Collaboration is Crucial for Musicians

Too many independent musicians lock themselves up mentally, afraid that if they share ideas "too soon" that they'll either get stolen or that there won't be any more good ideas where that came from.

It's a habit that all creative people share at some point in their careers. To break through to the next level, you've got to break that habit and get creative in groups.

The Mastermind Group I facilitated in Nashville at 2004's 2NMC is a great example. A bunch of folks that didn't know each other at the start of the conference made a commitment to me and to each other that they'd work together on creative ideas, while keeping each other accountable to their goals.

A few musicians from that group took some time to check in with me yesterday, to let me know how their collaborations are going. I got to hear a preview from a recording session that two members of the group made -- the track was really more than the sum of its parts. I could hear each collaborator's strong points, yet I was amazed by how the combination of these two unlikely parters created something far beyond what either of them had been doing on their own at that point.

Another participant, songwriter Richard Bassett, has been using the group for inspiration and ideas -- and a song he co-wrote just cracked the Top 10 on Broadjam. Again, it's a project that came together through a collaboration of great songwriters and talented performers, and it wouldn't surprise me if this song ended up on a Shania Twain record at some point. If you're ready to hum a catchy, fun, sexy song for the next three days, follow this link to the free player.

Think about some of the culturally impactful records of the last few years: The Postal Service, any of Santana's latest discs, or any of your favorite mashups. When artists put their preconceived notions aside and collaborate with

Now, imagine what you could be capable of if you bounce your ideas off another creative mind. Remember that, if you fail, you're no worse off than you were before. However, if you succeed, you could elevate your talents and your career beyond your expectations.

Track these topics: music+business