One of the common pitfalls of musicians that are inexperienced recording in the studio is composing parts that they struggle to pull off in that environment.
If a musician hasn’t been recorded before, they may be surprised to hear their playing under the microscope so to speak, as good quality microphones and studio equipment can highlight every aspect of a musician’s technique and tone, both good and bad. This is where composing realistic musical parts for the studio environment comes in to play.
While a musician may be able to get away with slight inconsistencies and imperfections in a live performance, especially when hidden within an ensemble, they might not be able to get away with them in the studio. This is why it is advisable to compose your parts within the range of your day to day ability, or at least create variations of difficulty of the part so that you have options to try out in the studio. If this is not done ahead of time, then it usually occurs during the recording which can be problematic for several reasons.
- Firstly, this can waste precious recording time if musical parts are being re-written.
- Secondly this can cause frustration and self doubt in the musician as they won’t be able to deliver what they had hoped.
To combat this problem, musicians should record themselves regularly performing their musical parts in their own time, this can be with a home studio setup or even a phone. This way they will get used to trying to nail their musical parts and they will be able to hear their playing back. This will give a good indication if the part is too difficult to replicate regularly, and if it should be changed.
Thomas Rickerby - Psycho (MUSE) Guitar Cover