Posts Tagged ‘genre’

anatomy of songs

July 28, 2014

I found this entertaining song genre graphic at Wrong Hands

Please check out their website for more like this.


Niches in the UK

April 10, 2009

Following up our discussion of niches and genres, here’s another take on it, specifically for the UK. Indie artist Lorelei Loveridge has a new blog called Gig in the UK: Tips for International Songwriters Wanting to Tour in which she reveals the meaning of folk and acoustic in the UK.

What is Your Niche?

April 9, 2009

If you’ve made the tough decision to follow the advice in yesterday’s post, or at least be open to hearing more, you now have a big, important question to answer: what is your niche? What genre (style) or sub-genre do you/will you specialize in?

This may take some serious soul searching. I know some of you love to listen to one style, but are extremely adept at writing in a different style. For me, it’s Steely Dan. I love listening to their music. I would give anything to write music like that. But I don’t. I’ve tried. And I’ve
had lots of fun trying.

What pops out the easiest for me is country. (Did I say that out loud?) My voice is more suited to country. My natural inclination (as much as I fight it) is country. I confess, I’m a closet country fan. For years I thought it was cool to think country was uncool. Now, well, I just
may be starting to think that country is my niche, my future career. Why fight it?

Finding your niche: start by taking a close examination of your best songs. Ask yourself when writing, which genre feels most natural to you? Which songs were less of a struggle to write? If you still can’t find a niche, it may mean you need to keep writing. It will reveal itself.

Yes, you can fudge it some. If you really do write songs that incorporate two genres, i.e. mixing reggae and Celtic, and do it consistently, then you’ve invented a new genre, or at least a sub-genre. You might be able to get away with saying ‘my genre is reggae-Celtic,’ although the bin thing is still an issue. Creating your own genre can even work in your favor.

But don’t overdo it. Simply listing all the different genres in which you’ve ever written a song doesn’t mean you’ve found your niche. For example, Reggae-salsa-pop-emo-funk-easy listening is not a helpful
category and I don’t think this invented genre will communicate anything about your music.

Why a Niche?

April 8, 2009


Behold, the fool saith, “Put not all thine eggs in the one basket”– which is but a manner of saying, “Scatter your money and your attention”; but the wise man saith, “Put all your eggs in the one basket and–watch that basket!”

–Pudd’n’head Wilson’s Calendar, Mark Twain

If songwriting is your hobby, something you do for your own enjoyment, more power to you. Enjoy writing songs in any and all styles. Mix styles. Do whatever you want and have fun. There’s nothing wrong with art for art’s sake. If making money with your songs isn’t your bag, the rest of this article doesn’t apply to you.

If however, you intend to go ‘commercial,’ that is, write songs that you or someone else will record and then sell those recordings, then there are other considerations.

One of the first things you’ll learn is that the music industry loves to categorize everything. They (the record companies, radio stations, promoters, managers, retail music stores, music magazines, iTunes and all the other online music sites) need to know your style so they can put your ‘product’ in the right bin. They feel they can serve the public best and make the most money if all singers and songs are labeled.

Are you a folk-singer or a jazz head, pop or dance, metal rock, techno, grunge, classic rock, alt-country, western swing, country crossover, Dixieland, bluegrass, world, Celtic, blues, funk, punk, big band swing, you get the idea?

They say it makes their job of promoting you less difficult if you fall into an easily identified niche or genre.