Three essentials to Know about when working with other Producers or Song writers.
Looking back over sixteen years to my first production efforts, I realized how personal my creative process was, and I wasn’t sure if I would feel comfortable letting someone else work along side with me.
But, in time after networking with other talented beatmakers, songwriters, and producers I realized that there were better chances to get a track landed with a well established artist working with others than slaving over the drum machines on my own.
Here are three very important tips that can help you ease the burden of working with others in your field.
Talk splits and Biz first!
This can be a very awkward thing to talk about, especially if it is going to be one of the first things you discuss with the other co writers. You can vibe really well from the get go, and actually come out with a smash hit record, but it won’t matter if there isnt clarity about the writer and publishing splits. I can not stress enough how important it is to get everyone on the same page from the beginning of the creative process, just so there isn’t this weird hovering uncertainty about where everyone stands on how to split the percentage. Worst case scenario would be that the co-writers you are working with feel very uncomfortable talking about splits from the beginning of the session and refuse to work with you because they assume you only care about splits and not (writing which is not the case). I would rather have an understanding with everyone on board than to have someone assume that they were getting 60% because they played the electric triangle part in the bridge. Better to be clear from the beginning, than to be confused at the end.
Like clay, not cement.
Making music can be such a personal experience, and to let someone else in that process is almost very hard to do. It can leave you very guarded to your own vision and idea of how the song or track should sound like, but that will leave with a non-productive session. You want to be moldable like clay and not come off as hard as cement when dry when it comes to share ideas. This will help you with not taking critiques or suggestions about your music so personal and allow the other co-writer to feel the same way. Remember if you are not liking the overall vibe you can always just go back to your original vision once the session is done and find another person to work with that might share the same vision you have for the record. I am not saying you should be a doormat and let everyone changes all of your ideas, but it does make the compromise easier when you are expecting some change to happen.
Know your strengths
It can be a bit annoying when you’re about to create a track from scratch and someone is looking over your shoulder hinting with their body language how you should build the track, it is not all that inspiring now is it? But that can happen. and sometimes you will just have to get through it, but a great way to avoid those situations is to have record done in advance. If you’re great at programming and making production but don’t really have a strong knack for vocal melodies, then do what you do best in your most comfortable environment and give the co-writer a chance to shine his or her strength. I normally have a hard time with lyrics, so I would focus on only working with others who are great with lyrics and could care less about all the bells and whistles on the production side which makes it easier for me to vibe with their input because they are not trying to prove they are better than me in producing music. Knowing your strength and weakness can give you the ability to find someone to take your production to the next level.
So At The End Of The Day…
Your co-writing experience won’t be the same with everyone and it might not even be enjoyable the first couple of times. That is why it is so important to maintain a good relationship with anyone you come across that you DO work well with. From my experience I have witnessed people who would force themselves to work with A-list superstar writers or producers only to find they have no chemistry working together at all. As long as you are open to the experience of sharing you will increase your chances of the results you are looking for.