As you progress in your songwriting journey there will come a time when you’ll be interested in writing songs with other songwriters. Perhaps you are very proficient at writing lyrics but you could use some help with your melody. Maybe you are a good singer and have a feel for constructing interesting melodic lines but you are not yet strong on the lyric side.
The good news is there are talented writers out there who can bring their strengths to the song creation process. You can combine what your strongest area of writing is with theirs and come up with some great songs. Now the next question is how to find that person. The good news is there are many ways to begin your search. Below are my top 10 places to look if you’re wondering how to find a songwriting collaborator.
This is the most obvious and easiest place to start. You already know these people. Since you’re into songwriting there’s a good chance that your circle of family and friends around you have an interest in music too. Maybe your co-writer has been hiding in plain sight all along. Sometimes we have a blind spot when it comes to those around us.
Take a fresh look at who you already know and see if there is anyone that might fill the role. Perhaps someone you know plays music, maybe even writes, and has done so for a long time. If they don’t know that you’ve been improving your songwriting skills you need to inform them. Let them hear or see some of what you’ve written. They might be taken by surprise that they didn’t even know you had that talent. Your songwriting collaborator could already be right next to you!
Consider taking a music class. Maybe you’d like to learn guitar. This would be a great place to meet like-minded people. Look around the classroom and assess your fellow classmates. Is there someone who you have connected with? Ask them if they’ve written songs. Ask your instructors if they know anyone or could refer you to a place to find a co-writer. See if there are any groups dedicated to songwriting connected to the school or college that meet outside of the classroom. Heck, start one yourself if you’d like.
Look around in your town or nearby city and see which coffee shops or cafe’s or any other public place invite artists to play. Get to know some of these people. If you like the songs they play, let them know it. Find out if they wrote any of them. If they don’t write much let them know that you’re a songwriter and ask if you could show them some of your work sometime.
The key here is non-aggressive networking. Don’t go rushing into their space. Take the time to develop a relationship with them. If they know you as a friendly encouraging person first they will likely be open to hearing what you have written. If you play yourself, consider asking the venues if you could play some of your songs. There may be someone in the audience listening who may approach you at some point to be a songwriting collaborator.
If you play an instrument odds are that you frequent your local music store. Ask around the next time you’re in there getting guitar strings. See if the employees have any ideas on how you might connect with other writers. Some of them might be songwriters themselves. Make small talk with customers who may be checking out and playing some guitars. See if they play anywhere. Ask if they write songs.
I don’t think I’ve seen this option in articles on how to find a song Collaborator. Pull up the craigslist page and in the search box type “songwriter” or ” bands”, or anything else music related. Pay attention to the results from the “community” section. There is even a section titled “musicians” within the “community” box. They also have a discussion Forums section with music and writing as subsections.
Look through these postings for possible leads. Let’s say you find a band that interests you. Find out where they’re playing and go check them out. Talk with them between sets to get to know them. Offer to help load up the equipment after the gig. The point is to put forth the same amount of effort in getting to know these people as you have the desire to further your songwriting career.
Just about everyone is on Facebook these days. Find a songwriters group on FB and join. Read through the postings. Follow some artists in your area. If you like their music post some positive feedback. After a while slip in a post about your writing. You could start a Facebook page of your own dedicated to songwriting or specifically on focusing on connecting writers who are looking for collaborators.
Reddit is another place that has songwriting communities. If you Google “Reddit Songwriting”, and variations of that, you can find some results. Here are a few that I came across.
Online Songwriting Forums
There are songwriting forums for a multitude of genres. Just Google “Songwriting Forums” and you’ll have plenty of results to search through. You can also try adding a specific genre to the search query to narrow down the results. Most of these forums have sub-sections for various genres. I have a special fondness for songwriting forums and I’ll share why and the end of this article.
If you can make it to one of these in L.A., New York, or Nashville be sure to schedule ahead with your Performing Rights Organization if you have joined one.
ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and SOCAN are the main players. Contact them and set up a meeting with a representative.
Bring one of your best songs to play for them and get feedback. This will give you a feel for where you are in your progress as a songwriter. While you’re at the music conferences do some mingling and build up a network of writers. One of these people may become your co-writer someday.
This is another great place to meet someone. There are thousands, if not more, of people on Youtube that have the same interest in songwriting as you do. Find some of those channels and start commenting. Eventually, see if they would be interested in co-writing a song with you. You could even start a channel of your own. Get known as a songwriter looking for collaborators.
If you’re serious about finding a songwriting collaborator these 10 places will put you on the path to meeting one. I know, because it worked for me. I met a writer online in a songwriting forum. It started by reading and listening to the songs he had posted. He heard some of my songs and eventually we connected.
The outcome of that collaboration was a fully produced CD with all of the songs written by Dan and me. One of those songs got signed by a publisher and recorded by another indie artist. During the whole process, we never met face to face. We live about 2 thousand miles apart and did everything online sending tracks back and forth.
We finally got to meet when I traveled to his State to visit one of my relatives. He lives about an hour and a half from my relative so I drove up and we spent the day together with our wives. It was terrific finally getting to meet my talented co-writer. You’re the man, Dan Simmons!