This is part 6 of a 7-part series of posts dealing with music licensing.
My last several posts have covered:

1. Basic Terms and Definitions
2. Publishing: Types of Deals, Part A
3. Publishing: Types of Deals, Part B
4. Clearances
5. Administration, Part A
6. Administration, Part B
7. Royalties, Part A
8. Royalties, Part B
9. Royalties, Part C
10. Creative, Part A

Last week I talked about themes and moods in songwriting and how you can use them to create focus in when writing a song. If you missed it, you can check it out here. I’ve also included those mood words again at the end of this post, for reference.

Today I’ll continue with covering the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Music Licensing with regards to the creative side of things.


What is writing on spec?



Writing on spec means writing a piece of music without the guarantee that it will be used and thus without the guarantee of payment. If they use it, they pay you. If not, they don’t.

What if I’m not a lyricist? Can I still get my songs into film and t.v.?

If you’re not a lyricist, you can still get your music place in film and t.v. Many of the songs used in television these days are, in fact, instrumentals. So, you don’t have to write songs with lyrics to get your music placed.

Remember, the visuals and dialog are at the center of storytelling for film/t.v and ads. The songs, in this scenario, are used to complement, enhance, clarify and further promote the story line or describe the character.

So go to town. The beauty of writing for this format is that you can write with many themes in mind and/or around a mood. Just stick to one theme and/or mood per song though. And if you’re writing lyrics, make sure your lyrics point to that one theme or mood.

And here are those mood words again, in case you want to copy and paste and save for later:

forgetful, bewildered, enraged, fearful, alone, full, blah, cold, blank, cheerful, weird, brooding, giggly, chilled, rapturous, giddy, peaceful, flirty, predatory, smart, indifferent, heartbroken, crazy, naughty, guilty, sick, loved, sad, mellow, lonely, jealous, hopeful, good, okay, bouncy, dorky, chaotic, drunk, rejected, pissed, bored, optimistic, hot, lazy, moody, numb, dark, gloomy, restless, groggy, morose, lethargic, happy, touched, complacent, curious, content, nerdy, high, listless, mad, silly, pleased, discontent, uncomfortable, irritated, jubilant, melancholy, thankful, ditzy, rushed, grateful, joyful, irate, hyper, relaxed, dirty, recumbent, mischievous, impressed, angry, chipper, indescribable, grumpy, hungry, tired, bitchy, quixotic, shocked, infuriated, satisfied, pessimistic, annoyed, envious, crappy, surprised, sleepy, stressed, cranky, energetic, examine, relieved, calm, anxious, delusional, apathetic, cautious, sympathetic, refreshed, awake, cynical, demented, apologetic, rejuvenated, confused, excited, drained, ashamed, amused, aggravated, defensive, devious, exhausted, bittersweet, enthralled, disappointed, frustrated, geeky, ecstatic, determined

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Want more tips on songwriting for film and t.v.? Purchase my e-book, How To Explode Your Income By Licensing Your Songs here.

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