Networking Your Way To Music Licensing Success

Posted by Aaron Davison on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 Under: September 2013
Today's post is a guest post from How To License Your's resident production and engineering expert Gary Gray.  Gary and I have created two in depth courses related to production and mastering as they relate to music licensing.  Our first course, How To Produce Music That Will Get Licensed And Make You Money, covers how to produce tracks specifically for licensing opportunities.  Our most recent course, Mysteries Of Mastering Solved, deals specifically with the topic of mastering and how to master your tracks specifically for the music licensing industry.  Both courses have received great reviews from clients and have helped many artists move forward and sign deals as a direct result of going through the courses.  Gary is my producer and is helping me mix and master my latest CD.  I have signed my new tracks that Gary is working on two three different, high profile, licensing companies in the last month alone.  Gary knows his craft very, very well.

Over to you Gary!

Thank you Aaron, for once again allowing me to share my experience and successful actions with the members of  And thank you to all the students around the world who have been writing and sending your tracks for me to critique and for finding success in the Licensing World.

I recently found myself experiencing an oxymoron:  a good problem.  As an Indie musician, songwriter and producer/engineer it was a “problem” I thought I might never achieve.

Almost too much work.  And good work at that. 

I was forced to hire an assistant and to even more carefully schedule my time and activities – including exactly what time to go to bed, what time to get up, which clients to work with, which clients to refer, which projects to get involved with, what to focus on, etc.

And in the middle of all of that, a call from The Disney Music Group came in.  They somehow heard about me (I found out it was from an unrelated meeting with a friend and fellow Indie musician in San Diego six months ago where I decided to rip myself away from my studio and do some networking). Disney hired me for high end production/engineering, arranging and orchestration for their Major Motion Picture Film Licensing Division.

Once again, it was the result of reading one of the regular email blogs that Aaron Davison sends out from  The way Aaron communicates and the information that he presents is amazing really.  Sometimes elusively simple. 

For me, the “aha” moment came after reading one of Aaron’s email blogs. It was a blog that covered a simple truth and excellent step by step instructions on how to tackle the tricky world of licensing – with the overall message being: don’t give up. Keep at it and keep networking and getting your music out there.  He even GIVES you the right people to send your music to. I realized there were two things stopping me from success, and both had one common denominator: me.

1.  While appearing to be very busy, I was actually being lazy with my goal of getting my music licensed.  From the outside it looked like all kinds of things were happening – but in reality I was not churning out the right recordings to the right people.  I was “working on” all kinds of stuff.  Spending hours.  But I still didn’t get it sent out to the right people.  I had something in the back of my mind that kept me from following the simple steps that Aaron lays out to do.  I finally busted through that barrier and simply did what Aaron said to do.

2.  I wasn’t networking enough.  So I got out there and started networking. Forcing myself from the sanctity and safety of my studio out into the great wide open.

Thankfully, there was a third step that I DID accomplish which has helped me achieve my goals much quicker than I thought I might – I learned how to produce and engineer high quality recordings – recordings that can compete with the best the industry has to offer.

Aaron has been extremely gracious in allowing me to share my knowledge and experience with you several times through individual blogs, a blog series, a book and two courses he and I collaborated on regarding Music Production and Audio Engineering.

I am now producing music that is being licensed through and by the Disney Music Group and Hollywood Records.  

I am lucky to have students around the world who are seeing success in getting their music licensed as well.   And I specifically want to thank my student Marty Fingus from England, who encouraged me to enter the UK Songwriting Contest. After winning as a Semi-Finalist last year for the actual song demonstrated on the course “How To Produce Music That Will Get Licensed And Make You Money,” I just found out I also won this year as a Finalist for an original song I wrote, produced and engineered called “Flowers In The Fire.”

The reason I am writing this blog today is because of an email I recently received from one of my clients from – an incredible songwriter from the Washington, D.C. area, Jon Maclaren. 

Jon received the email from after they accepted a track of his for licensing.  The production of that track was done exactly per the course “How To Produce Music That Will Get Licensed And Make You Money” and “Mysteries Of Mastering Solved,” using mixing and mastering techniques found on both courses.  Here is the actual email from that he forwarded to me:


Overall Comments

Hi Jonathan,

Thanks so much for submitting this track. I really like it and am gonna go ahead and forward it along. 

The thing that stands out the most is the production. It's high quality and definitely super current sounding. It has a nice driving beat to it which is what the listing wanted.

The vocals and overall vibe were great as well. I think it has great licensing potential, nice work.

The main reason(s) you were or were not forwarded for this listing is:

On par with the referenced artists.


For me, there is no better feeling than to receive an email like the one above, or to see my students or clients receive a similar email.

And I know Aaron feels the same.  We talk about it all the time.  And for Aaron, it’s his life’s passion to see you achieve success as an Indie musician.

I’m also learning an incredible amount from all the students who have signed up for the courses Aaron and I have collaborated on.  Learning, yes.  I’m learning what barriers and confusions and problems exist internationally, how people are approaching these situations and I’m constantly working to bring you up to date solutions that can help you achieve your goals and dreams.

Feel free to write to me at if you have any questions about music production or audio engineering.  And please – LISTEN TO AARON AND FOLLOW HIS ADVICE!

It’s the smartest thing I ever did.

Gary Gray

Los Angeles, California

September, 2013

In : September 2013 

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