Finding a collaborator to write music with is something that needs to be well thought over and done after meeting a number of artists to find someone similar to you and your needs. There are a few things that need to be put on the table right away, so there are no problems later on.
Best Place To Find a Partner In The Songwriting Market is Online Songwriting Forums & Workshops
The best places to look for a partner would be music shop notice boards, practice studios, college course study halls any place musicians might see them. Websites that cater to songwriters are a really good place to start. If you can get to know the lyricist or music writer first would be better. Another good organization is the NSAI which is the Nashville Songwriters Association International. These are serious places to find a serious songwriting partner.
There is always something that comes up during or afterward that can make or break the band and its members. Let’s face it, artists are not the easiest people to get along with when it comes to their art.
I’ve seen two members that disagree turn from an argument to a fistfight. That turned 6 months of hard work that band members put to an end. Just when the band was ready to play our first gig, it was over. If you are dealing with a collaborator you want to make sure that the person you are dealing with is going to be someone who shares the same interest in the same type of music and has the same goals that you are looking for in a song. His strengths need to be different. You need somebody that has something that you don’t have. This will make your chances of writing a great song better. Still, you need to get along.
Famous Songwriters Like Burt Bacharach & Lyricist Hal David Were Songwriting Collaborators
I have friends that I have played music with for 30 years that I wouldn’t use as a partner or collaborators for a project. It takes a commitment that is different than just the commitment of playing in a band together. A songwriting commitment requires partners that are on the same wave and expect the same types of work and time to put into the partnership. It is better if you know the person already or at least you know the partner’s capabilities and have heard and like their type of songwriting
You need to connect, want the same things in the way of music, and trust each other and have the same type of work discipline. You need to like the same type of music or at least agree on what sounds good and what sounds bad. The two artists should work off each other’s talents making each other better by working each other. What’s important to one might not be of great importance to the other. But in order to achieve the goal of writing a song together both need to respect each other’s opinions.
The reason why songwriters collaborate is to trigger one writer’s inspiration which then will trigger the partner’s inspiration which leads to a great song. Think Lennon McCartney or The Finn brothers who wrote fabulous songs for Crowded House. Songwriters Hal David and Burt Bacharach, Rogers & Hammerstein or the Gershwin brothers George and Ira. By compromise, the best minds can find the same target. A masterpiece can be created.
In a Songwriters, Market-Copyright & Songwriter Royalties Need to Be hammered Out
The two partners will have to sit down before you start with songwriting ideas and discuss copyright and how you will divide royalties. Do it on paper before you start songwriting and while you are still friends. Just kidding. Normally in Nashville songwriting, the lyricist takes 50% percent of the royalties and the music gets the other 50%. Hopefully, there are only two partners after that it gets more complicated but it still can be done.
If you’re in a band situation make sure those royalties are talked about and written in a simple contract or things can get really ugly. You can credit each member of the band or one or two members but make sure it’s worked out and on paper. It’s not enough to talk about it. The bass player who works out the bass line for the new song that you wrote might be thinking that he is writing the song. This has happened to me. Put it down on paper. Make a recording of the song before you take it to the band.
Good things can and do happen with songwriters that collaborate. To find a songwriting partner look at online songwriter workshops, songwriter needed ads at the music store or songwriting classes Once you pick the right person or people you want to collaborate with, you need to sit down and work out copyright ownership and royalties with each person you collaborate with. Whether in a band or a 2 person partnership, work out the business ends before you start. Then reach out and share your creative efforts and let the juices flow.