5 Tips to Utilizing NSAI'S Song Evaluation Service
By Leah Pitts, Membership Services & Executive Assistant
Have a song? Not sure if it is written to its full potential? NSAI has a group of professional songwriters here to help you. NSAI’s Song Evaluation Service is the #1 service we offer. It can be utilized from our members around the world! You receive 12 FREE Song Evaluations during your membership year. You can also purchase an unlimited amount of extra song evaluations if you are feeling extra motivated! An independent team of professional songwriters are carefully selected and equipped by NSAI to review and evaluate the songs. NSAI has evaluators in multiple genres of music including: Country, Rock, Americana, Christian, Gospel, Pop, R&B, Folk and more. The evaluator’s comments are designed to encourage, equip, and empower our members to craft a song to their best potential, helping them successfully communicate their lyrics and melody. Are you wondering how to most effectively use this service? Here are a few tips from myself and the evaluators:
1) Let’s begin with lyric format. Make sure you layout the lyrics in a format that is easily understood and distinguishable. Label each section appropriately (verse 1, verse 2, bridge, chorus, etc). Try to avoid including the chords with your lyrics. Altogether, these tips should eliminate any confusion for the evaluator when reading through your lyrics.
2) Have any questions or comments you may want the evaluator to know about before critiquing your song? Use this field! You can include things like “There is a male singing here, but this is intended for a female vocalist” to “I am not sure if the hook is strong enough, what are your thoughts?” The song evaluation service is not interactive, so this is your chance to get any questions or concerns answered. When submitting a song, you are first asked certain questions. For example, “Is this a rewrite? Are you singing? How and why do you want to be evaluated? By answering all of these questions, you equip the evaluator with the answers they need to most effectively provide an evaluation you are looking for.
3) Debating on whether or not to request a specific evaluator? Starting out, I would recommend trying out as many different evaluators as you can. By doing this, you get a taste of each person’s evaluation style. I like to think of it like ordering food at a restaurant. If you never try something new, how would you know if there is something out there you may like more?
4) Rewrites. When submitting a rewrite, you have the option to send the song back to the original evaluator or try someone different. This choice could depend on a few things, but a main one being whether or not you liked the original evaluation. If you send it back to the same evaluator, it is convenient because you can pick up right where you left off. On the other hand, it is always good to get a second opinion, so submitted the song to a different evaluator also has its benefits. Either way, a good tip when submitting a rewrite is to include the previous evaluation in the comments section. That way, new or old, the evaluator knows what was previously said, so they won’t be repetitive and can ultimately make the evaluation as constructive as possible.
5) Now that you have some great tips on how to make the most of this service, I want to give you a few things to look out for when submitting your song: Is the complete lyric submitted? Is your melody in MP3 or M4A format? Are you sure that you have the right version of both your lyric and melody? You will know if your song has been completely submitted for evaluation if the status of it changes to “pending”. As it progresses through the stages, the status will change to “assigned” and finally “completed”. Once completed, you can find your evaluation by clicking the “completed” link and you will also be emailed a copy.
I hope all of this has been helpful for you. Good luck submitting! Status: Completed. ;)
Leah Pitts is the Executive Assistant to Bart Herbison and she also takes care of multiple servies in our Membership Department! Song Evaluations is among one of them. Learn more about her here.