Hi-- my name is Julie Tofilon, and I'm still new to this group.  I'm wondering what the best and safest way is to get songs I've written to Christian artists who can record them and get them "out there" to minister to people.  Wish my husband and I could do it, but we don't have a whole band or the right recording equipment.  Thoughts?  Interest?

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Hi Julie

Generally I would say "this is difficult".... and if you discover the secret, let us know!  Truth is, I think most publishers have a set of artists they have decided to promote, and it is difficult to get "in" to that unless you are (a) lucky, and (b) part of a big church, irrespective of how good your songs are.

Having said all that, you can post songs on places like here, and there are people who will take time to listen, and some may even try songs out in their churches!

And, so the theory goes, you are at least called to minister to your own church through writing songs, and it is worth keeping that up at least: I say this despite the frustrating thoughts which go along with the "I wonder if anyone else would want to use my song".

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for your reply.  Yeah, I'd love to do more in my own church, but getting the opportunity is difficult since I'm not the main worship leader and feel shy about "pushing" my songs.  We have sung and taught them in other churches we've been part of (we've moved around a lot as missionaries).  People seemed to like them and suggested we circulate them somehow.  I'll try and post some here-- problem is, we don't have any recording system.  Just me and my husband and our iPhone!

Hi Julie,

Daniel's response is great, and I just want to take this a slightly different direction.  You asked, among other things, about what is the 'safest' way to get songs out there.  Safest is recording your song and then getting it copyrighted at copyright.gov. before sharing it with others.  That gets expensive.  Being merely "safe" is simply having a recording of your song and maintaining a dated record of your writing and recording of it.  It is then considered "copyrighted" though it does not have all of the protections and benefits of the federal copyright.  Look into this if interested.

Personally, I really feel that I have nothing to lose when it comes to songwriting and sharing my songs.  I write, record, and share what I do online at SoundCloud, YouTube, and ReverbNation.  That actually achieves "safe" as I have defined it above, but for me it is really about ministry, enjoying the art of songwriting, learning how to improve the craft, and it doesn't get all complicated with whether I may "lose" something if someone else plays or records my song and I miss out on some amount of money or credit.  I write, record, and let it rip... so to speak.  I just wish I had the resources to make better recordings, but that is another topic of discussion.  I know others make money from their songs and jump through all of the hoops to do that - and there is nothing wrong with it - I am just taking a different approach.  I hope this helps.

Hi Brian,

Thanks for your reply and good input.  Like you, I wish we had resources to make better recordings.  That's what's kept me from sharing online (ashamed of just doing it on our iPhone-- although I feel blessed to even have that, because before 9/14 we didn't even have that!  We've been overseas most of our adult life, living simply :) ).  As to worrying about money, etc., I really don't-- we've shared and taught songs in various churches in the U.S. and overseas and even translated some.  But I've sensed it's time to establish a wider, more permanent circulation, and as I mentioned to Daniel, above, our current church isn't really the way to do that (we're currently serving in a Chinese church).  The "safety" of songs is so as to have an outlet by people knowing where to come for "my" songs.  You can probably tell from our picture that we're middle-aged (it's actually taken at our son's house-- ours isn't so nice!).  I'm not real tech-savvy or social-media savvy or even young enough to be "in" with people who like to play and record.  But the Lord and family and friends have been telling me to do more-- hopefully this group will help.  You have already :)  Thanks :)

Julie, you should check out the members page here as you can search for a city name... and potentially find members near you that you could contact. Maybe you can connect with some people and help each other as musicians, playing, recording, etc. Just a thought!

Sweet idea, Nathan!  I'll try that :)  

Julie

It might also be possible to do an online collaboration: produce a basic vox + simple backing & then have collaborators record parts as separate tracks to be mixed later.

Hi Julie,

You've had some great responses and it's been lovely hearing about you too. The songs posted on here are recorded in a variation of ways. Some are professionally done, some not, it really doesn't matter, but I sincerely welcome you to post your iphone recordings.  I would love to hear what you do and I am sure others would too.

God Bless.  Lorriane

Re: Recording.

The price of good  recording equipment is dropping. A decent mic, a secondhand USB interface and Audacity(free software) would give you more recording ability than the Beatles had!  Youtube videos can teach you how to use the software etc.    Or video with a phone people seem to except than now.    

Well, if you're hoping to get your songs to the "big name" worship artists like those you hear on the radio, then you're into a whole other realm of paying hundreds of dollars to have a "professional demo" recording made... and if that's what you really want to do, then you might want to check out some songwriter sites like Muse Songwriters - it's not a "Christian" writers site, but you can get more info on how to get to that level.

Buying a decent mic and USB interface and recording with Audacity will get you better recordings than pointing a cell phone at yourself singing, but there's still a world of difference there.  I have a home studio, 16 track digital (a standalone workstation, not a computer), but I'm still short of that level.

I should admit that I've never had a song "published," I haven't really tried that, and I've never even gone through the official copyright process... I suppose I always felt like if I could write a song good enough that somebody would steal it, I could write another song just as good :-)  But I've never gone after it at that level, and I could even say that I've had a couple things happen that suggest that God doesn't want me going after that level (I was going to have a song published in a Methodist songbook, but all the songs from Ra to Ro got left out, and my song had the misfortune to be called "Rise Up, Lord").

I have suggested here before that it would be cool to have a forum dedicated to "here's a song I wrote, I don't need feedback and I'm not going to change it, but if you would like to use it in your worship service, please do."  People post songs to their profiles here, but there's no easy way to browse those songs in a batch...  Nathan, this is me making this suggestion again :-)

However, from hanging out in the songwriter area, there have been four or five songs that were posted here that we HAVE used in OUR little church (I'm in charge of the band), so, ya know, post some songs here and see what happens.  I see Brian Lawson's name in this thread, we do one of his, although I don't think we've made him famous yet :-)

Anyway... part of this is... are you hoping to actually make money at this (in which case, ya know, ya gotta spend money to make money) or just to get your songs circulating?  This is a small pond in the grand scheme, but if God wants your songs to spread far and wide, it starts with you putting them out there in whatever form you have them.

Working on that Charles ;)

Hey Charles!   You're using one of my songs?!?!?   Where are my royalties!?!?  Where is my name in lights?!?!

I hope you know that I'm joking in the above line, but I am surprised and also glad to hear that you are using one of my songs.  Thank you for sharing that.  Which one have you been using?

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