How to co-write effectively and efficiently

By Founder + CEO Lillian Glanton

If you’re already on the co-writing train, that is awesome. If you’re new to co-writing, that is awesome too. Welcome aboard! I get asked on a daily basis about how to co-write. Here are my 5 tips for co-writing effectively and efficiently.

Tip #1: Find out what you’re NOT good at. 

If you want to find the perfect co-writer, you need to find out what you bring to the table as well as what you DON’T bring to the table. This will help you figure out what type of co-writer you are looking for. For example, if you’re not good with melody, find someone who is great at guitar and so on. 

Tip #2: Always come to the writing session with ideas.

One of my mentors said to me early on, “Lillian, always go into the writing session with 7 song ideas.” (why he said 7– I’m really not sure) but he said that’s how he’s been able to get in the rooms with HUGE artists. If you come into the co-writing session with an idea, you’ve got your crap together. You know what I’m sayin’? 

Tip #3: Know when to talk and when to listen.

I think as creatives, we tend to be a little awkward and we overanalyze every situation which sometimes can make you a bit chatty. Know when to talk and when to listen. If your co-writer is telling you a personal story, be present in the moment and listen to the conversation. Who knows– there might be a song inside that story. 

Tip #4: Make it about the SONG- always. 

One day you might be humming the melody, one day you might be brainstorming the lyrics, one day you might only contribute 2 words to the whole song (trust me, we’ve all been there at some point) and THAT IS OK. Know your role. And don’t beat yourself up if you co-write with someone who is better than you at one particular thing. Don’t make it about you, make it about the SONG. 

Tip #5- Quit Spinning your Wheels

There are going to be some people that you co-write with that you’re just like, HOLY COW WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL OF MY LIFE and then others, where you’re like this, was torture, I never want to write with that person again. That is all perfectly fine. Don’t force yourself to write with people again when you know that it’s not working for you. Move on. 

If you need help finding a co-writer, the Muscle Shoals Song Rooms is a great place to start! Once you become a member of the Song Rooms, you get instant access to a community. (And the membership is a steal right now for only $10/month!) Click here to learn more.