Magazine article Guitar Player

Studio Log: Non-Linear Guitar Sessions

Magazine article Guitar Player

Studio Log: Non-Linear Guitar Sessions

Article excerpt

So, here we are--smack-dab in the middle of the digital-recording revolution where unlimited tracks, non destructive editing, and myriad plug-ins often transform the job of the session guitarist from a "track" player to a "part" generator. For example, many digital tracking sessions are run the way most movies are shot, where you film the last scene first, or do all the car chases in a row. The non-linear approach to recording music actually offers some advantages to savvy session players. For one thing, it's much easier to go into a session cold--without ever having heard the tune--and get a convincing performance. And no longer does a player have to memorize an entire arrangement, as you call work through a song section by section, and one great chorus or verse part can be pasted into the entire tune as needed. (Although it's still a good idea to jot down a quick cheater chart with the chords and any helpful performance notes.)

"If we have enough lead time," says Pro Tools guru and producer Adam Rossi, "I do like players to be familiar with the material. But if someone is not as comfortable with the parts, I can go into loop mode and run a section until we get a take."

Once a song's core components are done, you can think about taking a digital session to the next level. If you've gained the producer's trust, one of the coolest things you can do is to run a take where you just riff over the whole time. Stretch out with repeating single-note figures, harmonics, weird noises, counterpoint melodies, and so on. …

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