I mentioned that Jack White article article yesterday.

We looked at why unlimited choices can really hurt your music.

Let me show you an example.

Meet Phil.

Phil is fairly new to recording, and he’s excited about all the possibilities.

He quickly writes a song and goes to work recording his masterpiece.

The first thing he does is record drums. But he doesn’t quite know how the song should be structured yet, so he has the drummer record 7 different takes.

He also records a few takes at 3 different tempos, because he hasn’t decided what tempo is best for the song yet.

Next up is bass. He records a total of 9 takes, 3 takes at each of the 3 tempos he recorded. Keeping his options open.

Next up is guitars. This takes months to finish. He records a total of 15 tracks of guitar, each with at least 5 different takes (so he can go back and comp together the best take for each). He does this for each of the 3 tempos, so he can figure out which tempo works best now that he has drums, bass, and guitars recorded.

Are you exhausted yet? Yeah, me too.

As you can imagine, Phil’s never gonna finish this song. The editing alone will bog him down for months. By the time he’s ready to mix, he’s gonna hate the song.

Phil needs two things — better planning and less options.

Without those, he’s doomed.

To see the process I use to plan out my recordings (it’s called pre-production) and use as few options as possible, check out my Production Club training series:


See first-hand how to complete a song from start-to-finish without getting bogged down in Decisionville.

Joe Gilder
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