Want to Collaborate with a Composer/Melodist ?

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This topic was inspired by the similarly titled topic "Want to Collaborate with a Lyricist ?"!

Based on my four years of FAWM and 50/90 experience it seems collaborations usually go like this,

1) lyricist writes lyrics and posts them at FAWM or 50/90
2) composer selects a set of lyrics and writes music for them, usually performing and recording the finished product

But I wonder if it would work the other way around?

1) composer writes (and records) music (backing and melody) and posts the recording at FAWM or 50/90
2) lyricist selects the music to write lyrics for

I am not sure I'd personally participate since I usually write my music and lyrics together but I am interested in exploring this topic. A few questions come to mind...

- would the composer choose the structure and write complete music for it? (verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus, etc.)
- how would the composer provide melody? maybe hum it or play a simple rendition of it? kind of a melody click-track!
- would the lyricist write the lyrics and then pass them back to the composer to be recorded?

Any other thoughts, questions, etc.?

I've made some ... well, I call them backing tracks or "backers"... for use in the past. I've found that unless I have an established writing relationship with a lyricist/melodist/vocalist, it is a bit harder to jump start. Or, rather, it tends to be more of a back and forth collab (which I like as well.)

Lots of exceptions spring to mind, though. Which makes this challenge fun. I'd do a backer for consideration if someone(s) wanted.

Yeah, I have seen this a few times but it seems that it is like 99% done the lyrics first way. Just curious if others are interested in this approach. Or perhaps it has too much drag in the overall process to work in this setting.

@johnstaples, notwithstanding my fundamental lack of understanding or ability about how to write or play country or folk music, I'm planning to write a short country/folk inspired song-cycle about Toystory the bull. So I can promise you, if you write a country-ish track (or even some loops) that you grant me permission to play with, they'll be put to good (or "good") use. Smile

I often post instrumentals without melody. Sometimes they attract "finishers", and sometimes not. So if you see one, it is open for collab.

I've written a lot of lyrics for existing music lately. Weird story, really. A band had to get rid of their vocalist slash writer, as he was a complete and utter *beep*, and he took all his lyrics with him. New lyrics needed. Enter yours truly. Wink

The only real issue to consider is whether the composer has a vocal melody in mind, or if that's up to the lyricist, in which case the lyricist also becomes a composer (which is often the case with these kinds of collabs). Apart from that, no problem to write for ready compositions.

I've done this a handful of times since I started taking part in these challenges. On rare occasions, an instrumental melody line is enough for me to work with. Usually, though, I need some verbal scatting on the composer's behalf, and I find that very helpful. Typically, the composer will send me a complete backing track, and the only addition to the demo will be the singing (after I've written the lyrics and sent them back to the composer).

This works for me as I'm good at recognising rhythm, stressed syllables and the like, but don't give much thought to melody. This gives the composer the freedom to apply whichever melody they see fit.

Others, no doubt, will work differently.

It's an interesting idea, and well worth exploring in my opinion.

I'm totally game for trying this. Last FAWM was mostly "crapcapella", last 50/90 was new lyrics to public domain Christmas music. Between the two, I have experience both writing melodies + lyrics as well as writing lyrics to existing melodies.

I often post my instrumentals which in my mind "sing" or "talk" and on some occasions there were lyricists who kindly offered create lyrics to my music. It was amazing to hear how from initial piano piece a song was developed especially when we had it either harmonized by a singer or other instruments and singing added. Hoping to continue offering some piano pieces for a lyricists to add lyrics too Smile Will gladly participate Smile

In last FAWM, I did a few collabs that started with the instrument track, which I put in a melody and lyrics and those were a lot of fun for me. It was in some ways easier that working with lyrics first. Of course when I write, most of the time I write music and lyrics at the same time. I've also done collabs where I took lyrics and did the instrumental track, melody and recording as well as only contributing lyrics to another's music and recording.

I would be interested as a learning experiment/experience. My music writing got better by putting music to other lyrics, admittedly when I heard music in my head. My lyric writing would improve by this approach. As I recall from biography readings, in the early years both U2 and the Rolling Stones started with music first and later added music. Some of my successful DIY music friends also use this approach.

There are some lyricist in 50/90 who can write lyrics to an pre-existing melody but not that many. Mostly it's lyrics-first. Also many who do both their own music and lyrics are more likely to post lyrics-only than melody-only demos. In my first 50/90 in 2013 I saw this as an unfair bias and was surprised: " Really, lyrics are that important? Melody and music comes second? Crazy Yankees! " Smile

But lyrics-first approach does makes sense. It's easier to post a lyric and get/give comments than to post an instrumental or just the melody sung with la-la-laas.

Lyrics also look more like finished independent piece of work. Demo with la-la-laas sounds like an unfinished song. I don't know why, since song needs both. But if I'd post a melody without lyrics I'd be little bit embarrassed. Posting lyrics however is always OK.

I prefer posting whole songs and that's why the actual melody-first collaborating happens privately via emails. So far this has happened only with @Arthur Rossi. He was more than generous, writing three different lyrics to one given melody ( with la-la-laas ). He's pretty quick. Smile

But I sure would like to see more lyricist trying to fit their words to a melody. It would be a big help for me and lots of other melodymakers too.

Thanks to hip-hop, more music starts with the beat and adds the top line/ melody line and lyrics later, I'm not used to working that way. I usually start lyrics first, or jump back and forth between music and lyrics. So I'd be interested in doing both - writing tops for others beats, and writing beats for others to work from.

I have had some great successes writing lyrics to already made music. Amongst them are a swing number and some hip-hop raps. I always search the forums and tag cloud for 'music x needs lyrics'. I hope there are a lot of these this year Wink ... Am always on the look out for collaborations too so if any music writers out there want to write together give me a shout.

I started out writing lyrics to finished compositions by a friend, then wound up with some stand alone lyrics, and some friends added music to them. Now I like doing it either way, and have even put music to someone else's lyrics a couple of times. A lot of my lyrics come with a melody in my head, so I sometimes post them a capella. I've loved writing lyrics for some of Nadia's beautiful piano pieces, and for some very fun ones by Russ (thetau), and a number of other people. If it moves me, words come pretty easily. If it's in my range I like singing them, too. Smile

I would love to write lyrics to music but it will take time for the words to condense and coalesce.

@johnstaples the melody is provided and not subject to change. The assignment would be write lyrics for this melody. Right?

I have a long background in making bedtracks for lyricist singers. They provide the melody, which is half, and they write the lyrics, which is half, so my logic suggests that they actually wrote the entire song and all I did was write the arrangement. But it was my idea! You can't copyright an idea...lol

My thinking is provide a melody only track asking for lyrics be written in collaboration. When that lyrics comes in from the cold the melody becomes a song. At that point you could claim ownership copyright between two writers fifty fifty songwriting credit. And that agreement would be done without even making a demo song.

Can the melodist and lyricist work on both together(the composition and lyrics)? Like not only the melodist works on the composition but it also has input on the lyrics and vice versa.

@Rainchaser Sure, or you can both work completely independantly of each other. There are no general "rules" for collabs at all, aside what the people involved come up with.

Ah, I see. Thank-you brrrse! In that case I'm willing to collaborate with a melodist!! However I want to collaborate with the melodist on the composition rather than just providing lyrics for the composition. I mean I don't mind collaborating at both subjects but my main focus here is the composition. Smile

This lady can teach you how to write a melody with sheet music. I did watch the entire lesson...I like her style and completely understood the material. However, the class final melody was not very good. I like the way she continued to point out "the class decided".


Yes it would totally work, as I often write lyrics to music already composed. In fact, I'm currently working on 2 here on 50/90 Smile

If anyone wants lyrics and likes how I write, knock me up and just ask Smile

@amanda-west Not sure if knocking you up is a good idea, but it would be cool to write something with you. Collaborate on lyrics, and I could make something folksy, perhaps? Smile

Ohh gawd I didn't word that very well did I Sad lol Yes, it would be great to do something together Smile and folk is one of my 'things' Smile

My most successful collabs have been those where I send a backing track, either complete or guitar with a beat, and let my partner write words and melody. I actually find that much easier than writing music to lyrics. I'll do this lots with my own songs too, if it's a rock track.

@Valerie Cox I'd love to have a go at this with you Smile If you are game and have the time Smile

Me too, @Valerie Cox. Pick me, Miss Cox. Mememememe! Wink

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I'm open to any forms of collab.. !