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Finding and working with a Collaborator can be difficult and you may have to try many partners before meeting with someone you can work with comfortably.  Proximity, dedication, similarity of view, personality and technical ability should be taken into account.

Before you start creating songs with an associate songwriter, lyricist or composer, or producer, it is essential to form a set of rules and guidelines to prevent misunderstandings and everyones interests.

For instance:-
The songwriting partnership splits up - What happens to the songs?

Generally speaking the initiator of the musical theme or lyrics has the first claim on the song. As such they own the original copyright, which they should secure before working with anyone. Any other contributors to the song can be credited and share the royalties, but the copyright holder would retain the rights to change, publish or use the song in whichever way they choose.

This can be a bit of a minefield, for instance most backing or session players would contribute their ideas or riffs but normally only receive a flat fee for their time, whereas the mate who devises a killer riff and main melody line would have contributed considerably towards the songs creation and deserves both credit and royalty split if the track is published.

Regardless of wether you intend to publish, record, perform or just write for fun, it is far better to formalise a contract outlining acceptable use and potential royalty splits from the start, rather than be embroiled in court action and unable to use your favourite tracks at an important phase in your career!

Another type of collaboration is where a producer or songwriter works with a singer with the aim of recording and performance. Many individuals who are musically inclined, are not blessed with voices to match their otherwise creative abilities and therefore, actively seek singers who can do justice to their material. This can be a real boon to the singer who is unable to write as well as aspiring writers who are as yet too inexperienced to produce that hit song!

First of all you need to find your collaborator! If you don't have a musically inclined friend, there are several things you can try:-

Approach local performing musicians
Contact local music teachers and music schools
Post to College & University bulletin boards
Put up an ad in reheasal and recording studios
Advertise in the local paper and music magazines
Post ads to online musicians/songwriters classifieds
Visit your local music store and read/post on their bulletin board
Check out Open Mic & Jam Nights for musicians/songwriters to collaborate with.

Useful Links

The following sites are just a small selection available in our Songwriting Links which contains listings of songwriting organisations, websites, directories and resources dedicated to songwriters and the art of songwriting. All links open in a new window.

Bandit Newsletter
The UK newsletter for songwriters who want to get signed. Packed with regular job listings from major and independent labels worldwide plus tips and advice on getting heard in the music business.

The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors are amalgamated with APC - The Association of Professional Composers and The Composers Guild of Great Britain. They also sponsor songwriting workshops and showcase new artists.

International Songwriters Association
has a regular magazine containing articles on songwriting with listings of Collaborators Available/Wanted plus provides a copyrighting service.

Muses Muse
is an excellent resource with Songwriting Articles, news, competitions, links, downloads, messageboards, in fact everything a songwriter needs and more!

Singers looking for songs
Artists requesting songs and songwriters looking for singers can advertise free online!

Song Lyricist
Connect with songwriters, musicians, publishers, read articles, find contests.

TAXI: The Independent A&R Vehicle
Connecting unsigned artists, bands and songwriters with major record labels, publishers, and film & TV music supervisors.  Sign up for their free newsletter with the latest labels & producers requirements.  Read Taxi Articles on how to get on in the music business, what A&R REALLY look for and more at Electric Blues Club Music Articles.