5 Don’ts for Musicians in Recording Sessions

Here is a nice, short list for your Monday morning read! There are many facets that we could discuss about recording sessions but here are 5 quick tips that can help keep you pointed in the right direction and out of trouble:

  1. Don’t blame the click for poor timing – Clicks are a part of the industry at this point whether you are live, or in the studio. Just practice with a metronome or drum track at home and it will get easier.
  2. Don’t think that just because you spent money on that one guitar (or drum, or bass), that it will get you through every session – When you are hired, you have to cater to who hired you. Be flexible, bring multiple axes, and be prepared to use someone else’s if that’s what the producer wants.
  3. Don’t ever forget your “Oh-Sh*t” kit – Everyone’s kit varies due to instrument. Extra strings, cables, tools, batteries, gaff tape, etc. can all be a part of your kit. Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.
  4. Don’t be married to any idea when you’re not running the session – Everything serves the song and if you came up with something that the producer doesn’t like or it just plain didn’t work, be prepared to change it on the fly.
  5. Don’t argue with who hired you – If you’re asked for your opinion, cool. Give it and if they go with it, great! If not, don’t argue. It’s their track and they are paying you. Give them your best version of what they are asking for.

What tips do you have? Please share in the comment section!


Aaron Kusterer is a musician and producer based out of Long Beach, CA. He has worked on commercial projects for clients such as the Hawaii Visitor’s and Convention Bureau and Par Pacific Holdings, Inc. Additionally, he has performed across the globe during a 10 year-stint with the United States Air Force Band, 6 years of which was spent as a music director and tour manager. For more information on him, check out: AaronKusterer.com.

4 responses to “5 Don’ts for Musicians in Recording Sessions

  1. Definitely agree with not being married to an idea. Flexibility just proves that one is an exceptional musician and can handle anything thrown at them.
    Be proud that you will be part of a lasting project, that people will be listening to. Leave the ego at the door

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice article Aaron! I like the bit about the click–you just gotta play in time, particularly when you’re hired. I don’t have a lot of recording experience, but if it’s out of time it doesn’t feel good!

    Liked by 1 person

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