What is MAB-BLOG

I use this section to share a variety of information related to my experiences, industry thoughts, songwriting, performing, etc. A melting pot of information. I hope you find this enjoyable as well as entertaining and informative.
 

...you don't choose music, music chooses you...


MAB’S MUSINGS Oct. 7,2017

“I’M HEADED TO NASHVILLE!!!!!”

We see it all the time. Someone posts on Facebook or Social media the big news that they are “HEADED TO NASHVILLE” and very excited for their trip. And of course everyone wishes them luck, “Always Knew you’d make it” messages…” pretty much the same all the time. And it IS GREAT! An opportunity to see a VIBRANT city, on the move, tons of exciting things happening, and a lot of people just like themselves, all sharing music, performing, being a part of a CULTURAL MOVEMENT!!!
 

For those of us “OLD TIMERS” we say “WELCOME HOME!” We are glad to have you. Tons of people visit here each week, many move and settle in. Of course, the down side is that MANY ALSO MOVE HOME, having lasted about 6 months to two years. So while you need to be optimistic and excited, you also need to inject some REALITY into those big dreams and focus on what you can get accomplished and not get too caught up in what probably won’t happen.

WHAT CAN HAPPEN:
THERE ARE BASICALLY THREE THINGS YOU WANT TO GET
ACCOMPLISHED.

NETWORKING.
PERFORMING.

CO-WRITING.

What is probably NOT going to happen is you waft into the Bluebird, they have a last minute cancellation, and pull you onstage, to be heard by a record president who just happened to be there to see the person who didn’t show up, and they rush to you with a
RECORD DEAL IN HAND!!! I know that happens all the time on

NASHVILLE” and other Hollywood productions, but it doesn’t
exactly happen in real life. You are more than likely going to stand in line, wait your turn, participate in an open mic after most people are gone, PLAYING TO TABLES AND CHAIRS. (Yeah I already wrote that one).

There are writer’s nights all over town and you HAVE TO ATTEND THEM AND WAIT YOUR TURN! Just part of “pledging the fraternity”.

BUT: You can make the best of that time. There will be dozens of people performing. Watch THEM! See what they are doing, what makes the audience TUNE INTO the songs and performances, and what makes the audience TUNE OUT!

A majority of performers are very inexperienced. Most songs sound just like other songs. A lot are steeped in
Negativity, anger, bitterness, despair, preachy, self-absorbed…. DON’T WE GET ENOUGH OF THAT ENDLESSLY ON THE NEWS AND SOCIAL MEDIA?

Many are things you CAN’T UNDERSTAND A WORD OF WHAT THEY ARE SAYING OR UNDERSTAND THE MEANING OF THEIR SONGS.
If you need a decoder ring to figure out what they are about NEED TO RE-WRITE THE SONG!
Many performances are substandard, with no flow or dynamics. Many are BALLADS, which can slow an entire night down.
So THINK about what YOU WANT TO DO. Do song and artist RESEARCH. Make your moment in the spotlight as appealing as possible.

PERFORMING
Got ONE CHANCE TO MAKE A BAD FIRST IMPRESSION.
Make sure you DON’T WASTE YOURS.
Choose your songs wisely. If you do the introspective “all about me, whining, depressing, bitter songs” you are going to fall into where 98% of other people who are ignored. Doesn’t mean you have to be all “HAPPY!!!” Like Pharell Williams (although that one did pretty good!), but if you can NOT BE SO DEBBIE DOWNER, it will MAYBE make people put their cell phones down for a few minutes.
Make sure you are IN TUNE! Be ready to go on BEFORE THEY HAVE TO CALL YOU! Know where your place in the line is.
Make sure the HOST KNOWS YOU, and you are ACCESSIBLE to go on. There just MIGHT be a cancellation, and being aware and ready is EVERYTHING!
Perform WITH DYNAMICS. ENNUNCIATE. LOOK AT YOUR AUDIENCE. ENGAGE THEM! That is what you are supposed to be doing but most people don’t. Don’t just CLOSE YOUR EYES and sing to yourself. Those that do, only end up SINGING TO THEMSELVES!


NETWORKING:
“Networking is simply MAKING FRIENDS.” If you see someone who impresses you, GO UP AND TELL THEM. If they have family members, talk to them.
(BUT DON’T DO IT AT THE TABLE WHERE YOU ARE DISTURBING THE OTHER PERFORMERS. GO TO THE BACK OR OUTSIDE!)
Learn about their journey’s. Share information, business cards.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: DON’T GHERM!!! (Giving out CD’s BEFORE they are asked for.)
This is mainly for established or hit writers, producers, publishers or anyone in the industry. That is a VERY BIG NO, NO! (see my web site for definition.)

But for most newer people, or out of towners, it is fairly common to trade CD’s. If you like something ASK FOR IT, OR OFFER TO PAY FOR IT!
(Hey, what a novel concept!!! Paying for someone’s music you like!)

CO-WRITING:
This more than likely WON’T happen over just a couple of days in Twang Town. It is something that needs to be built up to. But starting those relationships, seeing when people are open, long distance or SKYPE writing, all are viable opportunities. If you MAKE FRIENDS while you can, you can EXTEND those relationships later. But there are opportunities sometimes with others that are in similar circumstances, in town for a few days, and might have some open times, TRY TO MAKE USE OF IT. Most IN TOWNERS or established writers are going to take longer to build up to. So expect that.

DON’T SCARE PEOPLE AWAY. Just keep it light, friendly, and build for your future. Usually every trip to Nashville SETS UP FOR THE NEXT TRIP!!!!
 

KEEP EXPECTATIONS MANAGABLE.
Expect to stand in line, expect to meet a lot of people like yourself. Expect a lot of things NOT TO WORK OUT. This is the musical version of SPEED DATING. You will see a lot of people, but very few will actually pan out. With every writer you will meet THREE other writers. And you will hear of other shows, venues, social events, guitar pulls, etc.

BE PATIENT. It all takes time. This is a very slow town. We call it a “TEN YEAR TOWN” because it takes a while to get known. But the more you put out there, the more you get back. Support others and they’ll support you. We’re always glad to have you. And you can go home with a great experience. Just realize that you are one of many, and everyone wants their own “moment in the sun.”
Make sure you don’t waste yours!

MAB

www.marcalanbarnette.com

 



 


BACK AFTER A WHILE 

BACK AFTER A WHILE. THE CRAFT OF WEARING MANY HATS.

Hellooooooooo!!! Sorry I've been away for a bit. Actually I haven't been away, just have not written anything on here for a while. It is my web site, and I enjoy it but I participate in several forums around the Internet and so I often sort of neglect my own efforts. But I hope I can put up something you will find interesting and you might let me know what you would be interested in.

SOCIAL media now is a nessacity in any writer or artists lives. We have to…

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I'M HEADED TO NASHVILLE!!!! 

MAB’S MUSINGS Oct. 7,2017 

“I’M HEADED TO NASHVILLE!!!!!” 

We see it all the time. Someone posts on Facebook or Social media the big news that they are “HEADED TO NASHVILLE” and very excited for their trip. And of course everyone wishes them luck, “Always Knew you’d make it” messages…” pretty much the same all the time. And it IS GREAT! An opportunity to see a VIBRANT city, on the move, tons of exciting things happening, and a lot of people just like themselves, all sharing music, performing, being a part…

Read more

THE COPYRIGHT CONUDRUM, "THEY'RE STEALING MY SONGS!" 

MAB’S MUSINGS 

THE COPYRIGHT CONUNDRUM (THEY’RE STEALING MY SONGS!) 

It is one of the most hotly debated subjects when it comes to songwriting in the modern age. There are two distinct schools of thought. The COPYRIGHT AND REGISTER EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW RIGHT NOW RIGHT NOW!!!!! These are usually from newer or less experienced writers and artists, (and their attorneys) who think everything they do is profound and amazing and that there are thousands of people just lying in the weeds waiting to STEAL THEIR…

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BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS FOR MUSIC SUCCESS 

MAB’S MUSINGS: 

BUILDING TEAMS FOR MUSIC SUCCESS 

10-13-17 

I’m in a continuous dialogue with writers and artists literally across the world in the importance of “building teams” in their approach to music. Too many feel that the industry, publisher, producers, labels, agents, managers, etc. will come in and set everything right, so they will be able to “do what they do…” Not exactly, We now ALL have to do more than we ever had, and that means you have to BUILD teams. 

For writers, this starts out with…

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PLAYING THE BLUEBIRD, OR SONGWRITER'S HEAVEN 

MAB'S MUSINGS 
PLAYING THE BLUEBIRD, OR "SONGWRITER'S HEAVEN." 

I think I have hit a zone with my recent post about playing the BLUEBIRD and so I thought I would put a post on JUST that. For over thirty five years, everyone who has anything to do with songwriting and performing, and specifically Nashville songwriting and performing, have in their sights a goal to "PLAY THE BLUEBIRD CAFE'." 
I've been fortunate and proud to be involved with the venue since before I moved to town. Auditioning in Feb ,of 1988…

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Artists, "Why should I listen to Anybody Else?" 

MAB’S MUSINGS 8-27-17 

“ARTISTS. 
WHY SHOULD I LISTEN TO ANYBODY ELSE?” 

Okay artists, this one is the “other side of the coin” for you guys. I’ve spent an average of 4 nights a week, 5 hours a night, for TWENTY NINE YEARS, listening to music, watching songwriters and artists, doing critiques, performing on shows and most of that was LISTENING TO OTHER PEOPLE. So I kind of know this one. I also know what it is like to BE AN ARTIST and SONGWRITER myself. So trust me on this one. 

YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO…

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RECRUITING ARTISTS 

MAB'S MUSINGS" 8-28-17 

"RECRUITING ARTISTS" 

This is for the people who consider themselves primarily "writers' as opposed to "Artist/Writers." In other words, people who are writing for other people to do their songs. There was a time when this was very prevalent, there were “Songwriters” and then “Artists. This blurred in the 60’s with the advent of groups like the BEATLES, who wrote all their own material (except quite a few of existing hit songs, which at that time were STANDARDS.) With the 70’s

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"I'VE GOT SONGS , WHAT NEXT" 

One of the things that pretty much consistently I get is "I've been writing songs, now what do I do with them?" Many people "think" they are writing songs, only to find out they have only poetry (lyrics only) or have songs that totally don't fit a format, don't have any allies within the industry, are too long, negative, personal statements, out of date or time, or just plain not good enough to go forward. Most people that have only written a few songs don't know this, and even though their families,Read more

ROUND AND ROUND AND ROUND (Rules for writers rounds) 

"MAB'S MUSINGS" 

AND IT GOES ROUND AND ROUND AND ROUND 
THE ETIQUETTE on songwriter’s rounds." 

Over the past 20 years or so, we have seen more and more of the "Nashville style" songwriter rounds when it comes to songwriter shows. This typically is three-four writer/artists on stage at the same time, each playing one song at a time, going "AROUND" until 3, 4, or five "rounds" have been completed. Started at the BLUEBIRD in the 90's, it was a way to showcase multiple artists, have them do harmonies, lend…

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ONE CHANCE TO MAKE A BAD FIRST IMPRESSION 

                                                             ONE CHANCE TO MAKE A BAD FIRST IMPRESSIONS 
                        BEING PREPARED FOR NASHVILLE STYLE WRITERS NIGHTS,OPEN MICS, AND AUDITIONS   By MAB 
  
In the current era of music, one of the most common events for performer and writer wanna be’s are OPEN STAGES, OPEN MICS, SONGWRITER’S NIGHTS OR SHOWCASES, as well as the dreaded AUDITION process, for everything from reality shows, contests, and the first and continuous steps of a performing

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