Internet Jams

Today's technology for the recording musician has been getting better and better with each passing month it seems. Software and computer interfaces are getting much less sophisticated and more user friendly for the average Joe. And,let's not forget, less expensive.

Software like Acid Pro 4.0 is what I use to create and upload music to the web. I've been using products from Sonic Foundry Sony) for 4 years now. Their software products are superb to say the least. I highly recommend this software to build your music creations.

Acidplanet is where I upload my music and Video for the whole world to see and hear. As a member, you can upload music and video files for free.

Software like Vegas Video (also made by Sonic Foundry-Sony), it is what I use to create music videos.

Now, don't get me wrong? this is the software I use and recommend. There are many reliable programs out there to choose from.

I've been doing some online music collaborations as of late myself. This has been a great experience for me. However, as with anything else, there is a learning curve.

So... I thought I'd pass some simple tips that will help anchor you to a basic format you can start with.

These are common sense tips that I'm giving here and they work well if you follow this basic format everytime.

First, you need you find a website that has musicians who have the same interest you do. Yes, "online music collaborations."

"Musician Forum Boards are a great place to start. Here are just a few that will help get you started."

Guitar Noise Forums has recently created a page called, appropriately enough, Online Jams and Collaborations. It's pretty much a bulletin board where you can hook up with others who are interested in putting together an online jam, hosted by another site. You can join in on a jam or announce one of your own.

"GuitarDuel.com is a site for guitarists of all ability levels to display their work. The best part is that it's free to join, but we'll have weekly contests with real prize money," says site creator, Don Harrold.

The appeal of GarageBand.com is the unique way in which it uses the Internet to find talented new groups.

Artistopia is committed to building the ultimate end-all solution for music artists, musicians, songwriters, and industry professionals to develop and do business in one spot. Armed with comprehensive membership plans, industry experts, expert technologist, business management, and solid online presence, Artistopia is leading the frontier in online artist development.

Whenever a site such as these have a Forum Board, use them to find other artist that have the same taste as you. I usually introduce myself right away after signing up. It doesn't take long until you find some really cool musicians that are more than willing for an online collaboration. Acidplanet.com is where I upload my tunes.

Once I get on the Forum Board, I'll look for topics of discussions. Songwriting Topics, Recording Topics etc. This is where you'll find folks to collaborate with.

A great why to start is by taking a consensus. Throw the idea out there with some guidelines established. Remember, it's all in the approach. Then, folks need to hear what you are working on first, just to find out if it's something they can get into...

My first "collabs" were done by posting backing tracks for others to download and do their own thing with..

Some of the top players on AP really had a good time with that, and it grew into something way beyond what I intended. Very cool?

You can do the same thing by building the backing track, and listing the lyrics you want in the song description.

You'll probably get a lot more folks involved if you let them post the songs on their own pages too...

To collaborate with others takes time. Just being vague and asking for a collaboration will probably not get very many responses. Having your ideas laid out before hand would probably get more responses. Most good musicians I know are looking to be challenged a little when it comes to making music. Remember, it's got be worth while I'm sure.

Any "collaboration" is a community effort between people, with equal input and participation throughout the project.

A great approach would be to post a subject idea for a group project, discuss ideas posted by participating members on that subject, and come to a consensus on:

1. What the outline of the song should be (genre, instrumentation, time signature, tempo, key, section layout of verses/choruses/bridges/solos).

2. Which people will contribute what parts and instruments

3. Where the finished parts of each collaborator will be uploaded to

4. Who is responsible for collecting/mixing/mastering the parts

5. A timeline for when parts need to be done to keep the project moving smoothly

6. What profile the song will be uploaded to

7. A "project head" to oversee the entire process and make sure things are running smoothly, communication is consistent and informative, and every participant is included equally in the project.

"Hope these tips and guidelines help you get you on the right track."

Internet Jams By Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas
Managing Editor
Guitarz Forever.com

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