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Sessions | Songwriting and Collaboration: Part 2 – Finding People To Work With

Sessions | Songwriting and Collaboration: Part 2 – Finding People To Work With

Nina

November 23rd, 2017

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Hello! I am the artist known as DEROSNEC, and welcome to my weekly vlog where I talk about making music, art, movies, and more.

In my last video I talked about the benefits of collaborating with others in your musical endeavours by joining a band or at the very least having someone to bounce ideas off of and get objective opinions from. But now, how do you find people who will share your vision?

The Hunt for Collaborators

I think the first thing to figure out is what you want the collaboration to look like. Do you want to start a band, or join one that already exists? Maybe you’re not joining a band and you simply need an instrumentalist or producer for one or two songs you’ve already written. Maybe you need someone to just write lyrics over a song. Knowing what you want or need is half the battle.

Many times the simplest way to find someone serious is to actually seek out a professional and hire them. But if you’re just starting out or have no budget, then an online forum geared toward your favourite kind of music or favourite band might be a good place to start. Offline in the real world, you can usually find opportunity corkboards at local music stores, community centers, or even colleges. Of course, there’s always CraigsList, but like just panning for gold you’ll likely need to be prepared to dig through a lot of dirt to find what you’re looking for.

The Interview

Once you find someone that might be a good fit, I always recommend a face to face, if possible. If you’re not in the same city, set up a skype or facetime and have a digital coffee. Get to know a little bit about the person – what are they into music for? A hobby? A side-gig? A full time career? How much time can they realistically devote to the project? How do they like to work, and when is their most productive times of day, creatively speaking? What are they looking to get out of the project?

I hope it goes without saying that you should in turn be able to answer these same questions – a collaborative relationship is a two way street, and in some cases a busy intersection. Know what you’re willing or not willing to negotiate, because if you’re not on the same page by the end of the meeting, then the working relationship is likely to fail, and it just might not be the right fit. If it’s not, don’t take it to heart – just keep looking! This part can take time.

Plan for Productivity

I personally think that the face to face is also a good time to lay down some (for lack of a better word) “ground rules” for collaborative working sessions or practices. Work together on these and be honest with everyone. See if you can schedule a regularly occurring hour or two on a day of the week, and have a tangible goal to achieve by the end of each session.

If it’s a jam session or an in-person session, and you’re in it for a career rather than a hobby, I also think it’s a good idea to schedule an extra half hour or so of social time after the work time if it suits everyone. This way you can unwind a bit without it eating into your productivity time. I’ll talk more about structuring working sessions in my next video.

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