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Bernd last won the day on February 6 2014

Bernd had the most liked content!

About Bernd

  • Birthday 02/10/1953

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  • Songwriting Collaboration
  • Band / Artist Name
    RockBernd and FolkBernd
  • Musical / Songwriting / Music Biz Skills
    good lyricist, medicocre songwriter, lousy musician
  • Musical Influences
    influenced by the soundtrack of my youth: Rolling Stones and Beatles, but also AC/DC and others

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  1. Leo

    Hey Bernd,


    I quickly recorded a 1+1 demo to 'A Place To Live'.

    What do you think?



    a place to live lyrics.png

    1. Leo

      I forgot to add - Lyrics by Bernd Harmsen.

  2. I have reinstated my old blog “lyrics in progress”. After discontinuing the blog on Overblog because of their aggressive advertising it lived in the shadows of my homepage as a kind of news box. These days I replaced my homepage with a new blog to begin anew: basic articles on approaches, song structures, or rhyming, and of course insights into my ongoing projects. I may not be THE expert on songwriting, but I don’t mix up bridge and lift either, or teach people obscure British vocables - no offense meant, should the person concerned read this ;-) One of my first articles is about the “lyrics first approach” that most (hobby) lyricists seem to favor yet which might not be the most promising road. http://bernd-harmsen.com/index.php?/archives/7-approaches-I-lyrics-first.html I look forward to hearing from you. Bernd
  3. I assume that quite a few of us will have a Facebook account. How about staying in contact via Facebook, too, by becoming 'friends'? This is my personal account: http://www.facebook.com/bernd.harmsen And this is my band or artist's page: http://www.facebook.com/RockBernd I love 'likes'! But then, who wouldn't? See you here - and see you there! Cheers, Bernd
  4. It IS copyright protected - as is obviously stated by Microsoft. There is no need to register a copyright anywhere. Copyright registration in the US only grants certain legal advantages but has nothing to do with granting the copyright ownership as such. You will need Microsoft's consent (I actually wouldn't expect any problems here). That's it.
  5. Obviously, ghostwriting DOES exist, even in the music business. But it's a rare and rather weird concept and in the context of hobby- or semiprofessional boards it DOES look somewhat incompetent. Songwriters are/should be affiliated with a performing rights organization (and/or meachnical rights organizaton) so their works can be performed and licensed. Without clearance of the rights and without licensing contracts songs can neither be performed publicly nor aired on the radio. What use would it be writing (for) such songs? The first thing I ask potential collab partners is: what is your international creator ID? If they are not registered it makes no sense working with them. I do make an exception, though: I work with hobby partners for shared non-commercial internet projects, or I just let them use my lyrics. That's fine because their is no money involved, hence no problems ;-) Bernd
  6. As there are many more lyricists than composers AND most of the composers or musicians write their own lyrics it is actually not exactly easy to find people who are willing to set layrics to music. I have used tow tricks: 1. I make my lyrics available for free* so as to keep the hurdle low to use them (the opposite method would be tagging them with a copyright note which actually forbids their use); 2. I also offer writing lyrics to match music instead of just hoping that my lyrics are picked. Trick number 1 got many (mainly hobby) musicians interested in using my lyrics. Trick number 2 opend the door to more serious musicians who had trouble coming up with good lyrics themselves. Over time my lyrics have spread quite a bit. A Siwss/German duo have set more than 40 of my lyrics to music. I write most of the song texts for a German Blues-Rock band (for about 30 out of 40 of their songs). A few days the first CD was published with songs that have my lyrics. I call that success. Not in money, yet in being acknowledged. All in all there are more than 150 songs out there that have my lyrics. On the other side this means only 300,- or 400,- Euro in royalties - per year (plus royalties for the CD that have not yet been accounted for; but won't amount to very much either, I think). Good luck to you! Bernd *free for non-commercial use only. I add clear statements as to what people are allowed to do for free and when they have to register the songs and submit setlists to their national PRO (=performing rights organization; I am member of a PRO so my stuff can be accounted for internationally if it is used commercially).
  7. I "collaborate" in two different ways: the first approach is what you'd call "let 'em have it" - I simply share my lyrics with anybody who might be interested in setting them to music; the second approach is writing to match other people's music. Only after I had done quite a bit of the #2 approach did I have more success with the #1 approach, too (quite too many lyricists about, you see). Mind you, most of them are hobbyists that just do it for the fun of it and don't perform. I let them post on the internet, so at least I get a little promotion as a lyricist - if they're any good, that is ;-) I actually enjoy if quite different pieces of music are based on the very same lyrics. When I have the time and feel like it I create my own songs as well. I seem to have a musical taste that none of my partners share, so there would be no use trying to convince them to do it my way ;-)
  8. The last answer might help getting you on track ;-) You own the creators' rights (composer, lyricist). The respective royalties are always due, be the song 'original' or 'covered' - there is no difference at all. If you actually cowrite songs (that's what you say but you seem to contradict yourself) you'll have to share the royalties accordingly. The shares are specified when you register the songs with your PRO. You share the profits out of sales with the label and the artist(s) (contract!). Traditionally, you would habe been paid by either of them and that would have been it. If the song is covered there is nothing to share in this respect. Good luck, Bernd
  9. You'll have to check out their guidelines, I guess ("unpublished" would sound wrong to me, is there no more generic option?). Fortunately, we Europeans don't have such problems :-)
  10. The works are yours and automatically protected by law. By registering them with the LOC you reserve certain legal advantages in the US:: Why should I register my work if copyright protection is automatic? Registration is recommended for a number of reasons. Many choose to register their works because they wish to have the facts of their copyright on the public record and have a certificate of registration. Registered works may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney's fees in successful litigation. Finally, if registration occurs within 5 years of publication, it is considered prima facie evidence in a court of law. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “Copyright Registration†and Circular 38b, Highlights of Copyright Amendments Contained in the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), on non-U.S. works. => after publication you have (nearly) 5 years time to do this. Outside the USA no action is required. Any proof that you were the first to publish the songs under your name will do. For more details see: http://copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html
  11. Just speak the sentences aloud - then you'll 'see' where the stresses lie. Most important for lyrics are the endings of the lines, accents within the lines can be shifted more easily. I always have a melody in my mind when I write music. As long as my words flow well with the tune in my head the meter should be fine. Alternatively you could 'rap' the lines to see if they will match the same tune. Good luck! Bernd
  12. Aren't these legal discussions pure fun? Semantically, publishing simply means 'making public'. Since I apply a "creative commons license" for my own lyrics I was entangled in a similar discussion: what exactly is "free for non-commercial use". Is it non-commercial if you give your stuff away without charge? The definition says "A commercial use is one primarily intended for commercial advantage or monetary compensation". It expains: ".. if you are a nonprofit or charitable organization, your use of an NC-licensed work could still run afoul of the NC restriction, and if you are a for-profit entity, your use of an NC-licensed work does not necessarily mean you have violated the term. Whether a use is commercial will depend on the specifics of the situation and the intentions of the user." Isn't that fun to read? If you post your stuff on YouTube or Facebook - is that non-commercial? YOU may not make money, but the services do. My PRO (GEMA) says such uses ARE commercial. In the end I had to exclude the internet from my contract with GEMA. With the effect that now some partners SELL their songs over the internet via Amazon and ITunes - without asking me, of course. I'll not get any royalties - even if licences are being paid - since I excluded this section from my contract. Quite obviously the internet with its 'free for all' culture stirs up the copyright laws - particularly the enforcement of national laws because it doesn't regard boundaries. Have fun! Bernd
  13. As the author you have all rights to decide what you allow and what not, with who you collaborate and with who not. There is no need for copyright signs or statements stating the obvious - it's the default. Registering a song with a PRO has nothing to do with copyright, it deals with the distribution of royalties, that's it. What can be done in case of an infringement is a different question. Quite obviously the internet is in the public, so posting material on the internet is publishing. Hosts are required to follow a N&TD (notice and take down) policy to enable copyright holders to have illegitimate material removed. You'll find more under the keyword "Digital Millennium Copyright Act" (DMCA). Good luck! Bernd
  14. Since I write lyrics for other people it's actually up to them what they expect or what they like. Every once in a while my lyrics are rejected. That's quite fine by me as it is the singer who must present the song convincingly. While I write the words I am mostly guided by the genre I'm writing for, or by the mood the music triggers in me. My general rule is: the lyrics must serve the song/the music not the other way round. There are exceptions, of course: folk music, for example, or chansons. Bernd
  15. > Thus, the band will always have the right to perform its own songs,... < If a song is registered with a PRO - which always makes sense if a song is supposed to be performed or produced - EVERYBODY has the right to produce or perform it (there is a licence, of course, which is paid by the organizer or label).
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