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Band Demo Tip – click tracks

Recording tip – Before you go into the studio to record your band demo or your album…

Practice, rehearse, practice!!  And when you do practice, practice with a click track (metronome).  Even if you do not plan to record your band to a click,  you and your bandmates will benefit from practicing with one.  Music, like anything in life that you want to perfect, takes some discipline and structure.  When you practice to a metronome, you will be forced to focus more and tighten up the band’s timing.

Bands sometimes tell us that their music “gets faster in the chorus on purpose” or that “it changes speed but that’s by design.”  My answer is pretty simple.  While that’s not impossible, it is unlikely.  Your chorus might switch to double time, or a different time signature, and so it will “feel faster”, but it’s pretty rare that the actual beats per minute will change.  Not never but it’s uncommon.  When you listen to a rock or pop song, you should never feel your foot stop tapping and restarting…if you do, it’s usually because a beat was skipped or the tempo fell off.

So, practice, rehearse, and practice before going into the studio to record your band’s demo, EP or album.  The closer you are to a click, the tighter your sound will be.  It’s pretty much a myth that recording to a click makes you sound too “produced.”  A song can be in time and still rock!!

Sesame Street Beat the Time with the Count Von Count video

Now, having said that, at In Fidelity Recordings, WE DO NOT FORCE YOU TO USE A CLICK.  The recording studio is not the place to learn to play to a click.  So if we see/hear that the click is not working for your band’s recording, we suggest you scrap the idea.  There are “tricks” we employ to help you use the click (especially if one band member is comfortable with it than another) but the main goal is always to get you the best possible recording and to make the band feel as comfortable and confident as possible in the recording studio.

Another benefit of practicing to a metronome is that you won’t record your demo or album too fast or too slow when you go into a recording studio.  Sometimes the adrenaline is flowing, and if you haven’t established a tempo (bpm) in your rehearsals, then you’ll just play it as fast as the Red Bull takes you that day.  And you may end up with a pretty different version of your song than you had hoped.