Like it or not, most of the music industry has shifted to working online. Streaming services have almost completely replaced physical music copies (no matter what your vinyl-loving uncle says), and social media is currently the best way to advertise new music. This has extended to collaborating with other musicians as well. When I started as a session singer, I would say my work was 50% in person and 50% online, and now it’s almost 100% online.

I’ve seen some resistance to this shift, particularly from those who have always done it “the old way.” Here’s the thing: You can certainly always do things the old way, but why not learn another way? If you don’t like it, you always have the old way to fall back on. Or you can do both!

If you’re still not convinced, here are several other reasons why collaborating online is better than doing it in person:

1). Everyone Can Work on Their Own Schedule

Anyone who’s ever been in a band knows how difficult it is to schedule a practice. Recording and co-writing is very similar (More on collaborations HERE!). When you collaborate online, everyone gets a deadline and they just work whenever they can.

Some people don’t like this because they feel they manage their time better in an actual studio. If this is you, try scheduling your own working time like you would a live session. Put it on your calendar and stick to it! The benefits of this are that if something comes up or you’re running late, you have no one to disappoint and you can easily move it to a more convenient time.

2). No Travel

We can all agree that this is a great benefit, no? No sitting in rush hour, no spending gas money, no adding miles to your car. If you live in Nashville, you don’t have to endure the terrible freeway gauntlet (seriously, who designed that freeway system?!) Working from home and collaborating online is becoming much more popular, and for good reason. With the time you save from not traveling, you can put that into rehearsal or extra work time.

If you’re someone who likes the idea of going to a new and different place to work, try running a quick errand before you start working. I do this and trust me, it works! Swing through McDonalds, get your car washed or even just go on a quick walk. Your mindset will be different when you get back and you’ll feel like it’s “work time.”

3). Time (and Freedom) to Make Mistakes

A lot of people freeze up when in a studio. I’ve seen incredibly talented singers become stiff and unable to perform in a studio setting. Of course, this will fade with time and experience, but you’ll save a lot of time and get a better performance from a lot of people simply by removing that obstacle.

Working without an audience also allows musicians to try things they might be shy to try in front of people. If it doesn’t work out, you can simply delete it without embarrassment. If it does work out, you’ve got something cool you might not have had otherwise!

4). Expanding Your Circle

This seems obvious, but I don’t think many people consider that you can work with literally anyone from around the world when you work virtually. When you work in person, you limit yourself to only those available in your radius. Think of all the various backgrounds, cultures and ideas you can access, and how those might impact your work!

There is literally nothing negative about this one! Even if a co-write or project doesn’t work out, you’ve still met people you never would have otherwise.

Hopefully these things have at least convinced you to be more open to collaborating online. If you end up not liking it, you can always go back to in-person work!

If you’ve decided to give online collaboration a try and you’re looking for a session singer or top liner, feel free to hit me up at

This post has been provided by Mella Barnes.

Mella is a session singer, songwriter and voiceover actor living in Nashville, Tennessee. Also an animal lover, she has three dogs, a rabbit, and any number of foster animals in various shapes and sizes. She is the author of Way Less Cowbell, a book on communicating with session musicians. If you would like more information or to hire her onto your project, please visit

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