The most valuable thing you can add to your mix as a producer, songwriter, or engineer is not another piece of gear, it is another set of ears. OK another brain may help too. If you want to grow and get better, you can go the long road and figure it all out on your own OR you can take the expressway and learn from others who know what you don’t know. Working with someone better than you is great, but I’d take it a step further – collaboration in any form is going to make you better. Why? Because you lack perspective. You have labored and agonized over each little bit of your song or your production and it is so easy to lose sight of the song or album or project.
I’ve had a number of key guys I’ve worked with over the years and I’m grateful to each of them. Currently I’m collaborating with a friend for songwriting. It has been amazing. Have we finished anything yet? Nope. But I have learned so much. Creative people approach things differently and there is so much to be learned about writing and the creative process. This collaboration is pushing me to see things differently and approach songwriting in a totally new way.
Let’s open some dialogue. Do you collaborate? What does that look like for you?