I have to confess that the first time I stepped into a studio I didn’t know what I was doing, so I didn’t know any of the things I am going to to tell you now. The truth is I was so excited I probably didn’t warm up, I didn’t stop when I should’ve done it, etc. (No, really, I didn’t…) And that is why I don’t ever want you to listen to those recordings… lol!

After that experience I’ve been lucky enough to record in different studios, plus I’ve co-owned one for 4 years when I was living in the States. So I’ve learned from my mistakes and others’.

Here you have a few tips to make the best of your studio session:

– No matter if you’re a singer or a musician, warm up before you show up to the studio: You waste more time than you think warming up your voice, fingers, etc. if you’re already in the studio. It’s better to come ready from home, so you’ll get to the studio and your overall performance will be much better in less time. .

– Practice before you go to the studio: Same idea here, if you know your parts, lyrics, melody, etc. before you show up the session will flow much better. We know there are things that come up at that very moment, creativity wise, but believe me, you’ll feel way more comfortable if you show up with as much knowledge about the song as possible, and that’ll let your mind come up with even better impros!

– Do not force the machine (yourself): As a singer or musician, you are a human being with a body that has its limits. Studio work is a physical and mental work, and your body gets tired, so don’t force it! Know yourself and your limits… If you see that your singing or playing turns worse after a few hours of work, it’s much better to take a break than to keep going. Better to work for two 4 hours sessions than a loooong 8 hour one. Don’t ask your body to run a musical marathon!

– Don’t be late: First off, because I highly doubt the studio owner lets you make up for the wasted time; second off, because you make other people (producer/engineer) wait for you; and finally, because it shows your lack of professionalism.

– Bring everything you need, and double it up: Don’t as the studio owner is he’s got guitar strings, drum heads or extra cables, it is your responsability to bring everything and enything you might need for the session, only you know what works better for you. And have everything ready the day before!

– If you’re sick, cancel: This is a common mistake for  a lot of musicians, specially singers. They think to themselves “it’s just a cold, I’ll pull trough…”. Wrong. Like I mentioned before, a studio session is a physical endeavour, so if your body is not 100%, your performance won’t be either. If you’re sick, please, let the engineers and producers know, apologize for the inconvenience and cancel your session. Trying to go through it being sick won’t help anybody, it’ll only make you waste yours and other people’s time. .

– Don’t bring “extras”: When I talk about extras I mean your family members, friends, etc. Keep it to a minimum. In general, I recommend it to keep the session to yourself, the producer and engineer. If there are more members in your band, you can obviously bring them too if that makes you comfortable. Nobody else is needed, just because the more people, the more nerves, the more nerves the more takes, the more takes the more time… Less people, less problems!

– Treat other’s studio even better than if it was yours: Don’t bring alcoholic beverages, don’t leave things around, take care of the equipment, etc. This is common sense but sometimes we forget. Studios have normally places to hang and eat, drink, chat, etc. Use those spaces for what they’re for.

That’s all folks! Now go kick some a** in your next studio session!!