Partnering with another songwriter means your own abilities will improve, and your audience base will grow.
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Songwriting is such a personal activity that the thought of co-writing may seem at first undesirable. But there are benefits that come from sitting down with another person to co-write a song. Here’s a short list of the most important advantages:
- You experience a different compositional approach. You may have your favourite way of working, but someone else may approach the task differently. For example, you may work mainly by singing into a digital recorder, while someone else may work on instrumental ideas first, seeing what lyrics pop into their mind. It can open a whole new writing method for you to consider.
- You’ve got a way of completing all those partially-written songs. Someone else may hear that fragment that you’ve always loved but didn’t know how to complete, and within no time at all you could have a completed song – finally!
- You feel a sense of reduced pressure to create a complete song. Just as you feel your own creativity drying up on an idea, that’s often when the other person suddenly comes up with an idea, and you’re back at it again.
- Co-writing allows you to combine strengths. Your strengths may be in the melodies, and your co-writer may be mainly a lyricist. Co-writing is, in a sense, the creating of one songwriter with many abilities.
- Co-writing can increase your audience base. Your collaborator will likely have his/her own fans, and by co-writing, you tap into their audience base. It’s a way of creating, almost instantaneously, a new set of fans for your music.
And don’t forget — just because you’re collaborating with someone doesn’t mean that everything you write has to be a joint effort. It’s good advice to formalize your arrangement by getting it in writing. Make sure that you specify that you are only sharing copyright on music that you’ve specifically partnered on.
And speaking of copyright, when two or more people collaborate on the writing of a song, all partners share the copyright equally, even though royalties can be shared unevenly, depending on an agreement based on involvement. Be sure to get everything in writing, signed by all partners.
Written by Gary Ewer. Follow on Twitter.
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