Roy Elkins, CEO of Broadjam.com, has been Master of Ceremonies for the Dallas Songwriters Association Song Contest Award Ceremony for several years now. This year, he offered to come a day early and give a Your Music and Your Business workshop – at no cost. With the awards ceremony/Christmas party always on the second Tuesday of December, which would be our regular meeting night, we decided on Monday for the workshp.
DSA President Michael Brandenberger has known Tommy Roberts for many years. Tommy Roberts is co-owner of Tone Shop Guitars, north of Beltline on Midway, in Addison. Michael asked Tommy if we could have the workshop in their very large showroom. It is a very nice store. Tommy said they would be happy to have us. I met with him and we went over details.
The day of the workshop, we had 26 rsvps. We were shooting for 30 people. I brought 32 chairs. The workshop was to begin at 6 p.m. I arrived at 5 p.m. and one person was already there. Since it was a guitar shop, the early arrivals had something to do – which was one of the reasons Tommy was eager to have us.
Since a few people had not arrived by 6, we started a little late. Several people arrived during the presentation. The final tally was 28, with two no-shows of the original rsvps. At such a busy time of year, with traffic like it was, we had a great turnout.
Roy gave a very entertaining and informative presentation. He talked about starting Broadjam because he wanted to help songwriters. He used Broadjam, as well as his experience in the music business to illustrate his points. Roy discussed what, and how, to prepare for a pitch. He described good and bad music or song pitches.
Elkins showed the crowd a written pitch that he had actually been given by a member of a band. The writer was apparently inviting Roy to see them at a show. He went on to basically say that the drummer sucked, but they were still going to use him just for the night. He made some more excuses – with bad punctuation and grammar. He ended by saying “you can find our music on soundcloud, sonicbidz, and revernation.”
Roy talked about how ridiculous the mistakes were. The punctuation and grammar mistakes were obvious. Have good material for them to hear. If it’s good, there’s no need to make excuses. Stand behind your work. And if you want someone to listen to your music, you don’t tell them they can find your music on their competitors website.
“It happens more than you think. I talk to those guys all the time (representatives from the three companies mentioned above) when we’re on panels together,” Elkins said, “and we always laugh about it.”
It was a great workshop. Stay tuned for posts with advice culled from the recent meetings and workshops and experience. You will also read a bit more about Roy in a post about the song contest award ceremony. In the meantime, however, if you are a songwriter, join Broadjam, fill out your profile, and check it out. As with most online music sites, there is a free level. But there is quite a bit you can do, with extras at a la carte expense (which is reasonable). You can have your song reviewed by professional songwriters. And much more.
Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.