Now is a great time to make music virtually with a music collaboration!
In this video I’m going to show you how you can make your own.
I’ve done a couple of music collaboration projects recently. I arranged a mass version of “Lean on Me” with my Sax School students. Then I played in a trio with bass player Marcelo Gois in Brazil and drummer Jonathan Lundberg in Sweden.
Why make a music collaboration?
In Sax School I always encourage my students to make and share videos of their playing. It’s a really good way to get feedback and make progress, and it’s a step towards playing a live performance.
If you’ve never played with another musician, then doing this virtually is a great way to start. And you can connect with musicians from anywhere in the world.
So here’s how:
Step 1: Connect with other musicians
Step 2: Decide on a project to do together
For the “Lean On Me” project I did with my Sax School community, I arranged it into 6 parts and laid out clearly what I wanted everyone to do.
For the project with Marcelo and Jonathan they already had a track laid down, and they asked me to put my own saxophone lines over it.
So it’s important that someone takes the lead in the project to make sure you move forward.
Step 3: Make a Guide Track
This is the track that you will all work on. For the “Lean On Me” project I recorded all the parts into one MP3 and sent this to everyone taking part. So with the guide track, the music and the instructions, they knew what they had to do.
With the project with Marcelo and Jonathan, they had already recorded the track, which they sent to me along with a chord chart. There wasn’t any sheet music because they wanted me to come up with my own lines.
The guide track is really important so that all your individual recordings will fit together in sync.
Step 4: Create your own video and audio
The easiest way to do record video for your music collaboration is on your mobile phone. Listen to the track from another device as you play, and record the audio and video at the same time on your phone.
One important thing here is to specify whether you want your videos to be landscape or portrait. It’s a lot easier to edit your collaboration if they are all the same format!
Tips for great video:
- Clear background
- Use a tripod
- Well lit
- Make sure your whole body is in the frame.
A more sophisticated way to record is to make your video using a camera, and record your audio separately. You could use a microphone directly into a Digital Audio Workstation or DAW. I use Logic Pro, but there are other options such as GarageBand or ProTools. This means you’ll have great quality video and audio. Check out my simple recording setup here.
Step 5: Put it all together
For most of my videos I edit using professional software package Final Cut Pro. This is what I used to edit the project with Marcelo and Jonathan.
For the “Lean On Me” music collaboration project I used Adobe Premiere Pro because of the number of videos I was working with – over 200!
If you haven’t edited video before it can be a bit of a learning curve but it’s a chance to get creative too!
Step 6: Share and Celebrate!
It’s a great achievement to create a music collaboration project like this so you’ll really want to share it – on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and with friends and family. Make sure you credit everyone who got involved.
I hope you try making your own music collaboration – or join Sax School to find out about the amazing music our members are making together.