I spend a lot of time surfing the web in search of websites for songwriters, usually because I’m looking for something to write about in my monthly column at the Muse’s Muse 🙂 (For anyone interested, the newsletters along with my articles are archived here).
Occasionally, people will ask to use my articles on their songwriting-related websites, or to link up with me. In the beginning, I would readily allow anyone who wanted to to use my tips or link to my page. But these days, I’m a little pickier! Now I check out these websites as thoroughly as I can before associating myself with them. I have noticed that there are a growing number of websites that offer lots of promises, but they really don’t deliver. I hate to say it, but anyone who wants to charge you for something, should cause you to send up a red flag, with a few exceptions.
Let’s first talk about the “free” websites, good places to start with when you are just beginning your search, and some of these you will return to again and again. The Muses’ Muse is simply one of the best songwriting websites out there, if not THE best. Jodi Krangle, the proprietor, makes little or no money from her website, and yet it always manages to be fresh, up-to-date and an extremely thorough collection of links, articles, advice and services for the beginner to the advanced songwriter. It is a HUGE site, so be prepared to spend a lot of time there! I have known Jodi since I first came online in 1996, and I’ve never met a nicer person! We have continued to help each other to promote and support the idea of songwriting on the web, and The Muse’s Muse continues to exist because of a person who is truly committed to the art and craft of songwriting.
Another really huge, and wonderful website is Just Plain Folks. Again, Brian Austin Whitney has created a wonderful community for songwriters that is almost too much to explain in one small paragraph! You have to see it to believe it. Brian has extended his JPFolks community out into the “real” world, with events all over the US and Canada, and branches of his organization in just about every major city! Again, this website is so full of stuff, it’ll take you literally weeks to go through all of it.
Even if a membership in an online organization is NOT free, ask yourself if you are in a place to truly benefit from their services. For instance, a lot of songwriters ask about TAXI and whether or not they are legitimate. In my opinion, they are. But many songwriters are simply not ready or at a level yet in which to really make use of what they have to offer! You wouldn’t buy a car before you even knew how to drive it. The same rule applies here. If you don’t yet ‘know’ how to write a song, why spend mega bucks on a service where you will be competing with a zillion others who DO know how to write? That sounds very practical, but I have met many, many songwriters who are ready long before their songs really are. So TAXI is a part of my list because I believe they offer a legitimate service for a fee.
Another legitimate service is SongU.com . I will say right up front that I am associated with them, because I’ve written two courses for their website. Danny Arena and Sara Light are IN the business of songwriting, they teach it and they live it. SongU.com will eventually become a collection of online courses which the songwriter will pay to use. Many of the gurus I’ve already mentioned are contributing courses to this website and it will become quite a full and fascinating resource for songwriters at all levels. SongU.com hasn’t fully launched as of the writing of this article, but in the meantime, you can also check out Danny & Sara’s other website, Craft Of Songwriting.
These are only a few of the major websites that I can personally recommend, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t more that are equally as good…there seems to be another songwriting website popping up every month or so. But the ones I’ve mentioned here have built up over time and have become as successful as they are because of all of the hard-working people behind them. Give them all a visit and tell ’em Irene sent you!