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The Nightmare Of Co-writing
 Moderated by: Troy33, RainyDayMan, HankTheTank
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 Posted: Mon Oct 7th, 2019 10:12 pm
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CountryGal2
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I'm having one of the moments of "do as I say not as I do" when I decided to work with an amateur songwriter to help with their song. Her being new to the industry I figured we'd work out the details of a songwriters agreement later on. Honestly it was just me trying to help them out a little and I didn't think much of it. Now however, they sent me a songwriting agreement, that outlines that I am responsible for her expenses to exploit the song. So yeah that would be great if we were trying to shop the song to get it recorded but she is the artist recording the song. Not only that but they are withholding any royalties to help cover those expenses. It's not like we make much on those royalties anyway. You have got to be kidding me! They have already tried to get me to help pay for their production costs and their marketing of the song. No they are not making a demo here she is recording and releasing the song as a single and she's the artist. Someone somewhere is telling them that I should have some responsibility in the expenses she is incurring to record and release this song. I have never in my 20 years of songwriting come across something like this. It's like a bad recording contract or publishing deal. So...... please do as I say and not as I did. While it's a major buzzkill, get the contracts in place before you co-write with someone. If they are thinking they are going to take advantage of you it's best to know BEFORE you write the song together.  

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 Posted: Tue Oct 8th, 2019 01:56 am
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samiamiamsam
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Wow, that's a real horror story.



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 Posted: Tue Oct 8th, 2019 04:33 am
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RainyDayMan
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Well that sounds difficult. You should be safe, legally, not having signed up to anything - but that doesn't stop them harassing you in the meanwhile.

It is a good caution. Everything is fine until money becomes involved. Then sometimes people stop being nice.



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 Posted: Tue Oct 8th, 2019 06:17 am
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SongWriterJoe
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To some extent I do agree. Also a bad co-writer screws around and doesn't meet deadlines, doesn't expend the necessary effort to make a good 'finished product', and refuses to accept useful feedback and constructive criticism. Having said that, synergy can be like magic!:Guitarman1:

Last edited on Tue Oct 8th, 2019 06:18 am by SongWriterJoe



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 Posted: Fri Nov 1st, 2019 05:28 pm
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Belladonna
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I find most co-writes are like a bad marriage. I'm fairly picky about my lyrics and don't always like the other persons choice of words. The only times it's worked is when I do the lyrics and someone better with music does the melody. I don't mind if they tweak a little to fit the song to the music, but do not like big changes. I also like to write with someone better than me so I learn something hopefully. Yes, getting everything clearly spelled out and on paper in the beginning helps eliminate future problems and expectations.

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 Posted: Sat Nov 9th, 2019 05:06 pm
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moptop
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CG2, so what makes them think they can make you assume all of these financial responsibilities when your just a co-writer? Obviously they not looking for a collaborator they're looking for a sponsor of financial backer. I hope you told them where they can put their contract!!!

All of these horror stories just adds reinforcement to the reason I only do this for fun.
I've been in bands for over 25 years and have seen business uglies that happen just on a local level. I've had several people come to me wanting to collab with me on various projects with them stating that "normal contract rules" apply. I just tell them right up front that I do not actively try to sell or market any of my material and am in no way interested in any getting involved in the business side of music industry. I do this strictly for my own enjoyment and that's the way it's going to stay........and I never hear from them again.

Luckily I found a person who I collab with that feels the same way. Our understanding is...."we do this for fun" and are happy with that! She does the lyrics and I do the music and so far it's been a fun experience.

Last edited on Sat Nov 9th, 2019 05:20 pm by moptop



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 Posted: Sat Nov 9th, 2019 06:27 pm
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SongWriterJoe
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I think I'll close my participation in this thread with a few quotes from the wise:

"If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you've always gotten."

"Insanity is the process of doing the same thing over and over again the same way and expecting different results."

And finally, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

Good luck to you and your endeavors.. SWJ out!

Last edited on Sat Nov 9th, 2019 06:29 pm by SongWriterJoe



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 Posted: Thu Dec 12th, 2019 05:40 am
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PatrickLockwood
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I hear ya, I've learned the hard way and I never co-write with anyone unless we have a collaboration agreement signed before we even start.

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