Preparing for the Studio Part I

Note: this story is related by Allen Weber owner and leader of the Hot Shock band to me.


Ok, so I know it is time to record the debut Hot Shock cd. Since there are a pool of Hot Shock musicians, I am choosing the ones I think can do the best job in the recording.

There are three bass players to choose from, three different drummers to choose from, and two keyboard players to choose from.

I need people who “Get it”, and are workable as the material was all written and arranged by me.

Additional Choices and Training

So the best way to approach this is to create a solid unit who knows each other’s styles and nuances the best.

That will give a solid, powerful sound.

Drummer Settled

The main drummer I have been working with, is really busy for the months of May and June and will not be able to put in enough time to the rehearsals.

He has been first call more out of loyalty to him.

So, it is choice number two (who has since become call #1 for everything). Frank… has his own drum studio where he sells custom drum tracks created specifically for songs he is hired to provide drum tracks for He is more workable, plays more styles, has a better feel, and has the time and inclination to work harder. He will be rewarded by doing the pre-recording gigs, making some money, and making money on the recording.

Bass Player Settled

My first call bass player from the pool is available. He fully understands the concepts and the groove I need. As he said when I was teaching the songs and approach to them &#ldquo;It&rdsquo;s easy if you know what you are doing.&#rdquo;

He is a groove maker, and just what the material needs.

Keyboards Settled

Of the two players, one is more workable. He has great ears. Just needs a bit of reminding not to tread on people’s toes when playing.

Rehearsal for Gigs

Now that the personnel are settled, it is time to prepare for some club dates. Each show will be four hours.

Obviously, there will be a combination of uniquely done covers and my material.

The clubs are looking for not so high energy, more jazz funk. Great groove, so people get up and dance and enjoy themselves.

Some of the material for the Cd will not work in this environment.

Learning Material

So everyone gets mp3’s with the feel, and everyone except the drummer gets chord charts. Everyone is hard at work learning the material.

Before the first full band rehearsal, the keyboard player Mike, and I get together to go over feel, synth sounds, etc. A pre-pre rehearsal.

We got 15 songs worked out well enough we can bring in the bass player John.

The first time the three of us got together, it was apparent both Mike and I needed to get more use to working together, and playing less. Create and keep more holes.

So Mike and I put in a lot of time working out parts, and such.

It’s more of “Here are the chords, here is the feel, here is the tempo… now play what you want as long as it fits those parameters… and go outside when you feel like it!”

Full Band Rehearsal

Everyone learned the material and we had our first full band material to seriously work on everything.

Sounded Great! No more treading on toes.

A couple more good rehearsals and we were ready for the club dates.

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