From time to time I work with new people in the business, new artists and new songwriters. I try to explain to them how songwriting works, and how collaboration and splits are put together. It's about sharing of course, and the value of contributions. What are the value of the lyrics, music, melody and arrangement?
In your own words, would you state how you know it works and your thoughts on it please? For educational purposes.
Post by jeremygillespie on Dec 5, 2022 21:18:15 GMT -6
Sure. If you’re in the room you get equal split. Don’t even have to do anything. You being there is adding to the atmosphere in the room and could have added to a thought that was put down on paper or put into a guitar part. Don’t wanna split with somebody? Kick them out of the room or don’t invite them next time.
Come up with a badass drum fill into that chorus that inspired the singer to cut loose and kick that energy in the chorus over the top? Hell give the drummer some. Create an inclusive creative environment and everybody pushes harder to make something great. Rising tides and all that.
The pissing matches over who gets what percentage for what they did and how the singer is worth more or I wrote the lyrics or I did this or that…. Friggin over that crap and honestly it doesn’t matter anyway. You’re gonna have to have a seriously big hit to make much of anything and If that happens, spread the wealth and continue kickin ass.
Now, If you’re for hire… play the drum track the way I tell you to play it, cash your check and go away 😁
I agree with Jeremy. If you're part of a writing session and you contribute 1 line to an 95% unfinished song, and the song goes on to make great strides / money - the one line = an equal share with the original songwriter who couldn't finish the song to 100%. I know there's a LOT of people who disagree, but that's my take. 95% of nothing is nothing. 50% of a finished song is 50% of something. 50/50 split.
If you're the original writer who's got the song 95% finished and are looking for help - don't invite people in to help you finish if you're not willing to split evenly. Finish it yourself. Or may it crystal clear that you want your 95%. But beware - that kind of attitude doesn't generally contribute to the creative vibe.
Arrangement is a grey area where it intersects with songwriting. There should be an agreement up front if possible.
If you're are paid to come in and arrange and/or play on the tune, I 100% agree with Jeremys drummer comment. If you're hired to play that's a different scenario than the birthing of a song on the writing front - you give it your all for whatever price you agreed upon. Those who go above and beyond who are talented get hired again and again and again. Those who hold back or who claim ownership of what they played don't get called back. Having a signed agreement stating money and terms before sessions start is the way for a producer / composer / songwriter to stay sane, and out of court.
I'm totally for equal shares on the creativity front, but if I'm paying you, you're an employee - not a partner.
Some of these differences are nuanced - no doubt. And that's what's hard for newbies to understand lots of times. But in the studio / session world - most of these are innately understood. If you're paid to come in, you leave it on the table. Sometimes, generous artists will credit the creative input of players when they transform and uniquely gift a song, but mostly they don't. If we took out all the hooks that session players laid down on the line for their hourly fee - the popular music of our youth would vanish into thin air. Carol Kaye comes to mind....
You can sum it up with "be fair and generous, but take care of business".