Songwriting camps can be exciting and awesome, but also kind of dull if things fail to pan out the way they should.
We collected some pointers covering a wide range of topics, possibly helping you make the most out of your next songwriting camp. Let’s start with the heavy stuff:
Have some familiar equipment with you
Some musicians and producers love to travel light, especially when engaging in camps where a studio-setting offers everything you need. While this might be true, concerning large equipment, think about taking something small that either carries sentimental value or produces a distinct sound that you love.
That could be some percussive instrument, or a sampler with a selection of sounds you trust, something like that. These miniature elements might not even come to use. Still, they’re something you can just play around with when things get rocky.
Think of them as a bridge between your home production environment and something completely unfamiliar.
Invest energy in agenda setting
Working an entire day, just to find out you collaborators intend to move in a completely different direction eventually can be quite exhausting.
That’s why you should all be clear about what your common agenda ist, musically. Where do you want to go with this sound, and equally as important: Where do you come from. It all affects the way you handle the compositions at hand. Work towards each other’s strengths.
Have a listening list ready
Preparing a listening list is part of the basic homework you should do when jumping into a writing camp situation.
Exemplify a vision or potential via musical input. It can act as a fast track to getting things started. Having this little selection at hand will help you communicate, fast and efficiently.
If you’re working with and writing for artists, for example as a production tracker, this listening list can help break the initial ice over what the sound could be or negate things that you thought might be possible.
Even if initial settings might seem strange with certain collaborators, there’s no need to get cramped up early on.
Being fearless in writing camps is essential and oftentimes a necessity when jumpstarting a creative flow. Take the risk of being judged for your taste or craft.
Chances are high though, that your bold approach at expressing your very personal ideas and visions of the music at hand will earn you respect, and the status of professionalism.
Knowing what you want, and don’t want, is essential when pushing forward a creative endeavor.0 be the first one to show some appreciation for this!