World Tour Dates Announced!


23.01.2014 – Totem – Pamplona, Spain
25.01.2014 – Capitol – Santiago de Compostela, Spain
26.01.2014 – La Riviera – Madrid, Spain
27.01.2014 – Razzmatazz 2 – Barcelona, Spain

South America

21.02.2014 – Teatro Caupolican – Santiago, Chile
23.02.2014 – Teatro Flores – Buenos Aires, Argentina
25.02.2014 – Carioca Club – Sao Paulo, Brazil
27.02.2014 – Club Platense – Montevideo, Uruguay
29.02.2014 – Cet.Conv. Scencia de la Molina – Lima, Peru
01.03.2014 – Club Peppers – San José, Costa Rica
04.03.2014 – Circo Volador – Mexico City, Mexico

View all tour dates

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Life

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It is my hope to save lots of people a bit of pain; however, pain can be quite the teacher at times. I am always told, ” you wear too much of your life on your sleeve”. My response to that is, “PLEASE!!” with a smile, when was the last time you were in my shoes? I ‘m sharing some personal stuff for sure but my motives are clear and I only aim to help others that may identify. This story is only the last Two + years, and I am 54.

As a Composer or a Musician, securing a steady income in this industry is not a simple task. You must truly define who you are using the skills you have acquired and developed. It is not about how fast you can perform a guitar run, or how high you can sing a note. Once your skills are developed to an acceptable level by hours and years of practice, “being good enough” is not the issue anymore. The question you must ask now is who can use your skills, talent, and most of all who can use YOU?

Anyone, paying attention to this last paragraph and realizes the truth will save probably about 10 – 15 years. “Just saying”

My story starts at the Liberace museum; it’s the last year of its existence for the museum here in Vegas. Excited, honored and nervous describes that experience for me. The singer is standing straight in front of me as I am looking over to her for instructions. What comes out of her mouth next was not expected. She said “Dave do you know why I am standing in front of you?” I said, “I was wondering why you repositioned at this rehearsal”. She said “Because if I don’t, you will take your eyes off the music and focus more on who is watching us at the door over there. You seem overly concerned about what people think.”

That comment immediately reminded me of a comment my wonderful, beautiful and patient wife said to me 15 years back when I was on tour with a band. “Who you are is not defined by your performance”. I was bored with the tour, bored with the act and had just performed a very embarrassing and sloppy performance at the Fillmore in San Francisco (Of all places). I realized then that this tour, fame, band thing was not defining me at all. I left the group shortly after.

Another gentleman I was performing with at the Liberace museum on a different day said, “You are a talented and unique individual, no-one plays that instrument like you because no-one is you”. Thus there is no competition and no reasons to worry about what people think or if you have a good or bad performance because it’s your journey and no one else’s.

My other major problem had been focus. One thing led to another and one day my doctor suggested I may have a little bit of ADD or ADHD and he may be able to help me. As it turns out I am ADD, after finding out I shared the information with some of my friends and they would say to me “I could have told you that”. My response to them was, “why didn’t you”? Their response was, “we are just used to you”. My doctor started me on a small dose of Adderal, if I had only known this information years ago my life could have been so different, my confidence level would have been normal and I wouldn’t have kept beating myself up and I wouldn’t be so nervous all the time.

I had been studying with a man in San Francisco named Frank Martine who ended up becoming my mentor; one of the first questions I had asked my old famous Mentor was “do you ever get nervous”? His response was ” I am nervous now” I asked “why” He said,” I am about t go into the studio with some world class musicians”, I stated,” but you are world class”, his final response I never would of expected he said “yeah but these guys are really world class”. At that point I had realized everyone and their mother compares themselves but not necessarily in the way I was comparing myself to others.

They would compare themselves more to push themselves to always be the best they can be. Not the best player or best this or that, the best them. No one in that class of players that I know are struggling with identify crisis. No one I know in that class is performing punk rock if their skill is Blues or Country. They all know the actions they take, they define who they are whether as a father, mother, piano player, or preacher. People hire and love these people because they define uniqueness in such a great and motivating way.

OK, here is the ending, I am realizing it’s not the piano I love but the music that comes out of it. I am a composer and my music only serves to define my love for this art. I am my biggest fan because I listen to the music and find so much peace. Fortunately music supervisors and a few publishers are also starting to catch on.

Anyway, in a frenzy trying to catch up for the last 30 years, (Note this is not the Adderal this is my thinking) I am ignoring everything, my wife, kids, friends, health, etc. Needless to say I did what it took to become pretty decent at songwriting and composing, however, the cost was alienating my beautiful patient wife an missing part of my kids growing up.

Now here’s the kicker. A month ago I am feeling chest pains; I am like many with no insurance so I think oh this is just gas:), within a few days my ribs and back are killing me and I am almost immobilized. My wife finally takes me to the ER, and we discover my left lung is collapsed, engulfed in fluids my blood is poisoned and a couple more things, it wasn’t just phenomena. I am not ready to die, so I did not ask. What I did do was spend the next 3 and a half weeks in the hospital switching off between two chest tubes in my lungs. To add to all that activity my mom falls, hits her head (She’s 90) and dies three days later while I am still in the hospital. She is in San Francisco I am too sick to leave and so I was forced to listen to my mother’s funeral on my iPhone in the hospital as my sister is kind enough to make that happen for me.

This is my first full week back, and of course I am back at work {Just on the computer} but not with an urgency but with an appreciation for my surroundings and why I love this work, why I love my kids, my wife, my dogs, my home and my life. I am forced to stop and take deep breathing exercises every hour because of shortness of breath. Anyone who has ever had phenomena in the mildest form gets this, and I have a new outlook.

The journey is now.

The question will always be, how do I define myself both in my work and in my personal life? The job in which I get hired has specific demands but they want to hear me come through in my work. This could be recording a track piano only, to a Yanni like orchestrated piece.

In my personal life who am I being when I’m telling my grandkids stories, when I’m holding my wife with more gratitude and passion than I never realized I had?

One day I spoke to a man who had just barely escaped Death from a cancer scare. I asked him, “how has that changed you?” He said “not at all” I looked at him cross-eyed and said my famous “huh? He said ” I always lived life as it was my last day”.

There is nowhere to go, I am already here.

Thanks for tuning in.


Copyright Registration

[headline style=”3″ color=”blue” tag=”h2″]Copyright/Registration For Songs & Recordings[/headline]

(Do your homework)

What is Copyright?

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States for original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, architectural, cartographic, choreographic, pantomimic, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, and audiovisual creations. Copyright literally means “the right to copy.

For music, two separate forms of copyright exist; one for the “Performing Arts Work” and another for the “Sound Recording.” Knowing the difference between these two is the first step in applying for copyright protection. Performing Arts Works are intended to be “performed” directly before an audience or indirectly “by means of any device or process”. This refers to the musical composition. For example, the written form of your music would fall into this category.

Sound Recordings are the recordings themselves. According to the Library of Congress, sound recordings are “works that result from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds, but not including the sounds accompanying a motion picture or other audiovisual work.” For example, an audio recording of your performance would fall into this category. However, music played in conjunction with a visual at the same time would not fit this category.

The Copyright Office

The Copyright Office is the place where claims to copyright are registered and where documents relating to copyright may be recorded when the requirements of the copyright law are met. The Copyright Office also furnishes information about the provisions of the copyright law and reports on facts found in the public records of the Office.

The Office has an extensive website where you will find answers to almost any question regarding copyright law, why it exists, and how to get it. The website also provides a means of searching copyright registrations and recorded documents from 1978 forward, as well as links to related resources.

Filing Copyright Registration

1. Electronic FilingThere is a new filing system in place for copyright registration of original works through the Copyright Office online system, called the eCO, or Electronic Copyright. It is the preferred method for registering work and has many benefits, including faster processing time and online tracking of your filing. Unlike the traditional method of mailing the completed work (ie: audio/video tape) to the Office, this new system allows those works to be uploaded online. The fee is $35. See the Tutorial

2. Fill-in Registration A manual version of the above form called the CO, which can be downloaded from the website, filled in and mailed in to the Office. The basic fee is higher ($45), although it is still considered to be a faster process than the traditional paper method due to the fact that the form contain a 2-D barcode that is scanned and processed at the Office.

3. Registration with Paper FormsThe third method of Registration is the traditional method, using the paper forms such as PA (Performing Arts), SA (Sound Recording) etc. These are no longer available directly from the website as this is not the preferred method of registration, but can still be obtained by calling directly to the Office and requesting the Forms be mailed directly. The fee is also $45. Remember that online registration through eCO and fill-in Form CO can be used for the categories of works applicable to Forms TX, VA, PA, SR, and SE.

For additional information, FAQ’s and Tutorials on the Copyright Registration process, visit the website

Good luck and best wishes!

Dave Haertel

Mechanical License

Mechanical Licensing

( How To)

Copyright law states in effect, that, as long as a song has been commercially recorded and released by a music publisher(s), other parties/artists can record and commercially release their own “audio-only” version of the song, as long as you account for payments of each copy to the publisher(s) at time of initial manufacture, plus every quarter thereafter for additional units. Because you can do this yourself in most cases, here is some free information to get you going.

1. You need to obtain a mechanical (aka compulsory) license to record and release your cover of a song. Mechanical licenses can be obtained from the Harry Fox Agency for most songs.

2. Go to and follow their instructions. The Harry Fox Agency (HFA) maintains this site, which is specifically set up for indie projects and now has a newly lowered initial 25 unit minimum (announced 1-15-08 and reduced from 500 units) and a 2500 unit maximum. This is for audio only CD’s as well as DPD’s (digital downloads). You can always revisit the site and pay for more units/cd’s later as you manufacture them. They accept credit cards as well as a new electronic check payment option.

Simply visit the site, create an account, search HFA’s catalog of almost 1.9 million songs and complete their mechanical licensing transaction easily and quickly. Royalties are calculated at the statutory mechanical rate, which is currently 9.1 cents per copy for songs 5 minutes or less. There is also a small processing fee on each song licensed. If a user just wants to conduct research, there is a separate Songfile public search tool on the Web site free of charge.

3. If the song you are looking for does not show up on the Harry Fox website, or shows up with some percentage less than 100% ( which means that not all publishers are represented), then search the databases at, and and contact those publishers directly.

4. If you still are unable to find the information you need, please feel free to give us a call at The Music Bridge, and we can then discuss providing clearance services for you for those hard to find copyrights that you cannot complete mechanical licensing on yourself.
Meantime, much success with your music and projects!