Thank you for asking NSAI about this before you spend money on something that will not work out well for you. Let me offer some common terms used in the music business. First, call them “lyrics” rather than “words.” Next, call yourself a lyricist, and say that you are looking for a co-writer who is good at writing melodies. I am a lyricist too, and I work with people who are great singers or amazing guitar or piano players. Often, I will offer suggestions for the melody, and the musicians will offer lyric ideas, but we understand that each has a particular talent to offer.
To find co-writers, talk to singers, musicians and music teachers at your church, local music store, high school or college. Go to the forums section of our website and connect with other NSAI members.
When you find a musician who is interested, show him several different lyrics you have written, and see if he can find one he thinks he’d like to put a melody to. You and he can then hire a local singer to sing the song, and it won’t cost you much. Or find a local singer who might be willing to sing it free of charge for the experience. Be sure the two of you have a clear idea of how you want the singer to sing the song, so you can be efficient with your time once you start to record it. Most musicians have programs in their computer so they can make a good “demo” of the song. You don’t have to go to an expensive studio for this first step in the demo process. If you work with a singer as your co-writer, show them your songs, and see if they come up with a melody you think works. Then the two of you can hire a guitar player to help you make the demo.
Many recording artists co-write, but that is not the same thing as “putting music” to words sent to them by someone they don’t know. No legitimate artist or publisher is interested in seeing lyrics only, so I would never recommend paying someone to “pitch lyrics to artists and publishers.”
Please watch some of our NSAI archived webcasts and read our tips and advice on our website to learn more about how the business works, so you will not be taken advantage of. We have an amazing list of recommended books on songwriting and the music business. Learning the craft and business of songwriting takes a little while, but, like reading recipes and learning to cook, the results can be delicious if done right. Good luck.
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