I’ve had a pretty cool week hanging out in Germany, which is always a joy for me. Usually I’m playing gigs, but this time I had the extreme pleasure of recording some tunes with my good friend Elli.
We managed to record five songs in total, two of mine, two of Elli’s and one which we wrote together earlier this year.
The studio was based in the beautiful city of Cologne and the people running it were super nice which always make the creative process soooo much smoother.
I’d already recorded a pre-production demo for one of my songs in my little studio at home. So recording that in Cologne was nice and easy as I knew exactly what arrangements and instrumentation I wanted.
My other song, however, wasn’t quite as straight forward. I’d written the verses and chorus but just couldn’t figure out how to end the bloomin thing. Everything I tried seemed to be either too much or too little or it felt totally out of context with what was already there. I had kind of hoped that by the time I got to Germany I would have made a decision about what to do, but I just couldn’t find anything that worked. I had another mess with it the day before we were recording in the studio and I recorded some rough ideas into my phone and wrote down a couple of words that popped into my head… then came lots and lots of praying and hoping that it would all turn out ok and not be a complete disaster!
When we arrived at the studio the following day, I just had to try my best to let go of all the fear and worry and just know that things would all work out just fine (hmmm, easier said than done!). As always I recorded the guitar part first and tried to follow my rough idea for the Outro (and also threw in some improve/blagging). Even when I listened back to my guitar parts I still couldn’t picture how the Outro was going to sound.
I went on to record vocals, leaving the Outro out completely. I then recorded Cajon, bass and asked Elli if I could borrow her piano skills of plenty. Slowly but surely the dreaded Outro was starting to really take shape. It was totally bizarre as I felt I had absolutely no control over what was unfolding, but I was extremely grateful that it all sounded ok!
So what did I learn from the experience? That sometimes it’s better to just let the music do its thing and not get too wrapped up in trying to control the outcome. It was so hard for me to go into someone else’s studio not having a clue how one of my tracks was going to end up… it could have been a disaster, but thankfully it all turned out perfectly.