How To Collaborate With Other Musicians

When collaborating, prepare yourself ahead of time, avoid trying to do too much in one session.

Before collaborating, it’s important to be prepared mentally. If it’s your first time in the studio with someone get educated. It’s helpful to know the proper etiquette for their studio. In some cases, the studio can only accommodate a certain number of people. So if you are bringing a guest or more you can make sure you are comfortable. Also, it’s important to know how much time you have. Take advantage of it and avoid unnecessary distractions. Knowing the exact reason you are in the session can save time. Gear that time toward the execution of your goals, for example: if you are writing a song in that session avoid topics about things that are not relevant. Talk about what the video would look like or what you should say or do in another song. Knowing exactly what you set out to do during your session before you go in saves time. If we save time we in return save money.

Trust each other, avoid the need to give too much feedback.

When working with others it’s important to have a level of respect and trust. If it’s an engineer it’s important to allow space for his creative process. Allow them to complete their process before you input on what you think might sound good. Allowing your producer or engineer to clearly focus on their own process allows them the time they need to execute their best performance. Producers tend to understand the artist they are working with. They know what they need to ask in order to deliver the best production. However, some producers will ask for feedback to know what mood the artist is in, seeing what works best for the collaboration. Learning what process works best for you and your producer or engineer can allow you two to build a good vibe and create amazing work together.

Too much feedback however, can take your producer or engineer out of their element. It can lead to distraction and create confusion within their own process or execution. Give them space to work and when they need help, trust them to ask. The only time advice or feedback should be given is when it’s absolutely necessary. What if the part of the song their working on strikes you in bad taste? Allow them to sit with the feeling because they mot likely are feeling it too. Most times they are thinking of a way to fix the issue themselves. Too much unnecessary feedback can leave your engineer or producer feeling as if you don’t trust their work. This may put a damper on delivering their best work.

Take your time, avoid being too hard on yourself

Good things come with patience. The most important part of any session is to never be too hard on yourself. Working with other people will often bring insecurities. We may sometimes feel as if we aren’t as good as someone else. Simply because they may know more about something so we don’t. An important thing to understand is, no matter who you are or what you know there will always be someone else who knows something you don’t. This applies to all the different fields of music. It’s common for most artist to want to “kill it” in every session. But, even the best artist needs time for things to flow. Taking your time may feel as if it’s never gonna come to you. Whether it’s writing music or recording a perfect take but being patient is key. It’s easier for things to fall into place when you understand this. Otherwise you’ll end up getting frustrated during the process and it could set you back if you are not careful.

Most people think records are made overnight, the truth is a lot of the hits we know and love have been re-written and re-recorded dozens and dozens of times. Something that could never have been accomplished if it wasn’t for patience. This will allow you to successfully take a step away from the song and listen to it with “fresh ears” and notice things you may not have noticed before. It will also give you the opportunity to practice delivery on your own away from the studio. Once you do this you can come back again can execute it differently from a new perspective.

Most importantly taking your time allows you to have fun with your craft and this is something that can be felt by all your fans. 

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