Talking about the Nashville high bar

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geo
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Talking about the Nashville high bar

Post by geo » Wed Sep 19, 2007 6:12 am

Hey guys, do screeners ever consider a good song slightly off genre? I just received a return, no big deal, but the screener like the song, gave a good review (he liked the lyrics, hook and melody ), but thought it was off genre, which I knew it was. It's a simple, fun, 1/ / 4/ 5/, rock and roll song I wrote for my band back in the day and thought it fit the bill for the type of song they were looking for. Not discouraged and will continue submitting but should I not bother with the Nashville listings (there's another this month it might fit)? I do plan on recording a cleaner (lyrically) version for a teen pop listing but unfortunately I don't have access to the original master... GeoFun, rousing, rockin' CONTEMPORARY COUNTRY-ROCK SONGS are needed by the VP of A&R at Major Nashville Label for an established hit group a la TRICK PONY. Great "Southern bar band/redneck country-rock" songs are OK, as this band likes to get rowdy, but the bottom line is they need HITS. So great lyrics, hooks, and melodies all have to be there. All tempos are OK, but up-tempos are always preferred. The song is "Good time's all it is"www.taxi.com/geo

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Re: Talking about the Nashville high bar

Post by ddusty » Wed Sep 19, 2007 7:37 am

Hey Geo,I think there are a lot of us that have found out that a good song does not trump the listing. I would be very surprised if Good Times... was forwarded for the above listing. This is not a knock on the tune, it just isn't close enough to what they are asking for. Especially for the High Bar Nashville listings, the competition on these is staggering, so the song must hit on all cylinders for a forward.If you had the time and energy, you could probably tweak (rerecord) the song to have more of the sound they are looking for, but if it were up to me, i would submit this to rock listings and of course library listings, as this could be a good song in a movie as well.Good Luck,Robp.s. remember, sometimes the hardest thing for us to do is to understand the listing. Great songs get returned everyday when they don't meet the listing criteria.

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Re: Talking about the Nashville high bar

Post by geo » Wed Sep 19, 2007 8:40 am

Rob, thanks man, like I said I didn't disagree with the off genre reason for the return, but since country is not "my thing" I thought I would take a shot with a song that fit the bill otherwise (fun, rousing, rockin') but hey it's only $5 and the critique was good. When I do the rerecord I might try a version with cleaner guitars for the country listings and try again , like I said it's only $5 (but they do add up )...Geo

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Re: Talking about the Nashville high bar

Post by arkjack » Wed Sep 19, 2007 8:51 am

Hey George, I thought the song was great. I think the screener knows the connection at the label and his or her tastes are influenced by that as well as clearing the high bar. I don't know how long you've been a member in Taxi, but after my two years, I'm starting to be able to assemble the relevant database as to listings for Nashville artists that I've submitted tracks for.... then trace it to what the artist finally released..... then see who the writers and composers are for the songs that made the album cut and listen to them in comparison to what I was submitting.... I've only just started doing this so I don't have any strong judgments about it.... it is humbling sometimes to compare my work to "theirs"... but it has been educational as to deciphering what the Nashville high bar is all about..... the song quality.... the insiders and the politics.... the production quality.... My input is to encourage you to keep working at it.... Good times is a nice piece and though it didn't pass on this listing, as dusty said it can work for others and since you had good marks, it might be appropriate for another Nashville listing down the line....ArkJack

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Re: Talking about the Nashville high bar

Post by jchitty » Wed Sep 19, 2007 9:09 am

Nashville's a very tough nut to crack.....you're not just writing a country song, you're supposed to write a 'specific' country song. Sometimes to get a song past the gate, I think you have to know the personality of the artists you are pitching too. In other words, if you're pitching to someone specific like Kenny Chesney, maybe a beachy type tune or a particular type love song is best.I was thinking about pitching to a Sarah Evans listing not too long ago.....and as odd as this sounds, I know she's going through a divorce, so I thought my song might not be appropriate for her. Country singers seem to want to keep a certain image (which is okay) so if you send them stuff off target, it's more likely, your song won't be fowarded. This is something I'm learning. The people who work for them know how their emotions run, what they love, and what they do and do not want to sing.....if you can find that magical something, then I think you're onto something.BTW, I am having probs with my computer again.....I can't get the TAXI hosting page open....will try to listen to the song later.

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Re: Talking about the Nashville high bar

Post by tanja » Sat Nov 03, 2007 6:22 am

Hi Chits and Arkjack,First of all I like the song - I was trying to find the lyrics on your page but did not see them listed.I am new to this site and was reading your Nashville high bar discussion with great interest. I understand that the competition is insane in this particular market and that the song has to be exactly right. At the same time I have heard that it is best to keep the song simple (not too much production) so that the producer/artist/A&R rep have space to imagine what they would like the song to sound like with the artist they have in mind. What I am reading from your posts is that this is not the way it works with the taxi listings and you have to give them the song "produced" and hope that you hit the right note with it. What is your view on this?Thanks so much.Tanja

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Re: Talking about the Nashville high bar

Post by jchitty » Sat Nov 03, 2007 6:45 am

Hey, Tanja I think it's always wise to put your best foot foward and make the most professional and polished demo you can. I've heard that simple guitar or piano demoes can do the trick, but they must sound great. I approached this in a backwards way when I first started submitting. I had the demoes professionally produced at a place in Nashville, and I ran up a small fortune on my credit card. I was very pleased with the demoes this place did for me. However, I had some lyrics issues with my songs, so that resulted in returns. Even the excellent production couldn't hide the flaws in my songs. I'd say you could go either way, simple demoes or grand production.....the main thing is, you have to make sure that whatever form you submit is foward worthy. I think years ago, A & R reps could imagine what a song would be like and they actually preferred simple demoes, but as you know, it's a different world out there now.I've since learned to also get critiques or thoughts from TAXI or its members.....it's better to do this before making and pitching your demo. This can save you time and money. Not that I'm an authority on getting fowards, LOL. I've only gotten one high bar foward for a Nashville listing, but that made me feel like I was on the right track anyway. I only pitch to the Nashville high bar listings, at least for now.I haven't been submitting a whole lot lately because I'm more in the process of writing now, but it seems that I'm starting to grasp some of the concepts of what it takes to get a foward....seems like I'm getting there because I've learned through the TAXI critiques.One other thing....I wish I had that formula for writing a song that perfectly targeted a country singer, but I gotta say that sometimes, it's just a crap shoot.....wish I knew how to create that wonderful chemistry that jumps out and says to an artist, 'please sing me.' I think the best you can do is just listen to current country music and try to get a feel for what they're wanting right now.

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Re: Talking about the Nashville high bar

Post by tedsingingfox » Sat Nov 03, 2007 1:32 pm

Quote:Hey George, I thought the song was great. I think the screener knows the connection at the label and his or her tastes are influenced by that as well as clearing the high bar. I don't know how long you've been a member in Taxi, but after my two years, I'm starting to be able to assemble the relevant database as to listings for Nashville artists that I've submitted tracks for.... then trace it to what the artist finally released..... then see who the writers and composers are for the songs that made the album cut and listen to them in comparison to what I was submitting.... I've only just started doing this so I don't have any strong judgments about it.... it is humbling sometimes to compare my work to "theirs"... but it has been educational as to deciphering what the Nashville high bar is all about..... the song quality.... the insiders and the politics.... the production quality.... My input is to encourage you to keep working at it.... Good times is a nice piece and though it didn't pass on this listing, as dusty said it can work for others and since you had good marks, it might be appropriate for another Nashville listing down the line....ArkJackOff topic, I realize, but....BTW, Arkjack, that is VERY smart, very focused thinking. Hope you don't mind if I follow your example.Ted
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Re: Talking about the Nashville high bar

Post by arkjack » Sun Nov 04, 2007 3:25 pm

My data from the info I could get a hold of concerning who is getting the cuts on the latest albums that have also run listings in TAXI as a la's...... about 50 names are constantly recurring on all country albums.... the usual expectations of Brett James, Hillary Lindsey, Shapiro, Wiseman, Warren, Schlitz... DiPiero, Steele, Mobley, LeBlanc, Emerick... etc ...Also, 95% of the time, it is a co-write team of at least one of the top 50 and a lesser known name... or two or three top 50.... a notable number of the cowrites are with the artist..... and only a small handfull are by the artist alone..... I also uncovered a couple instances where the artist is listed as the sole composer, but the song was actually written by someone else or a cowrite.... and a lot of tunes in the charts.... couldn't dig deep enough to find the names of the composers... with in time limits..... While TAXI does get listings, and forwards, I don't know how that stacks up to the community in Nashville that is in people's faces with a constant presence and clout plus a track record for hits..... if you were in the label's shoes.... and Bob Dipiero came along and said... "I just wrote this great new tune with Wendell and Jamey....for Kieth Urban.... why don't you bump that goofy song Taxi sent you but that idiot ArkJack and cut my song.....? " I implemented a new policy for my Taxi new year..... for every five bucks I spend on a hi-bar country listing, I'm going to buy a PowerBall ticket..... just for insurance.....ArkJack

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Re: Talking about the Nashville high bar

Post by dannnny » Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:10 am

Arkjack,You are the first one on this forum Iv'e seen hit the nail right on the head. Iv'e been in Nashville and have seen first hand how it is there in the real world. I would like to talk to you more about this. email: www.pinkcaddan@cs.com

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