Back at It Again!

Getting rid of bats and escaping to Waupaca, definitely helped me get back on track!

On Saturday, I returned to Willie Martinez’s recording studio to start recording, “Missin’ You. “ (You can read about the meaning of the song here.) I first recorded the acoustic guitar.

Allison Merten at Willie Martinez's Recording Studio Photo by Willie Martinez

Allison Merten at Willie Martinez’s Recording Studio
Photo by Willie Martinez

After that was all set, I recorded the vocals.

Allison Merten at Willie Martinez's Recording Studio Photo by Willie Martinez

Allison Merten at Willie Martinez’s Recording Studio
Photo by Willie Martinez

Of the whole recording process, the part that I have enjoyed the most so far has been recording the vocals and acoustic guitar. I have been singing since I was a little girl and have been playing acoustic guitar since I was 16. When I play my guitar or sing, I feel very emotionally connected to the song I am recording.

However, sometimes I struggle when I record the vocals or acoustic guitar because I record them separately, and I find that it feels weird just to sing and not play at the same time, or vice versa. When I sing and play guitar at the same time, I am not only emotionally connected to my songs, I also am physically connected to them. 🙂

Hence, that’s why when I was recording the vocals on Saturday, I had to leave the vocal booth to go play my acoustic guitar and sing a part of the song that I was struggling with. But after playing and singing that part, I “got it'” and returned to the booth to continue recording the vocals.

After I left the studio on Saturday, I felt good about the progress on my album (as opposed to being hard on myself about not being done with it yet as I usually do…), and spent the rest of the day Saturday and Sunday preparing for the studio on Monday.

To be honest, I had avoided going to the studio on weeknights because I remembered how exhausted I felt at the studio after a long day of work. However, I really want to finish my album, so I made myself record on Monday. Sometimes the things you want most aren’t easy, and you just have to accept the challenge or you will never achieve your goals.

Monday night, I recorded the electric guitar and drums for “That’s Life.” (You can read about the meaning of the song here.)

Monday at my daytime job was super intense…a 9 hour, high interaction day with no time to eat my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. 😦

After work, I returned home, ate my pb&j quickly, and traveled to Willie Martinez’s studio.

I always feel nervous recording electric guitar, which causes me to make mistakes, which causes me to be at the studio longer than I  intend to be.

I think I get nervous because I don’t feel as connected with the music on my Fender electric as on my Dean acoustic.  I write my songs with my Dean. I add other instruments later. I see my Dean as the foundation of my songs.

I write the parts for all the instruments in my songs, so when I hear the “finished” version of one of my songs, I have a hard time listening to it as a complete song. Instead, I hear  the song as separate parts mashed together.

Therefore, when I listen to the vocals and acoustic guitar while I am recording the drums or electric guitar, sometimes I have a really hard focusing on what I am playing.

On Monday night, I felt ready for the studio. I practiced on my Fender a bunch and I even practiced with my air guitar on the bus…I know, super nerdy! But I tried to be discreet! (Only a few people were sitting near me in the back of the bus 😉 )

I don’t know if it was because I was super tired from a long day at work or what, but I had a really hard time playing the electric guitar part in time (no matter how loud the metronome was!). I thought maybe I was nervous because I could see Willie (you think after going to his studio for over a year that I wouldn’t be nervous anymore!), so I actually turned my chair around and played the electric guitar part facing the wall (much to Willie’s amusement!) Whatever works I guess 😉

After finishing the electric guitar part, I recorded the drums for “That’s Life.”

Allison Merten at Willie Martinez's Recording Studio Photo by Willie Martinez

Allison Merten at Willie Martinez’s Recording Studio
Photo by Willie Martinez

I left the studio that night looking like a zombie… But at least I can say that “That’s Life” is finished! That makes 7 finished songs!

I return to the studio this Saturday to record the vocals and acoustic guitar for “Temptation.”

I have chosen to only record vocals on the weekend because my voice is so shot at the end of a work day, it wouldn’t be a good idea to record on a week night.

I’m excited to return to the studio on Saturday, and I’m excited to be one step closer toward achieving my life-long dream: making my first album 🙂

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