The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  1. #1

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    Hi all,

    I'm interested in recording some of my arrangements professionally this year as I've never done it before. Ideally, I'd go in there and bang out a great improvised solo but I know that likely won't happen and I'll probably even play some clangers too.

    Is the modern approach, like the olden days, still to play live, do a bunch of improvised takes, and settle for the best one? I've heard some incredible solos from modern players, absolutely flawless in execution and beautifully melodic, and it's mind boggling that they can play in such a pure manner in the studio environment, but I guess that's what makes them great. Does anybody overdub sections or solos? Or even semi or fully compose solos?

    It seems like if you are going to put something out there that has your name on it, you want it to be best you can do, and that if you have an off day then it's money down the drain. Maybe "mapping out" a solo might be an idea if one is feeling the pressure.

    What's everyone's approach to recording?


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by acidskiffle
    Does anybody overdub sections or solos? Or even semi or fully compose solos?
    Sorry to disillusion you, but they do and they always have.

    What's everyone's approach to recording?
    There are different approaches. It's very subjective. I think playing is playing and recording is recording. Nobody wants to hear the same mistake over and over. This may be anachronistic. Back in the day, music wasn't so easily available so I think people did listen to things over and over more than they do now. It's not easy to play a flawless take. My approach to studio trickery is "as little as possible, as much as necessary". However, I'm not trying to record improvised solos, not genuine ones and certainly not fake ones.

  4. #3

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    Get the drum, bass, and rhythm guitar tracks down solid, overdub guitar solos and vocals.

    Mapping out a solo is a good idea, though I can't say I would ever set myself up for failure by writing a note-for-note solo beforehand that I expected to nail out in total in a studio setting. Just have some go-to ideas that compliment the song/melody you can springboard into more improvised sections with.

    Practice room skills

    Rehearsal room skills

    Gig/stage skills

    Recording studio skills

    All different skill sets. All come with time spent doing them. I'd highly recommend getting a basic interface and doing it yourself. I've been to cheap studios and expensive pro ones and can tell you with absolute certainty that the outcome, past your own efforts, is based on the person running the console. If he's into it, a basic studio can make great recording, but if he's there to get paid and that's it then all the fancy gear int he world still results in a mediocre product even if you nail all your parts. Find a good engineer is my very best advice!

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by DawgBone
    I'd highly recommend getting a basic interface and doing it yourself.
    I agree with this very much. If I were ever to go into a professional studio, I would be very sure that I knew exactly what I wanted to do and was able to do it without wasting any time. Studio time doesn't come cheap. A basic setup for home recording on the other hand is no longer very expensive at all.

  6. #5

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    A great JGT interview that touches this subject with Jonathan Kreisberg and live or not recordings.

    Jazz Guitar Today Interview with Jonathan Kreisberg - Jazz Guitar Today


  7. #6

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    For solo guitar, you can do it yourself at home.

    If you mean recording a band, then a studio makes sense.

  8. #7

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    Depends what I'm trying to do.

    It is possible to make professional quality recordings at home at very low cost. A computer, an interface (about $100) and some software ($60) is all you need, other than your instrument.

    Reaper is free to evaluate (full featured version) and has a vast feature set. The Focusrite interface apparently is very high quality for sound. If you're trying to make a solo guitar recording, this should work great. You might choose to mic an amp, which, will require a mic and cable.

    Working with an engineer may make it easier with a better result, but you can do very well yourself.

  9. #8

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    When I have done studio sessions, what generally happened was that everybody did a lot up front, then the vocals and sometimes the soloists went back to touch up. The strategy was to capture the expensive session first, then do a few inexpensive sessions as needed.

    Usually a whole band played to record the tunes twice and the initial focus was on getting the best takes of the rhythm section; the solo tracks and vocals were done as "scratch tracks". That means the rhythm section was done and if the solos came out great, they were done, too. The vocals would go back later to redo and touch them up, and if some solos weren't quite good, the soloists might do that too. Typical was a female vocal that returned to the studio after the initial session with the whole band about every two weeks for a couple of hours at a time to redo and touch up her vocals.

  10. #9

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    If you record with full seperation you can both do full takes and fix things.