by Lisa Occhino
Online songwriting collaboration, in some form or another, has become increasingly common over the last few years. There’s certainly something to be said for the magic that happens when two songwriters are in the same room together, and I don’t personally believe that online collaboration is ever going to directly replace that. However, I do think that it functions extremely well as a supplement to face-to-face co-writes, and it creates completely new opportunities for collaboration that would never have existed without the technology we have today.
For those of you who are brand new to online collaboration or are still a little iffy on the whole concept of it, let’s explore a few of the top benefits.
1. The possibilities of who you can co-write with are now endless
It used to be that if there weren’t any songwriters you wanted to write with in your area, you either had to pay for constant travel, move to a major music city, or just not co-write at all. Fortunately, it’s 2015, and there’s so much cool technology out there that makes online collaboration insanely easy. And even people who do live in major music cities like New York, Nashville, or Los Angeles are turning to online collaboration more and more: it’s a great way to expand your horizons outside of your local scene, and it’s also a convenient way to scout out songwriters who are in your city to ultimately meet up with in person. Think of it as just one more outlet to grow and strengthen your musical network, both locally and globally.
2. You get to work on your own schedule
We songwriters tend to be on such crazy schedules, and it can be really difficult to regularly find a time and a place for co-write sessions that works for all parties involved. One of the fantastic benefits of online collaboration is that it allows each songwriter to work on the project in the pockets of time they do have – whether it’s during a lunch break or at midnight – making the timely completion of a song a much more realistic endeavor.
3. There’s way less pressure
Many songwriters tend to be more on the introverted side, just by our very nature. As a result, it’s easy to feel like like we’re not being as creative as we could be when we’re put on the spot in a live co-write (myself included, not gonna lie). And while that’s definitely something that gets better with practice and time, one big reason why I love digitally collaborating is that I can try out ideas in private and take as long as I need, and not feel my co-writer staring at me, waiting for me to come up with something genius. I’m not saying to use it as a crutch, but collaborating online can definitely lend itself to a certain personality type that many songwriters share.
4. It’s truly the best of both worlds
For someone who’s just getting his or her feet wet with online songwriting collaboration, online co-writes can be an ideal way to transition into it because it’s the best of both worlds: you have the benefit of bouncing ideas off of someone else and sparking each other’s creativity, but for those of us who feel like songwriting is a very personal process, it allows us to still do a lot of the creative work in solitude (assuming the bulk of your co-writing is being done through some form of file sharing).
If you’re interested in exploring online songwriting collaboration, join SongwriterLink for free to get matched up with exactly the kind of co-writers you’re looking for, anywhere in the world.
Have you tried collaborating online? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!
Lisa Occhino is the founder of SongwriterLink. She’s a pianist, singer, award-winning songwriter, graduate of Berklee College of Music, and the managing editor at Sonicbids. She lives in New York City.