Happy Friday! Hope your week has been marvellous, as always we have a bunch of wonderful questions to answer for you today!
So, let’s get into today’s featured question! “How do you go about figuring out splits for publishing and do you usually pay the musician whatever the going rate is per song, pay to play?”
If you wrote the song on your own, let’s say you wrote the chords, the melody, and the lyrics, or even if you build the track inside of your DAW and then sung a melody over it, you obviously own the song 100%.
Now if you take it into a session and you’re paying musicians to play on it, you still own all the publishing 100%. However, there are things up to your own discretion, let’s say a musician plays a guitar melody in the chorus over your song which then causes you to rewrite your chorus repeating his/her melody.
That’s a sticky situation, and to be honest from my own personal experience I would then offer that musician a piece of the publishing. Not necessarily 50% or even 20% but maybe 10% because you rewrote something to match something they came up with.
The thing about publishing is there are no exact rules, and there are also opinions as to what the rules are. If you are the main writer you can use your own discretion you can say yes or no to anything because you own the song 100% if you wrote it.
Typically it is very unlikely that I would give a musician publishing on a song that I’ve written just because they played on it. They would’ve had to have done something which added an amazing hook or more importantly and most likely which changed my melody and idea so much that I felt like they needed a piece of it.
Typically that doesn’t happen 99% of the time, most of the time you just go in and hire the players.
If you co-write it’s a whole different situation, there are so many different ideas and theories on co-writing. I find that if you want to build a lasting relationship with other writers then you split things evenly.
If you’re writing with 2 or 3 other people and you bring in a song, maybe it’s mainly done and then the 2 people add something that takes it over the finish line.
I would usually give them an equal piece of the song unless it was a song that was essentially finished and they were just changing minor parts.
I really believe that if you’re co-writing then you’re co-writing. The reason why I personally like that kind of situation is that if they’re people you constantly write with, it might be one person who starts off an idea one day and the other person starts off the idea on the next.
However, If you feel really strongly about a song that is almost done, you can go in there specifically with the idea of saying you just need to rewrite the bridge or the pre-chorus. – Just keep it to a specific thing.
It’s really as simple as that, just try to be logical about it, if you’re trying to build a writing relationship with many people then try to be generous and make sure they reciprocate.
Always be mindful that if you wrote the initial song it is up to you to make that decision. – You don’t have to give something away if you don’t want to.
Be mindful that you want a good relationship with many people, you need good karma. If you get a reputation as someone that takes peoples ideas and doesn’t reward them. – You probably won’t work very much.
You need to find a place where everybody feels happy and you’re not short selling yourself.
We cover the following questions during this episode of FAQ Friday!
• How do you go about figuring out splits for publishing and do you usually pay the musician whatever the going rate is per song, pay to play? (0:49)
• Aside from experience, what’s can I do to develop a better producers ear? Currently, I often don’t hear the subtle differences some producers rave about. (4:44)
• If you’re a producer on an album, how do you set up the production to make sure everything is recorded, mixed and mastered and also released on time? (8:16)
• If you have two Mics on a guitar amp, is it preferable to blend those onto one track or should I pan them one mic left and the other right? (11:34)
• What are some of the reasons a producer might use one musician to record a reference track just to have another come in and record the exact parts over again, leaving the reference artist with no album credits? (13:04)
• How do you go with recording drums and bass together? (15:04)