Show up drunk, hungover, dead tired or other-wise impaired. If you are not ready to work, just cancel. Cancelling is more respectful of your co-writer’s time than showing up and wasting their time.
Come in with nothing. If you don’t have any ideas, don’t come. Showing up with nothing is the songwriting equivalent of asking for a handout. You’re showing up hoping your co-writer is going to have something brilliant to give you as a gift since you aren’t prepared to contribute. Always come into a co-write ready to rock.
Announce AFTER you write that you can’t pay for a demo. If you are trying to write commercially, the whole point of the exercise is to write and record something that you can pitch to artists. It doesn’t do anyone any good to write a great song that will never get recorded because you can’t get a demo of it to pitch. And it’s not fair to your co-writers to expect them to pay your part of the bill. If you are in a tough spot, just be up front with co-writers BEFORE the write and tell them where you are at. If you work out something in advance, everyone will be happier.
Talk bad about your co-writers. If a co-writer of mine is talking trash about other writers when they write with me, I assume that they are probably trashing me to other co-writers. Co-writers are your business partners. It hurts YOU to talk bad about a co-writer. It elevates your stock to brag on co-writers and build them up. If you don’t think a co-writer is very good, stop writing with them, but don’t talk bad about them.
Avoid those 6 mistakes and you’ll be a better co-writer.
Hangi Tavakoli is our in-house established and professional music producer with more than 14 years of experience in music production, mix and mastering, recording engineering, live sound designing/engineering, lyrics writing and music arrangement. He has produced more than 550 and written more than 900 published songs to-date, including some major hits in international scale.