Answered by Michael Laskow, TAXI CEO
My life's ambition is to be a famous musician. I've written nearly 50 songs and I know that my stuff is good. My inspirations are people like Ryan Cabrera, The Fray, and Augustana. I've been writing my own music for about six years now and I love to perform. I've wanted to do a demo, but there really aren't many options in my area. I don't really play any of my own stuff, but I've composed most of it. My friends have played with me so that I could get a feel of what my music sounds like live, but I don't have a band. I can't describe how big of a dream this is for me. I've felt this way since I was a young child and I refuse to stop at anything until this dream is a reality. I was wondering if you had any advice for me to help create a demo.

— Sincerely,

Phillip


Dear Phillip,

That's a really broad question, but I think it means that you're looking to find a person or company who can take your songs, whip them into shape, and present you with some finished demos.

I'm a big fan of www.drumsforyou.com. And even though it sounds like they JUST do real, live drum tracks, they do much more, AND they're highly reputable. I've heard full demos they've produced after getting nothing more than a piano/vocal track, and I was blown away with what they did. And the best part? It was dirt cheap for what it was—actually, it was a steal!

— Good luck,

Michael


P.S. Here's another EASY way to find what you're looking for! www.musiciansjunction.com/junction/tax/contact.html



Let's face it: we all can't be "hit" songwriters. I would consider myself a D-list writer maybe someday I'll make the A list. Is there any chance of encouraging categories/listings for album/CD tracks, filler cuts, etc.? If the average CD has 13 tracks and one's a hit, where do the other 12 come from? I'd like to be the one to supply those cuts. Leave the "hits" to those who have that exceptional talent. I have a bunch of songs that could be that nice little gem on someone's CD, but not really make it as a radio hit song like the Beatles white album Blackbird was never a "hit" it's just an album track yet a classic little gem of a song we all know and love.

— LJ

Dear LJ,

I can categorically say that absolutely nobody in the music industry is looking for "filler." All those songs that aren't the big radio hits were written to BE hits, but fell short of the mark.

I know it must feel like they were looking for some "D" songs (I think we ALL feel that way;-) ), but they weren't. I guarantee you that the people who wrote every one of those songs thought they were GREAT... and so did the artist, producer, and record company that included them on the CD.

So... you're a "D" writer... good thing you joined TAXI! Here's why: We specialize in taking "D" writers and helping them become "C" writers. C's become B's, and eventually, B's become A's.

People often think of TAXI only in terms of "Get me a deal. Make me a Rock star, or "Get my song cut, today!" But in truth, much of the value we bring to our members is the education they get from the critiques. Check out the next lady's letter to see exactly what I mean.

— Regards,

Michael




I'm so excited to tell you about the incredible year I've had with my music, thanks, in part, to TAXI. I earned a BA in music in 1998 and have been composing for most of my life, but am currently a stay-at-home mom to my three beautiful children.

TAXI has been such a great way for me to challenge myself to keep writing and submitting although I am so immersed in my young family right now. I have such a passion for music and have been blessed in the past three years to have more than a dozen forwards with TAXI! Being a TAXI member is an ideal way for me to raise my family full time and still keep current in the music industry.

This year I met an incredible lady called the "FlyLady" who is an online mentor for more than 350,000 women, myself included. She helps people organize their homes, their lives, and find time for creativity and play. As a "thank-you" for the help she has given me, I sent her my CD He Loves Me Still. She was so impressed and touched by the music, she called me back to find out more about it. I learned of her desire to create an inspirational, eclectic and fun music CD based on the principles she teaches. She mentioned that I could possibly have a part in writing a song or two on the CD. I was ecstatic!

Over the next few weeks, I found myself full of ideas for her CD. During this time I was also submitting my own songs to TAXI and getting great reviews and suggestions. With each TAXI critique, I gained confidence that I was on the right track! With this extra burst of confidence from TAXI as well as supportive family and friends, I decided to be proactive about the FlyLady CD and I called her back and sang her a song idea over the phone. She loved it and over the next couple months, I became the main songwriter, as well as the co-producer of the CD! She loved my work.

It was released online September 2006. As of last month, about 8,000 CDs have been sold online at www.FlyLady.net. Because of this great exposure I have sold out of my He Loves Me Still CDs and we will be re-ordering next week. I am thrilled!

I just wanted to say THANK YOU to TAXI for supporting me. I know I pay for my membership, but it feels like I have true supporters who want me to succeed in the music industry. I truly believe that the feedback I received from TAXI gave me credibility and a little extra nudge to just go for this huge project instead of waiting around and hoping she'd call me back. It is, by far, the biggest music project I've ever tackled. Doors are opening up all over the place, and I give a bunch of credit to TAXI for giving me the extra encouragement to keep writing. Thanks Michael and staff!


— Sincerely,

Amy Benson Lacey


Dear Amy,

I simply couldn't be more proud of you, and thanks for pointing out one of the best "side benefits" from being a member of TAXI.

— Continued success,

Michael




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