Anyone planning on being at the Road Rally in November? Maybe we could meet up.
I've never been able to bring myself to join Taxi because I always hear horror stories about them
I've not heard any horror stories. And I know quite a few people who are members. It's not for everyone, for sure. But it's not a terrible business model, I think.
What are the horror stories? If you don't mind sharing.
i gave it a go this year ... 4 months in .. no forwards from about 20 tries .. critiques seem thoughtful and fair so we'll see
Well, first of all (and I hope it doesn't embarrass her that I state this publicly), the original poster of this thread, @Valerie Cox, could and should find success through Taxi. She's super talented!
I was a Taxi member for two years, and I remember reading the testimonials about the Road Rally meetup. I didn't go, though.
When I was doing Taxi, I had just started taking songwriting somewhat seriously. No forwards, but I got a couple of good critiques that told me the songs were near-misses.
After Taxi, I forwarded music through Broadjam (does that even still exist?) for about a year. I thought the Taxi song submission format made more sense.
That was about 10 years ago. I've wondered occasionally if my instrumental music for yoga classes might be Taxi-worthy, but it's pretty lo-fi by their standards.
I joined at the beginning of the year and haven't had any forwards yet, but appreciate the feedback and find that it's getting more picky, which suggests I'm getting closer to the mark. I'm also curious about the horror stories you've heard @NuJ4X
I'd be interested in the horror stories too. Honestly, I've heard nothing but good things about Taxi, even from people who haven't had success through it.
And thanks @Chip Withrow for your vote of confidence.
My 2 cents. I've been around the music business industry for about six years now. I have been on several fee sites and some free ones. I did SongU.com (liked their live Web Cam critiques), NASI (they did 12 written critiques, a couple live phone calls and pitch to publishers if you had a decent song), Songtown.com (Couple of Nashville musicians), Success for your Songs (Anthony Ceseri, 3 critiques a month, some good info), Free Sites Songwriter 101 (BMI) Reddit Songwriter, anyway all of these sites have tons of videos, do critiques and a couple will pitch to publishers. What I heard about Taxi as I was tempted at one point to join, is that they don't really try to get your songs out there, just sort of string you on with false hopes as they make their money. Have you heard of musicians who have been successful with Taxi? Today, the music business is very hard and competitive, so many people releasing probably a million or more songs a month. People are used to getting music for free. The people I see who are making some money are the ones who tour, sell their CDs at performances or are solo performers who have a good gig somewhere. Other than that not many people are making a whole lot of money, except a few. Nashville has a few very talented stars that have gotten their foot in the door by knowing someone usually. They use their own in house staff writers and studio musicians to write new songs for them.
How much does TAXI cost?
A Full One-Year membership is just $299.95.
@jcollins I think first year is that, and subsequent years are $200. I gather there's some kind of referral scheme, so if anyone is looking at joining, give me a shout and I'll find out more.
[@[email protected]] Thanks for explaining! I'd not heard any of that. I do know of a couple of people on here who've made some money with them (probably not the 6-figure salary folks), and a couple others who didn't, but made good connections and made money elsewhere. Like [@Val Cox], I'd only heard good things from people who've used it.
At the moment, my gf describes me as being in an apprentice stage of it all. I find the feedback useful (and fair), so am using it to try and improve. I shall check out some of the sites you've mentioned. Wasn't aware there were other sites that gave feedback. Thanks
I am not part of taxi, but I'm now (barerly) in double digits with SongTradr thanks to others who use my lyrics : ) Sadly not a place that gives any feedback so not a learning environment which Taxi can be. I hope to hear that Taxi is helpful to those of you exploring ways to make more of your awesome musical talents! Wishing you success!
Ah well...the TAXI thread...I thought I didn't have time to rewrite previous essays but:
I was a member for 4 (?) years, the first a write-off because dayjob suddenly became huge, so effectively for 3. TAXI wasn't just hard, it was a massive but necessary ego shock, but when I picked myself up and started properly working at the music and making full use of the seriously good critiques, it was TAXI that put the polish on my professional music.
Forwards: by the third working year I was getting about 1 in 7 forwarded. I didn't get any contracts from those forwards, but did end up in music libraries, and for a while all over youtube (before they cracked down on unlicensed music, above 750K views of vids with my music in the background..>!) because the quality of my produced music, through the TAXI experience, had improved to the point where I could compete.
You have to accept that you must reach 'world class" to get anywhere. That doesn't mean a world beater/champion. It does mean that you have to be able to find yourself in the same lineup as the best, so that if your song fits the bill, it'll get used. TAXI got me, not just to being a reasonable producer, but from a good musician into a 3rd-rate composer, and that's a position I'm happy to have reached, even if the politics appear to have now derailed my major opera. Most don't rate at all.
Am I still with TAXI? I'm still there as an inactive, ie you can still find my (out of date) bio and some songs, but I'm not paying. Why did I leave? See "opera" above. Involvement with a State opera company is a serious thing, and for four years that was full on. We came within 4 weeks of a studio production, then the aforesaid politics cut in.
Why haven't I rejoined TAXI? I don't have the time to work at it as it needs to be.
Do I make money from licensing? Some. It keeps me in coffee. And every now and then I get radioplay or music backing TV in some strange foreign land like Ireland or France. Would I make more touring and selling CDs at gigs? No, too old, and when it might have been possible, the day job was earning seriously. Would I recommend TAXI? Indeed. But it's the 'Varsity, in the old sense. It's education, and education is never cheap, and is always demanding and difficult.
Do I know anyone who's been successful through TAXI? Yes, although they've made most of their money outside TAXI, but the education from TAXI was what got them up to scratch in the first place. Are they household names? No; that only applies to Hollywood A-listers and stadium-filling bands. Do not discount TAXI because none of those are in/from their ranks. I still sit through the credits of new films to see who was in the music, and I often see a name I recognise from my time with TAXI.
Hope this helps. Be aware that we often tend to inflate our opinion of our musical, compositional and production abilities. Hell, our families and friends all tell us so, it must be right, right? But TAXI will strip all pretense bare. If you can get past that ego-shock and start making use of the critiquing system and the (free) forums, you'll get the education.
Well that seems to have been a thread killer. Wasn't my intention.
Thanks for the enlightenment regarding TAXI. As you have said alot of these sights are mainly education and critique. What one does with it is what matters. It seems you may have been fairly proficient with music, with that I mean have had some musical background and education before TAXI. Today with the internet there are so many people trying to write songs, some are pretty bad and most at best are mediocre. With millions of people uploading songs everyday to the internet, it's a slim chance of success, especially for those of us who are older. As you said, I'm too old to tour or do gigs, my day job pays better. I think everyone has to figure out what they're going to do with music. I've been at this about 6 years pretty seriously and have a little background in piano and guitar. For me it's mainly fun and a hobby, but this year I wrote an entire album of lyrics (14 songs) for a professional musician in the UK. He's putting it out there but who knows if I'll even get coffee money. I also co-wrote with a couple of career Nashville musicians this year and we cut two of them to pitch. So, for me that's some success and I hope to continue, but I don't expect a lot of money or a career in this field.
Thanks @Tim Fatchen. I think you've pretty much confirmed what I thought. I haven't really been able to engage with the forums yet in the way I think I need to in order to get the most out of it. I'm hoping that going to the road rally will help me to learn and also to engage with people.
I have a pretty extensive and varied experience in music and I think I have the potential to have some success in the licensing market. I know I have a lot to work on in order to get there (particularly in improving production), but I think if I look back in ten years and failed to succeed, that's better than looking back in ten years and failed to have tried, never knowing whether I could succeed.
My day job pays well and I can afford to indulge this hobby/fantasy, even if it never pays much money.
Where is the Taxi Road Rally?
November 1st - 4th, 2018 in Los Angeles