7 TIPS FOR RECORDING BETTER GUITARS AT HOME
1. SETUP FOR SUCCESS
Make sure your instrument has fresh strings, is fully tuned up and any scratchy electrics or wobbly jack plates are tightened and fixed.
Make sure you know every hammer-on, every string bend and every tricky chord before you start recording. This way you’ll feel confident and relaxed when it comes to capturing it, and you won’t be relying on luck or fluke.
3. DON’T SWEAT THE DETAIL
Don’t worry too much about getting the tone exactly right before you record it. Chances are the sound you’re using will need tweaking after you’ve recorded the other instruments so just concentrate on getting somewhere near where you want to be and you can fine-tune it later. If, on the other hand, you’re recording using an amp, try and make sure you’ve tested the balance between guitar, drums and bass before you record.
4. CONCENTRATION AND RELAXATION
A big reason guitarists stumble when recording is because of the extra tension we put into our fingers, perhaps subconsciously. Take a few minutes to relax and your recordings will benefit immensely.
5. SIGNAL CHAIN WOES
Have you got your pedals in the right order? Are the cables all in good condition? If you’re using mains power, are you picking up a hum from nearby electronic devices. Aim to get your signal chain as clean and optimised as you can because it can be hugely frustrating to record a take and find you’ve picked up the 60 cycle hum from anything plugged into the same socket.
6. DIAL BACK THE GAIN!
Try not to think you need to dime the gain all the way to get that dirty sound. That’s fine for playing on your own, or for playing live, but when you’re recording it can quite quickly swamp a mix. Try instead to find tones that complement, rather than compete with, the other instruments.
7. ENJOY IT!
If you’re not enjoying the recording process, stop recording. Or at least take a break. If you’re beating yourself up for recording a bad take, or if you can’t properly relax, put the guitar down and come back when you’re feeling better.