Bryan Smith at Clinton Recording Studio

Cutting Studio Time

Muscle memory is so fascinating. A great way to save a lot of time in the studio is having your basic parts in your hands.

It’s very clear to me when people come in cold and haven’t rehearsed their parts. Three hours and forty takes later, guitar one is finished. At this point, the artist and I are so frustrated that coming up with an additional part to complement this part is compromised in time and energy.

Often, in dealing with this process, I have had someone come back the day after and recut the track: two takes in 25 minutes. So if just one day of playing can yield such great results, imagine what five days of preparation could do. It does not have to be four hours of intense practice. But a half an hour of playing that part for a couple of days can really just let you focus on other things when you’re actually cutting the track. If you’re a session musician who comes in and nails the part, that’s fine. You play eight hours a day and nothing fazes you. But if you’re looking to make your part for your song really special, the less thinking you have to do the better. Rehearsing puts the parts in good hands.