I read a great book recently called Art and Fear.*

It deals with the struggle we all face when trying to create art. (And yes, recording and mixing music is absolutely art.)

Here’s a quote from the book. David is taking piano lessons from a piano “master.”

After a few months practice, David lamented to his teacher, “But I can hear the music so much better in my head than I can get out of my fingers,” to which the master replied, “What makes you think that ever changes?”

It’s the same song, slightly different dance, in the studio world, too.

Ever said something like this before?

“This mix doesn’t sound like the one I hear in my head!”

“This guitar part was a lot cooler in my head.”

You’re not alone, partner.

The good news is this — you’re completely normal.

Every project I’ve ever worked on — every. single. project. — has turned out WAY differently than I originally imagined it would. Take my most recent album, for example. I had pretty specific ideas for each song on the album. And while the general direction of the album is very close to what I imagined, the actual sound of each song is so much different (and better) than what I came up with in my head.

Execution will rarely match up exactly with the imagination.

That’s half the fun of making music. I can have a plan when I pick up that guitar or step up to the microphone, but what comes out will inevitably be different.

Different isn’t always bad. It’s just…different.

And it may not be “as good” as the sound in your head, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still very good.

Embrace the discrepancies.

It’s part of the beauty of creating art.

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Joe “The Master” Gilder 🙂
Home Studio Corner

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