Collaborating with Songwriters

One of my favorite things when writing songs is collaborating with other songwriters.  Last weekend James Dunning of the band Lost Immigrants and I met up to work on a few songs.

A lot has changed since I first started writing songs almost 18 years ago.  One of the cool things that smart phones and email has changed is easily and instantly sharing ideas.  When I first started writing with other artists I never knew what to expect.  A chorus might present it self or a guitar riff might have got the song started.  I always felt a weird pressure to produce and it seemed sort of awkward.  It gives each collaborator an opportunity to process the musical idea and work at their creative pace.   I’ve also been part of some very creative projects that just “happened” but those have been rare in my experience.

When James showed up on Sunday we had already shared digital concepts of how the song was crafted, rhyming styles, chord progressions etc.  James walked in with a notepad full of ideas.  It was extremely productive to share ideas that we both had prepared and then mix those ideas together in person.

If you are collaborating with others and can capture your idea digitally, I suggest sharing as much as you can ahead of time to allow for a plethora of ideas before you meet up.  It takes away a lot of pressure to “find that right line” and can potentially give the creative process multiple directions to follow. 


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