I have written elsewhere about the joys, challenges and sometimes the utter frustration of playing and producing music with others. Sometimes song writing can work as a collaborative effort too, where your mates can provide that perfect chorus line or bridge to complete unfinished and stalled pieces – and of course there are many famous song writing partnerships, often splitting the tasks of music creation and lyric writing.
Arranging, recording, mixing and producing represent a further slew of essential tasks in the music making carry-on which benefit from the input and direction of others. This can often turn a rather unpromising set of incoherent notes, rhythms and words into a proper piece of music (thank you Mr. Grimly) – but it helps if you have some half decent ideas in the first place!
From my own experience it seems that most songs start with a pleasing musical phrase or two and, if you are lucky, a snatch of lyrics (lyrics can be a nightmare – unless you are a poet). It is not uncommon for a musician to generate these on a regular basis – but from then on in it can be hard work indeed! I suspect there is a huge difference in approach between professionals, who immediately know the options that will work with a given riff / groove / series of chords and that of the gifted amateur which will be much more one of informed trial and error.
And then there is the approach of the less than gifted amateur ………………….