Win The Song, Lose The Cowriter


Brent is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ray Stevens, and more.  He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.


Hey, ya’ll! At the bottom of today’s post, I’m going to let you know about some free stuff I’m giving away to all of you great Man vs. Row subscribers.  Now, on to today’s post…

When you write with an artist, whether a local artist or a major-label artist, don’t be so focused on getting a great song that the artist has a terrible time.  Yes, you want to write the best song possible, but you don’t want to lose the cowriting relationship over it.  Think long-term.

Remember that not all artists are natural writers who are in it for the grind of the song.  However, some artists ARE writers and are willing to take as much time as they need for the song to get right.  It’s important to pay attention to which type of artist is in the writing room with you.

If the artist is really digging what you’re working on, be careful about grinding so hard for perfection that the artist hates your face by the end of the day.  This is especially true on your first cowrite.  Do your homework- bring in a strong idea or melody, but most of all… be likable!  I believe you’ll have a better chance of getting back on the books with the artist with a good song and a great time than with a great song and an awful time.  ‘Cuz even if you push to something great (but the artist thinks you’re a jerk), he is likely to avoid you in the future.  There are just other people the artist can work with that are both really good writers AND a really good hang.

I’m not talking about being an insincere suckup.  Just make sure both the song and the experience of writing the song are both as enjoyable as possible.

God Bless,



As a way to say “thank you” to all of you who subscribe to Man vs. Row by email, I’m going to give away some cool stuff in July (2014).  If you subscribe to MvR, I’ll send you a free report, “10 Things The Pro Knows.”  I’ll also send you the guitar/vocal of “Crickets,” which is the title track of Joe Nichols’ current album.  You’ll get to hear the song as Joe heard it when he decided to record it.  You’ll also receive the lyric file of the song- and this lyric file includes “Baxter’s Boneyard” – all the lines that DIDN’T make it into the song (see if you agree with our choices).  It’s something nobody else has seen, and I think it’s pretty cool.  But, again, this gift is only for those who subscribe to Man vs. Row by E-MAIL.  These gifts will be sent by email, so if I don’t have your email address, I can’t send it to you.  God Bless!


Anything you’d like to add or ask?  Leave a comment!  Are there any topics  you’d like to see addressed in a future MvR post?  Thanks!


If you like this blog, don’t miss a single post!  Subscribe by putting your email in the “Follow Man vs. Row via E-mail” section on this page.  It’s either in the upper righthand corner or down below.   Also, please share this blog with anyone you think would benefit from it.  I appreciate it when you share it on Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else.  Thanks!

Brent’s Twitter: @Razorbaxter

Brent Baxter Music:

9 thoughts on “Win The Song, Lose The Cowriter”

    1. Awesome! There’s a “Follow Man vs Row Via Email” in the upper right hand side of the blog (on a laptop). On a mobile device, that box should be at the bottom. Welcome!

  1. Hi Brent,

    Thank you so very, very much for the gift that you will be sending us in July.  I too think that that is cool!  I think that it is fantastic that you would share your creative works with us.  It will definitely be interesting to see the lines that you “shed” from the song.  As an NSAI Coordinator (Baltimore Chapter), it is always great to learn new techniques as to how to improve a song.  This will be a good lesson for me to be a better critiquer. 

    By the way, thank you for the posts on your blog and sharing your wisdom and wit.  I have always found them quite informative and I do share them with our members.

    Have a great Easter!

    God bless you too!

    Donna Sinquefield NSAI Baltimore Chapter Coordinator Cell:  410-375-7867


  2. Brent, I’m an NSAI Chapter Coordinator, and you critiqued a song of mine in a one-on-one over a year ago at the NSAI main office. It was titled “Your Prodigal.” You challenged me not use that title, and to write a song about a modern-day prodigal without using the word “prodigal.” You also gave me a phrase for the 2nd half of the first line: I had, “…but he’d like to just forget.” You suggested, “…from freedom to regret.” I took all that and ran with it, and re-wrote the song. I had it critiqued again a few months by R.C. in another one-on-one. My 2nd verse was an “application” verse, commonly used in So. Gospel, where you switch from talking about the person in the 1st verse, to speak directly to the listener, such as “maybe like him you’ve…” R.C. suggested I stay with the same guy/modern prodigal all the way through the song and bring him on home. I re-wrote again and did that too. I will have a simple demo done within a week or two. I’d like to send it to you via Leslie at the main office so you can see what I’ve done with it. OK? I’m going to write R.C. and send it to him also.

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