06
May
09

Lesson Three: Try to hear the song before starting.

This is probably the biggest challenge for me, to try to imagine the finished song with all arrangements in my head first. If you can do that, it’s easy to plan everything to that goal, and therefore make all the smaller goals of what instrumental to record, how and when, and how to mix it, alot clearer.

It’s not something I’ve succeeded in doing yet, as usually I’m experimenting all over the place -‘how would shakers sound here?’, ‘what about reverb like this on the guitar -and should it be clean or distorted?’ etc…

The problem with experimenting is that it can be very time-consuming and even time-waisting. However, my background is from playing in a band, and much of my songwriting is written with a rock band in mind. What that meant previously was I didn’t have to worry so much about drums or bass, that was left to the drummer and bassist. And half the fun of being in a band is jamming together for hours, which gives each member the luxury of experimenting long before you need to start recording.

Now I’m doing it all solo, and I can’t drum, nor do I have a kit at my disposal for recording. So my greatest challenge is to try to visualize (aurally) what beat I can get, and then set about doing it. But my first challenge is to at least visualize the guitar parts, which is the instrument I’m most capable with, and I have to confess, still having a problem with. Half the time I’m still not sure whether to use acoustic or electric, or a combo. BLAH!

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