Ask Abbie: How Do I Hire A Songwriter?
I want to debut my own song at my birthday party, but I don’t know how to find a songwriter. I am willing to pay!
There are many talented individual songwriters and songwriting services, which can turn your idea into a song. A simple Google search using the phrase “Songwriters For Hire” will offer a large number of results.
When hiring an outside writer, there are several issues to consider.
1) Song Ownership: Under the Copyright Act, a “joint work” is created when two or more authors intend to merge their original contributions into a single work. Be certain you’re not hiring a songwriter offering a “Joint Work” contract. That means they too will consider themselves as part owner to your song. This should be done as “Work For Hire.” At the end of the process, the song should be exclusively yours.
2) Copyright: Most people in your position have no understanding of how to file a copyright. Here’s an article I wrote called “How Do I Copyright A Song.” Many songwriting services will offer to copyright your new song for a fee. The cost of an online filing is $35.00, or $65.00 if filing a paper form. Therefore, their fee should be within reason of the filing fees.
3) Music Charts: You may want sheet music to accompany your new song. Depending upon the method of the songwriter, sometimes a software plugin can be used to automatically generate sheet music. My experience is that the result is too often sub-standard. Unfortunately, you won’t figure that out until it’s too late. Therefore, ask for references and examples.
4) Quality: If you’re paying for a completed song, you should demand a professionally recorded result. I recommend a process called mastering. The mastering process will give the song a professional radio-ready quality. I equate it to building a piece of furniture: you build it, sand it, and stain it; but it’s not until you apply the varnish that the piece comes to life. Mastering is the varnish to a great song.
I recommend a company in Los Angeles called Studio Pro’s. I interviewed them several months ago in an article called Write A Hit Song – No Experience Required. They cater to people just like you. If you are serious about a professionally recorded end-product, there is none better. Studio Pro’s site offers examples. They’ve been in business for many years, and they have recorded songs for many successful songwriters like you.
Studio Pro’s offers all the aforementioned services and much more. They can record a single song or an entire album.
Good luck in your search. I pray your song someday Rocks God’s House!