It doesn’t matter if you’re a songwriter pitching your songs or a publisher trying to get some action from songs in your catalog, the ideal is to find a great effortless fit for your music.

There’s a great piece over on BMI’s website by Jason Blume that highlights some of the mistakes frequently made when casting songs. These include:

  • Avoid pitching to singer/songwriters who only record their own music. For obvious reasons, this makes it look like you haven’t done your due diligence.
  • Don’t try to write something that sounds like a different era. Stay current on contemporary trends, hits, and production techniques and make sure the songs sound like something that wouldn’t sound out of place with today’s hits.
  • Are the lyrics appropriate, meaning–are they edgy, or too edgy? Are they age appropriate? Is the style forced or does it feel organic? And maybe most importantly, are the lyrics consistent with the singer’s values?
  • In terms of vocal range, try and find and sweet spot between “not enough” and “too much.” For example, you don’t want to pitch a song with a wide vocal range to an artist that may not be comfortable with it.
  • Avoid pitching songs that cover the same themes that an artist may have covered in the past. This is the classic “been there/done that” situation artists find themselves in sometimes–artists tend to want to break through to the “next level” in order to have long-term relevancy. By not pitching material that revisits their previous hits, there’s a better chance the song(s) being pitched will be a better fit.