In this music business, if you wannna make it "big", you gotta get in your mind this formula: 20% Music, 80% Business.
I say this because I've seen SO many talented individuals NOT take their craft or their career seriously, and in turn, never make progress.
It's wonderful to love the music aspect of the game, hell, your SUPPOSE to.
But, there's alot of ya'll that don't take even the small steps that you should in order to get your career started off in the right direction.
At NewIndustryTips.com, there's ALOT of useful and handy information that the up & coming artist of today can use. I also STRONGLY recommend that you all go out and read the highly acclaimed "All You Need To Know About The Music Business", by Donald Passman. It's in its 7th Edition, and its full of tips, tricks, and guides to get you started off on the right foot.
Below is an article featuring Rhythm J, whom you can follow @RhythmJ (duh), and he gives some useful advice for ASCAP affiliated artists.
Peep game, young grasshopper...
"The What If’s"
1. “What if I have a co writer for the song who’s not part of ASCAP,BMI, or SESAC, at all and he/she just started writing music”.
You have 2 choices with this. Choice A, the most ideal choice would be, “do the right thing” and wait for this person to join a PRO (Performing Rights Organization), and once their accounts are ready, THEN register the work. Or choice B – “I don’t want to wait for that fool!”. Ok. Put the member’s name down with their percentage and mark him/her as NS (no society). Once this person joins it will then be their responsibility to notify ASCAP or to contact their PRO.
2. “What if a co writer or producer is from another PRO (Performing Rights Organization)?”.
This is fine, you both can still co-exist on a song even though you are from different PROs. Just mark what PRO they’re from. However! Make sure the work is registered with BOTH PROs involved with the work and the percentages are consistent! The last thing you want is a percentage share conflict between 2 different PROs.
3. “What if samples were used?”
Ha Ha Haaaaaaaa (big sinister echos). Make sure it’s cleared before registering it unless you want a letter from an attourney. Once a sample is cleared… That’s only half the battle. Usually the original songwriter(s) from the original record gets a piece of the writing and publishing… YES, they get a piece of your royalties for sitting at home chillin while you program their song into your MPC or software you use!
4. “What if the sample wasn’t cleared yet?”
Don’t register it. Put it on your mixtape / demo/ etc. For promotional use, fine… But if you go and sell it, and register it for potential royalties, that may not be a good look for you.
5. “What if the song isn’t copywritten yet?”
That’s up to you… ASCAP doesn’t require you to copyright but does recommend it since that is the ONLY means to legally copyright anything… And NO, mailing music to yourself doesn’t always work. To copyright go to www.copyright.gov.
6. “What if the song isn’t on a major album?”
So what… You can still get tons of radio or tv play without being signed.
7. “How does ASCAP want me to split the royalties?”
Any way you want, however you need to follow the 50/50 rule of thumb (see ASCAP Guru Session #1)
8. “What if my music is playing outside the US?”
Register it with ASCAP anyway if you are a member. ASCAP has reciprocal agreements in virtually every other Foreign Society. What this agreement means is that the PRO in that country, let’s use PRS the “ASCAP” of the UK as an example. PRS gathers all of the music data in their own country. If any ASCAP members happen to be writers of any songs they pick up, they send that money over to ASCAP. ASCAP then pays out during the international distribution 4 times a year. Therefore, ASCAP members are taken care of for the whole world, no extra work on your part. Just register the title and make life easy for ASCAP employees like myself.
9. What if I have a BMI publisher but I’m an ASCAP writer, can I be a member of both?
Make sure you understand this answer and read it again if you have to… A BMI publisher can’t collect on an ASCAP writer’s behalf, or vice versa.. Example: If you are a songwriter with ASCAP, and your indy publishing company (whether its your own company or someone elses), is with BMI, there’s a problem. The solution here would be for the publisher to pay the 1 time 35 fee and join ASCAP. A publisher can be a member of multiple PROs if they are collecting on behalf of several writers from different societies. If you are a writer, avoid switching societies at all costs, it’s a headache and takes a very long time. Make the publisher join as opposed to them forcing you to switch to another society. It takes a few weeks for a publisher to join, it takes months for a writer to switch, even longer if you are a BMI member