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6 Top Places to Get Pro Feedback on Your Songs

Feedback can be a valuable tool in a songwriter’s toolbox. Especially for new writers, gathering advice from professional songwriters can give your song a big leg up. Most importantly, getting feedback on your songs is instrumental (pun intended) in helping you grow as a songwriter.

A pro will be able to point out ways to make your song stronger, more impactful, or more marketable — the kind of stuff we’re not always born knowing.

To help you gather pertinent feedback on your songs, we’ve gathered a group of A-list songwriters and songwriting organizations that offer song critiquing services, many of whom I’ve worked with myself. Check them out and happy writing!

+ Read more on Flypaper: Learn to activate your existing social network to get better feedback with “Your Mom Already Loves Your Music… Now What”

Membership Organizations

Nashville Songwriters Association International nashville songwriters association international

The Nashville Songwriters Association International is a multi-chapter songwriting organization that spans the globe. They offer their members a variety of different services, including monthly workshops in Nashville, a vast online archive of past workshops and seminars, publisher pitches, and of course, songwriting critiques.

NSAI has a staff of professional songwriters of top secret identities who evaluate songs every day. Critiques follow a rubric that covers all aspects of the song (however, the feedback can sometimes sound like stock responses due to the huge number of submissions they get daily). Here’s the rundown:

Do you need to be a member? Yes.

Price: Membership costs $200 per year and include 12 free submissions annually. Members can purchase additional evaluations at $20 a pop.

Submissions: Work tapes and polished demos accepted. Lyric sheet and mp3.

Opportunities from critiques: Submitting to NSAI comes with several opportunities. Songs that the team finds particularly impressive can be promoted on the NSAI Top 40 Song page, forwarded on to a Pitch the Publisher Luncheon, included in their regular newsletter, or become nominated as “One to Watch.”

Most importantly, every song evaluation submission receives a critique.

Global Songwriters Connection

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Global Songwriters Connection is a Nashville-based songwriters’ membership circle. It’s run by hardworking song-maven Sheree Spoltore. Sheree puts on songwriters’ networking events in Nashville throughout the year, which provide opportunities to showcase GSC members and their work in front of industry professionals.

Some of GSC’s many services include one-on-one career mentoring sessions, online publisher pitches (for the global members), song evaluation, mixers, and an opportunity to play your song for a room full of publishers at a GSCPLAYS4U! event.

Song evaluations are face to face for folks in Nashville, or over a Skype session for remote members. Writers get in-depth responses and the chance to ask questions of their mentor.

Do you need to be a member? Yes.

Price$50/year membership, $35 for a one hour evaluation of two songs.

Submissions: Work tapes and polished demos accepted. Lyric sheet and mp3.

Opportunities from critiques: Your evaluator will of course be giving you advice to improve your songs, but he or she will also be assessing your development as a songwriter. Writers who are ready could be given the chance to have his or her song played at GSCPLAYS4U! events.

+Learn more: Once your songs are penned, it’s time to get them recorded! Take Soundfly’s free “Demo Recording 101” course and craft a professional-sounding demo in less than a day!

Frettie.com

frettie logo, music, songwriters

For folks looking to become a member of an interactive online community of peer songwriters, check out Frettie. At its core, Frettie is a community of songwriters who are all looking to gather feedback from each other. Built as a unique social network, it’s a great place to collect feedback from writers working on their craft — there are even a few hit writers on the site!

Songwriters purchase a year-long membership and create a profile. From there, they can upload songs and lyric sheets, request feedback from the community, and watch the comments roll in. Songwriters can also request a professional review, which utilizes the expertise of music industry professionals from all sorts of different backgrounds, including production, hit songwriting, and even A&R.

Do you need to be a member? Yes.

Price: $25/year membership fee. $15-$75 per professional review. Free community reviews.

Submissions: Work tapes and polished demos accepted. Lyric sheet and mp3.

Opportunities from critiques: Exposure from features on the website. Frettie also offers an “Opportunities” page, which is a running list of contests and similar opportunities that songwriters can submit to.

Industry Professionals

Cliff Goldmacher

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A true renaissance man, Cliff Goldmacher is a veteran of the music industry. He has over 20 years of industry experience in songwriting, production, and performance.

His list of cowriters and collaborators is a veritable who’s who list of the past two decades of popular music. He also runs two studios out of Nashville and Sonoma California that utilize the skills of renowned Nashville session musicians to provide demo services for songwriters.

Cliff offers his expertise in all these areas in the form of an hour long phone call or Skype conversation. Songwriters can gather his advice on making a career out of songwriting, and get up to three songs critiqued by Cliff himself.

Do you need to be a member? Nope.

Price: $149.99 for one hour consult, up to three songs.

Submissions: Work tapes and polished demos accepted. Lyric sheet and mp3.

Opportunities from critiques: No opportunities offered beyond the critique.

+Read more on Flypaper: What is a PRO and Why Should You Affiliate?

Jason Blume

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Jason Blume is responsible for many of the chart-topping pop hits we heard in the early 2000s (Backstreet Boys, anyone? Britney Spears? Bueller?). He’s now a well respected educator and gives workshops all around the world.

He also offers an online song critique seminar. Critiques include points on lyrics, melody, and commercial potential.

Do you need to be a member? Nope.

Price: $75 per attendee, one song per person.

Submissions: Work tapes and polished demos accepted. Lyric sheet and mp3.

Opportunities from critiques: This is a seminar with a group, so you’ll be able to learn from the other attendees’ songs, as well. Jason also runs these critique sessions like a workshop, so you’ll gather other pertinent info along the way that may or may not be directly related to your particular critique.

Barbara Cloyd

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Barbara Cloyd may be the very first person you meet when you come to Nashville. She’s a songwriter, and the ever-present host of the Bluebird Café’s open mic night.

She offers a variety of different song critique services online, as well as weekend-long “Play to Publisher” workshops in Nashville. She’s an honorary Nashville ambassador and a great resource for writers looking to get to know the city.

Her song critiques follow several different formats, including half-hour to hour Skype consultations, recorded critiques delivered as an mp3 to your inbox, and six-month mentoring packages.

Do you need to be a member?? Nope.

Price: Half hour Skype, $55. Hour Skype, $90. Recorded critique, $45 per song.

Submissions: Work tapes and polished demos accepted. Lyric sheet and mp3.

Opportunities from critiques: No opportunities offered beyond the critique.

Have you worked with any other professional songwriting mentors? Share what’s worked for you in the comments below! If you’re not quite at the professional level yet, check out our article on how to better activate your existing social network to get feedback on your music.

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Sarah Spencer

Sarah Spencer is a singer and songwriter working, living, and playing in Nashville, Tennessee. By day, she is the lead web designer at boutique creative agency for musicians and industry professionals. When she’s not focusing on the web, Sarah spends her evenings writing songs and playing writer’s rounds around town. With a unique combination of experience & skills, she takes to the internet to blog on topics ranging from the music industry and country music, to songwriting and creativity. Her humble labor of love, SongFancy.com, serves as a resource for tools and inspiration about the craft and business of songwriting.