3 Tips for Collaborating on Songwriting

Do you like this melody? What do you think about this riff? Working together to create something great can be difficult at times. Here are some tips to make the process run a little more smoothly.

Establish a Common Goal

The best teams have a common goal that is known throughout. Of course, the end goal for a songwriter is to create a great song. It’s just the process of achieving that that’s tough. When Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson got together to create their smash hit “Uptown Funk,” they originally just started by messing around. When schedules got busy, they agreed to keep working to finish the song and try to make it the best it could be. Having a common goal between the people working on the song is key to being successful.

Be Accepting and Positive

It is important to keep an open, positive dialogue throughout the writing process. Giving constructive feedback will help in the long run of the process. Know when a critique is crossing the line. Ryan Tedder, lead singer of OneRepublic, and Adam Levine collaborated to make the hit “Love Somebody.” The collaborators kept an open mind and concept, both wanting the song to equate love and physical intimacy. They didn’t immediately arrive at this right away. It was a process of bouncing ideas off each other.

Know Your Strengths

Perhaps one musician is better at the lyrics, while the other is better at the actual tune and beat of the music. Within the famous duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Macklemore focuses on the words and Ryan Lewis takes care of the beat. They both receive equal credit and know that they would not be as successful if they could not rely on each other to complete the tasks. One example is the creation of their song “My Oh My,” which Macklemore drew from personal experience but Ryan Lewis added to with beats.

The next time you are thinking of teaming up with another person, or a few other people, keep these tips in mind to get the best outcome possible.

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Megan Trainor spends her days doing crossword puzzles, reading the news and looking for new music to listen to. She is usually a sucker for guitar but appreciates songs with meaningful lyrics and a strong bass.

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