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Session Guitar: When to Go Direct and When to Mic in the Studio

As a producer and arranger, I have to consider the sonic landscape of my tracks before I start. Years of experience give me the ability to hear the whole production before I begin. Of course, I leave myself room to veer off course along the way. But I can usually see a very clear picture of what I want before I start laying down tracks.

Session Guitar: Do You Suffer from Guitar-Tuner Dependency?

We were discussing robotic guitar tuners, tuning machines that tune themselves. I first saw this on a Gibson guitar. Now I saw a new one. Then I did a search. I even saw a robotic tuning tool. It got me thinking: How may young guitarists are taught to tune the guitar by ear these days? I mean really taught, as in making it a requirement?

Session Guitar: Improve Your Guitar Playing by Giving Your Notes Room to Breathe

Let's talk about space. Not studio recording space. Sonic space. Your guitar part. We all want to be heard.
Playing sessions means making the other party happy. In most cases, it is a producer. Producers don't necessarily care about your legacy as a guitarist. They care about putting out the finest product they can. And that means satisfying a market.

Session Guitar: The Top 10 Session Guitarists of All Time

One of the most important things I can explain to people who want to become session players is how they need to take a good long look at those who have gone before. In this photo gallery is a list of some of MY faves -- and a brief description of each player.

Session Guitar: How to Set Yourself Up for Creativity

This time around, I'm going to ask you to try something. Put the guitar down before your next session—before you start laying down guitar tracks. Put it down and listen. Listen to the song. Then listen to yourself. Your mind. Heart. Soul. What do you hear? Do you hear something different than you originally expected?

Session Guitar: Top 10 Guitarists to Emulate for a Successful Studio Career

I'd like to address a very meat-and-potatoes bit of info that very rarely gets mentioned. Who should I emulate to be a session guitarist? The answers and the reasons for each may very well surprise you. You might assume you know how to play like these guys, but, until you really try it, you do not know how!

Session Guitar: Do You Have the Guts to Keep It Real?

May I ask whatever happened to playing a song from the beginning to the end? If not with a full band, then at least when you're tracking your own part. The benefits outweigh the hassles. The feel that differentiates slightly from one part of one verse to the second verse is worth the effort to practice the freaking part and nail it!

Session Guitar: Why We Need So Many Guitars!

Why do session guitarists need a variety of guitars? Reason 1: Be prepared. Just like a plumber or carpenter, the right tool for the right job goes a long way to making the music we are playing sound more appropriate for the situation. When you walk into a session, you never know, or most of the time, are unaware of the style you will be asked to play that day.

Session Guitar: Song Production Breakdown

What you will be watching is a screen shot of the session files for a song called "Getting Out of My Own Way." You'll see each individual track played or programmed in creating a successful production. The song was recorded in 2012. The singer/songwriter is Jennifer Vazquez, a very talented vocalist and writer from Da Bronx, NY.

Session Guitar: Arranging and Production Tips to Really Make Your Guitar Stand Out

This week, I'd like to discuss some tricks I've learned to make a guitar really stand out in a track. As a producer, I have to make many decisions. One of the main decisions concerns the dominant feature of the song. Since we are all guitarists here, let's just assume the guitar is going to be the main focus (as opposed to a more "vocal" song). Next, we see what kind of song is it. For this blog post, let's use a rock track. By that I mean we want the guitar sound to be distorted, creamy, fat, juicy with some delay.