View Full Version : a little help from the pros

09-09-2002, 12:23 AM
hi i'm new here. I just wanted to introduce myself and pose a question.
people tell me all the time (whether they are family, friends, neighbors, even band members!) that i am a natural and a prodigy, even though i've only been playing a year. They like my compositions, improvs and live performance presence. But enough big headedness. Don't think i'm trying to boost my ego or anything. it's the truth.

here's my prob:

I play very well live, at rehearsal, just in front of people, etc.
But when i go to my four - track, i freeze and lose all of my skills. Everything is sloppy and off time. How can I remedy this? My band is going to record a demo soon, and i need some help, so please help me with this...


09-09-2002, 01:25 AM
Record live!
Have your friends record you live with out telling you they are doing it. You will gain a better perspective on your playing and may find that your playing is just as good when recording into a 4 track. You might also find out that it is really better live. Don't trust your ears or friends when judging your playing live, use memorex, it has no loyalty opinion or ego. If you find out it is better live try to figure out why it is better, in my experience the live playing becomes less precise and SOMTIMES more inspired.
Just because you feel good playing live doesn't mean it is better, the tape will tell.

09-09-2002, 12:22 PM
I agree, James. Completely.
Just wanted to add:

A friend of mine recently went into the studio with his band, and he shelled out a lot of money to do so. And he asked me how to prepare for that, to get the most out of it. I said "Do a pre-production at home. Record with a click, try to get comfortable to play to a click, and then listen and be all honest".
Well, even the easiest parts seemed to be off... one song had 8 bars of an easy 8th-notes rhythm, with one chord, and it was off. So he sat down and recorded it all over, tried to adjust whatever wasnīt right... he turned up the click so it was really loud, he sat down differently, and he focussed, really trying to get away from the "red light fever".
Because, once you record, you put a focus on your playing, and it might take away a bit of your potential. So you gotta practise that too.
Working with a metronome when practising does NOT apply to solo licks ONLY, but does apply to rhythm and stuff too... A lot of people use the metronome to work on their shred licks, but they think "Hey, I can play those solos very fast... donīt bother me with rhythm guitar, those are basics and I sure donßt have a problem with that"... Guess what, they do.
Cuz itīs a completely different situation to record your rhythm tracks on tape, on their own, with people listening. You have to relax, but also concentrate.
You might miss the "live-vibe" and play different, but that is not unusual.
So try to simulate those recording-situations. I.e. record stuff on your computer, with a metronome in the back. And really listen with a discriminating ear, be realistic. If something is not completely right, do it again, until you get it right...
Hope this helps

Bongo Boy
10-15-2002, 03:44 AM
Originally posted by Knightsaber
I play very well live, at rehearsal, just in front of people, etc.
But when i go to my four - track, i freeze and lose all of my skills. Everything is sloppy and off time.

Welcome to iBreathe, Daniel--great to have you on board.

I'm a total beginner with about 5 months experience. I've been working on the melody for ONE SONG for about 3 months now. It's a very, very simple little tune.

Sometimes I pick up the guitar and run thru this tune with total ease--everything sounds great. In fact, I think I do this often. But, with NO ONE in the house, the instant I hit that REC button on the 4-track, I seldom get more than 30-45 sec into the tune without an "unintended outcome". And by 'seldom' I mean I have done FIFTY takes without getting thru more than 16 bars on any of them.

I get tense, short of breath and my hands get slightly moist. I'm not kidding or exagerating. Far more adrenalinized than even when I do presentations in front of a room full of big-shots. It's weird.

You've already been given good advice by the others--and I've heard this advice before--especially in the recording magazines, etc. But I just wanted you to know other folks have this bizarre response too.