I’ve talked about pre-production before…a lot actually.

(In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, pre-production is the process of planning out a song before you record it, nailing down the essentials like tempo, arrangement, key, etc.)

Why do I keep bringing it up? Is it all about productivity and efficiency? Yes and no. Sure, you want to be productive in the studio; you want to finish things relatively quickly.

But more importantly, you want things to be FUN.

If working in the studio starts to feel like a JOB, you’ll be less and less motivated to get in there and make some progress.

I’ve been there. Holy moley, have I been there. I’ll set these huge expectations for myself. I’ll have a big, elaborate plan for how I’m going to record a particular song. But in the midst of all those fancy plans, I stop having fun.

While I love pre-production and sing its praises in a lot of my articles, there’s a fine line between being prepared and OVER-planning your sessions.

Done the right way, pre-production helps you get a vision for the song, and it prevents you from needing to back-pedal to “fix” mistakes later on in the recording process. Plus, it’s really fun and creative.

Done the wrong way, it looks a lot like stalling. You plan and plan…and plan….and plan. And that project seems to always be a “someday” thing, not a present reality.

Should pre-production be a part of your recording process? Absolutely. (I do pre-production to some degree on every project I work on.)

But keep it fun. Keep it short and sweet.

Take the time to make a decisive plan, then move on and start recording.

To learn specifically how to use pre-production to make your recordings better (AND more fun), join the Production Club:


We cover pre-production (using one of MY songs) during the first two weeks.

Joe Gilder

P.S. Become a member this week and I’ll give you one of my “Understanding…” products for free. Up to a $97 value. Just forward me your receipt.