Nashville is a cowriting town.
It seems that everyone that moves or spends time here gets sucked into it eventually. But maybe you’re unsure if it’s something you want to try. Maybe you’ve always written alone and you’re worried about the unknown. Maybe you think another writer might pull your song in the wrong direction. Maybe you don’t see the value in it.
If that’s the case, consider these advantages of cowriting:
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1. More relationships.
The writing room can be a very lonely place. Some of your cowriters will become close friends, and that’s awesome. For me, one of my favorite parts of songwriting is getting to hang out for hours with people I admire and enjoy. Each of your cowriters also has his or her own network. That means they can help you meet more publishers, artists, other cowriters, etc.
2. More pitch / promotional power..
If you write a song alone, it’s up to you- and only you– to get it into the right hands (a publisher, a producer, an artist, etc.). However, if you add a cowriter or two, now you have more people to play the song out live at songwriter nights or pitch it to publishers or artists. It multiplies the chance that your song will be heard by the right people.
3. More ideas.
When you write alone, you have to come up with every single melodic and lyrical idea yourself. If YOU don’t think of it, it doesn’t end up in your song. However, when you cowrite, you and your cowriter help each other overcome those creative roadblocks. “Two heads are better than one.”
4. Less creative ruts.
When you only write alone, it’s harder to stay out of creative ruts and it’s harder to pull yourself out of them. Maybe you find yourself going back to the same tempos, moods, chord progressions or stories time after time after time. However, it’s hard to stay in a rut if you’re writing with a bluegrass female on Monday and a pop-country guy on Wednesday.
5. Complimentary strengths.
Few songwriters are equally strong at both lyrics and melody. Even fewer are equally strong AND GREAT at both. So, if you’re like most of us, your songs can benefit from finding a cowriter who is strong where you aren’t. And this doesn’t mean just “strong at lyric” or “strong at melody” or “strong at producing.” It could even be more specific things like “great at idea development,” “brings in killer hooks” or “writes awesome images.”
6. Less excuses, more productivity.
It’s pretty easy to break writing appointments with yourself. Nobody’s going to call wondering where you are, and you’ll probably get bonus points with your spouse if you did the laundry or mowed the yard instead. But if you know someone expects you to be online or in the writing room at a certain time to write, you’re a lot less likely to bail.
Likewise, it’s pretty easy to walk away from your guitar or notebook when you hit a creative roadblock in a song. But it’s a lot harder to just walk into the other room and turn on the TV when you have a cowriter sitting across from you. That would be just plain awkward.
7. Faster learning curve.
Cowriting allows you to learn from your fellow songwriters. You get a front row seat to observe how they think, how they overcome obstacles, etc. You may pick up a cool alternate tuning or a way of constructing a lyric that you would’ve only discovered on your own years later. Plus, a good cowriter will challenge you to dig deeper and write better songs. I know that’s definitely been true for me.
If you’re ready to speed up YOUR learning curve and grow as a writer, here’s your chance. Ask a hit songwriter YOUR questions- and get answers.
Every quarter, I host Frettie’s “Know The Row,” with an industry pro. And our next event is coming up in February with hit songwriter, Byron Hill!
This is your chance to sit down face-to-face (online) with a real-deal professional songwriter. Since moving to Nashville and signing his first publishing deal in 1978, Byron’s songs have generated more than 700 recordings, and have been released on ninety-one industry certified Gold and Platinum albums and singles! Wow.
You and I BOTH want to know what Byron has to share.
Here’s the deal. You can join us online from anywhere in the world on Thursday, February 8, 2018 from 7pm-8pm Central time. And this special event is FREE to members of Frettie.com! (But don’t worry- you can still purchase a ticket even if you don’t want to take advantage of all of Frettie’s membership benefits. But the deadline to purchase a ticket is WEDNESDAY, JAN. 31!)
Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US, a #1 in Canada & a top 10 in Texas… so far.