Are you one of the fortunate musicians who actually gets to “book studio time?” If so, excellent! You are one of the precious few who actually gets to spend your own or somebody else’s money to have a recording professional receive it, in a fair exchange of his or hers (and of course your) talent; for profit. His now profit, yours later perhaps. Yay!

Sound mercenary? Perhaps because-well, it is. This is what he does for a living, either full-time or part. It is also a very fair exchange if he (always assume or she, please) is good at what he does when he rolls tape-AND if you are ready to roll along with him.

How? Consider these actions ahead of arriving:

1 Double check the date you booked. August 25th or September 25th? Your face, red-your deposit, possibly gone.

2 If you are serious about the booking, send him a deposit. It’s a two-way street.

3 Are you a guitar or bass player? New strings? Are your harmonics set up correctly? Never a better time to do this.

4 Drummer? Drum heads in good shape? Consider calling and asking your engineer/producer which ones he prefers. BIG difference in brand new heads the day-of-session, and old, cracked gig heads. This is all subjective of course. New heads, especially tom tom heads have tons more real bottom-end before they’ve had the daylights beaten out of them. I’m just saying’…

5 Good cables? Extra cables? Is your amp buzzing? Get them fixed! Sometimes it’s time.

6 Studios are known for having the cool, old, rare stuff, which is wonderful. Still, I always advise people to bring their go-to stuff, for comfort reasons if nothing else. A comfortable session is usually a productive session.

7 Try if you can to plan your session when you are fresh, not the morning after a late gig if at all possible.

8 Bring something to eat. Maybe don’t get drunk until after you’re done and safely home.

9 Don’t write the third verse of your song in the studio, or leave it until later, or worst of all for last! Please. This is your art. Do it well and do it right.

10 HAVE FUN! Making music does not have to be a miserable experience and in fact, I have found that the more the musician is at ease, the better everything ends up. Chances are this won’t be your last chance in life to make a recording. Trust me.

Now, everybody ready to rock? OK, tape is rolling…let’s make rock history!!! (and just remember, we’ll all counting on you)


Jamie Hoover