Your First Recording Session
By Brandon McHose
The first time you record is one of the most exciting moments in your musical career. It’s the first time you sound “professional” and it’s the first time you feel like it’s all about YOU and your record.
Feelings aside, the one thing I would advise musicians to do on their first recording session is to hire experienced studio musicians. Studio Musicians, meaning that they have previous experience recording on other people’s records, in the studio and under the gun. One reason you want these ‘session guys,’ (especially on your first record) is to LEARN everything you can from them. Second of all, you need to allot yourself the maximum amount of time for YOUR parts (i.e. overdubs, edits, fixes, stacks). The idea is to get the session guys in and out so that you can concentrate on your parts and not be rushed (after all it is your record). Time is money in the studio! I watched the musicians and producer of my first session like a hawk because I knew there was something important to learn from each one of them. This is the one time where you have to be the student of your own ‘class’.
Every song you record lends itself to some lesson you haven’t yet learned. Pick up on little details like how the bassist puts his headphones on from behind his back so that the cord never dangled around the guitar, how carefully they check and recheck their tuning, etc. Watch how they “chart” chords and progressions on paper. Listen to the way they communicate with each other. You need to know the “language!” They will re arrange your music a little if they are good. Don’t be offended. They are trying to make your product the best that it can be. Sure, not every idea is right, but at least let them express their musical creativity, experience and lend further integrity to the project. Try to work with studio musicians who have worked with each other before. This really does make things a heck of a lot easier. At a very minimum, the bassist and drummer have to be on the same page and ‘locked-in,’ otherwise you potentially will have some serious problems.
I’ve got a new recording session booked for a few weeks from now and will update this blog to convey to you what went down.
One book to read : Big Bad Wolf by James Patterson
My favorite piece of gear : Guild F-47 acoustic guitar
Can’t tour without it : Blackberry SmartPhone! (Navigation,email, facebook,myspace etc!)