Music collaboration can feel intimidating. How should you reach out to other musicians? And who should you reach out to? If you’ve never collaborated on music before, these questions can stop you from making the first step. However, it doesn’t have to be that way!
In fact, music collaboration can help you finish songs faster and grow your audience!
All you need to know are a few best practices when approaching other musicians to collaborate. This is what we are going to cover in this guide. Ready? Let’s dive in 👇
1. Approach People in a Personal Manner
When approaching someone to collaborate on music, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Firstly, try to work with someone you already get along with.
This might not always be possible if you’ve never met before. But even by messages or on a quick call, you can get a feel for a person. If you don’t feel a connection, move on. This will save you a lot of headaches down the line.
Next, make sure to approach musicians in a personal manner. After all, musicians are humans like everyone else.
This means that if you approach someone, make sure to tailor your message to them. Don’t copy-paste the same message to 10 different people – they will notice it. Also, don’t just leave a comment on their latest Instagram post saying, “Would love to collab!”.
If you are genuine about a music collaboration, take the time to write them a personal message, outlining why you want to collaborate with them, and what you hope they can bring specifically to the project.
2. Collaborate After the Release Too!
Create together, promote together. After all, being a musician goes beyond simply writing music.
Because you both have your respective audiences, make sure you are both promoting your song before and after the release.
For example, you can set yourselves as “Collaborators” on each Instagram post so that they appear on each of your profiles. Otherwise, you can take turns in posting about the release to maximize the reach.
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Whatever the case is, make sure you have a plan ahead of time to promote the song. One key component of a successful music marketing strategy is to get featured on the most popular Spotify playlists.
With Groover, you can search for curators and pros of the music industry that precisely match your song 👇
3. Offer an Idea / Sketch to Start With
When the time comes to collaborate, one question comes up more than any other: “Who should start the song”? Or in other words, who should offer the initial idea, the sketch of the song?
Although there are no written rules, it is generally understood that the person proposing the music collaboration comes up with the initial idea.
Ideally, this will be when you approach the other musician for the first time. This is your time to showcase your idea, even if it’s just a rough demo. You may only have a verse or a chorus, and the instrumentation is probably not final. However, your sketch should be enough for the other musician to work with.
If you plan on doing several collaborations, you can take turns in offering the initial idea.
4. Get Ready to Compromise
Collaboration comes from the latin “to work with”.
This means you will need to be open to feedback.
Don’t take comments personally, and don’t stay attached to your musical ideas. Collaborating is about giving and taking, so it’s important to compromise in certain areas.
5. Work with Audio Stems
Working with audio stems is one of the most efficient ways to collaborate with other musicians across the Internet.
Essentially, this means exporting every single instrument track from your song. This way, the person you are doing a music collaboration with can simply drag them into his own DAW.
If you use FL Studio, simply navigate to File, then click Export, then All Playlist Tracks. This will create a folder with every track from your project. If you use Ableton Live, select first your entire arrangement, then click File, then Export Audio. Finally, select All Individual Tracks under Rendered Track.
When sharing stems with musicians, the easiest way is to simply use a shared Google Drive.
6. Learn and Ask Questions
You can never be an expert at everything. This is why a music collaboration is a great way to complement your own skills. In a collaboration, both musicians will ideally bring their own strengths to the project.
This means a music collaboration is the perfect time to learn new skills. These could be around songwriting, arranging or even mixing techniques. Whatever the case is, make sure to ask questions.
You can even approach a music collaboration as a learning tool. Are you struggling to write catchy melodies? Then why not collaborate with someone who’s melodies you admire? This can be a great way to not only finish music faster, but also learn faster!
7. In-person vs Remote?
Before embarking on a music collaboration, you need to know what type of collaborator you are.
Are you an in-person type of collaborator? Or do you prefer the safety of solitude when writing music?
This is a crucial question to answer. Many musicians love to be in the same room when jamming and bouncing ideas. But others will find that type of environment stressful and prefer to be alone when trying new ideas. If you’re not in your preferred “habitat”, you will struggle to feel comfortable and write good music. So, make sure the type of collaboration matches your personal preferences!
That’s It for This Guide on Music Collaboration!
This wraps up our guide on the best practices to observe when collaborating with other artists! Hopefully we were able to provide you with some guidelines and inspiration to make your next projects a success! The more collaborations you do, the more tips and tricks you will pick up along the way. As they say, practice makes perfect!
Promote your music 👇
What are your best practices when collaborating on music? Let us in the comments down below 👇