I’ve got a secret for you.

You might already know this, but in case you don’t, here goes.

I’m not a magician.

There, I said it.

When I’m recording guitars, I rarely just “know” how I’m going to be recording it that day.

In other words, I don’t magically know what mic to use and what mic position to use. Sure, I have an idea of where I want to start, but I honestly never know what I’m going to do until I set up the mics and start listening.

Too simple?

Yeah, probably.

But it works.

Here’s the deal. I know what it’s like to feel pressured to “get it right” the first time. You want to rush through mic setup and start recording. Recording’s the fun part anyway, right?

True, laying down tracks can be a lot of fun.

But you know what makes it MORE fun? When those tracks sound really good.

And you’ll NEVER know exactly what technique is going to work that day.

That’s not a bad thing. Some days I’ll use a tried and true technique. Some days that technique simply doesn’t sound that great. Rather than trying to “force it,” I move the mic or maybe choose a different mic altogether.

Don’t feel like you’ve failed if the first thing you try doesn’t sound very good. The only way that can lead to failure is if you say, “Eh…I’ll fix it in the mix.”

NO! For the love of everything holy, please don’t do that.

Rather, take another couple minutes to find out what works.

Take a guess.

Do something random.

See how it sounds.

Speaking of recording guitars, I just finished up watching a new tutorial video from my buddy Graham Cochrane.

He just released his “REthink Guitar” videos, where he walks through his simple (but really effective) technique for both recording AND mixing guitar (both acoustic and electric).

If you’re wanting hours and hours of hundreds of recording and mixing “tricks,” these videos aren’t for you.

But if you wanting to learn:

– how Graham gets his guitar sounds
– how subtle changes to mic distance and angle can yield HUGE results
– how to make a bunch of guitar tracks sit in the mix together
– how to use mono mixing to beat those tracks into submission

…all while listening to Graham’s sultry speaking voice, pop on over to:


Joe “Got a Man-Crush on Graham” Gilder