How To Find A Songwriting PartnerPosted by Mike Schuck
Finding a writing partner can be tricky, but it is totally doable! If you are struggling to find someone, don’t give up just because it takes some time to connect with people.
Writing is an intimate process that requires two people to collaborate on content and voice. Yours could be their’s — or maybe they’re already working with someone else. Either way, being able to work alone doesn’t mean you should!
In this article, I will talk about how to find your songwriting partner. Whether you are looking for a collaborator at the starting stage of your career or you have been collaborating with others for years and want to expand your team, these tips will help you out.
Communicate your ideas clearly
As discussed earlier, being able to articulate your songwriting vision is an essential part of finding a writing partner. But making sure that you both understand each other’s songs is also important!
When someone asks you what you wrote, make sure to be clear about which parts they are not allowed to share. This is especially true if they have written some sections or whole lyrics already.
And while it may sound obvious, don’t take anyone’s words over yours with respect to content, structure, tone, etc. If you need help defining something, tell them! They might just know the word for it.
At the very least, compare notes on similar lyrical concepts, structures, or styles in order to ensure good collaboration. You can even ask whether there are any parts of a song that feel clichéd or trite, and see if you can offer new inspiration or suggestions.
Be a good listener
A writer is only as strong as their weakest link, which can be difficult when you are looking for someone to collaborate with. If you have a lot of ideas but no one to share them with, then it will take you much longer to see results.
As writers, we spend so much time talking about writing, that we sometimes forget how important being a great listener is. It’s hard to write well if you don’t know what makes a sentence powerful or how to use parallel structure.
So while you may want to offer your advice at times, try to do it in ways that aren’t too pushy or self-serving. Rather than telling someone something, ask questions and listen to the answers.
This way, they’ll feel more inclined to tell you things since you’ve made an effort to understand where they come from. And you’ll learn more about who they are as people by doing this.
Share your work and get their feedback
Finding a songwriter is not like finding a new roommate or significant other, where you can simply invite them in and see how they fit. You will need to go out together as a team at least once before agreeing to work together.
So what are some ways to do this?
There are many strategies for collaboration, from writing a hook or lead vocal part together, to sharing lyrics, recording parts separately, and then bringing it all together.
It’s important to be open and honest with each other about the songs you have written already and the ones you would like to write.
This way, you both know if something sounds too similar to something that has failed before or if there are too many similarities with someone else’s song, and so on.
Do not be afraid to try new things
Finding a songwriter is like finding someone you want to spend more time with; you have to be willing to go after what you want. If you are too scared of failing, then chances are you will never succeed!
It is very common for people in the music business to work alone. But this cannot always be the case. You must know how to approach other writers or artists for collaboration.
You should definitely ask if they’re looking for collaborations but also make sure that they can be trusted before agreeing to work together.
If you are both happy with the outcome, reward them for their efforts by doing something fun with them. This could be going out for coffee or taking part in an event together.
Look for a partner who encourages you
As mentioned before, being a songwriter doesn’t automatically mean that your songs will get heard. It takes teamwork to have someone listen to your music and give feedback, so be sure to look for a collaborator who can motivate you as an artist and person.
If you are looking to take your writing career seriously then you should consider partnering up with another writer or musician. This could be in the form of sharing workloads, offering critiques, and/or just being supportive of each other’s work.
Music is a very subjective medium, which means what one listener considers bland may appeal to another. By having a second opinion you can learn something new and strengthen your own creative voice.
Another important thing about collaboration is giving credit where it is due. Make sure to discuss whose ideas made which part of the song and acknowledge their contribution into the process.
This way, everyone will feel like they played a significant role in the final product and gave their best effort without feeling overlooked or underappreciated.
Ask for feedback and advice
Finding a songwriter you feel comfortable working with is an exercise in asking questions and getting answers! You will need to ask them about their process, what works for them, what doesn’t, how they manage deadlines, and if they are willing to share their work-inprogress songs with you.
It’s also important to be clear about who will be doing what (and when) so that there isn’t any confusion down the line. For example, you may want to collaborate with someone on lyrics or vocals but not music so it’s good to make sure everyone is upfront about this.
And while some writers enjoy sharing their work, others prefer keeping their ideas private until they're ready to show them off. What feels right for either of you at this stage can be fleshed out as the writing partnership grows.
If you're ever feeling overwhelmed by all the tasks that have to get done and people that you've asked to help, try organizing your time efficiently. This could mean having a separate notebook or file just for notes and reminders, or creating different categories to organize your documents and files.
Do not be afraid to try new things
As mentioned earlier, being a songwriter doesn’t automatically mean you will make money as a musician. It can even seem like an expensive hobby if you don’t find it profitable at times.
But one of the best ways to improve your writing is by working with others — either in person or online via social media, blogs, and forums.
By sharing your songs and offering yours for collaboration, you increase your exposure and chances of getting picked up by other writers or producers who have their own material they are looking to get out.
This isn’t to say that you should drop what you are doing and join someone else’s team, but instead add some additional components to your toolbox. You may also want to look into how others manage theirs so you can learn from those examples.
Finding a writing partner is not like finding someone new at work or going out with a romantic partner- there are no quick fixes or easy ways to do it.
But, you can learn some helpful tips about how to find your songwriter friend!
It’s important to know that being a good writer isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to music. Being able to communicate well and working effectively as partners goes a long way towards creating a successful relationship.
So, before you start looking for other writers, make sure you’re both open, honest and communicative. You want to be sure that you’ll feel comfortable sharing all of your ideas and thoughts with them, so check out their social media profiles, watch some of their videos and read some of their blogs.
The Jam Addict team is a revolving door of writers who care about music, its effects on culture, and giving aspiring artists tools and knowledge to be inspired and keep on creating.
If you have any questions or concerns or just want to drop us a line, don't hesitate to contact us! We always appreciate the feedback.