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Songwriting in Community

Jeremy Riddle and Brian Johnson

0:58:32 · Songwriting

Learn from Brian and Jeremy how they co-write and pull from one another's strengths in the process. Learn to appreciate other people's perspectives and contributions and let others speak into your process.

Songwriting in Community - Brian Johnson & Jeremy Riddle

A great pairing for co-writing are when your strengths compliment each other.
  • Brian’s good at writing melodies.
  • Jeremy’s good at writing lyrics.
  • Learn how to work together.
  • Finding the direction of the song brings a lot of clarity for writing lyrics.
  • Writing is about the song, don’t take feedback personally.
  • A great way of introducing a song is by leading it in worship.
The congregation will respond if they like it.
  • Brian wants the lyrics to flow in a simple and easy way.
  • Can the congregation follow the lyrics?
  • If you want to build something, plan a meeting with the people you want to build it with.

Brian, Jeremy, Christa, and William just started meeting and writing music. The more history you build together, the more trust is built. It takes time to work through a song.

People get attached to an idea.
  • The best thing that gets worked out are the rough edges.
  • Collaboration smoothes out the rough edges.
  • When Jeremy, Joel and Brian all agree on a section of a song, it will work.
  • All three guys come from a different angle.
  • More relationship you have with someone the better.
  • Whoever writes the best part wins and it is not a competition.
  • The heart behind writing is “I want to give the world the best song possible.”

Songs are a life vest for people in hard seasons. Songs are powerful and life changing. Songs communicate values. Songs release encounters with God.

The more communication the better.
  • Songwriters need to communicate well with contribution of the song.
  • Don’t be afraid to reward people with credit for contribution to a song.
  • There isn’t a formula for giving credit to a song.

Q and A

Student: How do you co-write songs together? What is the goal?

Jeremy: The person with the original idea has control over where the song goes. Have to value what the other person has to offer. The most effective co-writing occurs when there is an idea. Don’t show up to a meeting without one or more thoughtful ideas.

Student: What happens when your original idea is not welcomed by one or two people?

Brian: The creator of the original idea has control over the song. Step away and ask other people. If it does not translate well with other people, step back and take a look at other opinions. Have respect and honor for the people that you work with.

Student: How protective are you over your songwriting community?

Jeremy: We welcome the community here to submit songs. Sometimes the more people you add, the more tricky it gets. We had two students from the worship school co-write songs on Bethel Live. We are protective over the mission and vision of the house.

Student:How do you bring up suggestions to a church leader who is protective over writer’s songs?

Brian: Tactful communication is very important. Come in low with humility.