Guest Post: Chris Allman on The Process of Pitching

Editor’s note: Songwriter and Greater Vision tenor Chris Allman contributes today’s post. (Thank you, Chris!) He maintains a songwriting blog at www.hooklinesandsingers.com.

We’re in game seven of the series and it all comes down to who’s on the mound.  If the man who started the game still has a little heat left in the rocket, the manager makes the decision to let him finish.  If he’s been hoisting watermelons with a dish rag for the last two innings, it’s time to call in relief.  There’s a reason why the game wins and losses are credited to the pitcher.  The delivery of the ball to the catcher has everything riding on it.  One batter may rob you blind on the low and outside.  Another batter may just be licking his chops waiting for your fast ball.  Bottom line is this… Whatever the man with the stick is wanting, you don’t want to give it to him!

This same premise goes for pitching a song except when you’re pitching your music; you want to be throwing what they’re wanting.  I’ve been on both sides of the pitch.  You might think just because I sing tenor with Greater Vision and ride the bus with the Nolan Ryan of songwriting that getting my music recorded is a breeze but you’re mistaken.

Pitching music for me is the same as it is for everyone.  Sure it helps that GV looks at mine and Rodney’s songs first but we still consider every song that’s sent our way.  In this day and age everybody wants to be a songwriter and that has made it a bit more difficult when trying to get your music considered.  

With that said, there has never been a day when it was easier to get your songs to the person you want to hear it.  We used to have to take the demo, seal it in an envelope and mail it off.  Now, within minutes you can get your song to the other side of the world with the click of the send button.

If you are trying to get a song pitched and recorded, there are a few things you need to do that will give you much better odds of success.

  • Record a good demo – Often on the road, writers will come up to me or Rodney and give us an envelope with lyrics enclosed.  While the lyric is truly the most important element of a song, it doesn’t do us any good if we can’t hear what the song is supposed to sound like.  It’s going to cost you a little, but it will be worth it if it gets the song a listen and possible cut.
  • Make connections – Go to concerts and get to know the ones singing the music.  Now, I don’t suggest you walk up to the table and introduce yourself as a songwriter.  I mean, really get to know the singers.  If you love this music and you want to be involved, you need to build relationships with others who love this music.  If you do so with an ulterior motive, trust me, it will not work in your favor.
  • Secure a publisher – This is important for obvious reasons.  First of all, you need to protect your creations.  A good publisher will make sure all of the bases are covered in regards to copyright.  Second of all, a good publisher has connections that you don’t have and will pitch your music for you.  You may want to be self-published so you can keep all of the royalties but if you aren’t an established writer, you need to be willing to part with publishing royalties so that you might experience some success.

These are just a few ideas for you to ponder.  If you are gifted in the realm of songwriting but aren’t realizing success, you may want to consider the list above.  Best of luck to you getting your songs pitched!!!

Thanks to Daniel Mount for allowing me to share today!

If this has helped you at all, I blog every day Monday through Friday at www.hooklinesandsingers.com.  Come on over and sign up to follow!


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7 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. Thanks for the opportunity, brother Daniel.

    • You’re welcome, and thanks for doing it!

  2. Very informative, just like Chris’s full songwriting blog. I learn a lot from every post he makes, and I highly recommend it.

    • Yes, his site’s definitely a must-read.

  3. Good post! Thanks for the suggestions Chris!

  4. I plan on showing Chris’ blog to my father, who has started writing songs for his quartet.

    • Cool! I’m sure your father would also benefit from the posts at Chris’s regular site – as would any other Southern Gospel songwriter. 🙂