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About Gret

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    Muse In Training

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  • Lyricist, Composer or Both?
  • Musical Influences?
  1. Ha Ha. Thanks, Neal. I'd say I like "young, smart, and good looking" better, but that may make me sound like a Cougar. I appreciate the referral and will check out those old ugly dumb dudes too! Gret
  2. Neal, thank you very much for taking the time to listen. Yes, this song is very "Taylor Swiftish". I will try to post another one of her songs on her reverbnation page and return here to share it with you. She has written three and I think each one has gotten better. Her most recent is my favorite and I don't hear as much "Taylor" as I did. I'm a former teacher and I really do believe and agree with you, Neal, that emulating is a great learning tool. Zmulls, I REALLY appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts. Basically, Riley wanted to enter, and we supported her. There's no harm done, so long as her (and our) expectations are real. As with any fan-voted contest (even Entertainer of the Year, ACMs, etc.), they are popularity contests. But when you're just beginning, that's not such a terrible thing. It brings more fans to your pages and gives you more marketability (I'm not talking "fame" when I say that, but more of "creating a buzz" so to speak). She has a CD that she's selling, so bringing more fans to her pages can be of benefit. She understands that it isn't a hit song, but for a 12-year-old, it's not bad either, and she's proud. While adults may find it juvenile, I have to tell you, the kids are really liking it! They're the ones who are buying music and that's what will matter. They're also the ones who take the time to vote for these types of contests. She has been very private about what she does up until recently. Only her two best friends at school knew that she was recording a CD. She finally decided to tell some classmates. Now, she overhears kids in the hallway singing HER song at school!! That's pretty cool stuff to a 12-year-old. As for WHY we were "concerned" about this contest, I guess I have no answer, but it's turned out to be a great morale booster and she really needed that. She's been in a commercial in NYC and in professional theater. She's kept it all quiet because she was afraid she'd be teased. There certainly has been some of that but I think she's been pleasantly surprised of the reaction. Perhaps my posting a request here was partly a "knee-jerk reaction" to getting more support for her and partly a way to share with all of you what she has written, at her young age. The hit writer with whom she's working also teaches songwriting at a university. He's not just a great writer, but he's also a great teacher and I think that's what she needs most of right now. He's amazing with melody, which is where she is less talented. She was recently sponsored by Daisy Rock Guitars and hopes to improve, which I think will help her with melody writing. We also have a couple of writers willing to co-write with her, when I think she's learned enough to give co-input. The problem is that it's hard for a 12-year-old to sing about much of anything that has "meat" because of their limited life experiences. We are definitely getting her stage experience. She has performed in PA, OH, and TN. She performed at the Country Tonight Theater in Pigeon Forge, this past spring. She has been asked to sing the National Anthem on Opening Night for our Minor League Team and has quite a few bookings throughout our area this summer, performing her songs from her CD. She will be getting paid for the first time this year. She's been interviewed by local radio a few times and has had some spins on three radio stations and one online indie station. It's not much, but for 12, I think it's pretty incredible. It will be interesting to see how the kids at school are going to react this summer. While they know about writing and also about her CD, they don't know she will be doing concerts. Riley is a different person on stage. At school, she just wants to "blend in". She just made cheerleader and is a very happy "normal" kid and we want that to continue. Thanks again for your encouragement! - Gret PS. I didn't know about Just Plain Folks so thanks for that! She was just recently accepted by ASCAAP.
  3. I fully understand where you're coming from. We try to keep things very REAL for her. She's won many awards, in several states. But we always tell her that it only means she may have been better on that given day, than those who came out to compete, in the eyes of THOSE judges. A competition never holds much weight, but it does do a lot to boost morale, and because middle school is such a crummy age for most kids, a morale boost never hurts. You are very right - there's not a lot to profit (no record deals, etc.). To be honest, even if Riley was good enough to receive a record deal tomorrow, we'd likely turn it down, just as we've already turned down other things which some would say were amazing opportunities. It's just not what we want for her at this time. She's young. I'm not sure it's what she should strive for anyway. I know people in Nashville who work for or with famous artists and I know what some of them make after paying back their label. It's FAR less than what a lot of successful indie artists are making. Most people would be really surprised. I'm glad that you weren't offended. I wasn't meaning to take advantage of the fact that I'm a member here and didn't expect that you'd all automatically vote b/c of that; I just thought that since everyone here is a songwriter, it would be a good place to ask for support. I assumed that everyone would remember back to when they were first starting out, and know how much that morale boost can mean, especially to a child. Again, I thank you for your kind remarks about your daughter, and glad I didn't offend you. Gret
  4. self promoting

    I will contribute some ideas.... 1. Add a reverbnation page, myspace, and website and link them all together with the blog and facebook page. 2. Be sure that you have SEO added in your pages for most "hits' from the right, targeted audience. 3. Add widgets and ask your friends/family/fans to add them to their pages. 4. Find other blogs that aren't in competition with you, but that are in compliment to yours, and offer to do a "swap" to advertise each other's blogs 5. Make a video to advertise your sites and post to your youtube account on your opening page. 6. Develop a street team and give them assignments to add your widgets and do these other things. 7. Have a contest on your facebook page - we held one on my daughter's page stating that once we got to a certain number of fans, we'd hold a drawing for a free CD. (She's only 12). Another idea is to ask people to recommend their friends/family "like" your page. Those friends/family post "Susy Smith sent me". You tally up the referrals during a certain period of time and the person with the most wins a prize. 8. Do you have live shows? There are all sorts of things that you can offer as incentives - free tickets, etc. 9. Ask fans what they want to know about you. Blogging about what they actually care to know brings more traffic. 10. Think about your age-range. My daughter, being 12, makes it easy b/c kids LOVE contests, stickers, posters, CDs - anything but the reality is that EVERYONE loves free stuff. Think of your audience though - what will they like? What do they do? If your music caters to the "Professional" adult, you're going to probably offer different things that if it caters to teenagers, for example. Good luck. Gret
  5. Thank you FunkDaddy. I wasn't trying to get a vote in return. I was just being supportive, AND I liked your jingles. I wish you luck! One one hand, I think fan voted contests are unfair. On the other, the reality is that good marketing often gets you the farthest. Those who've developed a good marketing plan and "following" often get further ahead. Let's face it, there are very famous artists on today's radio who simply cannot sing. But they are surrounded by great people and a couple have some pretty amazing marketing strategies. Meanwhile, great songwriters and awesome singer go unnoticed. That's often no fault than their own. I'm not saying that's fair, but it's real. Fan voted contests are what they are. Unfortunately, some really talented people just sit back and hope their song or their voice will make it on it's own merit. In today's world, that doesn't happen. You have to be out there spreading the word and asking for support. If people don't want to offer it, I respect that, but it doesn't hurt to ask. I have a very strong background in marketing. I find that the music business is extremely fickle. It's SO different from the corporate world. Gret
  6. Ha Ha. It's OK. I don't think anyone wants to reply to mine anyway. Good luck! I'll even go vote for you! Gave them all three thumbs up. Even though country is my genre of choice, I liked the rock the best. Gret
  7. Ha Ha. It's OK. I don't think anyone wants to reply to mine anyway. Good luck! I'll even go vote for you!
  8. Please allow me to clarify my intent.... First, my reason for not being back for awhile.......Several people offered to co-write with her. We started the process and honestly, I quickly realized that she still really needs to LEARN and maybe we were wasting people's time. Co-writing should mean that there is co-input. I didn't feel that she had enough to bring to the table yet. So, I felt it was more appropriate to pay someone to actually TEACH her how to develop a song. We are paying someone a lot of money per hour who is a hit songwriter. He lets her grow at her pace and her age range. She NEEDS to be writing at her age level; it's important to him and also to me. This is the first song she's ever written alone. I don't think anyone would expect a 12-year-old to have mature lyrics. Few kids this age will write "radio ready" songs. The votes DO count. The votes get a person into the top 5 because this is a fan voted contest. She has a lot of fans, friends, and family voting for her and we're proud of her to have this many votes without cheating. Many of her votes are from strangers who are her fans. It's certainly possible to slip out of 5th place and were just looking for as much support as possible. I thought a group of writers might be supportive and encouraging. That doesn't necessarily mean more votes, but I didn't think that you'd find my post offensive. Jonie, I'm sorry that you inferred that I "imagined that anyone on this site would vote for (my) daughter's entry simply because (I am) a member of this board." In fact, I said, "IF you like it, click "Vote for Angel"'. I'm sorry that you misunderstood my intentions. I most certainly was NOT asking for meaningless votes. I asked you to listen and if you found it worthy, to vote. You obviously didn't, and that's OK. One top contestant posted on his/her fan page that if you don't have the time to vote, please send her your e-mail and he'll/she'll do it FOR you. To me, that is what constitutes a "meaningless" vote. A vote means that you felt the song was worthy of your time. If you don't, I respect that. "Borrowing" e-mail addresses so that one can vote for himself/herself is unethical. I see nothing wrong however, with asking others to vote IF they see fit, which is what I was doing. This is not a professional songwriting contest. We are hoping that if she stays within the Top 5, she'll get some professional feedback from the industry pros who hear her song. They have her bio and will know she's 12. I think that's fair and realistic. I'm well aware of her level of "skill" as a songwriter, but I think that for 12, she's growing well. I appreciate your kind remarks about her voice, Jonie. She just released her first CD, which contains 3 self-written songs. The rest are songs that were pitched to her by hit and indie songwriters out of Nashville. We're very happy with the end result, given her age and our budget. I'm sorry if you felt that it was inappropriate to ask for your help. Gret
  9. Hello, It's been awhile since I've been back here because my daughter has been working with a professional songwriting coach and really trying to improve her skill before coming back to "bother" everyone here with songs that might not be worthy. She's only 12. She recently entered a song into a national songwriting contest and is currently in 5th place. The Top 5 will move forward at the end of the month to have their songs reviewed by industry professionals. They will chose the best song (based on merit, not on votes). I highly suspect that some contestants are cheating. I sat at my computer at 8 AM last weekend, watching one person's votes increase by over 120 votes in under 5 mins. It was obviously the same person entering votes over and over. The webmaster told me that it's OK to vote from multiple REAL emails per day, since some have work/school/home e-mail accounts. However, I feel that it's wrong to use e-mails that you didn't already have prior to the contest. I'm asking for your help PLEASE. If you would take the time to vote for her, we would greatly appreciate it! I have been sending out an e-mail reminder with my friends e-mail address blind copied. If you would like a daily reminder, please PM me your address. You can vote once per day per e-mail but you must be able to verify each address. Here is the process: Click: http://countryshowdown.com/Texaco/contestant.php?id=3101 Under "Music" (on the right) - you can hear her song, "Angel". If you like it, click "Vote for Angel" In new window, to register, click the word "here" in yellow print Enter required registration info and click submit in new window, scroll to find Riley Roth/Angel and click "vote" Login: Enter email/password then submit Scroll back to Riley Roth/Angel and click "vote" You will receive a Warning - click "Verify E-mail" At some point, you'll receive an e-mail (it takes awhile. I still haven't received mine from this morning). You must click the link provided in the e-mail to verify the vote. Thanks so much! Gret
  10. Young Girl needs Help

    Thanks, Morten. I sent you a PM.
  11. Young Girl needs Help

    I thought I should come back here and add a comment b/c several people PMd me here, offering to help us and I really appreciate it so much! We did try doing some co-writing with a couple of people on the board. However, I felt as though we were almost wasting people's time b/c we were too inexperienced. Some of my daughter's lyrics were decent - but not "good enough". We have enlisted (hired) the help of a a Professional Songwriting Coach in Nashville who has REALLY taught my her so much. He has had numerous hits, and has been a fabulous coach for my daughter. As she grows and really understands all of the rules better, it will be easier for her to co-write with people here, and she can offer more value. In the meantime, she's been working on her first CD and bookings have started. She is INCREDIBLY excited! We never had intended to release a CD, but since she isn't a musician, we have to have professional tracks made for her performance. That is the greatest expense of a CD, so since we already had them, we though what the heck - let her lay down a vocal and sell it to recoup some of our expense. It will be released in April. She's having the time of her life and three songs on the CD are her OWN. She's making a lot of progress with her writing and we're very proud of her. I do thank those of you here who've offered us help and encouragement. Once I think she's more qualified to co-write, I'll be in touch again. Gret
  12. Young Girl needs Help

    Woa! I'm sorry but you are misunderstanding our intentions. That is NOT "...what(this)is all about." It's neither important to make her famous now - or ever, as far as I'm concerned. She's the youngest of four children and we most certainly would never take away her most important years! No need to worry there; she's my baby. In fact, I said "Her goal is to perform at fairs/festivals next summer." I'm not quite sure how you derrived that we want to make her famous. We're very realstic. I know that tomorrow, she could wake up and say that she wants to be a nurse. We're very supportive no matter what she choses to do and she has years and years to decide. For now, this is a path she enjoys and the lessons we are getting for her are no different in my opinion than the soccer lessons, team practices, clinics, and camps that my neighbors offer to their children. It's all relative. There are two and only two reasons that we're looking for help co-writing: 1. She wants to continue entering in the Colgate Country Showdown b/c it's one of the few opportunities open to children. They award possible extra points if she is a writer on a song. 2. She really enjoys performing for an audience and hopes to do more of this. Many coffee shops and bookstores aren't licensed and therefore require you to perform original material. That's it. I'm not meaning to sound defensive, but just explaining our position. I will take this as a sincere question b/c I do know there are tons of parents out there who push their children. I'll add that my daughter is a Straight-A student (never made a B - ever!), was voted last year as the "Girl Who's Best at Being Friends with Everyone", elected this year to Student Council, and serves as a Student Ambassador. THOSE things make me more proud of her than anything else. The bottom line is, she's having FUN and that's what matters to me.
  13. Young Girl needs Help

    Yes, I agree completely with this! This is something I'm VERY concerned about because I won't let her sing about certain topics - the beauty is that she doesn't want to sing about those things either. She's a really really "good girl". Last year at her school, she was voted not only as "Best Girl Singer" but also as "Best Girl at Being a Frined to Everyone". I told her that THAT makes me more proud of her than any talent she has. The blessing is that she has created her OWN image by just being herself. It's something we hope will continue. I will probably be awful if she ever gets any "deal" because I won't let anyone change her. I have a friend whose niece was offered a contract by Disney. They turned it down b/c Disney (yes, DISNEY!) wanted to change her, and not in a good way. I also personally know another semi-famous Country Singer who was forced to get "new boobs" by her Management. I realize that everything is about imagme, but not all image is good and some of the changes aren't necessary. We definitely want to keep her lyrics appropriate to her image, for sure. Thanks. Gret
  14. Young Girl needs Help

    Marty, You are very right about the lyrics being crowded. She has worked this out now, with a vocal coach. Thanks for offering to help! I need to go back to hear the Billy Gilman song. I remember him but it was awhile ago. That may be a good choice for her - thanks! As for lyrics, you are correct - it' very difficult for adults to think in terms of middle school. She is still so young and inexperienced though that it's difficult to think of a topic on her own. I often throw out ideas and she hates them. She KNOWS what she wants when she hears it though, that's for sure! She's very picky about melody, though neither of us are good enough to come up with a thing on our own. She is drawn to very "catchy" unique/interesting melodies. That's hard part. As for ideas, middle school girls are into boys but they are just beginning to be "noticed" back since boys mature slower than girls. Girls still think some boys are creeps and othes are "hot". They love to go shopping and they're very concerned about what they wear and how their hair looks. Some start to get a little bit sassy and roll their eyes back when they're reprimanded. It's a confusing time b/c they're not children, yet not teenagers. They're not sure how/where they fit in. This might give some ideas. Topics are very difficult for me. Once I have an idea I can usually run with i lyrically but it's not easy. I do have a couple of lyrics posted in the lyric feedback section - one is called Keep the Change and the other is Shine. Those might give some ideas of what we're looking at. Thanks! Gret