I realise 50/90 can be almost whatever one wants it to be, but I'm intrigued by the origin post linked on the FAWM 50/90 topic, suggesting that the goal is "Fifty pitchable songs".
Just out of curiosity, for the professionals here, what does a pitchable song look like in 2017? Lyrics only OK? Full demo required? Is one verse+chorus enough?
If one wanted to follow the original spirit, what would be required?
From my research in the last year, what is pitchable is entirely up to where you're pitching it. Completely - it's helpful to know what direction you're going with something before you write it - because lyrics for television background music are written differently from a pop ballad lyrics, and hip hop lyrics are a whole different world from Adult contemporary. - then you get into styles...current country music has a very well defined formula and style - down to how many seconds your intro should be. If you're pitching to the local afternoon kids show, you and your ukulele recorded on your iphone would probably work. So, where do you want to pitch it?
Since nearly every song on the radio is written by the same handful of people, I guess a pitchable song in 2017 looks like a song written by one of them. Personally, I want to be a "topliner." http://nypost.com/2015/10/04/your-favorite-song-on-the-radio-was-probably-written-by-these-two/
I only do full demos, which are getting more involved as the years go by. That's probably why I haven't made to 50 for a while. Then again, my album from last year is probably the best work I've done.
@Tasha Parker Gibbs
So right on... Except for the ones that are pitched into the Circular file. For MusicXray or Yellow Taxi, and the "Pay for pitchers," there is a very, very tough standard of fully arranged, mixed and mastered. Only occasionally do you fine commercial "buyers" who will accept UN-mastered Demos.@hazeyjohnii
For FAWM, and for 5090, there are no rules. Technically you could post a title only and call it a song. However, from the Pitching stand point, it's always all about the final quality. So here's a good approach. Get Busy with the Quantity first and then you can pick the best of the Batch to perfect into Quality songs. yep there is a lot of work to be done after the FAWM is over. My circular file pickiness is usually 50% or greater.
I hate it when you tell the truth
I agree - you really have to know the audience you're pitching to.
50 "quality" songs? Songs, if given the opportunity, you could in good faith pitch to a particular artist. Be that pop diva or a folky. A metal master or a chiptune collector.
Of course that 50 pitchable was aimed at professional songwriters. As far as I'm concerned, being creative is the goal. It may not be exactly the way it started, but I'll settle for 50 songs. If I get keepers that's just bonus.
@TheTau, I am the pterodactyl of unhappiness.
@TomS Pterodactyl? That means you're at least still flying, along with those modern dinosaurs that chirp and scream outside my window each morning.
I couldn't produce 50 pitchable tracks during 50-90 (I have other responsibilities), but I have signed some of my tracks from each year's FAWM and 50-90.
@Tim Fatchen, the consensus of the experts is that the pterodactyl of unhappiness doesn't really fly, it's more of a mid air shambling surrounded by gloomy rain clouds. Experts also say that they taste like chicken.
Thanks for the thoughts everyone. @TomS Funnily enough I just finished The Song Machine - very interesting book. Is there a 50/90 term or challenge for the 'track-and-hook' approach? (One person provides a track, then many 'topliners' provide different melodies for the track)
@hazeyjonii Explore the Core is *kind of* like that - one person provides the chord changes, but each musician plays them in their own way.
You could always start a new challenge.
@hazeyjohnii, not that I know of, which means you have to start it!
@hazeyjonii Explore the Core is *kind of* like that - except instead of one person providing a track, one person provides the chord changes but each musician plays them in their own way.
Love terms such as this, pitchable - even though the best songwriters catalogues the best of their songs that make it comes to less than ten percent, if we then were to get 50 at 10% then easy - 500 complete songs...
Think I would be happy to one with music and lyric as pitch-able but do not denigrate the lyric or music as being a SONG or a contributing to the winning
@hazeyjohnii Who are you considering pitching to ? Film/tv opportunities ? Looking to get an artist cut ?
In both instances your song/track has to be as good as the best in the world (who are also pitching for those same opportunities).
Now a cue in a small time reality show will not need to be as incredible as a trailer track from a new Spider-man movie, but each has to be up there with the best in it's area of use.
Off topic: The Pterodactyls of Unhappiness would make a great band name.
Psychadelic dirge music, @auldy!
@Amanda West A one voice, one instrument demo can (and has) been recorded by a big name. If the song is good enough. That being said, you are competing with some very well produced music (some of the best, really) so every little bit that helps....
@TheTau I googled "circular file" expecting it to be a Yellow Taxi type service, hahaha.
Interesting to read all your pro/semi-pro perspectives - I'm a hobbyist and write only for my own amusement and hopefully a handful of others'. Making music for actual money seems so far-fetched Seems like a tough world out there for songwriters.