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Songwriting Contests

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Vixen 24 Mar 00 - 08:14 AM
RWilhelm 24 Mar 00 - 10:46 AM
Áine 24 Mar 00 - 10:56 AM
GUEST,Paul G away from home 24 Mar 00 - 12:21 PM
Bert 24 Mar 00 - 01:32 PM
Vixen 24 Mar 00 - 01:40 PM
Jim Krause 24 Mar 00 - 01:56 PM
Bert 24 Mar 00 - 02:04 PM
Vixen 24 Mar 00 - 02:34 PM
Mooh 24 Mar 00 - 03:50 PM
RWilhelm 24 Mar 00 - 05:46 PM
Áine 24 Mar 00 - 06:05 PM
Margo 07 Apr 00 - 12:23 PM
Rob-IL 07 Apr 00 - 12:31 PM
Eluned 07 Apr 00 - 12:47 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 07 Apr 00 - 01:58 PM
Margo 07 Apr 00 - 02:36 PM
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Subject: Songwriting Contests
From: Vixen
Date: 24 Mar 00 - 08:14 AM

D'Cats--

I saw an ad in Acoustic Guitar for a guitar company that featured Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer. The ad mentioned that they were winners of the Kerrville (I assume TX) Songwriters' contest and a couple of other songwriting contests.

What are people's thoughts on songwriting contests? Are these worthwhile venues for people to get their material listened to A&R types? Is it more productive to forget about the contests and just record independently? All opinions on the topic are of interest!

V


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Subject: RE: Songwriting Contests
From: RWilhelm
Date: 24 Mar 00 - 10:46 AM

In my experience songwriting contests connected with festivals can be very rewarding on a personal level. I have made some long term musical friends through the South Florida Folk Festival song contest.

Songwriting contests sponsered by guitar companies, record companies, etc. are an expensive waste of time. The categories are the first clue that they are not looking for what you are writing (unless you write Urban Contemporary Heavy Metal Hip Hop Gospel songs.) I would be very surprised if A&R people listen at all unless it's at gunpoint.


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Subject: RE: Songwriting Contests
From: Áine
Date: 24 Mar 00 - 10:56 AM

I have to agree with Earl there about commercially run song contests. Don't waste your time on 'em.

However, Earl, didn't the Grammy Awards just create a brand new category for Urban Contemporary Heavy Metal Hip Hop Gospel songs? Sounds like there could be some *big* money in that there genre . . . *BG*

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: Songwriting Contests
From: GUEST,Paul G away from home
Date: 24 Mar 00 - 12:21 PM

I have managed a handful of awards at such contests, and like Earl have been a finalist at South Florida. I find them to be a decent way to get heard (though not by the A&R types) and more importantly to hear and learn from what other folks are doing. These things are so subjective that you have to take them with several grains of salt -- but from an audience standpoint I find them to be an interesting format for hearing a bunch of different folks and styles in a short amount of time. Are you going to land your bug break in one of these? Depends on the venue. Kerrville is kind of the holy grail. To be a new folk finalist there is a potential career launcher. Merle Fest is another one (Gillian Welsh won there a few years back)...

pg


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Subject: RE: Songwriting Contests
From: Bert
Date: 24 Mar 00 - 01:32 PM

If you want to go up against some REAL talent then try Áine's song challenges. The names of the awards might sound silly but they are still most coveted.


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Subject: RE: Songwriting Contests
From: Vixen
Date: 24 Mar 00 - 01:40 PM

D'Cats--

Thanks for your input...keep the comments coming!

I had thought the contests were scams, but when I saw the ad I mention above, I thought I better get some other opinions!

V


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Subject: RE: Songwriting Contests
From: Jim Krause
Date: 24 Mar 00 - 01:56 PM

I personally turn a big THUMBS DOWN on all music contests. I have seen and heard several where I thought the winners didn't deserve it and the folks who were runners up did better than the winner. Contests are so subjective. How do you quantify something as elusive as aesthetic value? While there are mechanical things that can be taught about songwriting, lyric writing comes to mind, the rest of it comes down to personal aesthetics and the experiences of the composer. I'd go to Kerrville, but only to hang out at the song swaps around the campfire.


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Subject: RE: Songwriting Contests
From: Bert
Date: 24 Mar 00 - 02:04 PM

Aw come on Soddy! join in the Song Challenges! They're fun.


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Subject: RE: Songwriting Contests
From: Vixen
Date: 24 Mar 00 - 02:34 PM

Bert--

The song challenges *are* fun. If I were online at home and at my leisure, I'd participate. I'm online only at work, and sneak in here whenever my officemate goes for a smoke!

:(

V (who has no web technology at home!)


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Subject: RE: Songwriting Contests
From: Mooh
Date: 24 Mar 00 - 03:50 PM

Competition and music should not be mentioned in the same breath. Oops...


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Subject: RE: Songwriting Contests
From: RWilhelm
Date: 24 Mar 00 - 05:46 PM

Áine,

I think the rule at the Grammies is to create a new category whenever Linda Ronstadt releases an album.


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Subject: RE: Songwriting Contests
From: Áine
Date: 24 Mar 00 - 06:05 PM

*LOL*, Earl!!

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: Songwriting Contests
From: Margo
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 12:23 PM

Yay for songwriting contests!! I placed in one last year and performed my song for the final judging. The same contest is on this year, and I'm writing another song (it's a sea shantey writing contest).

Winning would be great, but I'll tell you it was simply an honor to have been selected as one of the final five to perform. If it hadn't been for the contest, I'd never have written "The Glorious Billowing Sails". It has a very singable chorus and is well liked at song circle.

With my crazy life, it is a blessing to have the contest which provides me with some motivation to do what I ordinarily wouldn't think I had time to do. As far as people winning that you didn't think deserve it, that happened last year. I thought that Mary Benson should have won first, but this gal won first who had a very polished performance with instruments backing her up. Mary sang a'capella, and won second. But you know what? So what. We were there, and we performed, and that was an honor for me!

Margo


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Subject: RE: Songwriting Contests
From: Rob-IL
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 12:31 PM

i agree with mooh, there shouldnt be competition and music... music should be enjoyed by everyone and to turn it into a competition or a scheme that turns the music away from being about the music, and turns it into being about making money.. people get paid for music because they are good musicians and people enjoy listening, not becuase they win some song contest... if you are in search of a career, it would be a good place to go, but if you want to play music, sit outside under a tree and play for a while... unless it's raining like it is here in Ohio.... :)


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Subject: RE: Songwriting Contests
From: Eluned
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 12:47 PM

I've been enjoying this thread. Are there any good songfests or gatherings near Charlotte, NC?
This thread has (also) been very fascinating ..... I love looking into windows (metaphorically speaking) and seeing how others live. I'm a nosy lady.
Speaking of which, it is a glorious sunny day outside that window, and it's been raining a lot lately here in NC. Got lots to catch up on. Catch up with you 'cats later!!


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Subject: RE: Songwriting Contests
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 01:58 PM

Songwriting Contests are like all other musical venues--the people who succeed are the ones who create their work for the venue--the thing is that what pleases the judges doesn't necessarily even please the audience at the event, let alone anyone in the outside world. Although it could happen

I have always written music that satisfied some strange inner need--the result being that my stuff tended(and tends) to be at odds with whatever people were listening to in the rest of the world--I don't recommend this, there is no money in it, nor is their recognition--even when the work is really good, because it doesn't have an audience--

Ignore me--I am working on an operetta with a tango in it called "Patsy Among Norwegian Sailors" that is arranged for four saxophones--there is an uptempo number called "My Uncle from Hoboken" that sounds like you're at an Italian picnic or at a Morris Convention. The second act begins with a waltz called, "I could be Flying Like Sister Bertrille" which starts out with roller skating and ends up with the heroine actually flying--

For some reason, I can't get anyone at the American Musical Theater Comptition to even return my calls--

It isn't fair..


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Subject: RE: Songwriting Contests
From: Margo
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 02:36 PM

M Ted, Your operatta sounds like fun. I bet there's someone out there who will be interested.

GoinDownTheRoadFeelin'Bad, I think that competition can be friendly, and that's the kind I like. I knew two of the five contestants (not including myself) and I was genuinely happy that they won what they did, and it didn't matter that they came in ahead of me. I was honored to have been a finalist!! That was my thrill. Plus, I have my song now, and people like it. So the whole contest experience was great for me. Now if I had really wanted to win I would have been extremely disappointed!! I guess it all depends on your outlook.

Margo


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