ADN#063: How To Co-Write With Your Heroes

Artist Development
2 min readFeb 5, 2024

Hey Friends -

Last week, we explored a simple exercise to write lyrics like our heroes.

You can re-read last week’s newsletter here if you want to refresh.

Today, let’s look at how you can co-write with your heroes.

Let’s go — ->

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This is another simple exercise to help you with your songwriting.

We all get stuck sometimes trying to find the right thing to say.

When I get hung up on a lyric, sometimes, rather than asking myself over and over, “How do I want to say this?”

I’ll ask myself, “How would Tom Petty say this?”

Then, I’ll ask myself, “How would Carol King say this?”

Then, “How would Taylor Swift say this?”

By the time my mind has answered how they would convey the message I am trying to get across, I typically know how I would say it.

It’s like co-writing with your favorite writers without them being in the room.

Let your heroes give you inspiration.

Then, apply that roadmap with your voice, words, and style.

You don’t have to be able to call them up to imagine what they would say in your song.

You can turn to their work, study it, and answer the question yourself.

If you have spent enough time listening to an artist, you will eventually be able to hear them inside your song and know the words they would use.

The next time you aren’t sure what to say, ask your heroes.

They are great co-writers :)

Ps — Last week, I said I would give a first look at something I have been building.

Check out Lyric Copy.

Lyric Copy is a 10-day email course built to quickly teach you how to learn tricks from the world’s greatest songwriters.

Every morning for 10 days, you’ll receive a PDF with one of the greatest lyrics in your inbox.

You’ll set aside 20–30 minutes per day.

Then, you’ll get out a pen and paper and handwrite the lyrics delivered to your inbox.

This will help you feel great writing flow from your pen to paper.

I have made notes on the PDFs highlighting the songwriter tools and tricks used in each lyric and have recorded a short video to accompany each where I break down the writing.

Shoot me an email if you have any questions about Lyric Copyhello@artistdevelopment.net

See you next Sunday!

Neil Mason

Artist Development

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