Spoiler…I didn’t win anything. Didn’t even come close.
Each song that received a score of 76 or higher advanced to the next round of judging. My song “The Real Thing” (which will be on my album in the fall) got a 64.
A 64 is a D-minus.
But the sting of losing is less stingy because I got a little insight into my song’s strengths and weaknesses. The judge scored my song using several categories dealing with composition, originality and lyrics, and (as you can see above) each is given a score from 1 to 10.
“This evaluation is meant ONLY as a tool to help you discern the strength of your song/songwriting in the eyes of the judge, as music is subjective,” NSAI said in an email. “It is NOT a full, in-depth critique…”
That’s cool of them to do.
If they didn’t give me any feedback on my song, I would have no idea why my song didn’t move to the next round. This is helpful both for entering other songwriting contests and for improving my songwriting.
So if you ask me (which no one has), only submit your songs to contests that will tell you why you were selected or rejected.
Song Exploder, which I’ve talked about before, is where “musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made.” I think songwriters especially will enjoy this podcast. But really anyone who likes hearing about the creative process will like it too.
One of my favorite episodes is the one with Weezer, and not just because I grew up listening to them. It’s because front man Rivers Cuomo has such a unique songwriting process.
And The Writer Is…
Ross Golan (writer/co-writer of “My House” by Flo Rida, “Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande, “Fresh Eyes” by Andy Grammar) hosts the And The Writer Is… podcast. Every episode, he talks with “an acclaimed and venerable songwriter to intimately discuss what happens behind closed doors in the music industry.”
They cover the songwriting process, the business side of music, personal stuff — all of it. One of the more interesting episodes is the one with Andy Grammar.
DIY Musician Podcast
The goal of the DIY Musician Podcast from CD Baby is (surprise) to help DIY musicians succeed. They mainly cover the business/marketing/practical side of music-making. So if you’re out there trying to make music your career, you’ll want to give this podcast a shot.