• Skill

5 Studio Session “No-Nos”

One of the things I enjoy about making music is getting to meet and create with different people. The only time one doesn't enjoy making music is when they are somehow obstructed, distracted or when it becomes a “do I have to”. I'm 100% sure you have had an experience or two when a recording session has been terrible. One of those "look at the clock every two minutes" type of sessions. Here are five obstructions to avoid before getting into a music session.


1) Being reckless the night before (partying too hard)

Nothing wrong with going out and having a good time but if you have a session the next day or plan on making music don't drink too much or at all if possible. I've been in a few sessions where the performer was simply too out of it to deliver a solid take. This makes the whole music making process unpleasant for everyone involved.

Sleep and prepare enough for a session especially if it involves other people. I find that the best sessions are the ones that flow with direction and are executed effortlessly. Strive to be a one take type of recording artist and everyone involved will be impressed. If you are paying per hour for the session you'll be able to save money and get more done in an hour.


2) Running late or No Show

One of the things I've learnt from working with different people is that people love professionalism, even if they aren't being professional themselves.

If you are going to a session scheduled at 10:00 then arrive at 09:55 latest. This screams “I'm serious about this!” Being punctual is even more crucial if it’s a first meeting. This will set the tone for the rest of the relationship. A No show is simply unacceptable. I've only had a handful of no shows and I've adapted my services for these type of artists. Try keep in people's good books always.


3) Being Unprepared

This one sentence is probably in the top three of every home-studio engineer's “I-Hate-It-When” list...


“I haven't finished my verse, can I finish it...”


If you haven't completed your verse and practised it until perfection level before a session, contact whoever is recording you and postpone the session. This is much better than arriving at a session unprepared and wasting everyone's time. If you are paying by the hour you'll be wasting money and losing face. Quote: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.


4) Eating incorrectly

I'm sure we all have eaten too much, too little or not at all before a session. Either way we know that this made a music session absolutely terrible.


Eat before a session an hour or so before a session and if it's going to be a long session then bring some quick snacks to keep the system intact. Avoid foods that'll constrict your vocals such as spicy foods, coffee, fizzy drinks and junk foods. Drinking warm water with cucumbers and honey usually does the job for me. If you are the one running the session, offer water that’s preferably lukewarm. Please avoid the beans... no further comment.


5) All nighters and lack of sleep

Nothing is as painful as having to work on a musical work with a not-so-hot performer when you're tired. Other than all the health facts about lacking sleep, concentration is the one that effects my production.


I use to be a big culprit of procrastinating and end up having to pull off near-all-nighters just because I wasn't running on time. Time management is key for all forms of business when it comes to music success.


Being in a good space, physically and mentally helps a lot when it comes to getting the most out of a session (if you're making a sad song then being sad is a good space). If you have other things you avoid before a session or would like to discuss any of the above mentioned topics, hit me up on whatsapp at 0835709602 or email me at info@skillmusicsa.com


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