• Announcements

    • Songstuff

      New Chat App   06/02/2017

      We have a new chat app available. You will need to sign up for it. You can pick up the invite link at the top of your member hub page:   http://forums.songstuff.com/member/hub/   Remember to use your Songstuff registered email and user name when you sign up! Using the invite link will automatically add you to the Songstuff chat channel.

Songstuff Stuff

  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Contributors to this blog

About this blog

Songstuff Community Blog

Entries in this blog


For songwriters, it is an ongoing discussion, what exactly makes a song great? If you could understand exactly what it is that makes a song great, then perhaps you could use that knowledge to your advantage when writing new songs, and avoid common mistakes.

Unfortunately it isn't as cut and dried as that. There is no right answer. That is why there are no song writing rules, only guidelines.

So we started a topic to encourage our members to explore the topic. Not to find a right answer, but in the hope that by exploring what it meant, by exchanging ideas, that it would help them arrive at a better understanding.

You can find the topic here

What Makes A Song Great?

It's free to join our community and you are welcome to take a part in the discussion.


Independent Music - The Importance Of Building A Team

All too often, bands overlook one of their biggest assets: each other. As individuals it is far harder to stand out. The amount of tasks they can complete effectively limits just what they can achieve. By electing to work alone they greatly reduce their ability to work, and therefore their chance of success.

This article goes through the pros and cons of teamwork for songwriters, musicians and bands, discussing what they stand to gain by working together, and provides a number of ways that teamwork can can be used within the music industry.


Read "Independent Music - The Importance Of Building A Team"


Please leave any comments,suggestions or other feedback below...


Collaborate on Songstuff, bringing lyricists, songwriters, musicians, recording engineers, and producers covering many styles of music.

Come along and take part!


Join our general Collaboration Group and keep up to date with collaboration projects, create your own collaboration group.

Each group provides you:

  • your own forum
  • your own web pages
  • your own communication tools to allow you to easily communicate with your chosen collaborators!


YouTube have confirmed that the launch of their new subscription service is very close, but at the same time they are in the process of removing some of the biggest indie label acts.

YouTube and several indie labels have failed to agree on the royalty terms covering the new YouTube subscription service. These terms are in addition to the terms already covering its free service.

Here we go. Again.

The payment dispute between YouTube and indie labels is threatening acts like Adele and Arctic Monkeys, who may now find their music pulled from the service. Such indie label acts account for approximately 10% of all the music that YouTube has permissions to feature. However, their music is now likely to be withdrawn by YouTube from the world’s largest video service, as YouTube has been unable to reach an agreement with Beggars Banquet and several other leading independent labels. Details of the proposed license are at this time not known. Perhaps the indie labels are being unreasonable, however, we have been here before with YouTube.

YouTube executives claim that they cannot continue to offer music as a part of their free service without it also being made available on their new paid service as this would "disappoint" its subscribers. Hmmmm, really?

Arguably, users will be more disappointed that the music of these indie artists will not be available on the service at all and if they suspect that YouTube has unnecessarily withdrawn music from many indie artists, denying their fans the opportunity of enjoying their music on the YouTube platform, believing that they are showing contempt for both music fans and for artists, in a highly cynical, self-serving, negotiating tactic.

Such a bullish approach by YouTube is hardly a new negotiating tactic. This isn't the first time that YouTube has removed acts due to a payment dispute. UK YouTube users may well remember the last large scale dispute where a large amount of YouTube content was withdrawn from broadcast within the UK. At the time Google had recently acquired YouTube. Accusations of manipulating public opinion abounded as search results appeared to be dominated by content condemning the position taken by PRS, the UK based PRO, in a dispute over license payments.

Some privately say that YouTube (Google) are using their size and domination of the online video and internet search markets to unfair advantage, yet again, by bullying the music business and intimidating artists, labels, publishers and writers into accepting exceptionally low levels of payment, by YouTube(Google), for permission being granted to YouTube(Google) to use their content within their products and services.

YouTube will not yet give a date for the subscription service launch, and they are currently testing the service internally. No doubt such testing is carried out within the terms of usage allowed by their current license.

“We’re adding subscription-based features for music on YouTube to bring our music partners new revenue streams in addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars YouTube already generates for them each year,” stated a YouTube spokesperson. Of course, they neglected to mention how much streaming such content had made for YouTube and Google over the same time period. They also left us to wonder at the levels of earnings that might have been enjoyed by writers and artists had their service not existed and listeners had had to find their music elsewhere.

While, on one level, the music industry is looking forward to there being more platforms in the streaming market place, the industry remains nervous about ceding even more control to the already highly dominant Google. Google’s track record, regarding respecting the rights of content owners, isn't exactly fantastic. In fact it is pretty poor. Terrible even. YouTube claims that it has paid more than $1 billion out to rights-holders in the "last several years.", however many in indie music have long complained of unfair treatment at the hands of YouTube. This is especially true when compared with other digital services.

In an interview with Billboard, Rich Bengloff, president of the independent label trade association A2IM, said that "We are treated equitably and fairly by Rdio, Spotify and Rhapsody, and about 20 services, but obviously not YouTube,". He also stated "I filed a complaint with the FTC last week.”

Going by past actions, YouTube and Google are highly unlikely to change their approach. From a music business perspective, there is little incentive to do so as long as PROs, labels, publishers, artists and writers continue to lie down and let themselves be walked all over.

A new, competing service is due to be launched by Amazon. Amazon's Prime Music service launches yet another major new player into the music streaming service business. While competition might improve the market overall, YouTube (Google) are bound to feel secure in their position, feeling that they can do whatever they want, for as long as their service dominates the marketplace to the extent it does, which of course it is highly likely it will, just as long as Google dominates search engine wars to the extent it does, leaving Google in complete control of their search results.

Ravi Nair

Diy Demo Cd's

blog-0117073001401918612.jpgA month ago my band mate and I decided to give away CD's with our material to those who seemed to like our music. Since we are students and mostly live with a limited amount of money, getting a professional/industry type CD done would've costed a lot of money off our wallets. We tried to find a way around this situation. At first it was all about Saving Money but we soon realized it was about Authenticity, Looks, the LOVE and Saving Money.

Google was my best friend throughout. All the stuff was made and tested on a computer running Windows 8 OS. Click on the images below for a better view. If you are planning to give away or sell CD's with your content, then i hope this post helps you. We made around 30 discs for under $17 in the first run.

1: Decide what you want to put in the Disc!

All we had was our debut Single and a live audio set. It seemed like less stuff for a CD, so we added the artwork and testimonies too. Since an audio disc can't have anything apart from audio, we had to create data discs. Our disc was optimized for computer viewing. There was an autorun feature which included the links to our FB, Youtube, Soundcloud, Myspace, Bandcamp & Reverbnation links apart from all the other data. So the discs we made weren't recognized by a few audio CD players.

This is what i used to create the autorun program. If you know FLASH or other similar software you can create your own interactive program. If you have a lot of songs then you can create a good old Audio CD. If you don't know how to create audio or data discs, do a quick search, its not too hard.

We made two different discs, one was for music enthusiasts and one was for Venues/Organizers, you'd ask how it matters; I'll tell you how, Venues/Organizers need much more than songs, they need the Band's/Musician's profile and the Tech Rider with other things, and yeah it makes quite a difference. Everything a venue or an organizer needs to know about the band is there in a disc. Starting from a demo to the requirements of the Band if its plays somewhere.

This is the Autorun menu for Giveaway

This is the Autorun menu for Organisers/Venues

Make sure that you create content that applies to the audience/venue/organizer that you generally cater to, it'll be very useful.

2: CD Case & Sticker for CD!

The case for the CD was an issue, i did a few searches and found out this website. Filled out the details and took a print out on an A4 sheet that can be folded to accommodate a CD.The printout had numbers that tell how to fold, but I

instead. To be frank the case looked too simple and non-attractive which is not a bad thing, but we wanted something else. Since I had the paper case in my hand, i calculated the size and used that to create a design on photoshop, optimizing front and back of the cover. These looked much better, folding was not that hard a task after a few trials.
is pretty simple to follow.

Its a good idea to print two copies on a high GSM (thicker) A3 sheet and then later cutting them into two individual sheets. You get a full size print and it costs lesser.

If you don't like the paper cover, you can get a traditional cover. Don't forget that there are many other options you can find online.

I designed a sticker to stick on top of the CD. Its a good idea to keep the centre empty, i didnt though. You can also use the same stickers as giveaways. We asked the Printers to make high quality prints. Your printer guy can also put holes in the centre so you don't have to do it yourself. We later used these leftover centre stickers to seal the disc and distinguish the venue/Organizer CD's from Giveaway CD's.

3: Giving it Shape!

Alrightey then, now its time to do the physical part. First off, you need to buy enough number of CD's you so don't run out too soon. Buying a larger quantity generally costs less. We also got enough re-sealable plastic covers for the final product.

Stuff Required

I recommend that you first burn the disc to an iso image so you can identify any errors in the autorun or anything else in specific. Saves CD's for sure. You can mount these images using softwares like Daemon Tools or Power ISO. If you're running Windows 8, then you can directly mount the image.

After you do a good check, burn the CD's, put the stickers on top, fold cases, put CD's in the sleeve. And put the unit in a re-sealable plastic cover. Trust me they look pretty cool, once you've put in some work.

After our next gig, we gave these CD's and people had good things to say. Afterall it's the LOVE that matters more than anything else!!

You can directly download everything i used and made :

This is what we did, you can be as creative as you like. Let me know if you try this. How was the experience and what was the reaction from people on the other end.

Now just one more thing, I made a group for Bass Guitar enthusiasts, go



Bands, Give Your Fans Real News, Not Spam

Bands face an ongoing challenge when it comes to spreading the word about their music, including both the task of getting their music in front of completely new listeners and the task of keeping in contact with their existing fans. This article explores the key issues involved in communicating with fans and provides some recommendations to make and keep it a positive experience.


Read "Bands, Give Your Fans Real News, Not Spam"


Please leave some comments and feedback on this article, and / or suggestions for new articles by leaving a reply below.


Music has it's countless sources. It comes in the most unexpected ways and sizes. A cat is surely one of the surprising ones out of the lot. The Internet seems to love cats. And of all the thousands of cat videos that roam the internet, this is the one I want to share with you.

Nora the Cat is a gray tabby cat that was rescued by their owners from a shelter in New Jersey. Nora developed a curiosity towards her owner's piano when she was a year old and has played ( well, more like tapped ) it ever since. Youtube videos uploaded by Nora's owners became viral because of her musical paws.

When Lithuanian conductor and composer Mindaugas Piečaitis found one of Nora's videos, he became very interested in the idea of writing a concerto for one of her "pieces". The consequent result of the idea came to be called CATcerto, the first concerto ever composed for a cat. On 5th June, 2009, CATcerto was performed for the very first time by Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra at the Klaipėda Concert Hall, Klaipėda, Lithuania, lead by Piečaitis. It has been performed by many other orchestras all over the world since.

Nora the Cat and the KlaipÄ—da Chamber Orchestra were further included in the Guinness World Records for the first ever concerto for a cat in 2012.

Personally, I find the piece very beautiful and intricate. Goes to show how we can derive what we love from almost all the things around us if we put our mind to it. Here is the video. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


Stop And Listen!

The world has become such a busy place. Deadlines, schedules, priorities, it's never ending. In such a time, we tend to overlook things that would have made the biggest difference in our lives.

Washington Post conducted an experiment that went on to prove this very point.

It was in January 2007 when Joshua Bell , a violinist, performed a few classical pieces on the Washington D.C Subway as he stood there, incognito. Most of the passersby hurried on without noticing the rare event that was unfolding itself.

Joshua Bell, one of the greatest classical musicians of modern times, was "playing some of the most elegant music ever written on one of the most valuable violins ever made" valued at $3.5 Million. The fact that the people passed by without a reaction brings us to an important question.

How good is the music really, if people never stop and listen to it?

More thoughts that comes to mind are, if the passersby knew who the man at the side of the subway really was, would the reaction to the music being performed be any different?

Does the social status of the artist matter for the music to be good, or to even be noticed ?

We can only speculate on the answers to these questions but one thing is for sure, if we do not stop, look and listen every once in a while in our daily busy lives, we might miss out on the best life has to offer, or more. Here is a clip of Joshua Bell on the Washington D.C Subway playing along.


* Brand New Opportunity *

Not to be missed!

Are you interested in free publicity as a lyricist, songwriter or band?

Rack up 10 genuine posts on our forums (not one liners!) each week and you can submit a maximum of one picture, the lyrics for one song, one song recording and one video, to be considered by our site crew. Each member of our site crew can then select their favourites from your submissions on a weekly basis! Those selected will be featured on Songstuff, in our newsletters and on our various music portals (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, SoundCloud etc)

For lyrics, recordings or videos, go here:


For press or publicity pics, go here:



The Pentatonic Scale is something that almost every musician would have learnt in their early days. No matter the genre, the Pentatonic Scale proves to be a very powerful tool in improvising solos. Even though less is known about how the human brain interprets music, it's been observed that it responds to recognizable patterns such as the Pentatonic quite instinctively.

Jazz vocalist Bobby McFerrin demonstrated this theory at the World Science Festival in 2009 when he participated in a talk called “Notes & Neurons: In Search of a Common Chorus”.

McFerrin begins with guiding the audience through a few notes of the Major Pentatonic scale assigning a position on the stage for each of the notes. He then allows the audience to get familiar with each of the notes by indicating them based on the positions on stage. What happens next is quite impressive. The audience instinctively guesses the rest of the notes as McFerrin moves away from the assigned positions.

McFerrin also mentions at the end “Now, what’s interesting to me about that is, regardless of where I am , anywhere , every audience gets that..”.

That makes us wonder how close music really is to human life. Watch the video below to see how it happened at the World Science Festival.


We have a lot of members releasing songs and albums just now. However, very, very few, if any, use any form of release process. In particular, there is very little in the way of build up to the release. Releases tend to be haphazard in nature.


On many occasions impatience to share their new music seems to be the driving factor. All the artist's development time and budget leading up to the release is devoted to creating the music with marketing and promoting their release being minimal, almost an after thought.

Typically, the artist releases their music into a void, having built up very little expectation for their music. Having, in the case of albums, spent several thousands of dollars on recording and mastering their album and often invested hundreds of hours in completing it, they fail to make the most of all their effort.

Too many times we hear of albums having been released selling (or sometimes giving away!) less than 100 copies. Sometime less than 50.

Is this the fault of the music? No. It is the fault of the artist. Your music could be the best music the world has ever heard, but if it is released into a void it will go nowhere. Few people will hear it. Fewer will download it or buy it.

You cannot rely upon listeners being so inspired by your music that they share your music with their friends, or that somehow the music press will get to hear about your music despite you having done almost nothing to bring it to their attention.

In short, you need a plan.

Over the next two months we will be looking at what you can do to ensure a successful release including some practical tips you can directly use.

Head's Up

We plan to launch our first products over the next couple of months, including an “Album Release Kit”, containing all the elements you need to pull together your album, from costing and budget, to time-line, example press releases and press kits, background information and best industry working practice, using check lists, mind maps, flow diagrams, guidelines on engaging people and companies to help, release case studies and much, much more.


Fan Engagement

Keeping it fresh while engaging your fans isn't straight forwards. At least that's the what many artists tell us. They start a band blog and pretty quickly run out of interesting things to say. They write the odd interesting post, but most posts are boring as hell, or barely related to their band and their music. More common still is their blog just dries up. So what could they do?

Have no fear Songstuffers! We've collected 15 excellent ideas to help you engage your fans using video.


Read "Fan Engagement"


Please leave some comments and feedback on this article, and / or suggestions for new articles by leaving a reply below.


Tips For Making A Music Video

Here we have a collection of tips to help you create your own music video for your band. A music video is much like a movie, or, for that matter, just like the song itself. It should have a visual progression, in the same way it progresses musically.

This article will give you ideas on everything from funding and casting to choice of locations, post production editing and promotion and distribution


Read "Tips For Making A Music Video"


Please leave some comments and feedback on this article, and / or suggestions for new articles by leaving a reply below.


Song Relase Tips

When releasing a new song make the most of all your efforts

Remember: People need to know your song has been released to buy it. It is up to you to tell them.

Remember: More people are likely to be interested in your music if you build anticipation before the song is available. ie you build their appetite. This is why older songs by an artist are played BEFORE a new song is released. It's why they appear on TV and radio BEFORE a song or album is released. It's why they tell people when a new song will be available to buy.

Remember: Build fans, make it desirable for the general public to join your fan club or fan list. Provide incentives.

Remember: Keep fans. Keep in regular communication. Provide benefits of being in your fan list such as exclusive interviews, acoustic performances of your songs, special offers etc.

IMPORTANT: Create a promotion plan so that your activities are coordinated. A properly coordinated release is much much more effective as your activities build upon each other and help to create a buzz of anticipation. By following a release process you will naturally create activities and supporting media that give you genuine reasons to contact your fans.:

1. Set a realistic release date.

2. Plan your activies, such as recording, creating a video etc. so that they are ready for use when your promotion plan needs them to be available.

3. Your plan should have pre-release goals and activities that help build anticipation. This could be revamping your websites with new images, conact building and development, pre-releasing to press or music bloggers, getting back catalogue plays on radio and internet radio, pre-release interviews, showcase performances and any other anticipation building activity etc. Prime your fans for the upcoming release.

4. Your plan should have a release event of some kind, Ideally this would be a launch party (when you are doing a proper release) but could be any kind of launch event limited only by your creativity.

5. Your Plan should have post-release activities such as interviews (radio, tv, online radio, interviews for your fan list etc) and gigs.

6. Note down lessons learned during each release, what works, what could work better, what doesn't currently work etc. and use those to tweak your release process, activities and timing so your release process will be more effective next time.

7. Be patient. Don't let frustration during pre-release make you "just release it". Promotion activities are not intended to happen in isolation. It would be a shame to put lots of effort and money into creating a killer track only to blow it by having an unprepared, disorganized release.

The first time you go through a release process takes a little extra effort, but you can build on that process for each and every new song or album release to make it more effective.

By going through a process you begin to get a far better idea about things you may have missed, and highlight where your are spending too much time or not enough time.

An effective release depends on timing, a range of supporting activities, good quality products, creativity, industry contacts, fans and effective communication. Neglect any of them and you might as well prepare to be disappointed by the response to the release.


New Article - The Process Of Writing A Song

A song writing process is used to enhance the quality of your work and the speed that each work is created. This article provides tips on creating and using a song writing process, plus observations and suggestions about writing key aspects of a song. It also gives you a draft process to get you started.

This article is ideal for songwriters who either don't use a formal song writing process, or the song writing process that they are using is not quite working for them.


Read the full article by clicking on the following link:

The Process Of Writing A Song


Please leave some comments and feedback on this article, and / or suggestions for new articles by leaving a reply below.


New Article - A Guide To Song Form - Song Form Overview

Song forms are generally made up of a number of sections that may or may not be repeated within the same song. Popular music is generally based on the use of traditional sectional song forms, or structures that are derived from those traditional song forms.

This article gives an overview of the different fundamental song forms, and it provides a basic understanding of common modern song forms.


Read the full article by clicking on the following link:

A Guide To Song Forms - Song Form Overview


Please leave some comments and feedback on this article, and / or suggestions for new articles by leaving a reply below.


New Article - A Guide To Song Form - Extended Common Song Forms And More

Add some new tools to your song writing toolbox by learning about common song forms. This article describes how common song forms can be extended, and looks at some of the less common song forms, such as through composed songs.

This short article builds upon the AAA, AABA, AB, ABC and AAB song forms, and upon compound song forms, explained in our other articles in this series.


Read the full article by clicking on the following link:

A Guide To Song Forms - Extended Common Song Forms And More


Please leave some comments and feedback on this article, and / or suggestions for new articles by leaving a reply below.


March 2013 Monthly Song Contest Results

This month's winner is:

"Stop Thinking With Your Heart" - North Easton

Words and Music by North Easton


Another crowd of faces gather,

out there on the street

and the cold it doesn't matter anymore

And the broken glass lay shattered

right there at her feet

close your eyes and take a breath

and walk towards


Find me in a beautiful mess

You try to forget

You try to forget this light

Find me in a beautiful mess

I know


Stop...Thinking with your heart

Thinking with your heart this time

Verse 2:

There's a haunting line of statues

Carved in flesh and bone

And theirs a feeling in the shadows

That wont leave

And Frozen faces in the moment

Looking down at cobblestones

and they're hanging on the edge

They are waiting for her to breathe


Find me in a beautiful mess

try to forget

try to forget this now

I know that now

Chorus: Stop...Thinking with your heart

Thinking with your heart this time


No No No...Lean on me to find out

No no no...lean on me tonight

No no no...Lean on me to find out

Lean on me to find out.

Find me in a beautiful mess,

Try to forget, try to forget this night

Find me in a beautiful mess I know

Find me in a beautiful mess,

Try to forget, try to forget this night

And Find me in a beautiful mess I know

Chorus: Stop...Thinking with your heart

Thinking with your heart this time

Stop...Thinking with your heart

Thinking with your heart this time

A hundred hands they hide in pockets

A thousand thoughts but not a sound

And the stars above them watch it all unfold

And tears they fall like droplets

Crashing to the ground

And the fingers on her hand, they wont let go

Score: 7.67 out of 10

Second and Third Place

2nd Place: "Picture" (Avithammer)

3rd Place: "The Heart of Addiction" (GoCartMoz)

Monthly Song Contest Winner Playlist


New Article - A Guide To Song Form - Compound Song Forms

Have you ever used a compound song form? As a songwriter, I bet you have. Compound song forms are far more common than you might at first think.

Building upon the AAA, AABA, AB, ABC and AAB song form articles from our series on song forms, this article explains common compound popular song forms that you can add to your song writing toolbox.


Read the full article by clicking on the following link:

A Guide To Song Forms - Compound Song Forms


Please leave some comments and feedback on this article, and / or suggestions for new articles by leaving a reply below.


New Article - A Guide To Song Form - AAA Song Form

Popular songs often follow one of the traditional song forms, or one of the song forms that are derived from traditional song forms. One of the main song forms is Strophic / AAA / One-Part Song Form, any of which names are used by songwriters.

This article will explain fundamentals of Strophic / AAA / One-Part Song Form, and provide examples of Strophic / AAA / One-Part Song Form being used in popular songs.


Read the full article by clicking on the following link:

A Guide To Song Forms - AAA Song Form


Please leave some comments and feedback on this article, and / or suggestions for new articles by leaving a reply below.


New Article - Keeping A Song Interesting

Keeping a song interesting is not as easy as it might at first seem. For example, how do you stop listeners getting bored and switching off? What can you do to help hold the attention of listeners until the very end of a song? Will varying song structure help? Would changing song arrangement and instrumentation be enough? What effect can be introduced during song performance? Will the song lyrics make a difference? This article helps to explain the variety of things that you can do, during song writing, song arrangement, song performance, song recording, song production and song mastering, to help you too keep your song interesting.


Read the full article by clicking on the following link:

Keeping A Song Interesting


Please leave some comments and feedback on this article, and / or suggestions for new articles by leaving a reply below.


A Guide To Song Forms - AAB Song Form - 12 Bar Blues

AAB Song Form, also called 12 Bar Blues Song Form is one of the main traditional song forms. Both names are regularly used by songwriters to describe this song form.

This article explains the fundamentals of AAB Song Form, and provides examples of AAB Song Form being used in popular rock and blues songs.


Read the full article by clicking on the following link:

A Guide To Song Forms - AAB Song Form - 12 Bar Blues


Please leave some comments and feedback on this article, and / or suggestions for new articles by leaving a reply below.


A Guide To Song Forms - AB Song Form and ABC Song Form

AB Song Form and AB derived Song Forms are the most popular traditional song forms. AB is also called Verse/Chorus Song Form, either of which names are used by songwriters. One common, modern, derived song form is VERSE-CHORUS-BRIDGE or ABC Song Form. Directly derived from AB Song Form, ABC Song Form introduces a 3rd "Bridge" section.

This article will explain AB Song Form or VERSE-CHORUS Song Form, ABC Song Form or VERSE-CHORUS-BRIDGE, any common derived song forms, and video examples of those song forms being used in current popular songs.


Read the full article by clicking on the following link:

A Guide To Song Forms - AB Song Form and ABC Song Form


Please leave some comments and feedback on this article, and / or suggestions for new articles by leaving a reply below.


Its a new year and a new contest. :)

The topic or the "phrase" for this month is:

"The day gave way to the night gradually with her every footstep. "



Voting opens on December 26th Jan!

Voting will close on 31st Jan!

Commenting on a song before voting is closed is NOT ALLOWED.


For the full details,head here: