Challenge #3: Relationship Building in Songwriting

Week #3: July 17-23, 2016
Challenge #3: Relationship building in songwriting
By: Michael Perlmutter

Mike Perlmutter phoot

Each individual participant must partner up with another of this year’s Challenge participants to collaborate for this song to be accepted. The theme of the song is all about relationships whether that is fresh starts, friendships, love, longing or heartbreak – you and your songwriting partner decide. Collaborate on a themed song about relationships.

Why this challenge is important to the craft of songwriting?

Songwriting is at its best when emotions and/or stories are told that people connect to. Each songwriter has their own story or experience and being able to share that with a co-writer may help to craft the story and share the feeling in a more profound way – objectivity is very helpful in conveying a story. In addition, working with someone who has a unique ability different than yours in the songwriting craft will play a huge role in the shaping of the song and its tone.


Be creative in how you expose your feelings. Be simple – but don’t be on the nose about place or time or a person’s name.

Make it general so folks can connect with your experience or your story.

Co-writing may be done in person and may also be accomplished online with a number of free online software and tools:

  • Skype is great for working in real time and “in person”
  • Facetime
  • Facebook Messenger – voice and video calls
  • Google docs is a tool for co-writing lyrics

How you decide to co-write, record and submit your blog and production this week are technical production questions that you and your co-writer need to decide in advance and as a team.

Bring your skill, your craft and your heart to the collaboration, but park your ego at the door. Focus on what is truly best for the song and it’s amazing what you will find, and learn.

Selecting a co-writer:

Research potential co-writers on the S.A.C. meet our members page where you can search the database by the songwriter’s name and or region and or genre. Try to come up with a list of your top three songwriters in the challenge and decide what qualities match your criteria:

  • Do you want to co-write with a participant who revealed they were good with song mechanics in challenge #1?
  • Do you want to co-write with a participant who expressed their story and emotions through lyrics in a way that touched you in challenge #2?
  • Do you want to co-write with another participant in a specific genre that they are expert?
  • If you are a songwriting guru you may seek to co-write with a raw talent and raise them to the next level?
  • If you are an amateur songwriter you may seek to co-write with an expert who has the exact set of songwriting skills you admire?

Most of the challenge participants’ contact details are included in the database so you may email your invitation to co-write.

If the challenge participants contact details are not listed in the database, find them in the facebook challenge group and send them an invite. If you are unable to find contact info in the database or on Facebook, email Membership Co-ordinator, Natalie at to obtain the songwriter’s permission and contact information if available.

Many participants may have already co-written together and want to continue to develop their creative process – this is a great opportunity to showcase your collaborative effort. Then again, this may be a chance for co-writing teams to switch it up and explore a new co-writing relationship with a challenge participant they’ve encountered for the first time.

For many participants, finding a co-writer will be the greatest challenge. Yes, you may join more than one co-writing collaboration this week and you may co-write with someone else, but please check with our mentors first. Please be quick, courteous and respectful with invitations when you send, accept or decline a fellow co-writer invitation. Give each other at least 24 hours to reply and do make an effort to reply to all invitations. You are welcome to accept more than one invitation.

Songwriter Agreement

Once you have confirmed your co-writing partner you have the option to complete a Collaboration Agreement with your co-writer. The S.A.C. provides a detailed definition and checklist for a songwriter co-writer Collaboration Agreement in the VIP section at for your reference.

Good luck to you both!

In order to successfully complete the first challenge you are required to:
1) Write and record a song following the description of the week #3 Challenge
2) Write a blog post about your experience and post this on your own blog
3) Upload your song to SoundCloud or any other MP3 hosting site
4) Post the link to your blog post and the link to your song as a comment on this blog post by 11:59pm EST on Saturday July 23, 2016. (Click on “Leave A Reply” at the bottom of this Challenge post, please put your full name and your email address in the appropriate fields). *
*Please note that the weekly Challenge will always be posted on our blog the Monday following, so if you complete your song before that, please hold on to your submissions until we notify you of the blog post.

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