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Relax - don't do it!

If you're a guitarist who regularly records music on digital home recorders or computers, you might find (like even some of the greats) that you get gripped by 'red-light fever'. Not surprising really, since it's a pretty pressurised situation to find yourself in: "Go on, be creative... NOW!"

One of the commonest manifestations of nerves, or pressure (especially when putting down a solo), is rushing things. You may have played all the right notes, in the right order, with the right tone and feel, but find your solo is just not 'sitting' right: listen closely and I'll bet you're ahead of the beat. But the best playing always sounds relaxed, not like a bull at a gate.

My tip (I'll admit to using it myself on occasion) is to 'relax' the solo by moving it back in the track by a few milliseconds. Obviously you can only do this if your set-up is digital, but believe me you'll notice a HUGE difference! Try 5ms and 10ms at first and you'll probably find a point somewhere in between will do it.

Obviously the best thing of all is to develop a relaxed attitude in your playing generally, and in the studio specifically. But if time is tight and you REALLY don't want to play what was otherwise a great take, over and over again, try this idea and see if it works for you...

More tips, both musical and general, to come...