I think it’s fair to say that for many of us who enjoy making music, at least those of us who see it as being more than just a hobby, we want our music to be the best that it can be. We spend a lot of time, and often a lot of money on trying to compare to our heroes and other big names when writing, recording and producing our songs. We want our music to sound like it could be on the radio!
Now, despite being a talented bunch (self-proclaimed of course), we do have some disadvantages compared to most of our heroes. For one, it’s their day-job, so they get to practice an awful lot whilst we have to do a second or third job as we follow our dreams.
They’ll also have a producer, someone acting as another set of ears, helping them to achieve their vision, whilst we only have mom to listen, critique, and help improve our work. (When was the last time mom said your music sucked?)
They also get to work with other talented and experienced professionals who specialize in their instruments, whilst we try to play and record everything ourselves.
And then there’s the pro studio, complete with ‘the man with the golden ears’ vs. our home studio, with li’l’ ol’ us at the helm.
For sure, it’s not an easy task competing with the best of the best when we’re just a team of one. None-the-less, we can still make some awesome music. But there is still a way that our music could perhaps be even better, and it’s a little-known secret I like to call, collaboration. Ok ok, so it’s not really a secret or a revelation, but it is apparently a sticking point for many, like me.
Here’s a little secret I didn’t share with anyone before. Whenever I start writing a new song, I’ll catch myself thinking about my name going up in lights; I start day-dreaming. “Oh, who’s that playing lead guitar?”, they ask. “Oh, that’s me”, I reply. “Oh, who’s amazing voice is that singing the song?”, they ask. “Yeah, that’s me”, I reply. “Wow, who mixed this track?”, they ask. “That was me”, I reply. Me me me me me. Such an ego – I know – like I said, I want to be the star of the show! But I bet I’m not alone? How many of us are reluctant to share control in our music, either for ego or just because we can’t put our faith or trust in others?
But here’s the thing, and I’m starting to realize this more as age sensibilizes me and success avoids me: If I really want a song to be the best that it can be, then maybe, by putting my ego aside and allowing others to bring their own unique area of expertise to the mix, I might stand a greater chance of producing a song that has real commercial potential, or at least sound even more super awesome than it otherwise would!
Of course, you need to select the right team, not just any team, and that can be a real challenge too. After all, the point of collaborating is that the sum of all contributions results in a superior product than would otherwise have been the case if it were all sourced from one individual. Meaning, if I can do a better job myself, then the collaboration was almost pointless. And our team needs to be reliable. So the point is, find artists that can bring something to the team and those who you can trust. For most of us at least, we really can’t be an expert in everything.
By opening yourself up to working with others, you might just find yourself with a song that can really compete with the pros. Or at least get you closer, if that’s your goal.
And one more benefit worth mentioning on the subject of collaboration. The more people involved, the more potential it might have for bringing you further and greater opportunities. Think about it, once the song is done, we’ll all go off in our separate directions and start spreading the word. So, more free promotion and marketing, and the hope of even greater possibilities to come.
On ProCollabs.com we’ve mustered hundreds of talented artists who want to make better music, just like you. If you think collaboration might be the way to go for you, then sign-up and give it a go.
Thanks for listening!