Qualifying Potential Co-Writers
© 2020 Katie Scott and Vinny Ribas
A powerful way to advance in the songwriting market is to write with a select group of co-writers. Who you are writing with will often dictate your progress in the industry. Here are some ideas for what to look for in a co-writer.
- Choose to write up. That means you should be writing with people who are as strong or stronger than you are in one or more areas of the craft. This forces you to get better and better.
- Choose writers who are not afraid to share their personal stories. It’s great to write with people who are open to writing about the good and bads sides of real life. People need to feel that the song is authentic to the writer and/or he singer.
- You might want to write with purpose. For example, it can be valuable to write specifically for film and TV placements with someone who has sync contacts. You might want to write for or with a particular artist.
- Writers with people who have credibility. If you write with someone who has a publishing deal, you inherit credibility with that publisher.
- Find writers with a similar work ethic. The last thing you want are co-writers who are lazy or unwilling to put in the effort required to write great songs.
- Find people who understand the process, the time required etc. to make the songs great. Rushing through the process just to write more songs can often lead to less-than-stellar compositions.
- Find people who know and understand the target market you want to reach.
- Find writers who leave their egos at the door. Co-writing requires mutual respect and professional compromise.
- Write with people you enjoy working with and are compatible with. Writing great songs is hard enough without having others drag you down.
- Don’t judge your co-writer based solely on the first and only time you write together. Not every session will result in a great song.