Making the Decision
A number of you have asked me about the status of my music, wondering when I might be posting some of my songs… well, better than saying soon, which is a relative and unsatisfying answer, I thought periodic updates might be a good idea. So, here is my first update and any words of wisdom you want to share are more than welcomed and probably needed.
Let me begin at the beginning…
My decision to dip my toes into the waters of the music industry did not come easily to me, in fact, it has been a few years or decades in the making. My songs are like pages out of my life, the idea of sharing them felt a great deal like I was contemplating putting my diaries online… because, of course, I am the only person on the planet to ever fall in love or suffer a broken heart!
(Step One: Get over myself. I am not all that unique!)
As scary as the thought of sharing my songs was, however, it was scarier to think that I might die with all of my songs in me, never sharing them with anyone. Not that any one person will ever want to listen to the hundreds of songs that I have written, but perhaps someday one of my songs will touch or comfort someone as they find themselves in my lyrics or lose themselves in my melodies… and that would really be something!
Once I made the decision to put my songs out there, I had to come to terms with the fact that I don’t think I am a great singer. I have never taken a voice lesson. And although those who love me, say they love my voice, you never know. After all, American Idol showcases, or makes fun of, those contestants who audition with all the confidence in the world, insisting that all their family and friends tell them what great singers they are, and then… they sing… and birds drop out of the sky!
(Step Two: Develop some confidence that when I sing, the birds will not drop out of the sky.)
Well, I’m still working on that one, Step Two, that is. However, I have been recording my songs, with no noticeable drop in the bird population, using my digital 8-track recorder as I lay down the tracks with me singing the lead and background vocals, playing lead and rhythm guitar, creating percussive sounds with everyday things; then mixing all the tracks and mastering the demos, which is an art onto itself. It is a long process, especially when you are doing it all yourself, but a necessary one. The digital recordings of my songs, along with the typed-up lyrics, are the two main components I need to formally apply online for my copyrights with the Library of Congress, which is the first step in putting my music out there.
Although I know that legally the copyrights are mine the moment I write or compose something, legally I might have to prove that I am indeed the author-songwriter, if someone comes along and attempts to steal my songs… What? It could happen. Okay, maybe it is a bit overly cautious, but I think there is a frustrated, cautious lawyer in me somewhere, who wags her finger at the risk-taking songwriter, who has been hiding in there even longer. You see, for most of my life I had planned on being a lawyer – international law and development – but life threw me a few curveballs and the best laid plans did not come to pass… And… WTMI – way too much information! Sorry.
(Step Three: Finish recording the songs, typing the lyrics, and applying for the copyrights. And then… yikes!)
Suffice it to say, I am moving forward on two fronts, the artistic and the business sides of my music, neither of which I can share at this point. In my next update, for those of you contemplating a similar adventure, I’ll write about some of the research I’ve done on copyright laws in relation to songwriting and recording; on the music industry and associations; on recording equipment, like my 8-track digital recorder; on resources for songwriters; on royalties; on selling and promoting your music online; and, oh, so many other things.
Until the next update… all the best! -Martie (Blue Beach Song)
Martie Hevia (c) All Rights Reserved