Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Songwriter Workshop: Sharing Practical Advice and Original Compositions

With his open guitar case in the foreground Roy Hurd performs one of his original compositions during the second program in the Succeeding In Music workshop series at ROTA Gallery.

By Luke T. Bush  (C) 2013


Be careful what you sign or you might regret it later.

That was one of the observations by local musician Roy Hurd who discussed his music industry background in the second workshop for musicians sponsored by ROTA Gallery.

Adrian Carr hosted the Succeeding In Music workshop.  Besides being a composer and performer Adrian is also adept in studio production.  The program series offers both accomplished and aspiring musicians an informal setting to learn and share experiences.

Participants sat in a loose circle of chairs while Roy discussed his days as a country-western songwriter for Sony.  When he started in Nashville he was green in some areas when it came to the business side but he knew enough not to sign away his performance royalties.   A considerable amount of income can be generated through such royalties, he said, if a song becomes popular with frequent radio airplay.

Depending upon the contact's terms the publisher could keep the performance royalties even if the songwriter and publisher part ways.  That means the publisher would still be making money off the songwriter even though the business relationship had ended.

When it comes to agreeing to any deal, continued Roy, a publisher may tell you that you don't need a lawyer, that they're working in your best interests.   He said you should still consult a lawyer before signing any contract.  If the relationship should end in three years then the performance rights should revert back to you.

Criticism and rejection are common in the industry, said Roy, but you need a tough hide to shrug it off and keep trying.

The workshop also provided an opportunity for composers to try out their original songs and get feedback from the group.  Besides performing with guitars or a cappella, some took advantage of the Steinway piano donated to ROTA.

As other workshop participants listen Justin Wolf performs his new song at ROTA Gallery.

Alison Lutz also plays the piano to share her original work during the Succeeding In Music workshop.

(Left to right): Mary Anne Bukolt performs her song as Roy Hurd and Adrian Carr listen.

Succeeding In Music is held 7PM Mondays at ROTA Gallery, 50 Margaret Street.  The workshop runs until November 18th.  More info at this link or call ROTA Gallery at (518) 310-0205 .

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