Questions to ask before "submitting' lyrics.

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« on: January 29, 2019, 02:28:03 AM »

List of questions to ask yourself when a total stranger posts here asking for collaborators.  This is written as though the “poster” is seeking lyrics for his music, but the questions are equally applicable if it’s a lyricist looking for musicians. 

A collaboration is an “investment of time” from both parties.  If one of the collaborators signals that he/she isn’t willing to invest much into finding a collaborator, it’s pretty likely that he/she won’t be willing to invest much into the collaboration either.   

HERE ARE THE QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK BEFORE "SUBMITTING" your work to someone asking for collaborator.  This does not apply if you know the person btw. 

1.  Is this person even going to check back to see if anyone responds?  A surprising percentage of the time, these are just ‘drive by postings’ which the “poster” never comes back to.  It is not atypical for several people to respond to such requests and the “poster” is never heard from again.  These “drive by postings” are really just the forum equivalent of vandalism.  They steal your time, create an impact on you, and require nothing of the vandal. 

2.  If this person was REALLY serious about seeing/hearing your lyrics, why wouldn’t he/she just go and read through the archives to find out who is actually writing lyrics that are what he/she wants?  If the poster is not willing to invest a little bit of effort to read/listen to your work to “limit the field,” is he/she really going to be willing to invest in a collaboration?

3.  Did this “poster” give any detailed information regarding what he/she is looking for so that you don’t waste your time just submitting lyrics by guessing what he/she wants?  If the “poster” isn’t willing to invest the little bit of time providing some specific input regarding what he/she wants, is he/she likely to invest in an actual collaboration?

4.  Did this “poster” mention (or imply) that he/she is a musical genius that you would be lucky to work with?  If so, are you aware that this makes it almost certain that he/she is just stroking his/her own ego by “soliciting” lyrics which he/she will either fail to even come back to read or find to be “beneath” his/her genius accompaniments?  The goal of the “self labelled geniuses” here has tended to be to be getting as many lyricists as possible to fall all over themselves “submitting” lyrics for him/her to ignore or reject.  Net result – waste of your time and enhancement to the geniuses ego at your expense.   

5.  Did this “poster” provide any samples of his/her music so that you can decide whether his/her music would be worth adding your lyrics to?  If not, just how serious could he/she BE about finding the right lyrics for his/her music?  If he/she isn’t willing to invest in making his/her music available to hear, just what IS he/she willing to invest into collaborating?

So, what’s my point.  It’s this.  Before you fall all over yourself “submitting lyrics” to someone who advertises here for collaborators, make a non-committal post to ascertain what he/she is really looking for.  If you get no response, you haven’t wasted hope and time. 

Don't play into the hands of vandals by getting your hopes up without taking some precautions.  Hope is more vital than time.  Don’t waste it on someone without getting some real commitment in return. 


Verlon Gates  -  60 plus years old.