Friday, August 31, 2007

Preparing a demo - part 2, going into the studio

For the past week I practiced three songs with a metronome. I had it wired and walked into the studio ready to record. Of course, things don't always work out like planned.

After we got the room set up I started to play with the click track. Unfortunately, I really couldn't hear it and realized that in all my practice sessions, I relied on looking at my metronome as much as hearing it. I wasn't comfortable when I couldn't hear it (It's actually a good thing when you don't hear it because it means your on time). Lesson #1, when practicing with a metronome, don't look at it.

Ben then started directing me through the studio window (it must have been pretty funny looking). That worked great until I got to the end of phrases, where I like to do a little guitar ad-lib that put me off one beat. Sounds great to me, but killed my time signature. Lesson #2, little guitar enhancements can sound cool but can wreak havoc with your timing.

At the end of the hour, we actually had a track that was OK, but still not great. Next week, I think we need to start from scratch.

During the course of this process, there was a suggestion for me to just carry on, play my normal way and not worry about keeping to the click track. While this would make life easier, I want to do this right and I think the final product will be better.

My bottom-line lesson from this is how important it is to practice with a metronome from day one (yes, I finally get it) or at least practice (a whole lot more) prior to getting into the studio.

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