A few of the advantages of co-writing are the various ways it makes it easier to write songs. Veteran songwriter Cliff Goldmacher in this songwriting training video talks about how it's half as difficult to work on a song when two or more people are working together. Cliff also mentions that you can learn new songwriting techniques from your collaborators and, finally, you can double your output of songs.
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- So while this course is about co-writing, and there are lots and lots of advantages to co-writing, there are also a few disadvantages, so why don't we start with the advantages, and I'll also bring up a few of the disadvantages just so that you have a sense of what co-writing's all about. The first advantage, in my experience, to co-writing is that it is significantly easier to motivate yourself to write. First of all, there are going to be two of you, at least two of you, so that makes it half as hard. You've got two people working on the same song.
Secondarily, it keeps you honest about scheduling a time to write. I understand. I'm a songwriter. When you tell yourself, "I'm gonna get up Monday morning, I'm gonna "sit down at my desk, and I'm gonna write at 10 AM," and at 9:55 the phone rings, and you pick up the phone, and the next thing you know, you've gotta do something about the phone call, long story short, when you schedule with another person, you've now got a time in the books to write, and you're responsible not only to yourself, but to someone else, so that's a great way of kind of keeping you honest about the scheduling.
Another advantage is that it effectively doubles your song output. So you're in a situation where maybe you only own half of each song, but you're putting twice as many songs into the world, and that is always a good thing, in my experience. The more songs that you're putting out there, the more good things can ultimately happen. Another advantage is that it helps you finish your songs and move on. Another way to put this is, each song that you work on becomes a little bit less precious.
And the nice thing about that is, as you continue to write more and more songs, you find that you don't squeeze so hard. You're just in the creative flow, and you're not in a position to kind of agonize for weeks or months with the song. Having somebody else there to sort of help you finish that song makes a big difference. Another advantage is that it exposes you to different approaches to songwriting. So, if you only write by yourself, you've got a style of writing, and that's predominantly how you're gonna write. However, by writing with lots of different collaborators, what you're gonna find is everybody's got a slightly different style.
It's a great learning device. You're gonna learn lots and lots of other ways to write songs, and that really ends up helping you as a writer no matter what. It also, another advantage, is that it helps you learn where your strengths are as a songwriter. So, what I mean by this is, when I got started collaborating, I didn't know what I did better or worse, I was so used to just writing songs by myself. It was only after a while that I realized that the songs that I was writing with people who were really good at melody somehow seemed better than the songs I was writing with people where we were both working on the lyric most of the time and just kind of throwing in the melody as an afterthought.
In other words, I learned that I was stronger as a lyricist, and so I started to learn to collaborate with people who were maybe weaker lyrically than I was but much stronger melodically, and what that ultimately results in is a song that is better than either one of us could've written on our own. The main thing, really, is that at the end of the day, a great collaboration is where you both come up with something better than you could've done on your own.