While it’s nice to get on national TV or in a major film, there may be other places to place your music that are much closer to home (if you don’t live in Los Angeles that is, which most of us don’t).  It may be easier to get your music used in something local because you can meet people face to face locally and there is less competition.  Local sources are a good place to start making money and getting credits under your belt.

1. Search the internet for local movie studios.  Find out what projects they are working on, who is in charge of the music and see if you can meet them.  Face to face meetings are best and will give you the best chance of having them use your music.  Do internet searches using your city’s name and keywords such as “film production”, “indie moves”, “production companies”, “music wanted”, etc.  You’ll be surprised at how many film associations are close by, both in your nearest major city and also within your state.

2. Find out what film festivals are playing in your area.  Go to them and introduce yourself to the filmmakers.  Find out if they have any projects they are working on currently that they need music for.  If not, get their contact information and call them up in a few months to see if anything has developed.

3. Call up your local ad agencies and see if they need any music for local commercials.  TV and radio stations also might be a good source as they often make their own commercials.  Who knows, you may even be asked to write a jingle for a local business for a few hundred bucks.  I met a guy who did this who told me he got $700 for writing a jingle for a local auto shop.  Not bad! 

4. Listen to locally produced commercials.  If they use similar music to yours contact the company, ask them who produces their commercials, then contact whoever produces their commercials and ask to be kept in mind in the future.  Tell them that you heard their commercial for X and noticed the background music was similar to yours and you thought it might be a good fit for future commercials.  Then see if they’d be willing to take a listen.

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4/9/2012 10:34:32 pm

I'm wondering - when I send someone a sample of my music for commercials, is it best to send it with or without vocals? Or should I send in both? How many songs should I send... is "less more" in this situation?

4/10/2012 05:54:27 am

Good question, since a lot of music used in commercials (at least local commercials like you'd hear on the radio (car dealers and local businesses) seem to typically use mainly instrumental music. So it is important to have instrumental versions of your songs available whenever possible. Lately I've been getting an instrumental only version of my songs plus a vocals only track, which allows you to go in and add vocals where you want and at whatever volume you want if it's requested.
So I guess I would say in your conversation or email with the ad agency, tell them you have instrumental versions of the songs as well and ask which they would prefer receiving.
As for how many songs to submit, my recommendation is to pick your top three songs that match the style you're going for. Less is sometimes more.

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