Tag Archives: cliff goldmacher

Four Ways to Get Better at Pitching Songs for Film and TV

Having had the good fortune of song placements in both films and television shows, I can safely say there is no magic bullet when it comes to making this happen. However, there are certainly things that you, as a songwriter, can do to improve your odds when you’re pitching songs for film and TV. I’ve listed a few of these below.
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Ten Foolproof Ways to Do Your Own Song Critiques

Early on in my songwriting career, I considered it a minor miracle that I could write a song in the first place. However, once I got a little more used to performing that particular magic trick, it became necessary to start to refine my process a bit further. In other words, it was no longer enough just to have created a song. Now I had to go back and tweak, edit, fix and otherwise polish my…
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Getting Out of Your Songwriting Comfort Zone

One of the many challenges we songwriters face is that we’re tasked not only with creating something from nothing but also our “somethings” need to be unique not only compared to what others have written but also compared to what we’ve written before. This is no small thing and the moment you think you’ve “figured it out” as a songwriter is exactly when you need to leave…
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Essential Tips for Mixing Your Songwriter Demos

Once you’ve decided to up the ante and put your songwriter demos out there for the world to hear, it’s in your best interest to pay close attention to every step in the recording process. One of the most vital of these steps is the mix of your song. It’s not enough to have a great song. You need a great recording and a strong mix is an essential part of any great recording. The art…
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Four Useful Ways To Make Your Original Songs Original

A career in songwriting is a long road where the actual big payoff moments – if you’re fortunate enough to have some – are few and far between for even the most successful writers. This is all the more reason to take the time and challenge yourself to find what’s unique about your own songwriting. The more original your songs are the greater the likelihood that you’ll get…
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Six Tips for Improving Songwriting Motivation

As passionate as we are about our songwriting, the reality is that sometimes it’s difficult to motivate ourselves to write. Whether it’s the fear of plumbing our emotional depths or just good old fatigue after a long day, there are often obstacles to overcome when it’s time to write. While flashes of inspiration are great, we can’t always count on the muse showing up on our schedule. Instead, we’ve…
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The Dos and Don’ts of Co-Writing

Looking back over twenty-plus years to my first songwriting efforts, I remember my creative process as so personal and fragile that I was dead certain I would never open it up to another person. This would have seemed like co-painting or more like co-dating…just not going to happen. However, two things DID happen. One, I moved to Nashville, Tennessee, the co-writing capital of the…
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Five Pre-Songwriting Demo Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

The professional songwriting demo process is a necessary part of the equation for songwriters aspiring to get their material heard by music industry decision-makers and, hopefully, cut by successful recording artists. Despite the fact that hundreds of demos are recorded every week in places like Nashville, New York and Los Angeles, new songwriters often find themselves overwhelmed and…
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The Benefits of Stripping Down Your Song Demos

Let’s begin at the beginning. You’ve written a song and, hopefully, you’re thrilled with it. So thrilled, in fact, that you want to record it right away and use every instrument in both the Western and Eastern musical traditions on the song demo. I don’t blame you one bit. There’s nothing more fun than dressing up your songs to go to town. But it might make sense to stop and…
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Four Practical Dos and Don’ts for Different Songwriting Methods

“Which do you write first, the music or the words?” This is the classic question that all songwriters get asked. In my experience, there’s no easy – or correct – answer to this one. Sometimes it’s the music, sometimes it’s the lyrics and, often, it’s some mystical, organic combination of the two. More importantly, there is no one way to write a song. Some of the best and…
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What Do Music Producers Do?

Working as a producer for the last twenty years, I’ve recorded all kinds of artists from “fresh off the boat” newbies to artists whose experience in the world of music doubles my own. In every case, my role as a producer stays essentially the same. It’s that role that I’m going to describe in this article. What Is A Music Producer & What Do Music Producers Do? The best way I know to…
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Four Simple Tricks For Rewriting A Song

As songwriters, we so often get bogged down in the micro-details of our songs (whether to use “and” or “but,” should the last note of the chorus melody go up or down, etc.) that we tend to overlook the big issues that can help us tighten, streamline and otherwise improve our songs in major ways. I’m going to bring up a few of the commonly overlooked issues that I see time…
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A Primer on Professional Demo Studios for Songwriters

You’re a songwriter. It’s what you do. It’s what you’ve trained yourself to do through countless hours of study, practice and effort. Your songs are yours and no one can write them for you. In other words, you’ve become an expert at writing your songs. That’s how it should be. However, if you’re going to treat your songwriting as a business that you hope to profit from, then…
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Five Things You Can Do to Move Your Songwriting Career Forward

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all there is to do when it comes to moving forward in your songwriting career. I’d compare the approach of this article to eating the elephant one bite at a time. In other words, by being patient, organized and methodical in your daily work as a songwriter, you’re guaranteed to make steady progress in your career. If you follow the suggestions…
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Three Tips for Writing Better Song Intros

In an era of significantly shorter attention spans and increasingly distracted listeners, you, as songwriters, have an even greater responsibility to grab your audience as quickly as possible. The first and best place to do this is in your song’s intro. This can be done partly in your songwriting and partly in the production of the song demo. By writing better song intros, you’ll stand…
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Four Reasons Songwriting Talent Isn’t Enough

I’d like to begin this article by saying that I’m not a cynic. On the contrary, I’m a big believer that if your dream is to have success with your music, then, in time, you will find that success. However, I am a realist. There are rarely shortcuts in our line of work and being a talented songwriter, in my experience, simply isn’t enough to guarantee success. It takes a combination…
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The Advantages of Using Session Musicians on Your Song Demos

Why do professional recordings sound, well…professional? There are a number of reasons including high quality microphones, pre-amps, an experienced engineer and a well-designed studio space. But one of the single most important elements in a great-sounding, professional recording is the performance of the session musicians. There is a reason that the job of the session…
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Six Ways To See if You’re Ready for a Professional Song Demo

One of the big decisions that we, as songwriters, have to make is whether or not we’re ready for a professional song demo. In other words, is our song good enough to warrant spending the money and time necessary to make a high-quality recording? While our instinct may be to love all of our songs equally, the reality is that some of our songs are simply better/more commercially…
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Confessions of a Music Supervisor

Ever wondered what music supervisors are really thinking? We can help. We’ve invited an established music supervisor to give you that insight with the condition that they remain anonymous. Read this blog post for the inside scoop. Hi. I’m a music supervisor. My confession? I’m an “anti-music” music supervisor. I don’t want the best song for my film and I don’t even…
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5 Ways To Finish the Song You’ve Been Working on Forever

Sometimes songs come easy. You sit down and the whole thing pours out of you almost as if you’re simply transcribing it as it’s handed down to you from the heavens. Those are great but I’ve learned you can’t always count on it working that way. The other side of the coin is when songwriting more closely resembles the extraction of a particularly reluctant wisdom tooth…
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