Zone Recording, Part 4

Hello Guitar Nine readers. Welcome to another installment of Zone Recording.

Have you ever prepared to do a take in a studio only to get extremely nervous and have your hands start shaking like you were endorsed by Starbucks Coffee? I have and it sucked. The take suffered because of it and I had to scrap the session. There were a few reasons why this happened and I hope to help some of you out with ways of not letting it happen to you.

The first thing is to record yourself when you practice. This is the best way of getting used to being recorded. Do not worry about making mistakes. It is just to train your mind that it is not a high stress situation, and that you could do it anytime. Take 10 minutes and just record yourself playing anything, a song, a solo, free improvisation, etc. Later on in the day, listen to the recording. The first week or so you might make many mistakes, but notice the comfortability with your playing after awhile. You will hear it!

The next thing you should do is to be totally prepared when you are going in to a studio, especially if you are paying for it! Your parts should be practiced until perfection. I usually spend at least one month on just my playing pre-production before I go into the studio. If you have your parts prepared and practiced with your recording in your room, you will have another brilliant recording.

Another idea is your breathing. I must say that this is very important. When we as humans get excited, our heart speeds up. This causes our breathing to become faster and for our hands to shake and become nervous. All I do before a performance or a recording is spend 5 minutes with myself doing deep breathing. I breathe in for approximately 7-10 seconds, hold for another 3-4 seconds and exhale for approximately 5 seconds. I will do this for about 5 minutes. After I am done, I am so relaxed and ready, I guarantee that you will be calm for your next take. (Note, stay away from caffeine.) It is very strange how we get so freaked out when the little red light goes on even though we know that we can re-do the part a million times if need be. It is a strange mental torture.

On a totally other note, to help me build up for certain recordings, I have abstained from making love with my girlfriend for approximately one week before the recording. This seems to give me a powerful performance full of passion and reckless abandon! (Note: I look forward to after the session to see my girlfriend!)

I hope that this information will help you out in your studio performances and get us to giving the world our best. May the tone be with you!

David Martone is a guitarist from Vancouver, Canada who has released seven solo CDs which showcase his musical diversity and brilliant guitarmanship.

His 2007 CD is entitled "When The Aliens Come", which features a progressive sound incorporating jazz, rock, fusion and metal influences.

David Martone