• Hugh Webber


I literally walked up to the offices of a local Music Marketing and Advertising company and rang the doorbell and asked if I could talk to someone… more from that story in a bit

I was exchanging emails with one of my collaborators in the Netherlands who has had some success with music for sync, and he was saying for him it’s nearly 98% instrumentals. It got me thinking about music used on TV for advertising. I noticed while watching TV that evening that the music used is either already established artists with well known songs, or instrumental tracks, sometimes with little or few sung words at all.

I had also recently been watching a lot of videos from Michael Elsner, who is a very successful US music writer for sync. Again in the example videos showing you how to actually make tracks for sync, they were largely instrumentals, maybe with one or two lines of a hooky ‘chorus’. It made me realise I had in the past been trying to pitch the wrong kind of music because they were full artist type songs, or just backing tracks of the same. They were not short punchy music only tracks. They were not always high energy music pieces with short hooky vocal lines.

What it did do was to remind me of my own very small success story from a few years back. Let’s get back to what happened after I rang the doorbell.

So with my heart in my hands, the intercom came to life and someone answered wanting to know who it was and what I wanted. I somewhat nervously explained I was a songwriter and asked to speak to someone in their music marketing section. To my surprise they said they would send someone down!

I talked to their advertising studio manager and explained that I was a local writer and basically offered my musical services. He explained they did use instrumentals for some commercial work, although usually they tried to find free non copyrighted material, however that wasn’t always easy. From that simple conversation I had a name, an email, a phone number and I was able to pitch some instrumentals to them. In the end they chose two and bought them off me.

To this day I have no idea if they used them anywhere, although I often wonder if I will hear one while waiting on a call centre line!

The point to make here is that we make our own luck to some extent. It's what happens when preparation meets opportunity. If you don't ask you certainly will not get, so be brave and make a first step towards whatever goal you have. Prepare yourself, so that if one of those emails / messages you fired out does get a response, you are ready to leap into action.

Here is a link to some very similar instrumentals. I cannot share the ones I actually sold for obvious reasons.

Soundcloud link

Today I help singers and songwriters explore their own potential, working alongside them to transform their ideas into fully finished songs they are proud of.

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