Most musicians already know that there are many skills they
must develop to increase their chances of success in the music industry. However, there is one specific musical area
that is often overlooked by many musicians (especially by guitar players) in
their pursuit of a successful music career - their recording skills in the
studio. Among the many things that you
can do to maximize your value to record companies and to any band that you want
to be a part of, having the ability to record your guitar parts very quickly
and efficiently in the studio will help you with getting the music career
opportunities that you want.
Sadly, most guitarists (including many of those who already
play their instrument at a high level) don't begin to realize the importance of
working on their studio recording skills until they walk into a recording
studio to record their first album. No matter how well you can play
guitar at home (or even while performing live), walking into a recording studio
for the first time can be a very humbling experience. Few things are more
frustrating for guitar players than having excellent general musical skills but
not being able to quickly and accurately record their guitar playing in the
How does learning to record guitar parts well in the
studio help your music career?
When you are ready to record your next album with your band,
the costs of recording in a professional studio can reach hundreds of dollars
per hour. The more time it takes your entire
band to record the songs, the more money has to be budgeted for studio costs. On top of that, if after spending several
hundred hours in the studio the music is still not recorded at the needed level
of quality, you can expect to pay a whole lot MORE money for the studio
engineer to edit the parts that contain flaws due to sloppy recording. You can do your part to avoid such situations
by making sure that you are always prepared to record your music well in the
Most bands that have a limited budget to pay for studio time
face one of two choices:
1. Accept the mediocre
recordings and settle for less than perfect sound on their album in order to
avoid spending more money.
2. Hire experienced
studio musicians (who do not play in the band) to help record the needed parts
quickly, reliably and cheaply. Many
record companies decide that it would be cheaper overall to hire a session
musician to record the band's album in the studio than to pay for an additional
hundred (or more) hours of editing time that would otherwise be required by the
engineer to fix the imperfect recordings of the actual band members .
The good news is that it is possible to avoid having to make
such unpleasant choices (as described above) by becoming proficient at
recording your guitar parts in the studio accurately and quickly. You can develop this ability in the same way
that you develop your other guitar playing skills - by consistent
practice! However, the ability to record
music in the studio is a very special skill that needs to be practiced in a
unique way that is different from how you normally practice. This is one of the reasons why even very
advanced guitarists have a very challenging time recording even the most simple
guitar parts PERFECTLY in the studio.
Spending more time "recording" will help you to
improve somewhat, but until and unless you are aware of the most common
mistakes that guitarists make in the recording studio you will find it
difficult to track your progress in this area.
To find out how to prevent the most common studio recording
mistakes, read this free guide about studio recording
for guitar players.
The most difficult aspect of recording an album in the
studio is creating totally perfect and tight rhythm guitar tracks. Most guitarists are already aware of the need
to make rhythm guitar parts "in time" when recording. Even though "playing in time" is
definitely critical, this is only one element (out of MANY) that must be
thought about when recording guitar in the studio. Below is a sample of what is required to
record a flawless rhythm guitar track:
all of the chords and notes on the recording sounding perfectly stable.
allowing any sloppy noise from the strings to end up on the
the palm muting constant on every track.
the rhythm guitars flawlessly with the other instruments used in the song.
TIP: Tuning/intonating your guitar in the same way that you do for normal
playing and practicing will make it extremely difficult for you to achieve
this! Read this guide on studio
recording for guitar players to discover how to prepare your guitar
for recording sessions.
the guitars perfectly tight (in time) with the bass and drums.
a consistent amount of pick articulation and tone on each track.
You probably noticed that the above listed elements are not
all that hard to pay attention to and refine in isolation. However, the
challenge of recording perfectly in the studio lies in the following 3 things:
ALL of the points listed above (not just 1 or 2 of them) to come out
flawlessly on all of your recorded tracks.
steps 1 above as quickly as possible to save yourself and your band a LOT
steps 1 and 2 above at least 2 times to double track or 4 times to quad
track the rhythm section.
To help you with achieving the goals described above here
several steps you should take right now:
first step you should take now is to determine how much you truly know
about recording guitar parts in the studio. To test your current knowledge about
recording in the studio, check out this free guide about studio
recording for guitar players.
you uncover your specific strengths and weaknesses for recording guitar in
the studio, start taking the needed action steps to improve your skills in
this area of your musicianship.
patient and persevere! Learning to record guitar well in the studio
is a skill that can be refined like any other. Even though it may feel frustrating to
realize that you must start from the beginning in this area of your
musicianship, know that the vast majority of guitar players have gone
through the same learning process that you are going through. Stay determined, continue to practice,
and results will not be long in coming. As with all musical skills,
you will have a much easier time mastering this area of your guitar
playing under the guidance of a highly effective guitar teacher.
Improve your recording skills in the studio will put you far
ahead of most other aspiring musicians and will greatly improve your chances
for success in the music industry.