So you’re on the path to learning guitar. That’s great. I want to help.
I’ve been making home recordings for about 10 years, which means I’ve learned through mistakes.
So here are five recording mistakes beginner producers make. Five mistakes I’ve made.
I’ve been learning some things about the creative process recently. And it has to do with limitations. Or the lack of them.
Here’s my thought: only place boundaries on yourself for specific creative reasons, not to fit a certain genre or to be the artist others expect you to be.
I did that in my earlier music-making days. And my music suffered for it.
I was a “folk” musician so I would only use “real” instruments (no keyboards, only pianos; no drum machines, only live drums; no electric guitar, only acoustic).
I think I was actually condescending about it.
I limited my options just to fit a pre-determined box of a genre, making music that people expected a folk artist to make. But genres change and evolve, so why try to fit the definition of today’s “folk” music?
Think about it — “pop music” literally means the popular music of the day. Popular music changes over time (I mean, The Beatles were pop in their day). And any change within a genre happens because of artists who don’t try to fit into any of the current boxes, artists who stretch the boundaries.
Basically, I don’t like genre labels.
So from now on, I don’t want to have any genre boundaries in my head. I want to just record everything I hear. And if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. But at least I tried.
I think this will help me make better music — music I’m more proud of. I think it will end up being way more meaningful to me.
All this to say, don’t limit yourself unless it’s for a specific creative reason, to see what you can do with less.
Otherwise, let every idea out then sort through the good and the bad later.
A great app that has helped me organize my creative process is Evernote. I literally do all of my songwriting on it.
And you can use my referral link to get a free month of a Premium account (although the Free account is awesome too…I use it).
Recording can be an arduous and frustrating process. And Paul McCartney knows this.
McCartney recorded The Beatles’ “Blackbird” all by himself — just him, a guitar, and an engineer at the controls in Abbey Road’s studio two.
Having an engineer surely made it easier on McCartney, but a lot of indie musicians don’t have that luxury.
Often, you’ll be in your bedroom or basement managing the controls while also trying to focus on playing your instrument.
This can make things even more frustrating.
But there’s one thing we can learn from McCartney’s recording session of “Blackbird.”
You see, he recorded 32 takes of the song, 11 of which were complete from beginning to end.
Thirty-two takes. That’s so many, even in today’s digital music world.
The point is, take your time in the studio. If you have to record two takes, 32 takes, or 72 takes before you get the right one, do it.
Because you know what … McCartney’s last take of “Blackbird” is the one that made the official recording.
Record one more take. It’ll be worth it.
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