4 Foolproof Ways to Break the Ice With New Co-Writers

By | September 1, 2015

awkward songwriting

Collaborating can already be a pretty daunting activity for introverted songwriters, but it’s extra nerve-racking if you’re collaborating with someone you’ve never met for the first time. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to break the ice, get comfortable with each other, and have a successful co-write! Try these tips in your next session.

1. Spend a few minutes up front just getting to know each other

Don’t worry about jumping immediately into writing. If time allows, spend a few minutes learning a little bit about your co-writer. Is she married? Does she have kids? Where did she grow up? Getting to know each other will not only help create an environment of trust – a necessity for good writing sessions – but it might also give you some ideas for songwriting fodder!

2. Encourage your co-writer’s ideas

Being encouraging of your partner’s ideas is another foolproof way to creative a positive, successful co-writing environment. Sometimes I like to borrow the “Rule of Agreement” from improvisation in theatre. In improv, actors are told to always say yes to their scene partner, and develop the presented idea. It reminds the actors to stay open-minded and to respect creativity. Similarly, in songwriting, encouraging your co-writers makes them feel that their ideas are valid, and they’ll instantly feel more comfortable with making suggestions.

3. Don’t let the little roadblocks discourage you

Starting something new always comes with its bumps, and co-writing is no different. There might be times when you’re both feeling stuck on a certain line and neither of you are talking. Don’t let it ruin your session! Take a deep breath and try suggesting something new, or maybe it’s time to take a quick coffee break. Let yourself recharge for a few minutes, and then get back to it with fresh eyes and ears.

4. Don’t be afraid to be yourself

It may sound cheesy, and you’ve probably heard it 200 times, but it truly is important to be yourself. Great songwriting comes from a place of honesty and vulnerability. As scary as it might seem with a new collaborator, by being present and allowing yourself to be open, you’re much more likely to end up with a song that you both can be proud of.


Ready to start co-writing? Join SongwriterLink for free and find exactly the kind of co-writers you’re looking for!

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