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Carnival

Songwriting Collaboration For Lyricists

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Im lyricist and vocalist looking for instrum to write lyrics over ill give credit and will ask or approval first

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I can either sing your music for you, or write your lyrics. Either one I'm perfectly happy with. Maybe get a third person in for guitar or something (I'm on residence for university so I don't think I can play guitar loud enough to get it recorded) garrettrobertson@hotmail.ca

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Ray888    159

I have been a professional lyricist for 4 decades, and for the past couple of years, I have been writing on-line with composers from all over the world.

I now have a fruitful relationship with the majority of them.

 

I recently sent a lyric to an Italian composer that doesn't speak English very well. He emailed me back and he agreed to compose the piano and melody for it. Because of the language barrier, I wasn't expecting him to get the feel of the lyric at the first try. A few days later I received the WAV file and when I listened to it, I knew immediately that it was a wining song. The vocal is being recorded this weekend by a well known artist. It just goes to show how music crosses the language barrier.

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savialeigh    3

My thoughts:

First, for Steve:
You don't have to be the best performer, make the best recording, or have the best voice for your clooaborations to make it to radio. You need good composition skills, and the ability to play what you write well enough to get the point across. The singer needs to have a decent voice and be able to interpret the words reasonably well. Honestly, the lyrics can be pretty bad as long as the music is good, but the better the lyric the better! Anyway, if you have a decent recording of a decent song, that's what you need to pitch the song to performers. Maybe they're up & coming, maybe they're established, well known names, but many recording artists are not writers of any kind. They need us, just as we need them.

Joe: When I write lyrics, I hear music in my head. When my collaborator gets the lyrics, sometimes he hears my music, sometimes not. If he needs to change a word to make it work, I'm good with that. If he needs the chorus totally rewritten, he sends it back and tells me what he needs. If his music doesn't do what I think it needs to do, we hash that out and find something we can both be happy with. We're a team. (Yes, we're very lucky!)

 

For one song, his version was totally opposite my intention. He then did a version that came close to my intent, and we then created a mix of both. It's really important that all members of the collaborative effort understand that give and take goes both ways. We put all three versions up for input and learned that all three were favored by different people, two were liked by everyone who commented, and only one was disliked by some - only because they wanted the tempo increased a bit. Oh, and one person totally didn't get the lyric at all and only commented on the music. In a way, this was extra helpful to us, because it made it clear that neither is 'right', and that if one thing doesn't work, something else might. (Also that if it did work, that doesn't mean there isn't a better version waiting in the wings.)

 

Carnival: The best advice I can give anyone is to work out in detail what each collorator is going to do, what degree of changes can be made on the fly and when consultation is needed, and what can be done with the resulting work. Some type of written agreement ought to exist, and the breakdown of copyright and any income should be explicitly spelled out.

 

Also, for non-singing duos, demo singers can be hired - or those who sing well but as yet have no portfolio may sing in exchange for the right to place the song in their demo portfolio. Again, a written agreement as to what the singer may do with the song is needed, and that should also cover whether the singer is 'paid in full' with the demo recording. A paid demo singer is paid in full with money. If you're recording with the intent to sell, seriously, talk to a Music Lawyer. (Not a divorce lawyer, not a guy who used to own a studio, not even an entertainment attorney - a Music Attorney. Music is a whole 'nother world from anything else.)

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Ray888    159

Hey guys. My name is Nicolas and I'm from Germany. I've been writing lyrics and poems the past months and I guess I'm pretty talented. I need a partner, a composer/Music writer, no matter what age or gender, or location, who's in Rock-Pop music, but also capable for other genres. I don't want someone to offer me his work, so I'll buy it, 'cause that's *** in my opinion. I want a partner with whom I can collaborate with and make some real music. Don't waste your time thinking about everything but send me a mail to "slef_ioh@yahoo.com" if you're interested and let's start already, there no time to lose! Yours truly, Nico.

Hi Nicolas,

 

I am a lyricist working with many composers, producers, and artists internationally. I sometimes work with other lyricists of varying skill levels who need their work improved, recrafted, or polished. I am currently working with co-writers that have written and produced for Leona Lewis, McLean, Tinchy Stryder, and many other known artists. I currently have a song pitched to James Blunt and am writing an EP and follow up album for a newly signed artist.

 

I try when I can, to help other writers whether novices or intermediates. A piece of good advice if you are man enough to accept it, is to never ever tell anyone that you are talented. If other people say that you are talented, then that's what really counts. Even though I have a track record, I would never tell anyone that I was talented because they would consider me to be conceited and would run a mile.

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Hello all! I am a lyricist who is looking for someone musically inclined to help me out! I've had a couple of bands contact me, but I'm really curious as to the legal side of things. Does anyone out there know how to get started? I would love to collab, but I want to make sure not of my work will be stolen!

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ames1212    173

I also write lyrics but need a cowriter, so Thank you for making this thread. Has any one had luck finding a Cowriter ere. I write in country, Gospel, Country Pop, Pop, Christian Genres. I don't have any musical talent, so I would like to find some one to co-write melodies. Thanks for all the great advicse on here.

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Ray888    159

@ JackandWoody - 

 

I have to agree with you on all points except for ONE.

 

It's not only lyricists that can be inflexible. I have come across a few composers over the years that are inflexible.

 

We are all individuals and react in different ways to change. I have worked with a number of novice lyricists that didn't have much experience, and yet they had good idea's or hook-lines. Working with novices can be rewarding, and sometimes they just need a little guidance to become better lyricists, I haven't forgotten the people that helped me in my early days. Until recently I was able to give some of my time to newbies but I am now up to my neck in writing for two artists and 8 producers. 

 

If there are any newcomers on this thread, my advice is to study lyrics and song structures from modern songs that are in the charts. Try to come up with original titles and strong hooks, along with a good theme to them. If your lyrics are good enough when you show them to composers or post them on sites, they will be picked up on.

It's a journey so just try to enjoy the ride.

 

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ames1212    173

@ JackandWoody - 

 

I have to agree with you on all points except for ONE.

 

It's not only lyricists that can be inflexible. I have come across a few composers over the years that are inflexible.

 

We are all individuals and react in different ways to change. I have worked with a number of novice lyricists that didn't have much experience, and yet they had good idea's or hook-lines. Working with novices can be rewarding, and sometimes they just need a little guidance to become better lyricists, I haven't forgotten the people that helped me in my early days. Until recently I was able to give some of my time to newbies but I am now up to my neck in writing for two artists and 8 producers. 

 

If there are any newcomers on this thread, my advice is to study lyrics and song structures from modern songs that are in the charts. Try to come up with original titles and strong hooks, along with a good theme to them. If your lyrics are good enough when you show them to composers or post them on sites, they will be picked up on.

It's a journey so just try to enjoy the ride.

Thank you for the good advice!

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Ray888    159

You are so welcome.

 

Everyone needs advice sometimes in their lives, even professionals who believe they can't learn anything from new writers.

 

We are all still learning until the day we die.

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ames1212    173

has anyone found co-writers or collaborations through this site? Just curious.

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Ray888    159

To be honest, I tried this site several years ago.

 

I posted some lyrics that were never taken up by anyone. I placed those lyrics with artists later on.

 

I believe that there is a sight calle "Songwritingfever" where I heard it is easier to find co-writers.

 

Many composers that are mediocre to exceptional would not usually entertain a new writer because they assume that you aren't very good at it.

You have to realise that you are in an industry that is very selfish. Most composers that I have met over many years are aiming to work with people that will enhance their careers. You can't blame them for it because many musicians struggle for many years and still don't make the big time. Most have to subsidize their incomes by working a day job so they can play gigs in the evening or at the weekends.

 

Have you posted any of your lyrics on threads on this site?

 

If you have, point me in the direction and I will take a look at them.

 

The good looking guy in the photo, Lol

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ames1212    173

Oh cool, I will have to check that out. I understand about being new, but everyone was new at one point. Every one had to get someone to notice them for the first time. So I understand that it takes time. I have posted a few on the lyric critique board. I only have a few that I have the copyright on, so I only posted those. Lol, that is a strange looking fellow in your picture box,lol Thank you for the advice.

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justsoulin    323

Yes ames - I have found and worked/collaborated with a number of members purely through Songstuff :)

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Ray888    159

Hi Ames,

 

I looked at 3 of your lyrics and I think that your writing has potential. It's very good for someone that has just started out.

 

Some of it comes across as a little preachy so be careful of that.

 

In today's market, it's all about having strong hook-lines so you would be advised to spend some time on finding them before you get too deep into crafting your lyrics.

 

Also, try as much as possible to find secondary rhymes rather than close rhymes. At present you seem to be trying to match them exactly like "You & To", so you could explore that area of your writing. ie; You,soon, balloon, new,, true, view, tune, into, etc, etc.

 

I think that you are the type to be a fast learner and I'm impressed with your work so far, although you have a way to go before I would consider placing you with one of my composer/producers. Well done on your work to date, and I hope that you find a collaborator to work with soon. It will give you the chance to improve your skills in the process.

 

Yes, I do look strange with my big ears Lol.

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ames1212    173

Word, most of my songs are gospel, so they are suppose to be a little preachy,lol. Were you referring to Sunday drive, I could not figure that out? That is good advise abut the secondary rhymes, I do try to match the sounds too much. Thanks for the feedback.

  Do you have some published songs? if so how long did it take you to get one that someone liked?

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ames1212    173

Yes ames - I have found and worked/collaborated with a number of members purely through Songstuff :)

Cool, that gives me hope! Thanks! Did you find them on the lyrics page or did you post in different forums?

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Ray888    159

Word, most of my songs are gospel, so they are suppose to be a little preachy,lol. Were you referring to Sunday drive, I could not figure that out? That is good advise abut the secondary rhymes, I do try to match the sounds too much. Thanks for the feedback.

  Do you have some published songs? if so how long did it take you to get one that someone liked?

My career began long before there were mobile phones or internet. It was all about legwork back in the early sixties. I don't agree with your understanding of christian music having to be preachy. It tends to drive listeners away rather than attract them. Perhaps it would be favourable for you to try writing something non-prechy and see how you get on.

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ames1212    173

Hi Word, I have not posted any gospel songs, I was not sure how the others sounded preachy, they were about a story. I was not sure what you meant.

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Ray888    159

Preachy is assuming that your belief is everyone elses. To avoid this you just tell the story and allow others to make up their own minds whether they identify with it.

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Ray888    159

All very good and informative posts...  things to consider.  90% of songs are written by more than one person, even in the publishing companies, and it is true that two heads are better than one, sometimes 3 or 4 will work together.

There are approx 10 million songwriters in North America, about 3.5 million are musicians, the rest are a combination of lyricists and songwriters that do lyrics and melody but can't play an instrument..

Respect is the biggest factor in ANY relationship, including collaboration..  understand that you may go through a few contacts before finding that person you communicate well with, that has the creative abilities you are looking for..   and maybe one can be too picky and miss out on something... it doesn't hurt to have 3 or 4 people either write lyrics to your music, or to write music to your lyrics... 

Good luck to all...  me, I used to write the melodies, but now mostly lyrics.. I am too weak on the music side, but stronger on the lyrics side...  I have found it fun to write lyrics to music, and have enjoyed the responses to those writings..  

I agree that 3 or even more co-writers can work well as I have done it many times. There can be pitfalls in that amount of people writing a song together. Sometimes personalities can clash with just two writers and when you add more to the list it can prove problematic. Be prepared that some peoples voices will naturally try to prevail over others, even with just two people. Whatever the number of co-writers you are working with, make sure that you have the ears to listen to them and the voice to get your ideas across. If things don't quite work out it's just another lesson learned.

 

There are differences between people who write for fun in their spare time and people who write for a living you often have deadlines to meet and although the songwriting is still enjoyable, it can get hectic at times.

 

Lastly, a piece of advice to ALL is that if you receive positive critiques, let them sink in and learn from them. If someone beats your work up in a negative way, KNOW that it comes from their own frustration of not being successful in their own songwriting and they want you to feel bad because it makes them feel better. Don't take it on board. 

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shanetelford    15

I've only really gotten back into lyric writing after a disheartening collaboration experience a few years ago - I've collaborated with a few people and really enjoyed the experience, two heads are better than one etc. But after meeting a successful composer/musician online who'd had success in his own country I started to lose heart. When the song was complete he would only allow me to hear it over the phone because I was hesistant to sign a split royalties 75/25 if the song were ever successful. And to this day the only thing I've got to show for the writing and rewriting (which didn't happen over a day or two) is a one minute clip. I saw another side to writing and I'm only coming around to the idea of collaborating again now.

I suppose the moral I'm trying to put across is, collaborating can be great but it's probably in your best interest to be able to put some trust into who you're working with!

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Ray888    159

@ Shane Telford -

 

I'm unsure how the split ended up 75/25 split but if you wrote the song together, it would usually be a 50/50 split (although it's always negotiable).

 

Signing a split-sheet agreement is always a good thing to do if both are in agreement with the terms and percentage splits. It seems that you are not a musician and just write lyrics like I do myself. If you did not agree a split and you didn't sign a split-sheet agreement then your co-writer should not have released the song. He or she needs your permission. How are your royalties being collected and paid to you? Is your name on the credits?

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tomcollins    512

this is a common sense subject !!! Any business you get into you always have a contract !! no if's and's or but's . If you don't then you have only yourself to blame !! plain and simple,

When I started before the age of computers it was a bit more simple in a sense . Yet you still had to do your due diligence to make sure your ass was covered . The music industry has standards by which things are done as with any industry !! So do your home work ,ask others who have been there and done that , this day and age it is world wide at your finger tips .! And the rules change a bit from one country to another , that is why you MUST do your homework !! this site has a lot to offer on these matters , but please use common sense !!! I colab for fun mostly these days , but if I was to enter one with intent to go public and sell, I would take every step possible to make sure my ass was covered!!

Ask questions the only dumb question is the one not asked !!!

rock on !!  

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BK Williamson    452

I think Tom is absolutely right!!  If the song goes through a company like BMI you have to set up the "split" or the "collaboration agreement for royalties" right there as you are entering the song into their web site.  Good luck to you Shane!!

 

All the best,

Bryan

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sorry for budding in i'm new but how does this lyricists collaboration work

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justsoulin    323

Nightmare - you should begin a new topic with that as your question :yes:

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I have to agree with the author about creating lyrics to an existing backing track. Often I hear the words and patterns forming in my mind as I listen. This is the way I prefer to collab/ co-write a song. My first song collaboration was a pop music/ ballad song with a German composer; it made me step outside my comfort zone, which was, up to that time, writing country songs exclusively.

SWJ

Edited by SongWriterJoe

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Ray888    159

A songwriting collaboration is not set in stone and the boundaries are shiftable according to the co-write situation.

 

If you start a co-write from scratch it is always a sensible idea to have a written song split agreement although it's dificult unless you have formulated a title for the song. You can put "Song title to be decided" but it doesn't really mean anything.

 

However if one party has already composed the music/Melody or lyric it's a whole different situation.

 

Example: Suppose you have written a lyric and find a composer to compose the music/melody and you sign a song split agreement.

 

If it turns out that you are unhappy with the composers work, then you have legally bound yourself to the song as one entity, 

 

I work with about a dozen songwriters on a regular basis and this is how we work. I just thought that I would throw in my experience so that it gives individuals another facet to think about.

 

The same applies if the composer is unhappy with the lyric.

 

The majority of my split-sheet agreements are signed when both or all parties are happy with each individuals work because I either have already crafted the lyric or my composer has already composed the music/melody and I craft a lyric to it..  

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