Ep: 94 - Co-Writing, The Second Hour

Sep 06, 2023

Welcome to part two! Now that you've completed the first hour of your co-writing session (following our previous episode, "Co-Writing, The First Hour"), you've gained insights into how to maximize that initial hour by focusing on building a strong connection with your co-writer and ensuring certain steps are addressed.

In the second hour, you may encounter two distinct paths. It may have gone well, and you're now prepared for what comes next, or it may not have gone as smoothly, leaving you wondering about the next steps and what to communicate.

By the end of this episode, you'll have a clear understanding of what the second hour could look like in either scenario.

Regardless of the outcome, perseverance is key! In the realm of songwriting, collaboration has the potential to yield remarkable results.

Don't hesitate to explore the realm of co-writing further and embrace the challenges it presents.


Listen or read the Podcast Transcribed by a.i. below....

Hey, What's up friends, Mike Meiers here with the songwriting for guitar podcast episode number 94. Co writing the second hour.


I'm gonna get into two possible scenarios that you might encounter. And trust me, I've encountered these I know many people have. So these are most likely going to happen. So I'm going to give you the game plan the step by step of what to do if you encounter these. The first one is, let's say after hour one, you guys reconvene and you discover, hey, what we've been talking about, we're looking at the structure, what we're creating, we're going back to our reference, and we feel at some point, we've just gotten off the mark and I'm not loving this, you're not loving this having an honest conversation. Instead of just like thinking, I wonder if they don't like it either. Ask this is where the communication part is really important. As I said, an hour one, taking time on the front end to talk to them get to know them establishes, I feel like good dialogue so that you can be honest, so that the end of our one, if you're not crazy about the song, say it don't spend another hour working on something you're not crazy about that you don't like, talk about it with them, because they'll probably open up and be like, either, you know what, there may be some gold that needs fixed or like, you know what, I'm, I'm not liking it either. How about we just recenter reset, and just start fresh. I would rather you use that second hour to write something new, write a better chorus, get on track, write a chorus idea and have a better blueprint and foundation. So that maybe at the end of that second hour you go, you know what, you know, the first hour wasn't really productive or we got off track. But that second hour, we really, really centered we reset, we were able to at least get a solid course. Great verse. Let's schedule another write within the next week so that we can wrap this up and move on to the next stage and solidify whether we want to go into the next stage with the song or maybe we just write some more. Being honest is really important. And I think that's tough for some people because you don't want to admit that that first hour didn't work out somebody People would say it's a failure, I would say you're just being real and not wasting more time on something that isn't going to serve the purpose of why you're writing. It's hard. But I think, again, that's the sign of a really mature writer who's willing to admit that as opposed to kind of being naive or slightly in just this fantasy world, that somehow it's mysteriously all going to work out. And that will just pretend to ignore all the best scenarios and signs that have occurred in that first hour. And if anything, use it as a reference for next time. So your next writes will get better, because then you'll be like, Oh, I remember when I did XYZ, and it ended up giving us something that we weren't crazy about. I'm going to try to avoid that next time. Because that's what I did. I had rights where we got wildly off track, and I'm sure there were some of the early rights to where I ignored those signs. And we kept on going and nothing probably happened with a song or did we move to the next stage, because I just wasn't into it, they probably weren't into it either. I love now just being direct and honest and admitting if it's getting off track. And it's okay, let's just take this time to recenter, reset and address it and start something new. So that's one possible scenario you might run into. Now, let's say there's another scenario you might run into this is going to be where our one, you're wrapping it up and you love the course you have you love the direction of the verse. Both of you are excited about this. It's on track. And it's moving in a way that you feel like this has potential. So what is the second hour for? This is where the second hour comes in for refinement, I feel, again, refining things to early on in the first hour is a waste of time, because the first hour is meant to just get structure and form some sort of foundation. And this is where our two, you can get into more detail oriented things. We can dive in and refine verses and be like, oh, you know what? Verse one and verse two. We liked the form. But now that I look at verse two, it seems like melodically we're kind of doing the same thing as we are in verse one. This is where we need to mix it up a little bit. And so let's choose a phrase where melodically we're going to do something a little bit different to make it more engaging. Or maybe you're looking at your courses. And you've had some placeholder lyrics and a general idea of what you want to say melodically you like where it's going. But this is where you're getting into the refinement period of, okay, what are we actually seeing in our course, let's take some of these placeholder lyrics. And let's either agree that this is, you know, the first two of the placeholder lyrics we love. But the third line is just weird. And that just doesn't work. We need to fix it. This is where refinement comes in. This is where you can take the fine tooth comb and go through and start to go like, yep, yep, and go section by section giving it the attention it needs. That's what our two is, I think we get so excited. In our one, we want to do every section like that, like we write a verse idea. And then we try to refine the verse idea, then write a court, that's not how it works, I feel it's much easier to get rough structure, and then our two, you can then go in and refine it. Now for me, I'm a person that loves, if I'm here in my home studio, I love building things out in my die happen to use logic, if you are doing that, my best piece of advice is to limit the amount of instruments that you have. I like to say four to five sometimes is the best. Now, why is that? Because when you have a minimal amount of instrumentation, let's say there's a piano, basic drum, maybe a little loop. In a sense, let's just say those four items, it's much easier to configure and move them around like blocks, because there's just not a lot of when you have like 30 Plus instruments, I see people wasting too much time in their co-writers time, you know, building out massive drum sounds and, and sample sounds. I've heard stories from people that said, I was working with someone. And they were just going down this rabbit hole of sounds and building things. And it was just like this didn't I felt like I wasn't contributing. So if you're a producer kind of track builder in a co write, please don't waste your other co writers time by going down a rabbit hole of sounds, choose, you know, at minimum and maximum. Let's just go with that. Let's say Max, four, I really don't use more than that. Because it's much easier for me to chop cut and maneuver things around. It's easier to take this piece and go over here, this piece and going over here so that if I've got someone in my studio, they can lay down a rough vocal, or we could just build a super rough structure of the song as we're refining it so that if we go like this is great and that person leaves I can start building it out. But I have a general structure from beginning to end of what it's going to look like When there's little bits or tiny bits of instrumentation, it's easier to move a verse over here and over here and chop things up. It's hard to do that when you have 30 plus tracks, or let's say you, all you've got are drums, like a big amount of drums, that's a, that's really hard to do. And I don't think it's the best use of your other co writers time for you, it may be interesting, but for them, it may be boring as hell. And the one thing we say in our one is, you have to be continuously engaging, you have to engage with your co writer. And so yes, production building super important. It's not always the best use of your other co writers time to sit there in the back while you're on zoom as you're going through, like 25 million sets, or drums. So if you're new to production, I probably would advise you not to build it out. But if you are someone who wants to become a track person, or that's been your, that is why they have you in the right, don't build so much out that it ends up holding back the songwriting process, I'm always looking for what is the minimum amount of what I need. So it progresses. And it's also allowing my co writer to give insight and not sit there while I go through. Like that's a cool scent. That's, it's boring, it's so boring for them. And also, too, it makes them feel like well, what am I supposed to do? Why am I here, while you have your co writers there, use them, use them. So that means making them a part of this entire process. So that means we want to go through and we want to make sure that we're refining all the parts. So like, you know, lyrics, melody that all of those are confirmed so that when they leave and if you are building it out, that's the other thing. At the end, is this worth building out? It might not be now and again, that's a hard conversation. Because you're like the mic. We did it. We wrote for two hours. We got a song. Yeah, not all songs need to be built. Some songs aren't worth building up.

Hey, it's Mike. I'm jumping in the middle of episode to let you know, I have a book that's coming out. Yeah, a book. You know, over the past decade, I've gathered so much thought on teaching songwriters, really understanding the pain points in terms of what hinders they're playing to write great songs. And most of the time, it's not complicated things. It's things that get overlooked again, and again. And again, this is the framework that I've developed that I've taught in my courses, coaching clients that on retreat, songwriting retreats that I've taught again, and again, and again, I'm making available in this book. So if you're someone that wants to better understand their guitar, utilize it to its full potential to write better songs, just head right now to songwriting guitars, book.com. And you can pre order my book right now. And you're going to receive an immediate download of the audiobook which has extra content and the Kindle version, you're going to get available ASAP. So as soon as you preorder the book, guess what, you have these available at your fingertips so you can start diving in now. So remember, go to songwriting guitars, book.com to preorder the songwriting guitarist, okay, let's jump back into the episode.

Be real, if you feel like you know what the song is not bad. I think the best use of our time is to write another song, write another song and explain why you could be like, I feel this is great. But, you know, if we're being real, what we have is our reference. It's loosely there. But maybe we could just if we wrote maybe two more, that's where we would get a better song. And I feel again, that's a sign of a mature co writer to realize like, if you stay in this area and write a little bit more, you are going to potentially reach something that is going to be better. Worth everyone's time worth everyone's if you're paying for production, or your time if you're building out and then getting a vocalist and then pitching. You want something that you feel really good about. So regardless of your pitching for an artist for publishing, for licensing, that you feel confident, and if at the end of those two hours, even with refinement, you and your co writers feel like it's okay but it might be worth reading and writing to more do that. You want all parties involved? I never want to be in in on a song where I can't believe it but the other ones don't or the other ones believe in I don't I want everybody on board, especially if we're all getting equal percentages. And most of the time in writing. I do a 5050 split all the way down no matter what because I want every party to feel invested. So remember, at the end of those two hours, you may feel like this is absolutely worth moving forward or you're like, you know what, maybe it's better if we just write again, write another one of these, because we'll refine it. And maybe, you know, authentically will move in the direction we want. Because at the end, that's what you're looking for, is something that feels authentic and authentic, that you could pitch for an artist authentic, you could pitch for licensing authentic, that you feel like you could present in front of the publisher and feel confident. And a lot of this is finding your collaborators that are willing to work with you in this process to you want collaborators that understand this process. And you may have a couple collaborators that show potential that they may be a little rocky at the start, but you see something in them that you know, like, you know what, I just love the way they create those titles, they've got such great hooks, or it's like, I love melodically what they offer, you know, they may be new to this, and there may be some areas that need developing, but there's something about them that I really love, and I love talking with them, there's a great connection, because those are the things you need to look, I've seen people that have a slight, the best way to describe is a little bit egotistical, where they go, like I want nothing but the best. I want writers on my level I want right below, you know, this attitude that I'm like, even if you are good, I don't think you're gonna find writers that want to sit with that or work with that I don't want to work with that. I want a writer that looks for the other person's goal, the best of what they offer that can see that, that goes like I'm not worried about you being you know, amazing in every single facet of the writing process. I just see what you give right there. And that's so good. And I'm not going to be a person that measures will you gave this much in this much. So I'll give you this. And what I mean by that is a writer that cherry picks how much you offer in the right. Because there have been times where I've, maybe I had an off day, and I felt man I didn't I didn't deliver this as much as I should. I delivered just a little bit. And I don't know if this is good. But the writer does not man, this was this was great, you know, like what you gave her here, you know, that would have caused me to do this. And I really love what we got. And then that song does well and it gets placed. And I'm like, wow. Because vice versa the other time, they may feel like they have an off day. And I'm not going to sit there and be like, well, you know, looking to give you everything because you know I give? No, I'm not going to cherry pick either because I'm like, You know what, I really love the perspective you gave here. Because that cost me to do this, this this. I love this song. And then it ends up working out. I don't want a writer that's getting out the measuring stick to see like, how much did you give here and how much to give here, I want someone that is willing to write great songs with me even on days that I don't feel great. I want someone that's willing to write songs with me on days when they don't feel great. Because we're in it together. Those are the collaborators that I want. So this blueprint that I've given for, like, you know, co writing our one hour to at the heart of it, what I want you to do is continue to co write, look for those co writers that offer, you know, a different perspective that you might not see. But remember, you got to look for the gold, you got to be willing to look for the gold in others. You can't just be like, what are you going to offer? You have to look for it. And also sometimes there's a little bit of encouragement writers that I write with now I remember encouraging be like, Wow, I can't believe you do that. And they're like, really? Oh, wow. It's reminding them that they have something to offer because you're gonna have moments where you feel just like well, and your co writer goes, whoa, I love how you do this. And you're like, really, it's this encouragement is this lifting each other up. That's what's great about CO writing, you don't have to finish the idea. And you don't have to carry the whole song. You have someone that gives you the other the other half of the idea and also helps you through those moments. That's that's the beauty of CO writing. And if you are willing to be patient and work with others, they're going to be willing and patient and work with you. And that's where you end up getting amazing songs. That's where you end up getting the goal. That's where you end up getting songs that make moves, you get songs that publishers go like Wow, that's great songs that make artists go like I would totally cut that songs that get placed for TV and film. So remember that that is the whole goal. And I would encourage you highlight you know the first hour and the second hour save this before you go into a co write. Listen to this again because you'll need reminding of this blueprint

and that does it for this week. It was edited produced by Chris values. I'm Mike Myers. Thanks for listening

Transcribed by https://otter.ai