Are you considering a songwriting collaboration for the first time? Going into a songwriting session with a new collaborator is like going on a first date. There are some people you will click with faster than others. With that being said, walking in with preparation and an open-mind will ease any nerves and contribute to a successful songwriting session.
Have a List of Ideas Ready to Go
It’s always a plus when a writer arrives at a session with fresh thoughts for inspiration. Keep a list in your phone with topics, lines, or quotes that you can add to over time. This will help break the ice and kick-start a song, especially if you are one who does not want to share any personal experiences.
Be Clear About Expectations
Get the business side out of the way immediately! Before starting a song, decide how you plan to split the ownership and royalties. Lack of clarification and communication can lead to awkward conflict when it comes time to release the project.
Share All of Your Ideas
I’ve mentioned it in previous blogs, and I will not stop! I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to step outside your comfort zone and share all of your ideas with collaborators. Bad ideas will come before the best ones. Plus, a line you think is “bad” may be the one that your co-writer piggybacks off of. It is much better to say something and show your process rather than sitting with a zipped lip.
Usually, it’s deemed a red flag when you hash out your life story and emotional hardships while meeting someone for the first time. However, in a songwriting collaboration session, it is expected! After all, it is the ugly, honest, and emotional truths that lead to the best songs. Be brave and pour your heart out when writing and brainstorming ideas.
Keep it Professional
Yes, I’ve drawn comparisons between sessions and dating, but please, don’t actually treat it like a date. Unfortunately, this is more common than not. Please be mindful of the other creators in the room. It can be uncomfortable for a creative person to step into a room with someone they don’t know and pour his or her heart out, so please stay respectful and kind.
Aside from creation, it is always an awesome idea to schedule a time before a session to get to know your collaborator! Set up a coffee meet-up or virtual meeting to get to know each other and see if your musical styles and goals align.
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