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Learn the art, craft & business of songwriting from hit songwriter, Brent Baxter!

The Frettie Journal
A collection of interviews, updates, tips and resources for songwriters.

Songwriters, Don’t Count Lines

Tips & Resources by Brent Baxter, Pro Songwriter on January 24, 2018

When you write a song with a cowriter, it’s standard practice in Nashville to have even splits between all the cowriters, no matter how much they contribute.  This means every writer on the song (or their publisher) owns an equal share of the copyright. For example, if you write the melody and half the lyric and the other writer writes the other half of the lyric, you each get 50% of the copyright. If there are 3 of you in the room, and each of you contribute different amounts, each of you own a third of the song.

I’ve heard stories of writers who “count lines” when determining their percentage of ownership of a song.  I am REALLY not a fan of this, for a few reasons.

Generosity wins.  This time, maybe your cowriter only contributed a few lines, if that.  Well, next time, they might contribute more than you.  It should all even out in the end, if you’re well-matched cowriters. If you're not well-matched, you'll eventually stop writing together, anyway.

Also, I want my cowriters focused on making the song the very best it can be.  I don’t want it to become a competition over who gets the most lines and the most credit.  Serve the song, not your percentage.

Plus, it’s sometimes impossible to tell who really wrote the line.  Maybe you got the final wording right, but you only got there based on a line suggested by your cowriter.  You wouldn’t have gotten to that line by yourself, so you BOTH created it.  It’s a collaboration.

And, lastly, counting lines is a good way to alienate your cowriter and make them less likely to write with you again.  Especially in a town like Nashville.  Be generous and win!

If you want to know more about cowriting "do's" and "don't's," I have a great opportunity for you.

Each quarter, Frettie's "Know The Row" series brings in a music industry professional to reveal what YOU need to know about breaking into the music business. Ask YOUR questions- and get answers. It's online, so you can join this live video-conference from anywhere in the world. If you miss it, Frettie members will have unlimited access to the video replay in Frettie's Member Area.

Our next guest is hit songwriter, Byron Hill!

Byron Hill

Since moving to Nashville and signing his first publishing deal in 1978, Byron Hill’s songs have generated more than 700 recordings, and have been released on ninety-one industry certified Gold and Platinum albums and singles. They have earned ten ASCAP awards, thirty-four U.S. and Canadian top-ten chart hits, and have become hits in many other worldwide markets.

So, yes, YOU want to hang out with Byron Hill and get his advice on the music business!

This exclusive event is February 8, 2018 from 7pm-8pm Central time.

Again, this event is FREE for subscribers of! However, if you don't feel like taking advantage of all of Frettie's membership benefits, you can still get all the details and purchase a ticket with a CLICK HERE.

God bless,


PS- Thanks for stopping by Frettie! I appreciate it. As a matter of fact, I want to give you a special little something just for your visit. It's my FREE ebook "Think Like A Pro Songwriter," and it reveals valuable I-learned-it-the-hard-way-so-you-don't-have-to tips to help you succeed at the art, craft and business of songwriting. You can download it at

Request your invite to Frettie.
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