How To LEVEL Up Your Co-Writing Sessions

music advice blog

Article by: jly | Author, Music Creator

VQS Advice Blog | Songwriting, Creativity | Cover Image by Niclas Gustasson


Your collaborators can make or break your project. Learn how to create the best creative team that thrives!

The magic of co-writing is that another person in the room can bring out a song we didn’t know we had in us. Many of us have the capability to create a song on our own, but there’s something about combining ideas from each other’s experiences that results in a unique sound. Here’s our top 5 tips to better collaborating with your co-writers.

1. How to Open Up and Be You!

Photo by Jaime Brown

When working with a team, it is very beneficial to open yourself up and talk about your thoughts, feelings, and emotions in a true and honest way.

Working through emotions by talking about them is cathartic for the person speaking, and you will likely find that the song will end up writing itself through the words being spoken.

Sometimes my co-writers and I will have a silly exchange about how dating sucks and how we want to all just run away to the mountains and become nuns.

Other times, it’s a full-on therapy session where everyone supports each other. By opening yourself up, you will open up a whole range of new opportunities for great ideas!


109: How to Keep Your Singing Voice Healthy VQS Studio Podcast


2. How to Push the Idea Game

Co-writing is like an improvisational game…

fun girl jump air sunglasses
photo by Anthony Fomin

…except instruments and singing are thrown into the mix! When someone puts an idea out there, another person can vamp on that idea or take it in an unexpected direction.

If you aren’t a big fan of someone’s idea, rather than shutting it down, say “What if we take this idea and do _____ instead”. Make sure there is a collaborative effort to keep everyone involved and having fun!


Free mindset and productivity tools for creators

Subscribe to our VQS advice blog


3. How to Find Your Perfect Match

photo by Dynamic Wang

Just like dating, you never know what kind of musical chemistry you will have with another person until you give it a try. Not every co-write will be a musical match made in heaven, but that is just part of the process!

There are so many talented individuals to make great art with – you just have to find your perfect match!

So go out there and find your perfect co-writing partner…who knows, you might just make the next top hit!

4. How to Play Off Of Each Other’s Strengths

Harness your unique super powers

photo by King Lip

Perhaps your co-writer plays different instruments than what you usually play, or they speak multiple languages that you don’t. Play off of each other’s strengths and use them to your advantage.

Writing with someone who has a different skill-set from you can introduce elements into your song that you wouldn’t have thought of on your own.

My songwriting teacher from the Songwriting School of LA talked about the concept of genre natives and genre tourists. Let’s say you mainly listen to country, and your co-writer listens to R&B. In this co-write, you would be a native of the country genre since you love country music, but a genre tourist of R&B since you are not as familiar with it.

Together, you will be able to add some country flair to the R&B sound to make this song something really special.

Push each other out of your comfort zones and force yourselves to try new things. You may surprise yourself and enjoy writing this way more than you thought you would.

5. How to Keep the Momentum Going!

Songs are rarely written in just one session, especially because revisiting a song usually involves rewrites.

In order to keep it simple, schedule the next session before you leave the room. That way, you know you will meet up again to finish what you started.

Having someone hold you accountable is one of the many benefits of co-writing. If you wrote a song on your own, you might not feel like revisiting it again in three months; however, if you write with a group, the need to schedule with your co-writers will ensure that you will meet again to make more progress.

Summary:

Congrats on making it this far! I love co-writing, and I encourage you to give it a try. Songs that come from co-writing may not be like anything you have ever written before, and in sharing the creative process, co-writers can push you to become an even better songwriter yourself. How will you use these tools to collaborate on a new song? I’d love to hear from you.

music advice blog

Article by: jly

VQS ADVICE blog | Mindset tools for creators

Subscribe To Our Advice Blog

About the Author
LA based video creator, producer, and media coach.
Scroll to top
%d bloggers like this: