Thanksgiving Challenge

I am convinced that gratitude is one of the most powerful concepts in the world.

It solves a multitude of problems.

It cures self-centeredness and self-loathing.

It centers us.

Cynicism breeds more cynicism.

Gratitude breeds more gratitude.

Here’s my challenge for you. Starting today, develop a habit of writing down three things you’re thankful for every day.

Gratitude, just like playing guitar or mixing a song, takes practice.

But it’s worth it.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Joe Gilder
Home Studio Corner

Failure Collection

If you saw the latest episode of GilderCam, you know that I spent two days in the studio this week tracking songs for clients.

We spent a while that first morning dialing in the snare drum tone. We used a combination of dampening and mic placement changes to tame some of the ringing frequencies.

Tim (the drummer) let me listen to a song from a session on which he recently played. The producer kept asking him for a more open-sounding snare drum. They stripped off all the dampening until the drum was ringing like crazy. By itself it sounded like too much, but in the mix it sounded huge and amazing. (more…)

It Doesn’t Work That Way

I received a comment recently that went something like this:

“I’ve been consuming your content for a while now. This article was the final piece of the puzzle for me. Now I can start working on my EP. Thank you!!”

While I am immensely grateful that anyone would take time to read one of my articles or watch one of my videos, I always feel a little icky when I get comments like this.

Here was my response: (more…)

Leggo me Ego

I had a great songwriting session yesterday. I’ve been trying to cowrite more songs lately, and it’s been such a cool experience.

Yesterday’s session was with my buddy Daniel. It was the first time we’d written together. It was so fun to experience how he writes. Daniel has a publishing deal. He’s written hundreds of songs in the last couple years alone.

There are two common (and surprising) themes to all the songs he’s written. (more…)

Structure, Spontaneity, and Decisions

I have a confession.

I hate making decisions.

I love having MADE decisions, but the actual decision-making process wears me out. It’s not so much normal, everyday decisions like “Should I put Sriracha on my eggs today or not?” (By the way the correct answer is “YES ALWAYS.”)

It’s the important decisions, the ones about work and music. You know, decisions about things like how I spend my time at work, how I spend my time NOT at work, how to become a professional model…things like that.

But seriously, it can be a struggle. I’ve gotten better, but the underlying resistance is still alive and well. (more…)

”We just did.”

Inspiration is overrated.

Yesterday morning I walked into the studio and really didn’t feel like writing a song.

But I did.

Why? Because if I wait around until I’m feeling “inspired” to write, I will write approximately two songs per year, and I have to record another EP next month. I can’t wait.

To illustrate, a random story: (more…)

Mixing Ruins Everything

I was sitting on my deck listening to an album I hadn’t listened to in a while. My first impression of the music was the impression I always have when I hear new, well-produced music.

It felt big. It felt larger than life. It had energy.

Then I started listening to it like a mix engineer.

And I ruined it. Let me explain. (more…)

Advice You Won’t Hear Very Often

I had an email exchange with a client earlier this week I thought I’d share with you.

Mike has hired me to mix and master a few of his songs as well as record and produce some from scratch. As with a lot of my clients, Mike doesn’t live in Nashville, so we do all our work remotely. Mike expressed to me in a recent email that while he loves writing and recording songs, he hates “the drudgery of long hours of filling a song out with virtual instruments when I can’t play the real instrument at all or very well.”

That really struck a chord with me. So many people I interact with struggle with the same thing, but they don’t really know it. They think that just because they can do everything on a project, that means they should.

Here’s a part of my reply to Mike:

(more…)