Coaching FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Coaching

Top Questions about Coaching

1. What is coaching and how does it work?

Coaching is a song evaluation service which provides you with specific written feedback on your songs or lyrics from any of our award-winning coaching staff.

2. Why do I have to pay extra for coaching as a Platinum Member?

Platinum members receive a substantial discount on the Coaching and Song Evaluation Service. All monies from Coaching go to the coach to pay for his or her time. Any of the FDBK (Feedback and Mentoring) courses offers an additional way to receive feedback on your songs and are included with you Platinum member tuition at no additional cost.

3. Do I need to submit a professional demo to my coach?

No. You do not need a professional demo for song evaluations. In fact, it's better to have your song evaluated by a coach prior to investing a bunch of money in a demo. Just a simple work tape in MP3 format will be fine as long as the melody is audible.

4. Can I use another format besides mp3 for my songs?

No. All songs submitted need to be in mp3 format which is the standard format for pitching songs via the Internet. See the DIY course “GEN 110 Preparing Your Audio for” It can be found in your active course area.

5. Can I submit a lyric-only to my coach?

Yes. Almost all coaches accept lyric only songs. Just check the coach bios when choosing your coach in case it is a coach who does not work with lyric only submissions.

6. How long before I receive my evaluation?

On average, coaches will turn around the evaluation in 2-10 days. Current turnaround times are listed in the coach bios. Occasional delays occur due to vacation, studio projects, and concert touring. If you have not received your evaluation within a week after the coaches stated turnaround time (which may be up to 21 days), please submit a support request you’re your coach’s number and your song title so we can follow-up.

7. Why am I getting different opinions on the same song?

Our coaches focus on objective craft elements and try to guide the feedback in that direction. However there is inevitably some subjectivity to this process as well. Professional songwriters face this dilemma every day when they play songs for publishers, songpluggers, A&R, producers and such. One plugger loves your song, while another thinks the bridge isn't strong enough. If you get two very different opinions, you might want to bring your song to either another coach, or to a FDBK session to see if you can get a consensus from you instructor and peers. As you grow as a writer, you learn to trust your instincts more and go with the opinions that make the most sense to you. Ultimately, it's about what makes you the happiest with your song.

Best of

1. What is the Best of SongU thing?

This is an award based on your coach's personal opinion of how this song rates compared to other songs that have heard through coaching. When a coach nominates your song as "Best of" you receive a “star” icon by your song title giving it special status wherever your song is visible on the site including for the pitch guests. It is also placed on a special password-protected listening area where invited publishers and pluggers can listen to them.

2. Can I update my "Best of" song with my new demo?

Yes. If one of your songs was nominated for "Best Of", you'll see a link in the completed evaluations area where you can update either the MP3 or the lyric. Just click on the appropriate link and you'll be able to update it.

3. Why isn’t the "Best of" star showing up for my co-writer?

The Best of nomination is tied directly to that song in your Locker. For this reason, it will not appear automatically on another member's locker song. This symbol will also disappear if you delete that song file and start a new file for that song.

Technical Issues

1. Help! I’m having problems uploading my MP3.

You can refer to GEN 110 Preparing Your Audio for Uploading in your Active Courses area. Also, check the following common issues:

Check the size and characters in your filename – Filename should be no greater than 40 characters. No strange characters like “?” or “!”. Example: Change filename Why Don't They Stay Together? to stayTogether.mp3

The MP3 file is too big - There is a 6M limit on any uploads to the site, so it's important to compress the MP3 file before uploading it. If the file is at CD quality MP3 compression (256k), it may be too large to upload or take too long on your connection. For more information on how to compress the MP3 file, see the course GEN 110 - Preparing Your Audio For Uploading.

The file isn't actually an MP3 - Make sure the file in question is an MP3 file. Simply renaming a file and putting MP3 on the file extension won't make it an MP3.

2. How do I create or compress an MP3 in iTunes?

Please go to GEN 110 – Preparing Your Audio for Uploading in your Active Courses area for specific guidelines and a video on how to do this.

If you just need to review the instructions for compressing an MP3 in iTunes, see below:

Steps - These are really the same whether your song is on CD or just a song you’re playing in iTunes.

1. Start up iTunes
2. Use file menu to add your MP3 to your music library
3. Click on the “My Music” tab to view all your music files
4. Right-click on the song you want to compress and choose “Create MP3 version”
5. That’s it. Locate the MP3 and you’re done

Tweaking MP3 compression – If you need to adjust the MP3 compression rates, do the following:

1. In iTunes, go to Edit -> Preferences
2. Click on the “General” tab
3. Click on the “Import settings” button
4. Make sure it’s set to use MP3 encoder
5. Adjust quality. I wouldn’t go lower than 128kbps

Tweaking file location – If you can’t find the location where your MP3 is located or want to control it, do the following:

1. In iTunes, go to Edit -> Preferences
2. Click on the “Advanced” tab
3. Change the iTunes media folder location

Other problems or questions?
Submit a Help/Support request and we will do our best to assist you.

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