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Working in collaboration with someone else can be the most rewarding thing for your creativity you can ever do. There are many reasons for this.
1. You can be challenged by someone else
Some people relish the opportunity to work alone but for the most part it can be pretty lonely and un-motivating working by yourself. Working with others keeps us honest and there is a joy in being spurred on by someone else to be your best.
2. You can cover more strengths
Maybe you are strong with lyrics and not so strong with melody or arrangements. If you choose a collaborator that has strengths in other areas then imagine what songs you can come up with? I bet you they will be songs that you will both be happy with.
3. Brainstorming is much more fun
With two or more people is where the brainstorming concept is most effective. When you have someone else to bounce ideas off of the songwriting process seems to run more smoothly.
4. Double the experience you can write about
You and your collaborator are both individuals with different experiences. The amount of scope you have to write about expands.
5. You get exposed to new ideas
Working with someone else can be very eye opening. I can guarantee you that you will learn something new every time you and your collaborator get together either in person or online.
6. Its’ a great way to meet new people
You can collaborate with people that you know or you can seek a collaborator by looking on different songwriting forums, websites and organisations from all over the world. You don’t even have to know what they look like, you can collaborate by email and (if you have the appropriate recording technology) do it all online.
How exciting is that!
The most important thing about working with a collaborator is open and honest communication and make sure that when a song is written you work out the writing credit percentages straight away.
There is nothing that destroys a songwriting team faster than the feeling that credit is not being given where it’s due.
If you are feeling like you are in a bit of a rut with your writing go and write with someone else for a while, you won’t regret it.
When I first started writing songs I wrote songs with my best friend at high school (he also showed me my first chords on a guitar. I think it was an ‘A’).
We would go over each others houses and get the guitars out and just play and see what came out. It was a wonderful time in my life. I was learning how to play guitar and writing songs at the same time.
Every time I found a new chord I had to write a song with it
I still have those songs floating around in my archives and every time I look at them I get all nostalgic. It makes me realise that I want to use collaboration as part of my songwriting process a whole lot more. I also want to explore the concept of collaborating online as well.
I think as songwriters and musicians in general we live in some pretty amazing times. Who would’ve thought even 10-15 years ago that song collaborations via computer were even possible.
Being able to collaborate with other songwriters is an important skill to master as a songwriter. Practise mastering it today.