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Songwriting 101: Recording Your Demo

So you've worked hard to craft your songs. You’ve focused on every line of lyric and every note of the music. You’ve checked around to find a good recording studio.

Knowing that recording expenses can add up, you’ve made out a recording budget to get a clear idea of cost involved. You've also negotiated the best possible rate from the studio owner.

Now you’re ready to go into the studio and make a great recording!

* Tips For A Successful Recording Session *

Be Ready & Well-Rehearsed. To avoid frustrating problems, make sure you and your musicians are well-rehearsed and ready to record. The time to practice is BEFORE you enter the studio. Walk into your recording session well-rehearsed and ready to record. If you don't, it will likely cost you both time and money.

Get In Tune. This seems like a no-brainer. Yet it’s surprising how often tuning problems arise during a session, usually because proper tuning wasn't done beforehand. It can be disastrous to realize one of your basic instrumental tracks is out of tune late in the recording process. Tuning your instruments takes a few minutes; a recording (and any pitch flaws on it) lasts forever.

Get Rhythm. A steady rhythm track is the heartbeat of your recording session. Practice with a metronome (click track) and make sure your players especially the drummercan work confidently with a click track.

Be Early. Most studios start charging at the time agreed upon when the session was booked. Show up on time and be ready to start right away.

Focus Your Efforts. Invite only those people who are vital contributors to your recording. Don’t get distracted by friends and family who have no role in the recording. Stay focused on the job at hand.

Don’t Get Caught By Surprise: Might as well expect it. Strings will snap and parts will break, often at the worst possible time. So bring along extra guitar strings, drum sticks and batteries for your electronic gear. Anticipate problems. Be prepared.

Know When To Quit. Sometimes sessions can drift off track and off schedule. Spending extra hours in the studio won't necessarily lead to a better recording. If your singers an players are tired and weary, end the session and return fresh another time.

Great American Song Contest

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