Today is my son Owen’s birthday. He’s two years old. Love that kid.

For his birthday Pam and I bought him this little hot wheels toy. It’s got a “ferris wheel” that you turn to lift the cars up to the top of a ramp, then the cars race down and jump from one ramp to another.

It’s pretty cool.

The box said “Ages 4+” but we ignored it.

I always thought those “age-appropriate” recommendations had to do with whether or not there were small parts that a toddler could choke on.

As it turns out, they were right. This toy was not age-appropriate for little Owen (even though his daddy thought it was pretty cool.) He just couldn’t figure out how it was supposed to work, and it got really frustrating for him really quickly.

Did you know there’s such a thing as “age-appropriate” gear?

The rules are not as cut-and-dry as toddler toys, however.

I’m not talking about your actual age. I’m not even really talking about how long you’ve been recording music. What I am talking about is your experience level.

How good are you at recording? Or production? Or editing? Or mixing? Or mastering?

Be honest.

Are you constantly eyeing that magical new piece of gear, that one piece that will cure all your recording woes?

OR…are you constantly looking for ways to improve your skillz?

Think about it this way. Really high-end gear might not be “age-appropriate” for you.

Just like Owen, you might be fussing with knobs, trying your hardest to make it work, but it only leaves you frustrated…and it makes you want to throw things.

My suggestion: Let’s not put our lives on hold while we wait for that perfect piece of gear. Take the “age-appropriate” gear you own right now, and focus on improving YOU.

I’ve said this a lot, I know. But it’s worth repeating. Your songs will only be as good as you are.

That’s why Graham and I started Dueling Mixes. To help you get better, one mix at a time, using the gear you’ve got in your studio today.

We are blown away by the response so far. If you want to get in on the fun, you can join here: