Amazing, Alternative Professional Songwriter Careers You Can Have Until You Write Your Major Hit
If you’re an aspiring professional songwriter I’m sure you dream of catching your “big break.” I’m sure you anticipate the moment you’ll be able to write the next Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit. More than likely you also long for the day you can work with your favorite artist. You may have dreamed about writing a huge hit for them. But then in the midst of waiting for these opportunities to arise, you probably sometimes wonder “when?” Exactly when will this moment come? “When will I officially become a professional songwriter?” It’s definitely a fair question. However, you shouldn’t get stuck on that question. While you’re waiting for your big break to arrive don’t get stuck or discouraged. There are alternatives in the meantime. There are other ways to utilize your songwriting skills. There are also other avenues to make money. You can still be a songwriter while waiting to become a lucrative top-notch pop or r&b songwriter. Here are 7 great professional songwriter careers you can consider while waiting to get your major hit.
1) Jingle Songwriter
While waiting on your first major mainstream song to take off, you could utilize your songwriting skills by becoming a jingle songwriter. This means you’ll be writing songs that are more than likely for a product or brand. This is considered advertisement music or ad music. To go this route you would want to start contacting production companies and ad agencies. This may seem small on the surface but out of a lot of the songwriting opportunities that exist, this is actually one of the more groundbreaking ones. With ad music it can be a fast gateway to writing mainstream songs for major artists. Think about how many artists are affiliated with advertisements and production companies. If you were to work with one of these companies even as a small time songwriter you never know what big opportunities it could lead to. Some of the biggest advertising companies to contact to start out as a jingle songwriter are listed below.
- Metric Theory
- Blue Fountain Media
- DMI Partners
- Carol H. Williams
- Frederick Swanston
- URBA Media
- Something Massive
2) Event Songwriter
Another way to work on your skills as a professional songwriter is to become an event songwriter. This is a songwriter who writes songs for specific events. The events are usually a once and a lifetime type of event and it request is usually from one individual person. However, it’s a great way to build your brand and catalog. Once again you may never know who could be attending the event you wrote the song for. This songwriting opportunity could end up being the gateway to your big break. The best way to obtain this type of songwriting gig is by word of mouth, social media promotion or answering online ads. You may see an ad that says “songwriter or lyricist wanted.” This could then lead to you writing an amazing, original song for a special event. The event could be a wedding, proposal, graduation, anniversary, etc.
3) Youtube Series Songwriter
Living in this new age of social media marketing there are so many online personalities. One of the biggest types are Youtube public figures. Most of these You-tubers have professional channels. A lot of those professional channels could use original theme music. This is where you would come in as a professional songwriter. You could offer to write an original song for their Youtube channel. Depending on how many subscribers their channel gets this could become a huge opportunity for you. You never know who may end up watching the video, hearing the song and liking it. It could very well be that high-profile a&r executive you were dying to get in touch with. There are many ways to connect with the artist or management you’ve always wanted to work with. It doesn’t necessarily have to be done the “traditional” way. The new methods of selling songs to artists are so unique now and creative.
4) Non-Profit Songwriter
An amazing way to expand your brand as a professional songwriter while waiting for your big hit is to write for non-profit organizations. A lot of these organizations are always looking for theme music. While shopping your songs to mainstream artists, you can also be writing touching singles that will inspire others. The pay is usually limited due to the fact that they’re non-profit organizations, but the work and reputation you build from it is much more rewarding. Some amazing non-profit organizations that could use uplifting songs are:
- Make a Wish foundation
- Songs of Love (branch of Make a Wish foundation; specializes in writing uplifting songs for children).
- Ronald McDonald House
- *Your local charity organization
5) Local Artists
One of the best steps to becoming a professional songwriter is being able to work with your local artists. Being humble and patient enough to start out working with local artists will only prepare you for where you want to go mainstream. There will be some con’s to working with local artists. However, there will be some really great pro’s. Don’t get discouraged just because you haven’t worked with Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey or Beyonce just yet. In the meantime you can build your catalog, brand, skills and audience by being an amazing songwriter for local artists. Just make sure any local artist you’re working with you go over all the music business details the same way you would with a mainstream artist.
6) Play/ Production Songwriter
Another great avenue to take as a professional songwriter is to start writing for plays and productions. A lot of local playwrights need original music. You as a songwriter can provide the music for them. Even if production work isn’t your favorite arena, you can always use it as a stepping stone. The more versatile you are as an artist/songwriter the more impressive you’ll be to others. Once again you never know how big the production may become. You never know who would want attend the play. Some plays become so big they get turned into movies. This could end up being a huge opportunity for you as a songwriter.
7) School Events
This may come as a surprise to some but another songwriting alternative would be to write for school events. Some schools like to come up with original music and songs for particular events. This could be a graduation, an award ceremony and much more. As an independent songwriter you could reach out to the school and offer your songwriting services. This alternative isn’t as popular as the others listed. However, it does happen and if it were to happen it would be a great experience to have.
Of course if your ultimate goal is to become the next Babyface or Wyclef Jean, then these small songwriting gigs won’t completely satisfy you. However, they should be considered as stepping stones and for building experience. In stead of focusing your attention on only how to become a songwriter for a record label, you want to see about taking other routes. But the key is to not stop at those alternative routes. You always want to keep your primary goal as your main focus, Just not your only focus.