8.6 Collaboration

One of the many joys we have in life is to create with others. Collaboration can bring the best out of all parties involved. It can also be highly damaging if we approach it in the wrong way.

Following, are some thoughts about how to keep creativity levels high and frustration levels at a minimum.

Generally we all start at the same place. We start learning an instrument, usually in isolation: in our bedroom or music room.

This is where we begin to understand who we are as a musician. We write, we compose and we start to experiment with different musical ‘colours.’

Eventually, we start to share our musical ventures with friends. We might start a band or join a school choir.

Skills and Ideas.

We all have different methods and start at different places within the creative process. There is nothing wrong with taking inspiration from the workflow of others. Take on board what works and leave out what doesn’t. This is how we begin to expand our toolkit and our breadth of knowledge.

Strengths and weaknesses.

We all have different strengths and weaknesses. Although we can always work on our weaknesses, it’s important to take note of our natural strengths. Your strength may be coming up with interesting melodies, where chord knowledge may be a weakness. So, when you collaborate with someone who has great chord knowledge, you create potential to make a great team.

This is why songwriting sessions can be made up of a group of people that have different strengths. When used well, the final product will always end up stronger.

Online.

The future of collaboration will be increasingly online, so we need to use this to our advantage.

What follows, are a few different platforms that allow good collaboration.

  1. Dropbox – Dropbox allows for your working session (Pro Tools, Ableton,Logic) to be edited by multiple users. For instance, you can record your part and your collaborator can record theirs independently, all within the same session.
  2. Zoom – The great thing about zoom is the share screen feature. Share your screen with the working session open and talk through the song together. You can also use the ‘Remote Control’ feature to take over their computer and control their DAW. This is very handy when you are working with someone who may not be tech savvy.
  3. Pro Tools – Pro Tools has a built in feature for collaboration. The Pro Tools session is accessible by all parties simultaneously.

Start the Colab.

Instead of waiting for someone to invite you into their creativity, why don’t you reach out first. Start small with an hour session. Keep the pressure and expectation to a minimum and start to build from there.

Your calendar will be filled with writing sessions in no time. This helps to build confidence and makes you better at your craft.

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