So, You Want To Be A Singer? by Diva Joan Cartwright -
CHAPTER 2 - Songs: Standards and Originals
Sheet music is the tool of every professional singer, vocalist and song stylist. You can buy it in a music store or copy it at the library (be aware of copyright infringements) or you can get sheet music from other musicians and friends. At the music store, sheet music comes as single songs or in a compilation of an artist such as Cole Porter, Billie Holiday, Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack or the Beatles. Sheet music is expensive, so Real Books or Fake Books can be more practical, since they contain between 200 and 300 song titles.
Writing your own songs is a worthy endeavor. Usually, songwriters are inspired by:
- Romantic experiences - "I Love You", "You and I", "Sunny"
- Social atmosphere - "People Make The World Go Round"
- A beautiful day - "It's A Beautiful Morning", Butterfly�
If you only write one song in your life, make it one you like to sing. You may write a poem that can be set to music by you, your music teacher or another musician, who can write out the notes and chords. Share your songs with others, even if you only have the words. Let others read them aloud or hear you sing the words. Eventually, some professional singer may hear the lyrics and decide to record your song. This will be a very exciting moment and could catapult you into being the songwriter you never dreamed you'd be.
Learn about copyright laws and how to protect your songs. You may copy a line from another song, but never an entire verse. Titles may not be copyrighted. The "poor man's copyright" entails putting the symbol under the title of your song, followed by the year you wrote it and your name. Hence, 1994 Joan Cartwright protects my work from being stolen and gives me leverage in a court of law, if someone uses it without my written permission or without paying the mechanical license. The best protection is to file a copyright form for each song with the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., along with the necessary fee ($35). You can mail the form in with a copy of the sheet music, a recording of it, or file online.
Once you have one song recorded and published, you can join the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), a membership association of U.S. composers, songwriters, lyricists, and music publishers of every kind of music or Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) a performing right organization. Both collect license fees on behalf of its songwriters, composers and music publishers and distribute them as royalties to those members whose works have been performed in concert, on radio, television or in movies.
Purchase the complete book at http://stores.lulu.com/divajc