In the studio, communication skills are key
Music making, producing and performance are all team events and demand a deep understanding of positive team behaviour and powerful communication skills.
I have been working in studios, my own and others for close on 40 years. I have always had some kind of home recording set up long before the digital age and bought my first Multi Track tape recorder in 1973! So I have been at it for a long time and have learnt through experience how to achieve great musical results and maintain positive vibes during the recording/producing process; a must if we want grow as musicians and maintain our professional relationships into the future.
My top 10 points that lead to a great relationship when working with clients in the studio:
- Your client will have a musical vision of what she or he wants the music to ‘sound’ like and we need to be aware of this all the time and consciously be asking ourselves if we are maintaining an open mind.
- As a producer your job is to work towards realising your clients’ dreams’, while maintaining your own integrity as a creative force.
- It is vital to put aside our ego (which is really about our insecurities) and be open to taking on musical ideas and inspiration from the client. This empowers the client and pushes you, the producer, to grow as a creative force…We always have what to learn.
- Remember that many of your creative ideas will be fixed in habits and many times you will be finding solutions based in what is familiar to you and not what is relevant musically.
- As producers/arrangers we need to constantly be pushing our own musical boundaries.
- Spend time listening to the music that excites your client-understand what turns them on musically.
- Patience, patience, patience…the creative process can take time especially when working with someone new. Building a strong creative relationship is about patience and mutual respect and it often take longer than you think to gain the confidence of your client.
- Push the client to be creative and involved-this shows that you are secure about your position as both a producer and creative force.
- Be honest-When you don’t have a clear answer to something don’t be scared to say that you don’t know. Be honest and open and work with your client to find answers. This builds confidence and empowers the client to trust you with their creative feelings.
- Remember your job is to support the client to realise their dreams-NOT yours 🙂
To sum up:
Music making is a team ‘game’ while maintaining our individuality. When you find the balance between the two, music and creativity flows effortlessly and the outcome will always be more rewarding.