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Key ideas about Collaborations in music composition.


Music leads the way to the people you want to work with.

1. Listen to music others have recorded and if you FEEL their music, chances are they are the musicians you want to work with. If you get the feelings they are communicating through their recordings, and those feelings are ones that resonate with you. Contact the musician,

Open the Door!

2. Don't put it off. If you hear a song that moves you, tell the musician this. If you want to open a door to working together on musical ideas, send along an e-mail. Don't say a lot, don't gush. Stick to the point of your e-mail. By sending off an e-mail, you are opening a door. How and when it opens is no longer up to you. The step you are in control of is the decision to open the door of communication. Don't wait for others to come knocking on your door. Chances are you'll be waiting and disappointed. Just do it!


3. Be Specific

List all of the ways you think you can work with the other musician. Offer something that you think complements what the other musician does.


4. Let It Flow

Flexibility is important. You may have had one sound or musical idea in mind, but the other musician goes off in a completely different direction. Don't throw out or discard any exchange of ideas from others. They recorded what they did for a reason, the least of which may be that whatever they recorded was what they believed worked with your music. Accept the ears of others. If you don't, you're likely to remain stuck.


5. Improvisation and First Takes.

My personal experience informs me that the first idea, the first attempt to lay a track over an existing idea, is usually going to be the best and will likely go through to the final version of a song, in some form. Be free. Be experimental. Be bold. In that approach will likely come something fresh and original. Trust your gut. Intuition

and improvisation go hand-in-hand.


6. If in Doubt, Wait

When you reach an impasse, or when nothing seems to be in agreement, set the music aside for a while and come back to it. Sometimes, the disengagement from the production process allows for fresh ears and minds to prevail. It may all become clear about how to move ahead if you take a few hours, days, or weeks to sift through the song. Often, simply sitting on a piece of music for a few days will reveal a path forward. When in doubt, don't throw it all out. Wait!


7. Don't forget to say, “thanks!”

to everyone for all their parts! Take no one, and no thing for granted. Everyone appreciates hearing that their ideas have been appreciated and valued.

* to hear this message in full via audio recording, click here (and go to track 11)

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