Week 3, collaboration and co-writing

FAWM continues, and we’re now in week 3. Since this year’s challenge began, my newest rough song demos have been featured in a podcast, and a blog, and have been, overall, well received. Once I neared the 14 song goal, I began looking at collaborations and cowrite opportunities.

The first experience involved a lot of back and forth via email, improving the lyrics until it was about 50/50 involvement, and then I put the lyrics to music and recorded a multitrack demo with 6 and 12 string guitars, harmonica, mandolin, vocals and percussion. It still had rough patches as a demo, but it’s been well received by fellow Fawmers.

The second involved more idea sharing, and letting the lyricist have free rein on her vision. Once the lyrics were finalized, I did two versions of the music. One in an alternate tuning with finger style guitar, the other in standard, with either finger style or strumming. They have similarities of sound but do sound very different in tone. The reason for the second arrangement was to ensure the lyricist could play the song as well, with practice. As a beginner, alternate timings, capos, and finger style playing are all new areas for her.

A third and fourth collaboration are pending. The third is another online collaboration, with prewritten lyrics being set to music by me, with few, if any changes. The fourth is a local cowrite that’s been talked about for a few years now. Life has kept it from happening, but we’re going to talk this week, and see what happens.

The second song was so well received by the lyricist and her friends that she wishes to have a better recording, and have it entered in various contests both in my country (USA), and hers (Australia), and beyond.

This is still new territory for me, though I’ve been tempted, other than the 2014 Guitar Center contest, I’ve only entered informal or local contests. Things like Kerrville have been things I’ll get to down the road.

Sometime when you collaborate or co-write, you strengthen your skills, sometimes you try things a different way, and sometimes it’s a push outside your comfort zone into new territory.

Try something new, you might just like it. 🙂

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