome! And best of luck!
:D Casey

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Re: Newbie Strategy

Post by markhimley » Thu Apr 04, 2019 6:34 pm

Welcome!

If you're not sure what exactly you want to do stylistically but are interested in many options, I'd recommend just constantly keeping up with the listings. As soon as you see one that you're interested in, give it a shot and write specifically for that listing. You'll figure out what comes easy and what doesn't, what you really enjoy and what you don't, etc. Normally I would never recommend to someone to try and do "everything", but if you're not sure what it is you want to do or what you can do (or see yourself doing).. it might be the best way to figure that out.

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Re: Newbie Strategy

Post by JohnnyP » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:43 pm

Hi Casey and welcome aboard!

Good move of you to ask questions of the forum members coz most of us (speaking for myself) have made a bunch of mistakes with submissions. And speaking for myself again I'm still making them!
Posting your query may bypass a bit of that, but also the feedback you receive from the screeners on submissions you missed can be eye opening.

I write 95% vocal songs so take my "instrumental advice" with a grain. ;)

To answer your question about writing specifically to listings or not- I do both, but I usually write songs I feel, and then fit them to particular listings. I'm pretty prolific so I just write with a strong emphasis on what is currently charting. That way I usually have a warchest of songs ready for listings. I'm an Indie Rock/Blues Rock/Indie Folk type of writer so that's my wheelhouse. I do branch out but only genres I know I can model and more importantly "feel" effectively.

As far as writing to listings I have done that too and it's led to some wonderful deals . Some listings will open your mind to styles that are very compelling but that you hadn't considered previously.
In closing my advice is to do both.
It's always fun to write what you know but it can sometimes be very rewarding to get out of your comfort zone for a minute. Best of luck to you!
John
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Re: Newbie Strategy

Post by ChrisW » Tue May 07, 2019 9:11 am

Hi Casey

Welcome! I'm just out the gate here at Taxi - signed up in January - and I've been going through a similar question. Here's what I'm currently thinking...

It's been mentioned a few times on TaxiTV if your heart is in the music you're writing it'll come across to the listener. So I kind of don't force the styles I choose to write in. Also my background is guitars, so I've chosen to focus on upping my game from both a writing and recording perspective with that as the focus. It's where my heart is and is probably a good place to start out.

One of the things I found really helpful - and still do - is to listen to different genres on the music libraries eg BMG Productions. It'll really hit home how high the bar is and it was obvious where my work would be best focussed in the short term, where I felt I could best compete now.

So I would suggest start where you're most competent and enjoy a few months experimenting with and listening to many different genres.

Above all enjoy it - there's so many incredibly helpful folk around here. You're in the right place...

Just a few thoughts hope it helps!
Chris

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Re: Newbie Strategy

Post by MBantle » Tue May 07, 2019 10:54 am

CaseyK wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:33 pm
Hey all! So excited that I can post to the forums now! As you may have guessed by the subject line, I am new to Taxi. I had been a member before, but I was that guy who was bound and determined to make his previous recordings fit any listing remotely close to its description (square peg, round hole as Michael says). But I have come back with a new determination and mindset to write music that will fit the listings. However, I am having some trouble knowing where to start and how to strategize.

To give some brief info about myself, my goal with Taxi is to build a career and make a living creating instrumentals and cues for film and TV. I also aspire to eventually branch out to writing songs with lyrics. My wheelhouse stylistically is rock, blues, and singer-songwriter type stuff. I'm not entirely sure of how strong I am even in my "comfort zone", so I hope to get some feedback from Taxi about that. But I believe I have the ability to mimic and emulate different styles or genres. For example, I tried writing a dramedy piece and I was fairly pleased with the results. Still, I have a lot to learn. But all of this leaves me uncertain of what steps to take with Taxi.

The main question I am asking right now is what should I be writing? Should I just write what comes naturally to me and build up my catalog? Should I write in genres that are consistently posted for (dramedy, hip-hop instrumentals, etc...)? Should I write specifically for active postings with the hope of being able to have something ready to submit by the deadline?

I would be so thankful for any advice you guys could give. Thank you for taking the time to read this!

-Casey
Hi Casey! I have been there and rejoined Taxi end of last year for the second time. I now have a healthy forward rate and recently signed my first deal. What has changed? I think the one thing that I would point out is to be brutally honest with yourself. Listen to what gets forwarded (http://blog.taxi.com/forward/). Chances are if you scroll down you will find a similar listing to the one you are currently working on and listen to what other members successfully submitted. This will tell you whether you are in the ballpark when e.g. writing a song that is supposed to be on a playlist with Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga etc. :lol: I think the challenge is that everything seems so counterintuitive at first (at least it was for me). Listen carefully to the level of production. Whilst e.g. Dramedy Cues are usually not (no offence!) the most sophisticated melody compositions, listen to the quality of production! IMO successful members are really great at finding something that is "simple" but effective and that still checks all the boxes so that it sounds like a modern, neat production (all the ear candy is there and you can really hear "the work put in" if that makes sense). Some successful members also have Soundcloud accounts where they showcase their work. All the best and welcome back! Cheers, Matt

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Re: Newbie Strategy

Post by DesireInspires » Wed May 08, 2019 3:57 pm

CaseyK wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:33 pm

The main question I am asking right now is what should I be writing? Should I just write what comes naturally to me and build up my catalog? Should I write in genres that are consistently posted for (dramedy, hip-hop instrumentals, etc...)? Should I write specifically for active postings with the hope of being able to have something ready to submit by the deadline?
Do all of the above. It will be a huge amount of work and long hours. Don’t get discouraged. Just do the work.

CaseyK
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Re: Newbie Strategy

Post by CaseyK » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:32 pm

Thank you for all the help everyone! I'm very encouraged by your advice! I put up a sound cloud account and am just trying to create as much as I can, mostly specifically aiming for Taxi listings.

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