A while back a songwriter buddy of mine wanted to do a co-write. I said sure, let’s do it
We bobbled some ideas back and forth on a song he brought to the table. One thing led to another and it fizzled to a halt.
To be honest, the holidays came in, I was dealing with a health issue, and think he was a little busy himself.
Then out of the blue he sends me a product of his new toy, Band in a Box.
The song had a whole new groove.
I mean we went from a soft folk-pop sound to an almost sultry jazz ballad.
I gave him some feedback on the track and changes and asked him to send just the instrumental track so I could experiment with a melody.
Excellent- thank you. I can get the music sent your way- stay tuned. (Will do it after work) We can tweak it in many ways- melody, tempo, etc… It should be fun to experiment and see what we can come up with.”
Notice he didn’t get defensive about his melody.
He didn’t bark about any lyrical suggestions.
He was willing to change stuff…
Even better, he welcomed it and just wanted to have fun with it. That’s a sign of a mature writer, secure in his skill, and not threatened by the song, me, or anything.
I only write with those kinds of folks.
If I even sniff fear of changing a line, a word, a melody, a groove… on someone, I’m gone.
I just won’t do it.
Nothing against them. They’re great people, and I’m not against someone backing their thoughts or reasons for what they wrote either, that’s not what I’m talkin’ ‘bout.
I’m talkin’ ‘bout getting defensive, snippy, or start nit-picking personally.
If you’re old enough to read this, you know what defensive behavior smells like, and there’s nothing that stops creativity faster than nippy writers afraid of someone suggesting a change to something they wrote.
It suddenly becomes work.
Fun drains out like a pin on a birthday balloon.
They feel threatened in some way, and I don’t have the patience of a brain jockey to explain it to them.
So, chill out when changes are suggested. It doesn’t mean what you wrote is trash. Your co-writer risks the same suggestion of change when presenting his/her suggestion.
Speaking of changing things in a song. January’s Tune Booster talks about a few things to watch for. Something on rhyme patterns, meter, lyrical timing—not musical timing, and a thing or two more.
Stuff that hides out right in the open.
But, January is only up for a smidge more and it comes down for February’s issue.
Catch it at https://www.tunesmithtips.com/newsletter/