First let’s talk about why co-writing is so important.

While writing a song on your own is an essential skill and something you must do to become a great songwriter, it is equally important to be able to write a great song with another songwriter. If you take a look at the billboard charting songs you will notice almost every single song has more than one writer on it. But don’t take our word for it, you should really go check for yourself. There are multiple reasons for this. Another songwriter may have ideas, even simple ones, that you may never have thought of. More than likely you have certain strengths whether it be lyrics, music, or melody and your co-writers also have their strengths so why not combine your talents? Co-writing keeps you on task. It’s much more difficult to get distracted or give up when there are others in the room with the same common goal. Industry resources are something to keep in mind as well. Your co-writers may know certain industry people you don’t; whether it be publishers, artists, or label executives. It’s also important that you have resources to bring to the table if you expect your co-writers to have theirs. You now have more than one person just as excited as you are about getting your song out to the general public and into the hands of industry executives. Recording your song is extremely important to the success of that song but can often be expensive. When you record a co-written song it is expected that all of the co-writers evenly chip in on the expenses of recording. Therefore it’s less out of pocket for each writer. Make sure you talk to your co-writers and agree to record the song and share the expenses first before you contact a music production company.

Now that you understand the benefits of co-writing a song let’s talk about how to do that successfully.

Everyone believes they are a great songwriter but it is important that you are very honest with yourself about what level your songwriting is and what skills you can provide to another writer. This has to be a mutually beneficial experience. Find other writers that are on the same level as you or close in the ballpark. This doesn’t just mean writing a song in itself but also the status of a writer in the music industry. Has this writer written with reputable songwriters who have a name in the community? Does the writer have serious connections in the industry? If the answer is yes you must make sure that you have something equally as valuable to bring to the table. Everyone dream’s of writing with #1 billboard charting songwriters but you have to be realistic with your expectations. If you have never had a song cut by a major artist or are not well on the road to doing so and show true potential deemed by top level industry pro’s then you probably should not be contacting big name songwriters for a write. They also write with other big name songwriters on a regular basis so why would they write with you? It’s not impossible but do expect that if you think you may have a chance you must have serious skills to bring to the table.

Genre based co-writing is something to consider. What are your co-writer’s musical influences? What kind of music do they write? It’s okay to experiment with different genre’s but make sure it’s something you have knowledge in and can keep up with the other writer who may have more experience in that particular genre. It’s usually easiest to write with someone who is in the same genre that you have the most experience in.

NEVER negatively criticize your co-writers. This is a quick way to get the boot. You want to harbor a creative and positive relationship with your co-writers. Tearing them down will hurt your relationship and possibly lower your co-writers confidence therefore ending in a not so great song. Believe it or not we have written with name brand hit songwriters who have brought what we thought were less than decent ideas to the table. Every songwriter, no matter how successful, will occasionally have ideas that aren’t great. This is perfectly okay! Also keep in mind that songwriting is a very creative and emotional experience. People have good days and bad days so it’s okay if you’re a bit “off” sometimes. Expect that it will happen.

Co-writing is a relationship. No different than friends and family. You build chemistry over time after writing several songs with someone. This is quite possibly the most powerful asset in your songwriting career. There are writers who have built their career from writing with the same people. A great example is a group of country music songwriters called The Peach Pickers. Together they have written literally dozens of chart topping songs. Once you build great chemistry with a writer your songs will become astronomically better than the first time you wrote together. We write with several industry leading songwriters but often our favorite collabs are with writers we’ve written with for years. It’s an unmatched music relationship and you should absolutely set out to find writers that you have great chemistry with and continue to build with them.

Make sure you bring some ideas to the write as opposed to expecting others to bring all of the ideas. Work on some titles, melodies, or lyrics at home and bring them to the writes. Don’t be offended if your co-writer friends aren’t interested in the song ideas you have that day. Remember that you may be in very different moods and this will affect the type of song you want to write. Try to meet in the middle. WRITE THE SONG IN THE ROOM. This may seem like a strange concept but songs are almost like living creatures waiting to be brought to life. It’s your job to search them and find out what they want to become. Interpret what you feel in the room and write THAT SONG. Trust your intuition or gut feeling. Listen to your co-writers, are you feeling the same thing? If so it’s meant to be! Also, (read closely because this is important) Do NOT hold too tightly to your song ideas. We understand that it’s your baby, your creation that came from the heart but often times your co-writers will be able to take your good idea and put a different perspective on it. This may be scary to you but you have to let go. Your song many times will be much better in the end.

Last but not least. Write, write, write! Co-write as often as you can and with many different people. Experience and practice is very important for your career.

Have questions or input? Write a comment below or contact us.

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